Sunday, June 17, 2012

Warnings and Cautions

My English students, who are all also in Ted’s canoe class, had a three day canoe/camping/fishing trip this weekend, which overlapped with the time for English class. Instead of just missing my class, they came in early before leaving on their trip for class. We’ve been working on Future, then began possibilities (Might) last class. As a review, they each came up with some possible things they will do in London – such as “I might see a soccer match or I might watch synchronized swimming. I can’t decide.” 
This week’s lesson included warnings.  After going over the sample warnings in the book, I had them work in small groups to come up with warnings and what might happen on their weekend trip and write them on index cards.  My example dialog was –

A: Be Careful! There are rocks in the river.
B: What did you say? (Or can you repeat that? Or can you say that again?)
A: There are rocks in the river. Your canoe might get stuck.
B: Thanks for the warning.

They turned in the index cards, then each pair of students chose a card and practiced the dialog out loud substituting the warning on the card. Some of the warnings needed some small corrections, but I think they did a good job.

Here are some of the things they cautioned each other about:

Put on your cap; you might suffer from heat stroke.

Don’t approach the big bee hive; you might stab the bee. (Meaning the bee might sting you. Japanese sentence structure is different from English, so it looks opposite when they translate.)

Use insect repellent; you might get an insect bite. (Repellent is a difficult word for them to say.)

Protect against the cold; you might suffer from hypothermia. (Only the writer of this warning knew the English word hypothermia, but they all knew the Japanese word because they had just studied this in first aid class).

Don’t run; you might break your chin.

Go to the toilet; you might pee.

Don’t touch the rush leaf; you might become itchy to your body.

Put on your life jacket; you might drown.

Don’t make a noise; animal might surprise your voice. (Turn this sentence around.)

Bring your fleece; you might have a cold. (We discussed the difference between having a cold and feeling cold with this warning.)

Paint your sunscreen; you might suffer from skin cancer.

I look forward to hearing about their trip when they get back tonight!

Katakana Signs
I’ve been working on learning katakana. Katakana uses symbols for syllables, like hiragana, but looks more angular than hiragana.  Katakana is used for foreign words.  Sometimes when you sound out the word, it sounds like the foreign word, like sarada (salad) and supotsu (sports). Other times you can roll the syllable sounds around in your head and never figure out what the word is!

I saw these two signs on a recent walk, both for the same type of business. This was an easy one. The signs say ka ri ni n ga – Cleaning!

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