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No.227 オリジナル英文

--------------------------------------
Wonder What Becomes of Child Prodigies?
--------------------------------------
Fourteen years ago, VOA and several other news organizations profiled an amazing ten-year-old.

Michael Kearney had just become the youngest person ever to graduate from an American college.

The degree was in anthropology from South Alabama University.

When his mom had been pregnant with Michael, she was suffering from toxemia and anorexia.

Doctors told (her) her child would likely be developmentally slow.

In other words, retarded.

It didn't quite work out that way.

Michael began talking when he was ten months old, started reading a month later, mastered algebra at age three.

Frenzied to learn, he drove his parents nuts asking questions about anything and everything.

Michael was a prodigy, one of the rare child geniuses who typically excel in fields like music, chess or mathematics that are based on lots of facts or rules.

Prodigies stand out, obviously.

They're curiosities, and because they soon shoot past their age level in school, they often have trouble making friends.

But when we talked with Michael Kearney those 14 years ago as he prepared to graduate from college, he was a delight.

Like any ten-year-old, Michael played video games, watched cartoons on TV, knocked a soccer ball around with other kids.

"I'm not that special," he told us.

"I'm not very good at a lot of things, like football. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses."

Now, at 23, he's studying for a doctorate and teaching college chemistry.

But he's hardly what detractors call a geek, someone who's obsessed with schoolwork or computers.

He's a big poker fan, has a steady girlfriend, and follows every detail of popular culture.

So much so that in 2006 he was the first winner of an online reality game called Gold Rush, which involved answering rapid-fire questions about American celebrities.

His prize?

One million dollars.

So although Michael Kearney is no longer a child, he is still a prodigy.

And a very rich one.

I’m Ted Landphair.
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-30 17:09 | オリジナル英文

No.227 SIM音読用英文

-------------------------------------
Wonder What Becomes of Child Prodigies?
-------------------------------------

Fourteen years ago,

VOA and several other news organizations profiled

an amazing ten-year-old.

Michael Kearney had just become the youngest person ever to graduate

from an American college.

The degree was in anthropology

from South Alabama University.

When his mom had been pregnant with Michael,

she was suffering from toxemia and anorexia.

Doctors told (her)

her child would likely be developmentally slow.

In other words, retarded.

It didn't quite work out that way.

Michael began talking when he was ten months old,

started reading a month later,

mastered algebra at age three.

Frenzied to learn, he drove his parents nuts

asking questions about anything and everything.

Michael was a prodigy,

one of the rare child geniuses

who typically excel

in fields like music, chess or mathematics

that are based on lots of facts or rules.

Prodigies stand out, obviously.

They're curiosities,

and because they soon shoot past their age level in school,

they often have trouble making friends.

But when we talked with Michael Kearney

those 14 years ago as he prepared to graduate from college,

he was a delight.

Like any ten-year-old,

Michael played video games, watched cartoons on TV,

knocked a soccer ball around with other kids.

"I'm not that special," he told us.

"I'm not very good at a lot of things, like football.

Everybody has strengths and weaknesses."

Now, at 23, he's studying for a doctorate

and teaching college chemistry.

But he's hardly what detractors call a geek,

someone who's obsessed with schoolwork or computers.

He's a big poker fan, has a steady girlfriend,

and follows every detail of popular culture.

So much so that in 2006 he was the first winner

of an online reality game

called Gold Rush,

which involved answering rapid-fire questions

about American celebrities.

His prize?

One million dollars.

So although Michael Kearney is no longer a child,

he is still a prodigy.

And a very rich one.


I'm Ted Landphair.
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-30 17:08 | SIM音読用英文

4人に1人が結核!?

「常識のウソ」シリーズです(笑)。

 …さっそく、いってみます。 



 さて、あなたが電車に乗ったとします。

 その電車の乗客の4人に1人が、結核に感染しているとしたら

 どうしますか?


 「エーッ! そんなことはないでしょう?」と思ったでしょうか。

 でも、これは現実の話なんだそうです。


 現在、日本の結核感染者の数は推定2800万人と言われています。

 つまり、あなたが毎日乗っている電車、バス、町で会う人、

 職場の同僚のうち、4人に1人が結核感染者である可能性が

 高いんです。


 信じられない数字でしょう?

 結核という病気は過去のもの、私もそう思いこんでいました。 

 ところが、これは常識のウソだったんですね。

 実は、結核は私たちに非常に身近な病気なんです。


 
 でも、心配しないでください。
 
 感染したからといって、それで発病するわけではありません。
 
 通常は感染しても身体の免疫システムによって押さえ込まれ

 いわば、休眠している状態なんです。


 推定2800万人の感染者の多くは、戦中戦後の結核大流行期に

 菌が肺に入り込んでしまった人たちだそうです。

 70代の5割、60代の3割が感染していると推測されます。


 これが、ストレスや糖尿病などで免疫力が落ちると、

 菌が目覚め、結核を発症してしまうことがあるそうです。

 
 反対に、若い世代の多くは未感染のため、菌を吸い込むと

 感染しやすく比較的早い時期に発病する危険がある、とのこと。



 でも、いずれにせよ、普段から規則正しい食事をし、

 充分な睡眠をとるなど、健康管理に気を配って免疫力を落とさない

 ようにすれば大丈夫らしいです。


 ただし、長いこと咳が取れないなどの症状があれば、

 一度、病院にかかったほうが良いかもしれません。
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-24 11:25 | 編集後記

No.226 オリジナル英文

--------------------------------------
Millions of U.S. Drivers Would Flunk A Driving Exam
--------------------------------------
Several American states are wrestling with how to make very young and very old drivers less of a menace on the roads.

Teenage drivers are killing themselves, friends, and other innocent travelers and pedestrians at a tragic rate.

States have tried all sorts of things to reduce this carnage, like forbidding novice drivers from traveling with other teens.

But the combination of inexperience and speed — and sometimes alcohol or drugs — is leading to funerals for people in the prime of their lives all across the land.

Old people don't kill on the highways at the same rate, but there are enough crashes involving old folks' medical emergencies, confusion, and bad eyesight that several states want to require not just eye exams but full driving tests for people who reach a certain age.

None of this is news to those who must share the roads with the old and the young.

But this might be:

A recent online test administered by the GMAC insurance company found that 18 percent — roughly one in six licensed U.S. drivers — would fail their written tests if they took them today.

To get your first license, you must take a written test and drive around the block with an examiner.

If you do OK, and park the car successfully, you get a driving permit.

In many states, your drivers' license lasts a lifetime.

You just send in renewal fees every few years and maybe pass occasional eyesight exams.

But if GMAC is right, 36 million U.S. drivers would fail their written tests today.

Makes you wonder how they'd do with the driving test!

The results varied greatly from state to state.

Drivers in sparsely populated Idaho, in the American West, did best.

New Yorkers, in the crowded East, did poorest.

Of course, there's no telling what Idahoans' scores would be if those poor folks had to drive the mean streets of New York City.


I’m Ted Landphair.
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-24 11:12 | オリジナル英文

No.226 SIM音読用英文

-------------------------------------
Millions of U.S. Drivers Would Flunk A Driving Exam
-------------------------------------

Several American states are wrestling

with how to make very young and very old drivers less of a menace

on the roads.

Teenage drivers are killing themselves, friends,

and other innocent travelers and pedestrians

at a tragic rate.

States have tried all sorts of things

to reduce this carnage,

like forbidding novice drivers

from traveling with other teens.

But the combination of inexperience and speed -

and sometimes alcohol or drugs -

is leading to funerals

for people in the prime of their lives

all across the land.

Old people don't kill on the highways at the same rate,

but there are enough crashes

involving old folks' medical emergencies, confusion, and bad eyesight

that several states want to require

not just eye exams but full driving tests

for people who reach a certain age.

None of this is news

to those who must share the roads

with the old and the young.

But this might be:

A recent online test administered by the GMAC insurance company

found that 18 percent -

roughly one in six licensed U.S. drivers -

would fail their written tests

if they took them today.

To get your first license,

you must take a written test

and drive around the block with an examiner.

If you do OK, and park the car successfully,

you get a driving permit.

In many states, your drivers' license lasts a lifetime.

You just send in renewal fees every few years

and maybe pass occasional eyesight exams.

But if GMAC is right,

36 million U.S. drivers would fail their written tests today.

Makes you wonder

how they'd do with the driving test!

The results varied greatly

from state to state.

Drivers in sparsely populated Idaho, in the American West, did best.

New Yorkers, in the crowded East, did poorest.

Of course, there's no telling what Idahoans' scores would be

if those poor folks had to drive the mean streets of New York City.


I'm Ted Landphair.
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-24 11:11 | SIM音読用英文

SIMの発音習得法 その3


          ~ 音節リズムの法則 ~
       

 新シリーズ「SIMの発音習得法」、今日はその3回目です。

 例によって、ちょっと前回の復習をしましょう。



 英語の発音には基本的な原理原則がある、ということでした。

 それが、「音節リズムの法則」でしたね。



「音節リズムの法則」とは何かというと、

「音節の数で拍子をとって発音する」ということ。



 たとえば handsome は、母音が2つ、つまり2音節の単語なので

「ハン・サム」と2拍で発音します。

 
 MacDonald は、母音が3つですね。つまり3音節です。

 ですから「マク・ドー・ノー」と、3拍で発音します。



 前回はここまで…

 今日は、この続きです。




 では、milkはどうでしょうか?

 これは、一見通じそうで実は通じにくい単語のひとつです。


 日本人が普通に言うように「ミルク」言っても、英語圏では

 通じません。


 なぜなら、本来、miklは見ての通り、母音が1つで1音節の

 単語です。ですから1拍で発音しなければなりません。


 それを「ミルク」(mi-lu-ku)と言っていては、余計な母音が

 2つもくっついていて、3音節になっていますので、

 絶対に通じないわけです。


 ですから、(カタカナで表記するのは難しいですが)、

「ミゥク」といった感じで1拍にまとめてください。

 そうすれば通じる発音になります。

 とにかく、milkは拍数を1拍にまとめること、これが鉄則です。


 では、これが文章の場合どうでしょうか。

 たとえば、Look at this. です。


 この文章の母音の数を数えてください。

 すると、3つですね。(重母音はひとつに数えます)


 ですから全体を3拍で、発音すれば良いんです。

「ルッ・カッ・ディス」といった感じですね。



 以上、いかがですか?

 このように英語は、「1音節は1拍」で、「2音節は2拍」で、

「3音節は3拍」でという具合に、「音節の数でリズムを取って」

 発音するという規則があります。


 これを「音節リズムの法則」と呼びます。


 英単語を個々に何百、何千と覚えるよりも、

 このような原理原則にのっとって記憶するようにすると、

 学習効率が飛躍的にUPします。

 
 「エート、この単語の発音、何だっけなー?」と記憶が定かでない時も、

 音節の数がわかれば発音の大体の輪郭が推測できますので、

 かなり楽に発音できるようになるのです。

 
 これが、帰納法でない、演繹法による発音学習、というわけです。

 


      …この続きはまた次回。



                … お楽しみに!
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-17 10:22 | SIMうんちく

No.225 オリジナル英文

--------------------------------------
Bush Remains Upbeat on US Economy
--------------------------------------
Recent weeks have seen a sobering string of economic news, from a sharp spike in unemployment to continued housing foreclosures to record-setting energy prices.

Many economists are openly discussing the possibility of a recession this year, after more than four years of uninterrupted economic expansion.

President Bush says it is understandable that Americans are anxious about the economy.

"We cannot take growth for granted.

We confront economic challenges, from the downturn of the housing sector to high energy prices to painful adjustments in some of the financial markets."

President Bush was speaking to business and political leaders in Chicago, Illinois.

Already, the U.S. central bank has lowered interest rates in an effort to try to stimulate the economy.

President Bush says more action is needed, including securing new trade deals with foreign countries, expanding oil exploration, and keeping taxes low.

"I’ve worked with Congress to cut taxes, and pro-growth economic policies work.

When you cut taxes, it means that people have more money to save, spend or invest."

Mr. Bush pointed out that many of the tax cuts he championed at the start of his administration are scheduled to expire in coming years.

He said, unless Congress acts to extend the tax breaks or make them permanent, Americans will surrender far more of their income to the federal government, and have less money to meet their needs and keep the economy going.

Leaders of the Democratically-controlled Congress have criticized many of President Bush's most-favored tax initiatives as favoring wealthy Americans over the middle and lower classes.

They have also questioned the wisdom of cutting taxes at a time when America is at war and the nation's debt is increasing.

Michael Bowman, VOA News, the White House.
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-16 17:49 | オリジナル英文

No.225 SIM音読用英文

--------------------------------------
Bush Remains Upbeat on US Economy
--------------------------------------

Recent weeks have seen a sobering string of economic news,

from a sharp spike in unemployment

to continued housing foreclosures

to record-setting energy prices.

Many economists are openly discussing the possibility

of a recession this year,

after more than four years

of uninterrupted economic expansion.

President Bush says it is understandable

that Americans are anxious about the economy.

"We cannot take growth for granted.

We confront economic challenges,

from the downturn of the housing sector

to high energy prices

to painful adjustments

in some of the financial markets."

President Bush was speaking

to business and political leaders in Chicago, Illinois.

Already, the U.S. central bank has lowered interest rates

in an effort to try to stimulate the economy.

President Bush says more action is needed,

including securing new trade deals with foreign countries,

expanding oil exploration,

and keeping taxes low.

"I've worked with Congress to cut taxes,

and pro-growth economic policies work.

When you cut taxes,

it means that people have more money

to save, spend or invest."

Mr. Bush pointed out

that many of the tax cuts he championed

at the start of his administration

are scheduled to expire in coming years.

He said, unless Congress acts

to extend the tax breaks or make them permanent,

Americans will surrender far more of their income

to the federal government,

and have less money to meet their needs

and keep the economy going.

Leaders of the Democratically-controlled Congress have criticized

many of President Bush's most-favored tax initiatives

as favoring wealthy Americans

over the middle and lower classes.

They have also questioned the wisdom of cutting taxes

at a time when America is at war

and the nation's debt is increasing.


Michael Bowman, VOA News, the White House.
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-16 17:48 | SIM音読用英文

「相対」と「絶対」

 先日、福岡飲酒運転事故の一審判決が出ました。

 その量刑については、納得のいかない人が多いだろうと思われます。

「かように、『危険運転致死傷罪』適用のハードルは高かった」

 …というのが私の感想です。



 ところで、飲酒運転をする人にも言い分があるらしく、

 それは次のようなものです。

「自分は酒に強いから大丈夫」「飲んでも今まで無事故だよ」

「これくらいの量ならOK」「誰でもやっている」等々…

 私は、これを聞いたとき、ひとつのことばが頭に浮かびました。
 


 それは、an evil conscience という聖書の言葉です。

 日本語訳では、「邪悪な良心」となっています。

 私は、この箇所を初めて目にした時、「エーッ!」と思いました。

 だって、「良心は良いものだ」と考えるのが普通でしょう。



 しかし時が経つにつれて次第に納得がいきました。

 人間の良心というものが「絶対的」と思えなくなったからです。

 人間の正しさは限りなく「相対的」であり、それは多くの場合

 環境によって左右される、ということなのです。



 飲酒運転常習者の言い分はちょっとひどい例ですが、

 よく考えてみれば、人間の正しさが相対的だから、

 国や民族の数だけ正義があり、争いが起こります。


 卑近な例では、夫婦喧嘩の原因も、またしかり…(苦笑)

 これら人間間の争いは、「人間の正しさが相対的」である所から

 起きてくるものではないでしょうか。



『絶対者はどのように見られるのだろうか?』


 私たちがこのような視点を持つことができれば、

 無用な争いは激減すると思います。

 飲酒運転もなくなり、偽装問題も起きないでしょう。


 絶対者とまではいかなくとも、

「私が今正しいとしていることは、本当に正しいだろうか?」

 このような疑問を持つことは、とても尊いと思います。



  Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil.


     BIBLE(Romans 14:16)
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-15 16:53 | 編集後記

SIMの発音習得法 その2

          ~ 音節リズムの法則 ~
       

 前回から、「SIMの発音習得法」という新しいテーマで

 お話ししています。
 
 ちょっと時間が経っていますので復習してみましょう。



 日本人は英語の発音がとても下手です。

 その下手な発音を通じる発音にするために、どうすればいいのか、

 ということで、「帰納法と演繹法」の話をしました。



「帰納法」というのは、何だったでしょうか。 

 具体的な例をあげて説明します。


 例えば、ここに100匹のアシカがいるとします。

 そのアシカたちを調べると、すべて5本指でした。

 そこで、「アシカは5本指であろう」という結論を出すのが

 帰納法です。


 これに対し、

 まず、アシカは5本指を持つ、という前提から出発して

 「アシカ亜目のアザラシも、また5本指を持つに違いない」

 と推定するのが「演繹法」です。



 効果的な発音習得法という観点から言いますと、

 帰納法では非効率なんです。

 演繹法の方が絶対に優れています。


 帰納法による発音習得法とは、個々の発音をそれぞれ個別に覚えていく

 というものです。


 1000語だったら1000語。

 10000語だったら10000語を、個別にその都度、

 覚えていくというわけです。

 「発音は理屈ではない。習うより慣れろ」という感じです。



 これに対して、演繹法による発音習得法とは、

「発音にはひとつの原理原則があって、それをきちんとふまえた上で、

 理論的に覚えていきましょう」ということです。


 では、その原理原則とは何か?




 …今日は、ここからです。


 英語の発音には基本的な原理原則があります。

 それが、「音節リズムの法則」です。



「音節リズムの法則」とは何かというと、

「音節の数で拍子をとって発音する」ということです。



 たとえば handsome は、「ハンドサム」ではなく

「ハン・サム」と発音しますよね。

 なぜ、こうなるのでしょう?


 それはこの語が、母音が2つある2音節の単語だからです。

 ですから真ん中の d は非常にかすかになり、

「ハン・サム」といった感じに、2拍で発音しなければなりません。


「ハン・ド・サム」では3拍になってしまい、リズムが狂って

 しまいます。



 では次に、MacDonald はどうでしょう。

 アメリカでは、いくら「マクドナルド!」と言っても叫んでも

 絶対に通じませんよ。


 なぜなら、この単語が3音節の語だからです。

 ですから「マク・ダー・ノー」と3拍で発音しなければなりません。
 
「マクドナルド」では6拍になってしまうので決して通じません。


 このように英語は、「1音節は1拍」で、「2音節は2拍」で、

「3音節は3拍」でという具合に、「音節の数でリズムを取って」

 発音します。


 これが英語発音の基本原則である、「音節リズムの法則」です。 



     …この続きはまた次回。



             … お楽しみに!
[PR]
by danueno | 2008-01-10 15:49 | SIMうんちく