Monday, March 29, 2010

Yokozuna Hakuho v maegashira #4 Tosayutaka

Yokozuna Hakuho v maegashira #4 Tosayutaka
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

I uploaded about 40 pics to my Flickr site from Day 10 of the Osaka Grand Sumo Tournament. Click on the picture above to see more.

HD video from that day is available on my all-SUMO YouTube channel -


Friday, March 26, 2010

computers translating Japanese to English

I got the cutest email from a former student this past week.

I saw her at graduation and we exchanged emails - if you're lucky as an ALT you'll have students like her that are eager to continue using their English and communicating with you even tho you are no longer their teacher.

But her email shows a little lack of confidence on her part in regards to her English ability. Many of my kids use an online translation program when sending me email, because they don't want to make mistakes in their English.
What they don't realize is how bad most translating programs are, as you'll see in a moment.

This example isn't actually that bad - I can read and understand what she was trying to say.

Here is the email:

Hi ! Jason !

It passed the high school.

I am very indebted to you.

Speaking with you was very happy.

Your smile was loved.

It never forgets.

Thank you for a lot of memories.

It is you bright and it will exist in the future.

You are loved.


Tennis works hard.

It assists in Jayson from Japan.

It doesn't forget.

Thank you up to now.

Moreover, it E-mails.


Knowing a little about Japanese, you can clearly see sentences where she wrote a typical Japanese sentence and the translation program turns it into readable but stiff English that no native speaker would ever say.

For example, a typical phrase used in messages of thanks is "ima made arigatou gozaimasu" which the computer turned into "Thank you up to now." Not bad, but my guess is most native speakers would say something more like "Thanks for all your help in the past" or "I really appreciate all the help you've given me."

And the computer often inserts "it" if the Japanese omits a subject such as I or me.

Anyway - it was a cute email, and students like this one are the reason I went back to see them all graduate.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Adachi Museum of Art

Adachi Museum of Art - 6.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Hey Gang -

I posted about 30 pictures to my Flickr site I took last Sunday at the Adachi Museum of Art, near Matsue in Shimane.

The Adachi Museum is very famous for its gardens, constantly rated among the best in all Japan.

I got my camera back from the camera store, where they were able to replace/fix the shutter button (cost - $100) in about a week.

So it was nice to have my new Nikon Coolpix L110 with me at the museum. I'm still getting used to all the settings, etc., but I was able to take some nice shots. Click on the picture above to be taken to my Flickr site.

Below is one of SIX short movies I shot at the museum using my new Nikon, which shoots HD movies in 720p.
So if you click on the movie to watch it on YouTube, you can select to view it in HD and it looks pretty good. You can also click around to see the other 5 parts.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Snowing! Snowing!

We've had really crazy weather since I've been back in Japan - even a full blown snow storm one day, which I capture here.