英語学習サイト:Hapa 英会話

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Released: 2016.12.09





【Jeffrey】“I don’t like assuming responsibility for things. I don’t—if I make a mistake, I’m not gonna (going to) apologize about it. I’m just gonna be…just a total ass and, just…no, it’s your problem.” (laughs) That’s—that’s kind of an American stereotype, do you think? Or…

【Nick】I feel—I feel really bad. I’m sorry that we made people feel this way. Um…

【Jeffrey】(laughs) So Americans and apologizing. Um, I think a lot of Americans might say Japanese people are too polite and they apologize too much. Um…what do you think?

【Nick】So this…this is particularly interesting to me because I think, um that Japanese people apologize for very small slights, uh but I think when it comes to a bigger problem, they’re more likely to just say, “Let’s never talk.”


【Nick】Or let’s never talk about it. Let’s not address it, and let’s just move on. I don’t want to, you know, call a spade a spade, admit it and just…yeah.

【Jeffrey】So confrontation?

【Nick】Exactly, it’s—it’s a confrontational avoidance mechanism, right?


【Nick】For—for me at least. Um, that—that’s sort of been my view, and in reality, I view it actually as Americans are more likely to apologize about actual problems.


【Nick】Um, and so I’m pretty—it’s pretty interesting to me to hear that Americans don’t prefer to apologize, ‘cause (because) at least, uh in the relationships and things that I see on TV and everything in—in everyday life, uh we—we really like to deal with problems, say, “Hey, you know, like, did I do something wrong?” You know?


【Nick】Let’s, you know, let’s—let’s address it, you know?

【Jeffrey】Yeah. I can see that.

【Nick】But—but maybe…I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong here, but yeah.


【Nick】Everyday stuff, you know, like, “Oh I bumped into you,” or something like that.

【Jeffrey】I’ve heard though that, um…I guess talking about, for example, you let me borrow something of yours, and maybe it breaks when it’s on my watch…


【Jeffrey】…and I give it back to you, and I say, like, “I don’t know what happened. I was just using it and it broke.” I’m kind of talking more in a…in a passive voice…

【Nick】Yeah, yeah. Mmm, yeah.

【Jeffrey】…to sort of distance myself from responsibility


【Jeffrey】…like…and, uh whereas I think Japanese people say, just, “I’m sorry.” (laughs)


【Jeffrey】“I broke it.”


【Jeffrey】Even if you gave me a bad product, or you gave…

【Nick】Mm hm.

【Jeffrey】…even if it already had a problem when you gave it to me…

【Nick】Mm hm.

【Jeffrey】…I think Japanese people are more likely to apologize because it was on their watch.



Questions of the day(今日の質問)

  1. What does Jeffrey say Americans think about Japanese politeness?
  2. What does Nick think Japanese apologize for?
  3. What does Jeffrey think an American might do if something they were given broke on their watch?



  1. Jeffrey said Americans think Japanese are too polite.
  2. He thinks Japanese apologize for small issues, but try to avoid larger ones.
  3. Jeffrey said he thinks Americans might try to avoid responsibility for the problem.



The topic for today’s discussion between Nick and Jeffrey was apologizing, and how Japanese are often known for over-apologizing. Jeffrey joked that Americans have a stereotype for not apologizing for their actions.

Nick thought Japanese tend to apologize for “small slights,” but when faced with bigger problems, choose to simply avoid talking about them. He thought Americans did the opposite and faced difficult problems directly.

Jeffrey gave a scenario to illustrate what he thought about Americans’ attitudes towards apologizing. An American was returning an item that broke under his watch, claiming that it simply broke, rather than admitting he broke it.

Jeffrey thinks Americans are more inclined to try and escape responsibility for their actions. By contrast, he thinks Japanese are more likely to simply apologize, even for small problems.


Phrases of the day(今日のフレーズ)

1) Likely (〜しそうである / 〜らしい)

“Likely”は「〜しそうである」や「〜らしい」などを意味し、同様の意味として使われる“Probably”に比べ、起こり得る可能性が若干低めのニュアンスがあります。例えば、 「It’s probably going to rain today.」と「It’s likely to rain today.」は、両方とも「今日は雨が降りそうだ」を意味しますが、 likelyの方が雨の降る可能性が若干低いニュアンスになります。

◎「〜する可能性が高い」は “more likely”、「〜する可能性が最も高い」は“most likely”。逆に「〜する可能性は低い」は“unlikely”、「〜する可能性が極めて低い」は “very unlikely”と言います。

  • He is likely to get transferred to another branch. (彼は他の支店に異動になりそうだ。)
  • She will most likely move back home with her parents.(彼女は恐らく実家に帰るだろう。)
  • It’s very unlikely that team is going to win. They are huge underdogs.(あのチームが勝つ可能性は極めて低いよ。全く勝ち目がないね。)

2) Address(〜に取り組む)


  • There are some issues we need to address.(対処しなければならない問題がいくつかあります。)
  • I really think you need to address that matter at the next meeting.(次回のミーティングで、その問題を取り上げないといけないと思います。)
  • Has this issue been addressed yet?(この問題は既に取り上げられていますか?)

3) Call a spade a spade(ありのままに言う)


この“spade”はトランプのスペードマークではなく農具の鋤(すき)を指し、「Call a spade a spade」を直訳すると「鋤を鋤と呼ぶ」になります。しかし、この表現は差別的であると受け取る人もいるので、使う時には注意が必要です。また、この表現は少し古い言い回しで、最近は「tell it like it is」と言う方が一般的かと思います。

  • Let’s call a spade a spade.(はっきりと言いましょう。)
  • I call a spade a spade and tell you exactly how I feel.(私は白黒はっきりさせる性格なので、素直な気持ちを言いますね。)
  • I like Justin because he tells it like it is.(ジャスティンは何でも思ったことを素直に言うから好きだね。)

4) Confront(立ち向かう)


◎今日の会話でジェフリーは 「confrontation」と言いましたが、これは confrontの名詞形です。

  • Don’t avoid your problems. You have to confront it.(問題を避けるのではなく正面から向き合わないと。)
  • If it’s bothering you so much, why don’t you confront him?(そんなに気になるんだったら、彼と直接向き合ったら?)
  • I’m really bad at confrontation. (私は対立するのが本当に苦手です。)

5) Slight(〜を軽んじる / 侮辱する)


  • I didn’t mean to slight him. I feel terrible.(彼を侮辱するつもりはなかったんだ。申し訳ないと思ってるよ。)
  • Make sure you do your best not to slight any of the participants. (参加者を誰一人として軽んじることのないよう最善を尽くしてください。)
  • It might just be me but I felt like I was slighted by the host at the event last night.(気のせいかもしれませんが、昨晩のイベントで司会者から雑にあしらわれたように感じました。)



  • Assume responsibility・・・責任を負う
  • Admit・・・認める
  • Distance oneself from responsibility・・・責任を回避する


  • Make people feel that way・・・人をそのように思わせる
  • When it comes to・・・〜となると
  • I can see that・・・言いたいことは分かる
  • Bump into someone・・・〜にぶつかる
  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加



  1. Kotone より:


  2. mori より:

    Junさん、A Happy New Year!


    Jeffrey の最初の言葉からして分からないです。
    I’m so sad.

    I’m just gonna be…just a total ass and, just…no, it’s your problem.” (laughs) That’s—that’s kind of an American stereotype, do you think? Or…

    1. just gonna be… の ”…”って何が省略されているのですか?
    2. …just a total ass and.. もどういう意味か分からないですし、
    3. 次の just…no, it’s your problem というのは、もうごちゃごちゃ言わずにただ ”違うよ、私に責任はない、それはあなたの責任だよ”と言うだろうという事でしょうか? とにかく責任は一切負わない方針? それで、あまりにシンプルに責任のがれをしている事を laughs なのでしょうか?

    でも思いますに、Jeffrey のような無茶なアメリカ人は少数派じゃないでしょうか? 

    live conversation というのは、こういう … の部分や、That’s – that’s kind of .. とか繰り返しが入り込んだりで、なかなか難解なものですね。

    今年からは、できれば、もう少しキチンとした話し方の live conversation にならないものでしょうか? まあ、生の会話の練習だから、教科書のようにキチンとせず、生な所が良いのかもしれませんが、、、いやあ、生はむずかしい、、

    thanks / mori 

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