User talk:Coco

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Wiki is acting weird. Doing a diff on my last change shows me as adding and deleting things I didn't touch. I only added one line and didn't delete anything. Odd. Gundaetiapo 09:44, 25 August 2007 (EDT)

I guess it's because of the volume of this page. It is acting that weird, indeed.--Coco  12:01, 25 August 2007 (EDT)



日系じゃないですよ。 なぁるほど。^^


試してみたいのが削除と追加 おおお。できたっぽい。^^


[ Visit TheJapanesePage.Com]
(a 'space' between url and title)


[[User:Clay|The Clay Man]]
(a '|' between user and display text)

All wiki usernames have initial capital letter.
◯ [[User:Clay]]
X [[User:clay]]

Zenさん。Userへのリンクの仕方、了解しました。ありがとう。--Coco  01:28, 15 July 2006 (EDT)

Using か after plain from.赤字の色が変わったような気がする。


It will be spring, (then)flowers start to bloom.(?) →Flowers start to bloom when spring come_ .

"spring comes" rather than "spring come". I see. Thanks 季節も三人称単数で。

sentence1= コインを入れる。 sentence2=自動販売機/自販機からジュースが出てくる。
You insert your coins, (then)drinks come out of vending machines(?) → Drinks come out from vending machines when you insert your coins.(?)

The sentence before the arrow sounds awkward. The one after the arrow sounds good. (I think you intended it this way.)

"You insert your coins into vending machines and drinks come out." sounds good. I can't think of a good explanation why it sounds better for "vending machines" to move closer to the front of the sentence. Sorry. :(

"you insert your" in the first sentence sounds strange because "you" and "your" are in the same phrase and it sounds redundant. As for moving Vending Machines forward, it's actually fine where it is. The only reason it sounds strange is because it's a passive sentence and teachers discourage students from writing passive. If you moved vending machines forward, it would force you to write the sentence in active voice. Passive voice is fine though in this context.--Infidel 23:09, 26 June 2007 (EDT)


sentence1=掃除機をかける。 sentence2=ネコが[騒ぐ/怒り出す]。
When you use a vacuum cleaner, (then) the cat make a noise.→ The cat goes through the roof when you use a vacuum cleaner.

Hee hee. Lots of possibilities here. When you use a vacuum cleaner...
I've noticed you have been getting the meaning of 騒ぐ perfectly!
... the cat makes a noise. 猫が騒ぐ
... the cat gets/goes/becomes wide eyed. (All three are equally fine.)猫が[目を剥(む)く/目を見開く/目を丸くする]
... the cat clamors out of the room.猫が部屋から(?)叫び出る(?)"out of" is one of my unfavorate words ^^;
... the cat jets.猫が走り回る
... the cat goes berserk. 猫が暴れ出す
... the cat goes through the roof. (think Looney Tunes cartoons here.)猫が怒りだす


sentence1=春になる。 sentence2=花見に行きませんか。(asking intention)
× 春になる、花見に行きませんか。←wrong!
○ 春になったら、花見に行きませんか。 Shall we go to sakura-watching-party when spring come?

"sakura-watching-party" needs either "the" or "a".
If you said "the sakura-watching-party" to me, I'd imagine you have a specific party in mind (such as if there is only one in town, or if a close friend is hosting one).
If you said "a sakura-watching-party" to me, I'd imagine there's any number of parties.
I should have put "the". My intention was the party which will be hosting by close friends. ^^

とっさの誘い文句でも、何を想定しているかバレちゃいますね。Did you say "the" party? などと訊かれたら、「え? "a" partyだよ」と言いなおしてしまいそうな……。 微妙な会話例です。^^;

I can understand that kind of situation. If you're in doubt, omitting the article is probably your best chance to avoid confusion. It's actually quite common for ESL (English as a Second Language) folks to drop the article. I had a South Korean friend in college who rarely used them at all. I got used to hearing English that way. :) It doesn't hinder understanding to not have them, but it can indicate non native-ness.

Gundeatiapo-san, your explanations are very useful and very clear. I believe these are very helpful for English learners and Japanese learners.So I'd like to keep them.( While we were butting with edit, I saved our logs.(^o^) --Coco  21:42, 27 June 2007 (EDT)
Scenario A
Gundaetiapo: "Infidel, can I borrow a pen?" ねえ、ペン貸してくれない?
Infidel: "Sure." He hands me a pen. 「いいよ。」とペンをわたす。
Scenario B
Gundaetiapo: "Infidel, can I borrow the pen? ねえ、あのペン貸してくれない? 
Infidel: "Huh? Which pen?" え? どのペン? 
The context did not imply which pen so my question was confusing for Infidel.
The teacher brings in an old pen that Franklin Delano Roosevelt used during his Presidency. Infidel is examining it and talking about it, thus establishing context for scenarios C and D. (A related thread is here.)
Scenario C
Gundaetiapo: "Infidel, let me see the pen." ねえ、あのペン見せてよ。
Infidel: "Alright." He hands me FDR's pen. 「いいよ」とInfidel君はフランクリン・ルーズベルトが 
Context implied "the pen" == FDR's pen.
Scenario D
Gundaetiapo: "Infidel, let me see a pen." ねえ、ペンを見せてよ。 
Infidel reaches into his desk and hands me an ordinary pen.
Gundaetiapoさん どうもありがとうございます! とってもわかりやすい説明です。^^


sentence1=掃除機をかける sentence2 窓を開けた方がいい (recommendation? advice?)
×掃除機をかける 、窓を開けた方がいい。←wrong!
○掃除機をかけるなら、窓を開けた方がいい。 you would better open windows when you use a vacuum cleaner.(?)

"you (had) better" is used when there are notable consequences (see near bottom of this page). For cases where the speaker wants to make a recommendation but not overly obligate the person, a good expression is "You might want to ...".
"You might want to open the windows when you use a vacuum cleaner."
Other examples of "You might want to ...".
"You might want to turn on the fan when you take a hot shower."
"You might want to try visiting Central Park when you're in New York City."
"You might want to try holding the guitar this way."
Because this expression doesn't obligate, it can be useful with sarcasm.
"You might not want to go into the lion's cage." (humorous sounding sentence)
These explanations brought me clues of consideration about the difference between [なら/たら] and [とき] from different aspects. I 'll try it later. Thank you very much for your time and efforts.--Coco  08:39, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
When using "you had better", there should be bad consequences if they don't abide.
○ "You had better do your homework." (Bad consequence: angry mother)
○ "You better put out that camp fire." (Bad consequence: forest fire)
× "You had better visit Central Park when you go to New York City." (No bad consequence so sentence sounds forceful.)
Tanuki had an interesting thread not too long ago.

go abroadに toは要らない

I'd like to go abroad this summer vacation.
(or with equal meaning)
I'd like to go abroad during summer vacation.
I'm not sure though, it might be the differnce just same as between 夏休みに and 夏休みには. Thank you for your correction.

The two sentences are equally natural, the correction was really "go abroad" vs "go to abroad". It's never the latter.

I missed that! ^^; thanks for poitin out.
山田: 夏休みに行くなら、早く予約しない  飛行機のチケットがとれなくなるよ。
Yamada : If you go abroad during summer vacation, you'd better hurry to book, 
otherwise, you'll miss an airline ticket.
"airline ticket". Perfect use of "you'd better"! thanks

out と off は大の苦手

... the cat clamors out of the room.猫が部屋から(?)叫び出る(?). "out of" is one of my unfavorite words ^^;

Hehe, why?
Naturally, an ESL speaker would probably want to say "out from". In this case, it's the mathematical property of subtraction referred to by "out of" e.g. 3 out of 9 = 6. "out of the room" creates emphasis on the now more empty room because the cat isn't there anymore. You could drop "out of" by saying, the cat noisily left the room. But this way is less useful in literature because it doesn't create as vivid an image in the reader's mind. You could also say, "The cat clamors from the room." but this implies that the cat is still inside the room and only the noise is leaving.

The coming typhoon

○ Takahashi: According to a weather forecast, the typhoon is coming this week end.

Sounds good.

× Satou: Oh, really? We might not want to go out this week end if the typhoon come.

○ Satou: Oh, really? We might not want to go out this weekend if the typhoon is coming.

○ Satou: Oh, really? We might not want to go out this weekend if the typhoon will come.


If you feel pity for me, leave some money! (?) If you sympathize with me, give some money! (?)

Both sound good.

Gundaetiapo-san, thank you for the correction and teaching. Those are great helps.^^
Although it could never be a useful information, as far as I know, Michael Jackson kept a chimpanzee whose name was Bubbles before he had a baby. --Coco  10:52, 28 June 2007 (EDT)

when <present tense>

When it will be 3 o'clock, professor Okada comes here (?)

Professor Okada will come here when it will be 3 o'clock. (?)

When it is 3 o'clock, professor Okada comes here. (3時になると 、岡田先生がいらっしゃいます)

Professor Okada will come here when it is 3 o'clock. (3時になれば、岡田先生がいらっしゃいます)

Well done

You can see Mt.Fuji from evrn Tokyo if the weather is clear.(?)

(You might not be able to see Mt.Fuji from Tokoy if the weather isn't clear. (?))

Other than the typos, these sound good. :)

わーい。 ありがとうごさいます。Thanks for your teaching and correction! 引き続きよろしくお願いいたします。--Coco  15:38, 30 June 2007 (EDT) 

Drinking and driving

Great idea for an example, Coco-san. This page will be really helpful for all of us Japanese learners.

Do not drive a car when you got an alcohol, 
and do not drink an alcohol if you are going to drive a car. (?)

alcohol doesn't take "the" or "an". Generally anything that can have a fractional quantity doesn't take "the" or "an". In other words, "one alcohol" doesn't make sense, but "one bottle of alcohol" does. So you can say "a bottle of alcohol" or "a pint of alcohol" or "some alcohol" but not "an alcohol". You can also say "Do not drive a car when you've been drinking (alcohol)" or "Do not drive a car when you're drunk".

Thanks for your kindly words and correction. It greatly helps me always.
How about "Do not drive a car after you got any alcohol."?
"got" means 持っている not 飲んだ in this case.
なるほど。 I still have big problems with basic/common verbs, like "have/get/take" etc.--Coco  20:22, 2 July 2007 (EDT)
These sound fine too: "when [you've got | you have] (any) alcohol in your system". "system" is like 体 in this usage. Adding "any" emphasises the prohibition of even a small amount.
"in your system" は「体内(inside the body)」と同じだと考えてもいいですか? おもしろい表現ですね。 教えてくれてありがとうございます。--Coco  19:29, 3 July 2007 (EDT)
I wonder if "when you're drunk" might implies " If you are not drunk, ( I only drank a tiny glass of beer, and My mind/brain is very clear as same as an non-drinker's.), you might be allowed the driving" or not...So I couldn't use the word" drunk".
"drunk" has an additional definition. As an adjective it means "under the influence of alcohol". So it implies the head is not clear. For example "Infidel is drunk." or to use some slang "Infidel is drunk as a skunk."
I know I am misreading because of my lack of English ability though, " when you've been drinking" sounds like "a prohibition of the drinking while you are driving in the car" to me. If both sentence are clear with the pont that is " after you drink any alcohol, you never drive", please forgive me my misreading. --Coco  23:15, 30 June 2007 (EDT)
"when you've been drinking" means you were drinking in the recent past.
ご教示ありがとうございます。Now it become clear...I hope.^^;--Coco  20:22, 2 July 2007 (EDT)

"the" vs "a"

Here's my latest attempt to explain "the" vs "a". If your English books say something contradictory, go by them. :)

The choice of "the" vs "a" seems to be one of awareness, in a loose sense. That is, if the speaker/listener are unaware of the particular noun, it's more likely they'll use "a". If they're aware of the noun, "the" is more likely.

Airport example

Let's use an airport as an example. The governor of Denver may decide to build a new airport in the city so he puts out a press release.

Denver newspaper: "The governor announced the building of a new airport on Wednesday."

The people have no awareness of the airport so it's "an airport". At some point, the media will probably start reverting to using "the airport" once it reaches a certain level of awareness in the public.

Denver newspaper: "With the plans finalized for the new airport, construction began today on it."

At the same time the Denver newspaper writes this, a newspaper in Boston might say

Boston newspaper: "Denver has started construction on a new airport today." 

The reason is that the folks of Boston may not have a sufficient level of awareness of the airport.

For the people in Denver, the airport will almost always be called "the airport" because there's only one of it and because everyone is aware of it to a certain extent. "an airport" implies one of any number of airports which wouldn't make sense.

Thing to notice is that there is often a transition from "a" to "the" which is comparable to a transition from non aware to aware. There can be a gray area which I'll illustrate in one more example.

Concert example

Let's say a friend Jenny is calling up friends to invite them to a concert. She calls Rumiko.

Jenny: "Hey, Rumiko, do you want to go to the Dir En Grey concert next week?"
Rumiko: "Yeah, I'm down."

Next she calls you.

Jenny: "Hey, Coco, do you want to go to a Dir En Grey concert next week?"
(If you're like me, you might not care for Dir En Grey, but let's say you agree anyway. :))

Why "the" in one and "a" in the other? Well the short answer is that it's a grey area between aware/unaware and Jenny has to make a judgement call on which to use. Both "a" and "the" would work in these sentences. In other words, Jenny would have been ok saying:

"Hey, Rumiko, do you want to go to a Dir En Grey concert next week?"
"Hey, Coco, do you want to go to the Dir En Grey concert next week?"

How did she make the judgement call? Well she may know that Rumiko is a big fan of Dir En Grey and has likely already heard they were having a concert. In which case she is aware and "the" is the slightly better choice. But when she calls you she may not know if you're aware of the concert already, so it's an arbitrary choice between "a" and "the" and both sound fine.

Let's say that you, Jenny, and Rumiko are meeting up at Rumiko's house before heading off to the concert. If Rumiko said

Rumiko: "Ok, is everyone ready to go to a concert?"
Coco: "You mean the concert right?"

"a concert" is a definite error since all three of you are well aware of the concert at this point.


The above I think should be a guideline rather than a rule. There are some expressions that tend to use "the" regardless of the guideline. "going to the grocery store" is one example.

Jenny: "I'm going to the grocery store."

Even if you don't know the particular store she's going to, she still says "the grocery store" because "I'm going to a grocery store" for some reason isn't as common a thing to say.

"going to the park" (公園へ行く) is another example. For some reason it's rare to hear "I'm going to a park" even if the guideline would indicate "a park" should be used.

Perhaps this is because the park and the grocery store are a prominent part of the community and so people are always "aware" of them. Anyway, I think in most cases the determination of aware/unaware works well in deciding the/a.

シートペルトをしてください。[そうしない/さもない ]警察に違反キップを切られますよ。
Fasten the seatbelt. Otherwise the police will give you a ticket.

×a police
○the police
○a policeman
The "the" in "the police" is similar to "the stars" and "the people".
×a stars (never correct)
×a people (never correct)

"Police" は集合名詞で不定冠詞がつくことはないのでした。:p どうもありがとう。--Coco  10:26, 23 July 2007 (EDT)

One last thing

Take a look at how I use "the" and "a" throughout this explanation.

Gundaetiapoさん ありがとうございます。高度な内容になってきましたので、ゆっくりと考えながら読ませてもらっています。引き続き、よろしくご指導ください。--Coco  20:09, 29 June 2007 (EDT)
I highlighted some text in green. Take a look. Also observe what I underlined.

aでもthe でも

You can express contrary-to-fact condition by using conditional ば. In this case sentence 2 is always the past tense.

Pick either:
express a contrary-to-fact condition
express contrary-to-fact conditions

単数VS複数,get (a) nosebleed

Don't you get (repeated) bleeding from the gums when you bite an apple?
gums is frequently plural and frequently has "the" in front of it.

ご教示、ありがとうございます。--Coco  23:45, 14 July 2007 (EDT)

Get bleeding という表現は常々おもしろいと思っていました。get nosebleed を読んでから。 get nosebleed は「鼻からの出血を得る」なんでしょうね。日本語の「鼻血が出る」とは逆に思えて新鮮でした。「血が出る」だと体内から外に出る =bleeding (that)come out from one's body(?) なんでしょうか。get との対比がおもしろいと思った次第。

Interesting thread. I'm guessing 鼻血が出る is more natural than 鼻からの出血を得る? As you've mentioned before, "get" and "have" are weird and their use seems abstract and highly extended sometimes.

By the way, Does "Nosebleed" needs "a"? For example" Get a nosebleed" or" get nosebleed" ? I notice that one member have used "get a nosebleed" on that thread.

Yup, nosebleed needs an article. Other medical related phrases:
  • get a cold (風邪をひく)
  • get a fever (熱がでる)
  • get a blister (水膨れになる/水膨れができる、靴づれができる)
  • get a headache (頭痛がする)
  • get a black eye (殴られる, 青痣をくらう)
  • get a broken leg (足の骨を折られる)
  • get ran over by a reindeer (not so common) ( トナカイに轢かれる?)
This is a joke. There is a funny Christmas song in the States, "Grandma got run over by a reindeer." Basically, Santa ran over Grandma on Christmas Eve, oops!
ご説明、ありがとうございます。I wonder when "a nosebleed" becomes plural.For instance,
A man get a nosebleed,continuous bleeding around 2cc,at 8:00AM. Then he also get a nosebleed at 8:30 AM. Can he say " I got nosebleeds this morning"?
Nope. I got a nosebleed this morning, also it's singular for multiple people. So 30 people got a nosebleed. However, if someone gets multiple cases of nosebleed, then nosebleeds works when referring to them in total. e.g. He is always getting nosebleeds. Basically, if you are referring to one incident, then use singular, if multiple incidents, plural. So, I got two nosebleeds today. Hope that helps.
Thank you for your explanation, Infidel-san. But I still confusing. you said " if multiple incidents, plural." The example I wrote is,
A man( Mr.Johnson)get a nosebleed,continuous bleeding around 2cc,at 8:00AM.( the fist incident)
Then he(Mr.Johnson)also get a nosebleed at 8:30 AM. ( the second incident)
I think it would be multiple case. In this case, can't Mr.Johnson say " I got (two) nosebleeds this morning"?  ?? I might be wrong.--Coco  02:56, 18 July 2007 (EDT)

You need a quantity word in front of "nosebleeds".

○I got two nosebleeds this morning.
○I got a couple nosebleeds this morning.
×I got nosebleeds this morning.

なるほど。ありがとうごさいます。鼻血の前には回数を入れる。「鼻血(2回)ブー」表現ですね。こりゃどういうことかつらつら考えるに「I got nosebleeds this morning」というと「え? 何回出したの?」と訊かれることになるから先に言うのが親切ということなのかしらん。謎。回数が少ないとおぼしき現象は数値を入れるのかもしれない。a heart attack とか a stroke とか…。(?)

I don't quite understand your question. Are you asking why someone would state quantity without being asked?
I'm just guessing the phenomenon that supposed to happen rare (not often) might need quantity. e.g. heart attack, Myocardial Infarction.  :)--Coco  19:52, 22 July 2007 (EDT)
Yup, I think you're right.

Did I use とは correctly? Gundaetiapo 22:49, 20 July 2007 (EDT)

In this context,(「I got two nosebleeds this morning」とは完全な英文です。) 「が」is correct.:) --Coco  11:27, 22 July 2007 (EDT)

a の位置

Some tips to differentiate an involuntary act and just a completed act with ~てしまう sentences.

I wanted to make sure of something. Both "just a completed act" and "a just completed act" make sense but have different meanings. I want to confirm.
"just a completed act" -- here "just" is similar to the meaning of だけ I think. 終わった行為だけ(?)
"a just completed act" -- here "just" is similar to the meaning of ~たところ. 行為が終わったところ、 終わったところの行為 (?)
Gundaetiapo 21:24, 10 August 2007 (EDT)

the same

The meaning is almost same as 山本さんは豚肉食べられますが、牛肉は食べられません。( Ms./Mr.Yamanoto can eat pork, but cannot eat beef.) However you can emphasis what food Yamamoto-san can eat or not by using なら.

"The meaning is almost the same as" sounds a bit better.

Almost same as 今日は会えませんが、明日の午後会えます。Using なら has a nuance of limited condition. like as "tomorrow afternoon only".

"This is almost the same as" Gundaetiapo 10:14, 11 August 2007 (EDT)
"like" and "as" don't usually go next to each other. Perhaps: 'Using なら has a/the nuance of a limited condition, like (saying) "tomorrow afternoon only"'. Gundaetiapo 10:14, 11 August 2007 (EDT)
調べてみたら「sameは一般にtheをつけて用い、同じ(こと、もの)意味を表す。代名詞としても形容詞としても用いる。」とありました。たぶん中学あたりで習ったんだろうけど、すっかり忘れてます。--Coco  04:44, 12 August 2007 (EDT)

他動詞 自動詞

eat something

Ms./Mr. Yamamoto can eat if it is pork, but can't eat beef. (?)

"Ms./Mr. Yamamoto can eat it if it is pork," sounds a bit better.
Xを食べる= eat X

works well enough /works(充分必ずしも満足ならず)

The speaker would say this if it seems you're about to use a vacuum cleaner.If you'd like to say this as a general consideration, 掃除機をかけるとき(時)は、窓を開けた方がいい。works enough.

"works enough" doesn't sound quite right. Did you mean "works well enough"? "works well enough" implies the usage is somewhat inadequate. "works" means it's a good usage.

I wonder if the "enough" in "It works well enough" is an adjective or an adverb (adjunct to a verb "work").--Coco  05:48, 28 July 2007 (EDT)
Adverb I think.
It works well enough = pronoun + verb+ adverb+ adverb (?)--Coco  11:05, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
Example: You have your roommate clean the kitchen. They don't do a perfect job, but good enough that you don't have to do it instead. If you commented on their job cleaning the kitchen with "good enough", it means "not perfect", "passable".
Gundaeatiapo-san, ご説明あがりとうございます。「Good enough」は「まあいいだろう」「まあまあ」あたりかもしれません。:)--Coco  11:05, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

When I hear "well enough" or "good enough" I think of two phrases I learned in the military. 1. "Good enough for Goverment work." usually used disparagingly to criticize how the government uses lower standards than a business would. 2. "Perfect is the enemy of good enough." Essentially means the opposite. In the military where multiple tasks must often be completed in limited time and lives are on the line, it's better to move on to the next task at "good enough." This is also reflected in normal test-taking strategy. If a question is difficult, instead of allowing oneself to get stuck on a hard question, move on to the next one, and hopefully there will be time to come back and answer it later. Essentially, everything gives diminishing returns, so don't continue perfecting one task when the return for switching to another task is greater, otherwise more people die than necessary.
Infidel-san, どうもありがとうございます。(1)の表現はよくわかります。(2)完全であることよりも要件を満たしさえすれば次に進むことの方が重要な場面があることはわかります。"Perfect is the enemy of good enough" をうまく訳せるといいのだけれど、うまい日本語がみつかりません。「完璧は無難の敵」かな。--Coco  11:05, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
軍用語ついでにZulu でおもしろかったもの。phonetic Alpabet
The phonetic alphabet isn't common knowledge. I don't have that list of words memorized. :) As a related phenomenon, the following is fairly common
Sales person: Spell your name please.
Dude: D as in dog. U as in under. D as in dog. E as in elephant.
なるほど。^^--Coco  12:30, 22 August 2007 (EDT)
あさひの「あ」、いろはの「い」ってやつ。Sierra,X Ray 発音できない。yankeeも。Roger かRomeo か論争があったかもと想像。
Another way of looking at "good enough" is in school. If you need a 70 to get a passing grade and you get a 70-75, then your teacher might say "good enough." Your Mother on the other hand....
"Works" by itself > "The vacuum cleaner works." Is like giving something a low or mid B grade. "The vacuum cleaner works well enough." Is a C-. It works, but it also raises a lot of dust and makes me sneeze a lot. Works well= B+ or A-. Robot vacuum that only needs to be turned on and vacuums the house while I'm out > 100.
Works= low or mid B
Works well enough = C-
Works well =B+ or A-


The movement in the mouth is very different between R and L. R can be held indefinitely: rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. L can't.
When I pronounce R, the sides of my tongue press against the roof of my mouth, the front of the tongue doesn't touch. This creates a "cupped" shape which creates the timbre of the sound. To finish the R sound, I simply release my tongue from the roof of my mouth.
When I pronounce L, the front of my tongue hits near the top front of my mouth.
To hear "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr", listen to the first ten seconds of this. The sides of his tongue stay pressed against the roof of the mouth from 0:03 to 0:07. That isn't possible with L. I think if you can master that "Herrrre's Johnny", you've got the English R mastered. :) Gundaetiapo 20:58, 22 August 2007 (EDT)
Also, a lot of Rs together are awkward even for a native speaker. "Aurora" for example is a word I always thought was awkward to say.

I realize that is the famous " Here's Johnny". Thank you for introducing it. Was that the speech that Jack Nicholson spoke in the movie "Shining" ?
To tell the truth, it sounds " heeeeeere's" rather than "herrrrre's" to me.

hehe, it should sound like herrrrrrrrr's no e sound between r and s :)
I think part of the problem is there isn't just one "r" sound. For example, the 'r' in "are" is different than the 'r' in "here," which is different than the 'r' in "romance" People tend to forget that our consonants morph depending on the following letters. There is a huge difference in the way the tongue and throat are used in English vs. Japanese.
For example, for 'r' the tongue is retracted a bit so it starts to constrict the throat, something that doesn't happen with Japanese, also, Japanese 'r' is associated with the あ throat sound (wide open like when a dentist uses the stick to lower your tongue) where the English throat sound has no Japanese counterpart. To constrict the throat properly try constricting your throat like when you push a grain of rice to the back of your throat before swallowing. One of the hardest things for me learning to pronounce Japanese correctly is to keep my throat open--especially with the イ sound--I assume your difficulty will be using throat muscles you want to relax.
Where Japanese makes the 'r' sound mainly in the mouth, most of the 'r' sound comes from the throat in English while the English 'l' sound is formed entirely in the mouth just like the Japanese 'r'. I tried describing how to make the sound, but all my experiments following my advice failed, but,next time you hear someone go "Herrrrr's or extend their 'r' that way, try imitating them by producing the sound in your throat instead of concentrating entirely with the mouth.
When you pronounce 'r' in English the tongue also almost touches further back in the mouth than with the Japanese 'r'. About 1/3 to 1/2 way between the soft-palate and the teeth for "are" and about 1/2 to just behind the tooth ridge for "here". Raising the tongue this far back will partially constrict your throat. Essentially, when your say the Japanese 'r' you relax the sides of your tongue and tense the tip, for the English 'r' it's the opposite you tense the sides and relax the tip. Try this. Reach back with the tongue until you touch your soft palate, this will put the sides of your tongue in the correct position. Then tense the sides so your tongue doesn't move and relax the tip so it points forward again, because you relax the tip it will naturally fall so it does not touch the roof of the mouth even though the sides of the tongue do. Then when you imitate the throat sound it should come out closer. Have you heard Mongolian throat singers? They make one deep note and then manipulate their throat to produce multiple overtones. I think that is the main difference. With the English L and the Japanese R there is just one sound. But the English R is actually 2 sounds. There is the throat sound that is somewhere between a growl and a hum and there is the mouth sound. English 'r's have that extra raspy sound that we listen for specifically. If you learn to make the sound yourself, you will probably be able to recognize it easier.
Kids playing with toy cars use the rrr sound to get an engine sound, because of the sound quality Infidel describes.

I have already given up improving my pronunciations.
Despite your useful explanation, my ears couldn't work. Here is results of the test.
Not only R/L, vowels are awful.

R/L 聞き分け 68%
B/V 聞き分け 47%
S/Th 聞き分け 75%
母音聞き分け 36%

Would you mind trying that test and telling me your result

Did the link to the test get deleted already?
R/L 聞き分け 100%
B/V 聞き分け 91%
S/Th 聞き分け 87%
母音聞き分け 72%
母音聞き分け was tricky because it doesn't use real words. I didn't answer "cute/tube" on any of the questions so I might not have done the test right. Gundaetiapo 13:05, 25 August 2007 (EDT)
Also some British accents pronounce "book" with a very similar vowel sound as "cute". A Hard Day's Night, which I don't have access to atm, I think has Ringo saying "book" in this way. Here we go, it's not exactly like "cute", but pretty close. Gundaetiapo 13:31, 25 August 2007 (EDT)

Could you open. Lzh files?  :)--Coco  11:52, 25 August 2007 (EDT)

I would have said, prounces "book" like "boo" + k.

テスト テスト.


If it doesn't rain, I was able to see the fireworks.( But I failed to see the fireworks.) → If it didn't rain, I would have been able to see the fireworks.

Gundaetiapoさん ありがとうございました。-Coco  11:52, 25 August 2007 (EDT)

in case vs in this case

in case vs in this case.
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