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Is this acceptable criticism?

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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby Infidel » Sat 11.07.2009 4:24 pm

IceCream wrote:
Infidel wrote:I was just trying to show that there are some people, like me, that hate textbook examples for an entirely different reason. Because often they teach you only how to crawl, but then test your running ability.

this is kind of the problem, but it doesn't occur within a textbook. It's like, a textbook teaches you to crawl then goes, ok, now we're done. And you go out in the real world and see cars zooming around at 100mph and go, wait, what?!



Actually, it is something that happens in textbooks, even Japanese textbooks. The usual problem is an exercise question that requires knowledge from a future chapter to answer correctly. The better textbooks weed most of these out, but even the good ones sneak one in now and again. But the more common problem is the usage of simple sentences to demonstrate a grammar point, then exercise questions using compound-complex sentences that use a principle in a way not immediately obvious as related to the grammar example. These are harder to track, but are generally the impetus for people to come on a forum like this and ask questions, because the textbook explanation failed.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby coco » Sat 11.07.2009 4:49 pm

IceCreamさんの日本語は、私の英語よりもお上手です。 :)

後半のうち、文法が間違っているものを赤にしました。

えーと、日本語を勉強している人は違うレベルだってから相当に違う説明スタイルは必要なのだと思っています。

だけど、大体、こういうフォーラムで日本人はまだ少ないと思う。自習人には教科書的な日本語より、自然な言い方のほうが難しいと思います。

例えば、「どういう事情で使っていますか?」とか「なんでこの表現がここにあるの?」とか「そういういってれば退屈・感じ悪い・面白いの?」など。日本人の自然な答えやニュアンスを説明してことはかけがえのないことです!!

その上、私は「言語は情報を伝えるのため」って絶対間違っている見解と確信している。言語は情報を伝えるばっかりではなく、人柄を伝えることとか感情を伝えることとかユーモアを伝えるのためでしょう

日本の大人らしくない表現で習うとどうしてましの?せっかく覚えるのにどうしても使いたくない。結局、自然な文章や不自然な文章や子供表現や大人表現や教科書文章、全部分かるが必要なのです。でも、なんでまずは教科書

私も時々教科書を読む、ぶっちゃけ退屈ですよ。慣用句や自然な文章はそれ比べて貴重と思います。どれもこれも文章を習うことお菓子味のよう感じます。

私の文章の文法にはいろいろな間違ってがあるんですまた、ちゃんと人柄を伝えなっちゃって。でも、何とかします!文章をいちいち勉強してればゆっくり進んでもいいですね。


I have yet to make my mind about what kind of writing style you prefer.
1) 日本人を研究している人々はそう異なるレベルですし、説明の対応して異なるスタイルは私が考える必需品です。

2) 日本語学習者は各自習熟度が違うのですから、それに応じて説明の仕方を変えるのは理に適ったことであると思います。

3) ぇ→と日本人を勉強Uτぃる人々は異なるレ∧〃儿τ〃すU、相当に違ぅ説明ス勺ィ儿か〃必要た〃と思ぃます★ 

4) んーとね、日本語を勉強してる人ってそれぞれ違うレベル? だからぁ、いろんな説明のやり方があってもいいかもって思うんだけどな。


どれが一番「教科書的な日本語」だと思いますか。
Which of them do you think most likely "textbookish Japanese"?

学習者にもっとも悪影響を及ぼしかねない日本語はどれだと思いますか。
Which of them do you think most likely impair learners?

I don't think you made horrible errors in your Japanese, but I'd like tell you one important thing that is: To be conscious of whom you are talking to.

Most Japanese natives are used to surmise the psychological-distance between oneself and the person whom you are talking to. It directly and quickly affects one's entire speech style, such as politeness level, personal pronounces, brief response while you are listening to your dialogue partner, ending particles, etc.. Of course speaker's background (e.g. sex, age, dialect, education, etc.) is a big factor in generating one's speech style.
( NileCatさん、例文ありがとうございます。非常に助かりました。 :) )

If you miss the measurement of psychological distance, you probably feel uncomfortable, moreover, you may fail to have good communicate with your dialogue partner.

In my opinion, young generation tends to respect the feelings of intimate connectedness, as a result, politeness is put behind casualness. In general, this kind of speech style doesn't suit a scene like public debate. On the other hand, through the countless occasions to interact with various types of people, grown-ups reevaluate the value of using proper Japanese.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby magamo » Sun 11.08.2009 12:53 am

Wow! Thank you, guys! You turned the huge mess created by my inappropriate posts into a civil discussion! Can I join this thread and clarify what I meant a bit? (Argh! Sorry, I ended up writing waaaaaay more than "a bit.")

When I was talking about "immersion" and "massive exposure," I meant a really huge amount of exposure to native material [Edited out because it sounded offensive, which I never meant it to be].

Some people say you shouldn't learn Japanese from anime because you'd end up sounding like a cartoon character. Some ask rhetorical questions like "What do you think if an English learner learns English from (insert notorious material like 4chan)?"

I understand what they mean, and I think these points are valid to some extent. For example, if you have to compete with native speakers in a job interview in Japan, you may not have any other option than to learn and speak proper Japanese first. But I'm guessing some people believe the don't-learn-from-anime kind of claim because they're underestimating the amount of exposure a learner needs to learn a language.

The immersion method won't let you stop learning. When your Japanese becomes good enough to understand, say, some anime series because you're obsessed with anime and keep watching raws while trying to understand them using various means, I think you can also understand different kinds of media to some degree, if not to the same extent.

Should an English learner stop learning once they start sounding like a valley girl? Of course, not. I didn't immerse myself into the peculiar speech, but let's assume I learned English from them. I'd have picked up a lot of non-standard English from them, of course. But if I can understand the atypical English, I should be able to understand other speech styles to some extent. In other words, I'm ready to expand my interest. I can always look for another kind of stuff I can enjoy in English. I can learn another style too! So to answer coco's question,
coco wrote:Which of them do you think most likely impair learners?

I think, in a sense, that none of them is harmful if you learned the style from context-rich native material. You end up understanding all of them if you keep immersing yourself into Japanese. Knowing Valspeak and other atypical styles is important to know what is proper.

Things are defined by not only what they are, but also by what they are not to a large extent.

Then, the so-called textbooish Japanese is an exception? No. I think you'll eventually understand what it is like if you keep immersing yourself into Japanese. Then, why do I not always recommend textbooks to people who find it boring and inefficient?

Because I think the amount of exposure your average learner needs is massive.

This is just my ignorant homespun pseudo-theory, but it seems to me that the necessary amount of exposure is so huge you can't sneak boring stuff into learning material too much, especially at the early stage when you don't have a firm grasp of the target language. I'd quit immersion if I'm constantly exposed to dry, boring stuff sooner or later.

Having said that, I also think starting with textbooks has lots of definite advantages. One of the biggest advantages, I think, is that they're systematic. If you're lucky and come across a well-designed textbook that you can really enjoy, it's definitely one of the best learning materials. I'm not an asshole who recommends lonelytraveler8 throw away his Genki. Also, it's a lot easier to take the err-on-the-right-side approach if you choose a respected textbook; you might make funny errors, but you still most likely sound polite, formal, and not inappropriate.

So if you find your textbook very interesting and it doesn't discourage you from learning, definitely that's the best stuff you immerse yourself in. They're evil only when they discourage you.

Then, why the stupid comment about NileCat? Shouldn't learners eventually learn styles, nuances and whatnot?

Yes. I was stupid. I apologize to all of you who were offended.

I was thinking that most of the time a language teacher who is open and shows her real character was better than a teacher who acts a teacher because students can always learn a teacher-like language from their textbooks. I thought this would be more so when students live outside Japan and can't always talk with native speakers. I don't know how much this kind of thing can affect learning, but I was drunk and clicked the submit button that I shouldn't have. I'm sorry...

Well, would you let me talk about language learning a bit more here? While I don't always recommend learners stick to textbooks and avoid a particular language register when they find them boring, I also appreciate every popular textbook, simplified grammar, and every helpful learning material. Even if you find all the textbooks pretty boring, they can be used for reference purposes. If anything, if you can go through before they make you give up, that's great and maybe it's the best way.

But there are some people like me who don't use them as extensively as others. I don't know what others would say, but for me that's not only because they discourage me from immersion. The other big reason is that I find the frequency based approach very effective.

Some people use word lists and the like that list vocabulary words in order of frequency. The basic principle is "Learn things you come across frequently first." I think most textbooks also take this into account to an extent too. But when learners finish a series of textbooks and start enjoying native material, a lot of them say, "Native speakers don't speak like what I learned!" To me, it doesn't seem textbooks are taking advantage of the frequency based approach as effectively as some other materials. I think they're systematic but leave tons of common phrases/grammar points/pronunciation/whatever in real life while teaching you less frequent things.

So, where can I find common phrases, grammar points and whatnot? Some members of this forum said a lot of people started to learn Japanese because they want to understand dramas, anime, songs, and so on. Where can they find phrases that appear frequently in media that they want to enjoy? Are there materials that feed them in order of frequency? Can they be enjoyable?

The answer is obvious, isn't it? Certainly, listening to your favorite songs on end alone won't improve your language skills dramatically. But I guess a lot of people can have lots of fun looking up words in their reference materials if they're reading/watching/listening to what they're obsessed with. Of course, you need to refine your understanding because it'll be far from accurate at first. But you don't quit learning or stop improving because it's fun. That's the key, I guess. Some people use media that made them want to learn new languages to learn them from early on because it seems logical to them.

There are a lot of useful tools such as SRSes and subs2srs to support immersion based learning too. I wouldn't say those tools work for everyone. But I'm guessing quite a few people would find some of them useful if used properly.

Anyway, IceCream started learning Japanese from scratch by a similar method about 6 months or so ago, and she was able to get her idea across in Japanese in this thread. I'm pretty sure when I finished high school, even after 6 years of learning, I couldn't write about abstract topics in English like she can now in Japanese... Well, this only proves I suck at it, but whatever.

I hope I don't sound pompous this time... Well, maybe no one reads this verbose, boring post anyway. If you did, I love you forever.
Last edited by magamo on Sun 11.08.2009 9:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby NileCat » Sun 11.08.2009 3:47 am

magamo wrote:In fact, massive exposure should make your Japanese so native in a style that you can even correct, say, a fake teenage girl sentence written by your average Japanese middle age guy if that's your style or you're always talking with a lot of teenage girls.

If my understanding is right, you recommend watching anime or drama, correct? Did you know they were "fake"? Honestly speaking, I don't understand your intention whenever you mention my name. I feel uncomfortable, to be honest.

Magamo wrote:Then, why the stupid comment about NileCat? Shouldn't learners eventually learn styles, nuances and whatnot?

Yes. I was stupid. I apologize to all of you who were offended.

I was thinking that most of the time a language teacher who is open and shows her real character was better than a teacher who acts a teacher because students can always learn a teacher-like language from their textbooks. I thought this would be more so when students live outside Japan and can't always talk with native speakers. I don't know how much this kind of thing can affect learning, but I was drunk and clicked the submit button that I shouldn't have. I'm sorry...

Excuse me but I still don't understand at all what you ARE trying to say. It might be because of my poor English comprehension skills or just because it's not my business. I don't know...

magamo wrote:The answer is obvious, isn't it? Certainly, listening to your favorite songs on end alone won't improve your language skills dramatically. But I guess a lot of people can have lots of fun looking up words in my reference materials if they're reading/watching/listening to what they're obsessed with. Of course, you need to refine your understanding because it'll be far from accurate at first. But you don't quit learning or stop improving because it's fun. That's the key, I guess. Some people use media that made them want to learn new languages to learn them from early on because it seems logical to them.

There are a lot of useful tools such as SRSes and subs2srs to support immersion based learning too. I wouldn't say those tools work for everyone. But I'm guessing quite a few people would find some of them useful if used properly.

Ah...yes, I agree. So...yes, you're right, I agree.

magamo wrote:Anyway, IceCream started learning Japanese from scratch by a similar method about 6 months or so ago, and she was able to get her idea across in Japanese in this thread. I'm pretty sure when I finished high school, even after 6 years of learning, I couldn't write about abstract topics in English like she can now in Japanese... Well, this only proves I suck at it, but whatever.

Ah...yes, she is great. And I don't think you "suck at it". But...whatever.

Anyway, I think I need to take a vacation.
Bye !
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby Mike Cash » Sun 11.08.2009 6:49 am

magamo wrote:But there are some people like me who don't use them as extensively as others. I don't know what others would say, but for me that's not only because they discourage me from immersion.


How are defining "immersion"?
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby magamo » Sun 11.08.2009 8:12 am

NileCat wrote:If my understanding is right, you recommend watching anime or drama, correct? Did you know they were "fake"? Honestly speaking, I don't understand your intention whenever you mention my name. I feel uncomfortable, to be honest.

[...]

Excuse me but I still don't understand at all what you ARE trying to say. It might be because of my poor English comprehension skills or just because it's not my business. I don't know...

I did it again... I just heard that the person I described in my unimportant example sounds like you. I didn't realize it could be taken as you or know you're actually older than me. I was thinking you are not a teenager because you are mature and always nice to others. But I just assumed you were an incredibly nice person in his 20s. Obviously I shouldn't have chosen a middle age guy... I'm so sorry. I don't know how I could apologize to you, but I am really sorry...

I just made a long post, but obviously it's not that important enough to keep this thread going in this direction. I'll just stop here. You have immensely contributed to this site. I really regret everything I have done. I hope you will not leave here for this.

I never meant to offend you. I guess I sound like I'm telling a lie, but really I didn't... This time I was sober and this admits of no excuse. I had/have absolutely no bad intention toward you. I am so sorry.

NileCatさん、信じてもらえないかも知れませんが、まさかNileCatさんが引用されました例が、NileCatさんを
皮肉っているように聞こえるとは思いもよりませんでした。他の方から年齢についてお聞きし、仰天した次第です。

私はNileCatさんを本当に尊敬していますし、あなたのことを皮肉るつもりはありませんでした。ほんとうに
申し訳ありません。たとえNileCatさんのように聞こえるようなことがあったとして、当たり障りのなく聞こえる例を
選ぶべきでした。どのようにしてお詫びすればよいのかわからずに、戸惑いながらこれを書いております。

あなたはこれまでにすばらしい貢献をTJPにされてきた、とても大切な素晴らしい方だと存じております。
どうか、この件がきっかけで、このコミュニティーにとってかけがえのないすばらしい人物を、私が去らせるような
ことにならないことを祈っております。

長々と書いたことは、こんなことになるくらいならまったく意味をなさないくだらないものです。

本当にすみませんでした。
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby coco » Sun 11.08.2009 2:09 pm

For Japanese natives, the age of your dialogue partner is still the major factor to measure the psychological distance between you and the person.
I can imagine how deeply magamo-san is perplexed now.

Forum Etiquette wrote:
3. Write respectfully. 礼節をもって書き込みましょう。

This in not just modes of address but showing good grammar and spelling as well as following standard internet protocols: such as avoiding writing in ALL CAPS and using pertinent thread titles. Forums are not like a chat room with text wizzing by. Posters are expected to take the time to write well. Remember, if you respect your readers your readers will respect you. Learning a language means you take effective communication seriously. Prove it.
TJPのメンバーは国籍も年齢もさまざまです。読者はあなたより年長者で社会経験が豊富な方である可能性も高いのです。また書き込んだ日本語が学習され、そのまま使用される可能性がありますし、どの程度の敬意表現であるか問われる場合もあります。(参照) 良識ある言葉遣いを心掛けてください。

--
Yudan Taiteki wrote:To me, "textbookish" Japanese is not necessarily a bad thing. In my mind, textbook Japanese just means that you avoid slang or especially difficult casual speech/contractions, and limit your grammar to things that you think people still using textbooks would know.

This is quite right and fair.
---
Magamoさん
NileCatさんは懐の深い方なので、きっとまた投稿してくださいますよ。
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby IceCream » Sun 11.08.2009 3:11 pm

cocoさん、日本語の助けで誠にありがとうございます!

I think your English is excellent!! Writing all that in japanese was really exhausting. But you can write tons in English, and help with people's japanese. I hope i can get to that level one day!

The last few days, i've read this forum more closely. Actually, i think that you and Nilecat intuitively know what kind of answer is needed based on the level of the student, and are really good at adapting yourselves to that. And, honestly, i really beleive that the most important thing is that you, and everyone else just has fun posting. I don't think it's something that anyone really needs to worry about, it's just a comment that got blown out of proportion a bit.

I think, no single style of answer is harmful on it's own, as long as its natural japanese. For instance, if you taught me how to talk like a sumo wrestler. Well, its not going to hurt me, as long as i know it's how a sumo wrestler speaks! It's the same with textbookish japanese. :)

The things you said about the psychological distance is really interesting, thankyou!! I will definately try to fix that over the next 6 months. It must be incredibly hard for Japanese people to speak on forums, i guess.
Even with 2 native speakers speaking English, it's difficult at times. Being online makes you realise just how important a part things like body language, tone of voice, and facial expression play in any real life conversation. When these aren't available, misunderstandings happen easily.
When you have to factor things like age and psychological distance in too, it gets incredibly complex!!

In English, i think casualness can be used to soften the tone of a discussion, make it less academic, and help someone feel comfortable with you. If someone is very formal, it can sometimes sound cold and uninviting, or like the person doesn't like you. I know i get scared sometimes when people are like that ;) but, i think you're right, younger people do value connectedness more. Do you have any tips on how to soften conversations, and still seem friendly in Japanese online, while still being formal and keeping the psychological distance?

Thanks again for your help! :D
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 11.09.2009 6:19 am

magamo wrote:When I was talking about "immersion" and "massive exposure," I meant a really huge amount of exposure to native material [Edited out because it sounded offensive, which I never meant it to be].


Thanks for clarifying that.

In language learning, "immersion" is often misused in this way. It is more correctly used to describe a situation in which your every interaction must be in the target language. Put succinctly....if your next meal doesn't hinge on your language ability, it isn't immersion. Naturally, this is a hard definition to meet if one isn't in a country where the target language is the primary language.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby ss » Mon 11.09.2009 9:38 pm

Magamoさん、
Please don't mind I ask one question. Are you saying that you learned "natural Japanese" from native materials which can be "textbooks" too?

私の卑見では:
物の考え方そのものの違いが大きいです。私たちには、誰だって限界がありますが。ものも言いようで、角が立ちます。絶対と言われると、どちらがよいか私には分からないです。自信もないですが。どうすべきか決定できないのが、最大の問題です。

物の考え方そのものの違いが大きい。私たちには、誰だって限界があるんだけど。ものも言いようで、角が立つ。絶対と言われると、どちらがよいか私にはわかんないです。自信もないんですが。 どうすべきか決定できないのが、最大の問題がある。

物の考え方そのものの違いが大きい。私たちには、誰だって限界があるが。ものも言いようで、角が立つ。絶対と言われると、どちらがよいか私には分からない。自信もないが。 どうすべきか決定できないのが、最大の問題だ。

物の考え方そのものの違いが大きいもんねー。私たちには、誰だって限界があるんだけどさ。ものも言いようで、角が立つよ。絶対って言われると、どっちがいいか私には分からな~い。自信もないけどさ。どうすべきか決定できないのが、最大の問題ね。


人によって、考え方は千差万別だもんね。いろんな考え方があって、いいんじゃないかな。。。 どうしたらよいか、ちっとも見当がつかない。

You cannot simply treat "plain form" as "casual speech".
When you ask one question and expect people to give you more than 50, 100 or 1000 different ways of saying, that's really too much and too bothersome.
What Nilecatさん did was awesome. BUT, people should expect textbook responses to questions on the forum unless they clarify otherwise. If they want examples of more natural speech, then ask about some particular forms.

To be honest, writing in a public forum can be very challenging, in the sense that, there are many beginners who have just started with their JP. At the same time, there are also many advance members participate here. The difficult part for me is, I respect the people here as if they are my teacher, on the other hand, I don't want to talk like as if we are total strangers. We are interacting with people from the internet, and we don't really know them all well. So, which is the most appropriate form to use?
Last edited by ss on Tue 11.10.2009 2:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby coco » Tue 11.10.2009 1:39 am

IceCream wrote:Do you have any tips on how to soften conversations, and still seem friendly in Japanese online, while still being formal and keeping the psychological distance?

This is an ideal approach to have a good conversation/discussion with others in Japanese.
I think it's an orthodox method to emulate the way of speech of native speakers whose speech style you consider friendly and soft. But In general, interpretation of "talk friendly" can vary depending on your age. Hence, I think Japanese natives of your age, same sex, can give you better suggestion about this.

On the other hand, I consider many non-Japanese-native members on this site have acquired a good speech/writing style in Japanese, here. Most of them might be elder than you, but you can learn a lot from them how to acquire it.

For example, I can cite Bekie_Kanou-san, who is a mod, as a representative of them. She is not only skillful but also a very good communicator. Her Japanese combines politeness and friendliness.

You can read her Japanese posts in 「下の人は」thread.

This topic reminded me of feccabin-san's posts
I know you want to have comfortable and favorable conversation in Japanese. Your sincerity, which I feel from your posts, and your impressive ability to learn foreign language will definitely lead you to the right direction, I believe.

IceCreamさん、これからもよろしくお願いします。 :)
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby magamo » Tue 11.10.2009 4:51 am

@SS
I sent you a PM. [Edited out the unnecessary comment]
Last edited by magamo on Tue 11.10.2009 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby IceCream » Tue 11.10.2009 6:01 pm

Thankyou cocoさん. I'll definately look out for Becki-Kanouさんs posts and try to learn stuff from them 8)

That was a really nice post, thankyou!! cocoさんも、また改めてよろしくお願いします :D
Last edited by IceCream on Wed 11.11.2009 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby ss » Tue 11.10.2009 6:41 pm

I'm a native Japanese speaker who has been speaking Japanese his entire life,


I see.


unless you think you can learn L2 the exact same way as kids acquire their native languages.


I see.

*edited <requested by Ice-cream>

Magamo & Ice-cream さん、
I honestly don't know both of you, if you think it's difficult to communicate in threads, you might as well reply via PM then. Maybe via that way, conflicts and frictions can be reduced to its minimum. While if you think others are not respectful, perhaps you should also watch your words, before dropping the comments here.

Cheers.
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Re: Is this acceptable criticism?

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 11.11.2009 12:33 am

coco wrote:For example, I can cite Becki_Kanou-san, who is a mod, as a representative of them. She is not only skillful but also a very good communicator. Her Japanese combines politeness and friendliness.

You can read her Japanese posts in 「下の人は」thread.


あららら....そこまで言われると恥ずかしいじゃないですか :oops: 。こうやって注目をさせられるともう悪いことはできませんね。 :lol:

でもcocoさんが私のポストをそういうふうに思ってくれてはるのは非常に嬉しいです。
そうだ、嬉しいんだ、生きる喜び!
例え胸の傷が痛んでも。
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becki_kanou
 
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Location: Hyogo, Japan
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