1 日常会話リスニング

Hi, Yuta. How have you been?
Hi, Ken. Quite well, thanks. Are you?
Fine, too.  Thanks.
And how are all your families?
They’re all fine, thanks. I haven’t seen you for a whole month.
Oh, I was away on a trip to Singapore. I just got back yesterday.

Excuse me, but may I introduce to you these friends of mine?
They came all the way over here from Fukuoka-Japan.
This is Yuta who is going to study at a graduate school here.
And next to Yuta is Lisa who arrived here a few weeks ago.
Lisa has joined her husband who has started working here.

What would you like to do this weekend?
Well, I’d like to go to cycling to the national park if possible.
That’s what I’ve wanted to do.
OK.   I hope we’ll have good weather.
The weather forecast says that it’ll be fine this weekend.
Can I take my brother-in-law Ken with me?
Why not?

Bring your umbrella with you.   It’ll rain in the afternoon.
I don’t think so. Look, it’s such a beautiful day.
Yes, I agree with you. But the TV says it’ll rain late in the afternoon.
Late in the afternoon?  Then, don’t worry about it.
Because I left my umbrella at my school yesterday.

You look pale. What’s the matter with you?
I’ve got a terrible cold. I’ll stay in bed today.
Do you need anything?
Well, is it possible to bring me some fruit juice?
Sure.  I’ll go and get it.       
How about some aspirins?
Yes, that would be great.

These little crab sandwiches taste good, don’t they?
Yes, everyone seems to like them.
The seafood cocktail is excellent as well.
Why don’t you take the last one?     
I insist.
Well, if you insist.
How about another glass of wine?
I’ve had enough already, thanks.
Shall I get you some dessert?
I’ve already had three of them, thank you.
These desserts had good fragrance and tasted refined and were very delicious.

I’m a great baseball fan of the Giants and I am in their supporter’s club.
Last year, they won the League Pennant Race.
But, since they lost to the playoff, they didn’t take part in the All-Japan Championship.

I take pictures of everything but my favorite subject is wild birds.
I’m very happy to spend hours waiting for a good scene.
I took a photograph of hummingbirds last year, and I won third prize in a contest this year.

2 日本人生活文化リスニング

Have you gotten used to Japanese food yet?
I haven’t gotten used to Japanese customs yet.
In fact, not all Japanese eat rice three times a day.
Nowadays, many young people have western-style breakfasts.
In other words, rice isn’t the staple food in Japan anymore.
People spend less time cooking at home.
That means that people buy precooked foods at stores.
I prefer eating at home to eating outside.
I think Japanese eating habits would diversify more and more.

It is often said that the Japanese work hard.
But, strictly speaking, we work simply too long, not necessarily hard.
Quite often, we are expected to just stay in the office even after five.
It takes a lot of courage to leave the office first.
Staying for long hours is considered to be a sign of loyalty to the company.

‘Freeter’ is a coined word made of ‘free’ and ‘arbeiter’ meaning ‘free worker’.
They have a lot of part-time jobs and prefer to keep their own lifestyles.
The number of college graduates who become ‘freeters’ has increased in recent years.

San Francisco was a wonderful city.
Anyway I was fascinated by the townscape.
It was a European atmosphere rather than America.
The temperature is around 10 degrees all the year round.
So flowers do not die out throughout the year.
The city is full of slopes.
A cable car is moving all day.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a port town.
Looking in the market is also interesting things.
So it is a very crowded even in the middle of the night.
San Francisco is indeed the land of yearning for Americans.

In Japan, it is very difficult to say “No” to a request.
To turn down a request with a “No” is considered impolite and unfriendly.
When we can’t help answering in the negative, we will use many ways to refrain from a direct “No”.
In some cases, we will react to a request by being silent or smiling, in other cases, by giving a vague answer.
In foreign country, however, it is only natural that people say “No”.
Foreign people believe that the Japanese do for the sake of politeness.
That may be a sign of their tenderness rather than that of their insincerity.
The Japanese just do so for fear of hurting your feelings.

Japan is becoming a so-called gray society by increasing more and more old people.
One thing Japan and the U.S. face in common is an aging population.
This is because of falling birth rates and better medical care.
The aged in Japan make up about 11% of the population but this figure will rise to 25% by the year 2025.
The problem is who takes care of the sick or bed-ridden old people.
Traditionally, it was women’s job to look after these people.
But, nowadays, I believe that should be done mainly by social welfare.
Japan’s social welfare system is far from perfect and puts pressure on the individuals.
I think we should raise voices for the improvement of social welfare.

3 職場リスニング

What time shall I come tomorrow evening?
I’ll pick you up at the airport at six thirty.
It’ll take me an hour and a half to get there.
Come around anytime after five o’clock.
Let’s meet at your office at five thirty.
I’ll see you in about 20 minutes.
I’ll be about 15 minutes late for our appointment.
When we decided on a definite time, I’ll call you back.
I’ll wait for you two here at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Turn right at the end of this street.
Go down the hill to the first intersection.
It’s at the fork in the road.
After you turn the corner, it’s the fifth house down.
It’s only a block south of City Hall.
We are just in front of Exit B4.
Go straight along the boulevard for three blocks.
You’ll pass a police box on the way.
If you’re facing away from City Hall, it’s on the right side of the street.
Our office is on the seventh floor of the building.

I’m looking into a better copy machine for our office.
I’ll put you through a sales representative for you.
Hello. May I help you?
This is John Smith of Japa-Lish Corporation speaking.
I was wondering if I could get all catalogues that your company offers.
We rely on the copier for black-and-white promotional fliers.
So, any new machine must be able to do high-resolution black-and-white copying.
And, enlargement up to at least 200% is also must.
OK, I’ll put together some information for you.

I’m worry about our car and it’s been making strange noises.
Like something has come loose and it’s flying around in the engine.
Sounds like it could be the fan belt.
Anyway, we’ll have to take a look.
I’m afraid that you’ll have to leave the car with us.
When do you think I can get my car back?
Well, if there is nothing too seriously wrong with it, you can come to pick it up, say, Thursday, late afternoon.

I am sorry, Mr. White, that I missed the meeting Monday afternoon.
I was in downtown to talk business with one of the customers over lunch.
It took me much longer than I thought.
Besides, on the way back, I ran into a traffic jam.
And, I was stuck on the road about an hour and a half.

A new copy machine is larger than that one, so we’ll have to find a new place.
OK, then. How about putting it against the wall of the General Affairs?
Unfortunately, there’s no electrical outlet there.
How about placing it so that it sticks out lengthwise from the wall of the conference room?
There would be enough space for the machine up to five feet long.
And if the new machine is less than four feet wide, it wouldn’t block the door to the conference room.
I’ll try to find a new machine that is less than five feet long and no more than four feet wide.

We got a call from Mr. Smith of ANA Company Limited (Co., Ltd.).
They looked over the materials which you sent them regarding the software.
Apparently, they were very impressed.
They said they want to meet you and discuss the software in detail.
So I’d like you to contact them.
Make the appointment for sometime from May 4th to 13th, because I’ll be away on a long business trip from the 14th.
I definitely want someone from the Software Development Team.
See what you can do about getting their assistance on this one.
Well, I’m sure that you will work it out.

What is the main item on the agenda today?
We have received lots of letters of complaint from customers.
Half of the goods which we shipped are badly damaged.
Could you give us any further information?
During the last two years, a number of complaints have arisen concerning the products manufactured in our plant.
You know that this business with them is important to our company.
We don’t want to lose this customer.
Would you check into this problem?
Let me know if they were properly checked before dispatch.