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I love Poste Italiane (Italian Post Offices). Translator, teacher of Japanese language, Blogger and YouTuber.

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Learn a foreign language efficiently with paraphrases!!

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この記事は約9分で読めます。
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A Chinese living in Italy who did not know the word “Pollo” (there is no certainty that he is a Chinese, but only “Asian people, especially East Asian people with light skin”” The implications are that Japanese people can’t see French, Italian and Spanish), but with an egg (Uova), they ask, “Where’s your mom? (Dov’è la mamma?)” It is said that it was. This meme has become quite famous in Italy.
Many were laughing (because it’s simply funny, not contempt), but this is the most effective way to improve your language skills.
As with my mother tongue, Japanese, no one should remember all the vocabulary. For example, I didn’t know the word “puppet state” until recently, and I didn’t know it read “kairai” until more recently. Specifically, it can be said that “Manchuria is a puppet state of Japan.” Obviously, if it becomes a foreign language, the number of vocabularies will, of course, decrease, and basically it will not exceed the vocabulary of the mother tongue.
I write “mother tongue”, but it is better not to say “native language”. Because, in the case of a (almost) single-ethnic nation called Japanese, “a person who identifies himself as Japanese = a holder of Japanese nationality = parents also identify themselves as Japanese and retain Japanese nationality = their mother language is also their native language. There is no doubt that you can think of it as “Japanese”, but if you are a French person living in Italy, for example, if he is a first generation, you might think “My home country is France” or “My home country is Italy”. unknown. It will depend on his self-identification, circumstances, and which country he is more affectionate about. And when it comes to second generation, he may admit, “My parents are French, but I’m Italian because I’ve lived in Italy for a long time.” It cannot always be said that “a person who identifies himself as Japanese = a holder of Japanese nationality”. It’s the same in every country. Where to think of your home country is the same issue. Therefore, it is better to say “mother tongue” when it comes to “a language that I didn’t learn as a foreign language and was able to speak when I was aware of it,” and I think so. For example, in the case of half Japan and Italy, whether the “home country” is Japan or Italy seems to repeat, but it will differ depending on the person. Therefore, the idea of ​​”native language” is also different.
The story went awry. Think about learning a foreign language. At first, you will learn simple words, grammar, and fixed phrases (greetings, etc.) without knowing them at all, and then proceed to intermediate and advanced levels. Of course, not all of them will be advanced, and it is quite possible that they will stop studying before that, think that “this is enough”, or even if they study, they will not improve much. And especially the beginners have a lower level of vocabulary and grammar they know. Still, when you have to explain in a foreign language to someone who doesn’t know your mother tongue, you can, of course, look up a dictionary or use Google Translate, but that may not be the case. In such a case, it is best to use the paraphrase method described at the beginning.
For example, let’s say you want to say “tea”. A literal translation of Japanese would be “red-colored tea,” but this may not make sense. Oolong tea and Tisana (Italian herbal tea and chamomile tea, which come in a variety of colors) may come out. At that time, you can explain, “British is famous, and sometimes I drink it mixed with milk, and it’s in a tea bag …”. It’s like writing a dictionary in your head.
When I was walking in the city of L’Aquila with my landlord, I was once told, “Be careful because this is a dangerous road and there is a lot of traffic.” He said, “There was an elderly person who died after being investito.” But I didn’t know the meaning of investito. Since vestito means clothes and in means “not”, I interpreted it as “a person without clothes”. However, the story doesn’t fit. I don’t think there is a connection between being undressed, that is, being naked and dying, and the danger of the road. It is impossible in this context to interpret it as being assaulted by a stranger and undressed. So the landlord explained it carefully, rather than publishing a dictionary or looking it up in Google Translate. “This is a car,” he expressed the car with his right hand. “This is a person,” he expressed a person walking with his left hand. The person went under the car and explained that he had died. In other words, it means “run over.” With this explanation, I was able to quickly learn the meaning of investito, and I have never forgotten it since then.
The landlord is not a language school teacher, and he doesn’t seem to be fluent in foreign languages. Still, he explained politely because he had the ability to paraphrase. Of course, if he knew Japanese, he could have explained in Japanese that it meant “run over.” Still, learning the paraphrase method is overwhelmingly easier than the difficulty of learning Japanese.
Paraphrase abilities can also be used when a foreigner asks, “What does this mean?”

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