Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Chigusa: Merry Christmas Tokyo. Chigusaです。
Peter: Merry Christmas Tokyo, Peter here. As always, brought to you by Erklaren, the translation and interpretation specialists. Chigusa san, Merry Christmas!
Chigusa: Merry Christmas Peter.
Peter: Merry Christmas to you too and a Merry Christmas to everybody out there celebrating Christmas. For those of you who are not, Happy Holidays. We hope you had a great Hanukkah Kwanzaa and any other holiday you are celebrating out there. What a great time of year!
Chigusa: I know. Everyone’s so happy, jingle bells everywhere.
Peter: I can’t say everyone but I am pretty happy.
Chigusa: I am happy too. Everyone in this room is happy at least.
Peter: Not the director. We had a little technical mix up here so yeah director is not having a Merry Christmas but yes, it is a really great time of year. So from everybody at japanesepod101.com to everybody out there, happy holidays, Merry Christmas, have a great end of the year. Now Chigusa san, you gave us a phrase in the beginning, Merry Christmas. Can you give it to us one more time?

Lesson focus

Chigusa: メリークリスマス。
Peter: Break that down.
Chigusa: メリークリスマス。メリークリスマス。
Peter: Merry Christmas to you too.
Chigusa: Merry Christmas to you too Peter.
Peter: Yes and that is the topic for today’s episode. Now as this is the end of the year, we kind of there we say are putting it into cruise control. Now in Japan, at the end of the year, everybody takes off. So as each day goes by, the staff at japanesepod101.com is getting smaller and smaller. Already we had a few people take off. So we are kind of in take off mood too, right Chigusa san?
Chigusa: Right and we deserve it.
Peter: Yes. We do.
Chigusa: Don’t we?
Peter: Yes. Well everybody out there deserves it.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: So that’s why we are going to take it easy so that you don’t have to study.
Chigusa: Yes we are so nice.
Peter: Merry – we are like Santa Claus.
Chigusa: We are Santa Claus!
Peter: Yes the language Santa Claus! Merry Christmas to everybody out there, take it easy and if you want, stop by japanesepod101.com and we will review, we have so much to review. So much there, so stop by, review it all and as Chigusa is here, if you are looking for access to the premium learning center, Chigusa san, what do you have for everybody?
Chigusa: I have 25% off ho ho ho!
Peter: Now ______ (0:02:50) I refuse.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Can we get one more ho ho ho?
Chigusa: Ho ho ho!
Peter: There it is, 25% off any subscription. Today is the last day. So hurry!
Chigusa: Hurry!
Peter: It’s your last chance. Okay Chigusa san, we are talking about Christmas.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Now when I think of Christmas, again I was brought up in the States, New York. I think of a big six foot tree, tinsel everywhere. Everybody eating together. Next day, open new presents under the tree, Santa Claus, sleigh bells, reindeer. What do we got?
Chigusa: In Japan, some people do trees and actually I used to do it too when I was small because when we lived in the states, we had this really, really tall tree and we brought it over to Japan and it didn’t fit. The ceiling was too low and the house was too small. So the tree was too big for us. So we had to throw it away and I think that’s the case in many families here in Japan. We don’t have big trees. It’s not very common but we do celebrate Christmas.
Peter: How do you celebrate it?
Chigusa: Well in Japan, it’s more common for couples to spend a romantic night.
Peter: Wow! Sounds very nice.
Chigusa: Yeah then families getting together. So yeah, it’s basically a big event for loving couples.
Peter: Now when you say loving couples, younger couples.
Chigusa: Younger couples.
Peter: What about older couples?
Chigusa: Older couples, I want to ask you about Peter.
Peter: Thank you Chigusa san. So thoughtful of you. Older couples, well me and some of my older friends, it kind of depends on the person and how romantic they are. Now as Chigusa san said, this day is kind of like a Valentine’s Day. You are expected to go out to a nice restaurant. So if you don’t get a reservation early, it could be maybe a little bit difficult to get the reservation at the place you want to take your date. Lots of romantic getaway places are booked. So I remember Christmas fell on a Saturday, all the hotels were booked. So it does have that romantic atmosphere.
Chigusa: Yeah but still little kids, they look forward to getting presents.
Peter: Up until what age do you get them?
Chigusa: Umm I think that depends on the family but…
Peter: You are still getting them, aren’t you? You are still getting them.
Chigusa: Well Santa gives them to me so…
Peter: Ah!
Chigusa: Yeah.
Peter: Santa must really like you guys and stop by you know ______ (0:05:30) to my house.
Chigusa: Oh that’s because you are a bad kid Peter maybe.
Peter: Ho! Wow! The gloves are off today. Did you get boxing gloves for Christmas? All right, let’s get a little more focused here. Now give me some terms that you associate with Christmas.
Chigusa: Christmas cake.
Peter: Give us the Japanese for that.
Chigusa: クリスマスケーキ
Peter: Break it down.
Chigusa: クリスマスケーキ。クリスマスケーキ。
Peter: Now can you tell us about this? Well the translation is Christmas cake but what is the Christmas cake and what’s it all about?
Chigusa: A lot of pastry shops, they come up with a big line of Christmas cakes and they all do their best to get their customers to make reservations for them.
Peter: So it’s a sales promotion.
Chigusa: Yes like a big, big sales promotion thing.
Peter: Who is buying these cakes?
Chigusa: Everyone I think.
Peter: Now when you say everyone, who is everyone? For couples or for families or who is eating the Christmas cake?
Chigusa: Yeah like couples and family celebrating Christmas at home or like at a friend’s house.
Peter: So everybody is getting these cakes.
Chigusa: Yeah.
Peter: Yeah there is a huge – there I go again with my huge. There is a very big demand for these cakes.
Chigusa: Yes and a big competition.
Peter: Yeah.
Chigusa: Going on.
Peter: And one thing we should point out. Cakes in Japan are not cheap by any means and they are quite small, very tasty but – so I’d say the average cake is about
Chigusa: About 12 inches.
Peter: Yeah and about 3 inches thick.
Chigusa: Yeah.
Peter: So it’s quite small and how much would a cake like that go for?
Chigusa: Like ¥3000 or ¥4000 or maybe ¥5000.
Peter: Yeah about $30, $40 or $50.
Chigusa: Yeah.
Peter: This is some big business in Japan and the way they market it, they market it good because it’s a must have.
Chigusa: And there are even more expensive ones.
Peter: Yeah so we are really talking about a lot of business generated on this holiday. Okay so we have the cakes, what else is going on?
Chigusa: Well because we don’t decorate the house so much, elaborate decorations.
Peter: Yeah and when we say illumination which is the translation of what word?
Chigusa: イルミネーション
Peter: Break that down.
Chigusa: イルミネーション。
Peter: What place do you think of when we say this word?
Chigusa: Kobe.
Peter: That’s right. Kobe has a really elaborate set up. Last year, they had around 5 million visitors and it was a topic for one of our previous lower intermediate levels. That’s the only reason I know about this. Chigusa san, don’t feel bad.
Chigusa: I am wondering!
Peter: Yeah. So Christmas cakes, couples spending a romantic night together, kids getting presents, people going to see light displays. What else do we have?
Chigusa: People have work.
Peter: Yes.
Chigusa: Yes. Christmas isn’t a holiday in Japan.
Peter: Yes.
Chigusa: And this, yes….
Peter: [*](00:08:34)
Chigusa: Yes, yes and this year, it’s a Monday.
Peter: Which means
Chigusa: Work.
Peter: Work. Chigusa san and I are here on Christmas. I – in America, I can never imagine. Well that’s not true. Some people in – are we in the entertainment business or the education business?
Chigusa: I think we are kind of in both.
Peter: Yeah. We have a half day today which means we will have a half day.
Chigusa: Half day!
Peter: Yeah but I could never imagine coming into the studio like coming into work on Christmas but we are here.
Chigusa: Yes and that’s normal for Japanese people in offices.
Peter: Yep. A full day, nothing out of the ordinary.
Chigusa: Yes, a normal weekday.
Peter: A normal weekday but there is little something special.
Chigusa: Yeah there is like hi Merry Christmas and hi, Merry Christmas to you too but it’s like okay let’s get to work.
Peter: Yeah but you still have the night to look forward to. So everyone – it’s not like a regular Monday night. So there is that kind of a little bit of excitement in the office.
Chigusa: Yes, yes that’s true.
Peter: All right. Well it was a short one today but it’s Christmas.
Chigusa: It’s Christmas.


Peter: 許して下さい。 Please forgive us. We are taking the easy way out. Now for the rest of the week, we are going to be introducing things going on in Japan. It’s the end of the year, there is so much going on. We are just going to give you a taste of what’s going on, what it’s like here and what are the big things. So tune in each day, we will give you a little more information and we are hoping to bring a little bit of the holiday season from Japan to you. That’s going to do for today.
Chigusa: Merry Christmas.
Peter: Merry Christmas. One more time, in Japanese.
Chigusa: メリークリスマス。
Peter: See you tomorrow.


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