Tuesday, 22 May 2007

WARNING: Dont mix linear algebra with Tokyo Metro!!

Ah yeah. Be careful...

It appeared to me that studying linear algebra to a very late hour will only result in you sleeping in the train of Tokyo Metro on your way back home next day...

I always see Japanese people sleeping in the trains, but this was the first time for me to actually sleep in there! I totally slept and missed my station, only to wake up at the end of my line. I took the train on the other side to go back.

Actually, it was a nice nap!!!


Samer said...

Forgive me for mixing ergonomics with Tokyo metro, but I had the impression that seat space in Japanese trains were small and would not be comfortable to us.

aya said...

Yes, it often happened to me too!!
How about setting your mobile phones timer(in vibration mode)?
Then you will wake up when it approaches the destination.

To Samer san:

There are box seats(you face another seated passenger in front of you) and long seats in Japanese trains.
Actually Metro subway trains are all long seat,
so you don't have to worry that your legs might touch the other passenger in front of you.

Some monorails such as Yurikamome on Tokyo Waterfront Area are tiny and you will feel much comfortable standing rather than seating. they are all box seats and your ankle might even reach the seat in front of you. it is very uncomfortable.

aya said...

well i mistyped..
i mean knee, not ankle.

because the space between the seat you are sitting and the seat in front of you are so small,
your knees will touch another seat in front of you.

Samer said...

Aha, thanks Aya-san,

In one song by yumi arai, she says


I thought that oikosu meant surechigau but when I asked my sensei, she said it meant pass from behind not intersect (like surechigau) but it didn't make much sense to me for the singer to describe it like that.. because when I think bus or train, I think sitting facing the front.. I wonder if she said that because the imagery is taken for granted by Japanese people..

There is also the chance that I don't know what I'm talking about and I'm not making sense at all.

Sami said...


Wake up sanad

( wselna )

it is better for you to stand so never sleep in

Aya said...

>Samer san

That lyric is from Yumin's 「ルージュの伝言」, right?

Regarding this sencence,


「追い越す(oikosu)」 means
"to catch up with someone/something from behind and pass him/it"

So, when you pass a car in highway, for example,
you can say you "oikosu"=pass the car in front of you.

But "oikosu" can only be used
when both two things/people are moving forward in the same direction.

「町並み(machinami)」="town" is not a moving object, so grammatically it is incorrect to use "oikosu" for "machinami". because machinami is not running or competing with you.
you can say 「通り過ぎる(toori sugiru)」="pass by" for static unmoving things like "machinami".

Therefore, I will re-write her lyric to grammatically correct sentece.


because cars are moving objects, and they are moving to the same direction as the train, you can use "oikosu" when the train is faster and passing those cars.

but this "correct" sentence would be soo long,
so she omitted the bold part above.

In another example, if you want to say "I drank juice and ate bread this morning" in Japanese,
you can say
although this sentence is correct, it is so long, so you can omit the first verb(the bold part)「飲んで」
and can say like this.
because "drink" and "eat" are similar verbs(both meaning you intake something), you can omit the first verb.

because 「通り過ぎる」and「追い越す」are similar verbs, Yumin omitted the first verb「通り過ぎる」。

Kanji_chan said...

sanado san,
benkyou, ganbatte kudasai ne! (^_^)
aya san,
nice and rich explanation (^O^) i like it.

Fadi said...

been there, done that! Even worse, I fell asleep while STANDING on my feet in the train! This is what you'd expect from staying up all night in a computer lab working on an assignment. BE CAREFUL :-)

adel said...

Hi i passed by your page. very impressive.

Being an electronic engineer by education, i have always been amazed by the japanease. Fujio Masuoka of Toshiba is one of my best.

keep up your voltage around 0.7 :) very good luck ;)

Samer said...

It is indeed the famous 'rouge no dengon'. I've listened to Kiroro for a good while, and now it's Arai Yumi's turn キロロの音楽は快いですね。

doumo arigatou Aya-san.

I understand the difference clearly

and that's a nice construct you taught me at the end..

However, something doesn't seem quite right.. if oikosu was refering the cars, then why use kuruma no nagare? why not just kuruma, right?

The way I see it is that she is describing the scenery as a set 'town block coloured by twilight and flow of cars or carts'. and then this 'set' is metaphorically 'passing' by her.. but only if she is sitting in a box seat facing the back.. :p



subzero said...

fadi san, how would anyone sleep while standing! ouch!!

subzero said...

Adel san,

ill pass by ur blog!
thanx for passing by!

Actually im a Vdd guy so ill probably keep my voltage around 2.8! :p

subzero said...

Samer san, Aya san,

interesting Japanese lesson! Thanx!

aya said...

>However, something doesn't seem
>quite right.. if oikosu was >refering the cars, then why use >kuruma no nagare? why not just >kuruma, right?

Yumin means she is passing myriad of cars which are crowded at the evening rush hour.
Nagare(=meaning "flow") in this context means long line of cars on the road, not only a few cars.
Therefore she says she is passing the long line of cars.

>but only if she is sitting in a >box seat facing the back.. :p

No, she is facing the front(the destination of the train).
I am afraid you still misunderstand the definition of "oikosu".
Oikosu means passing someone/something from his behind
and not from your behind.
you dont move backwards.

Aya is 綾 or 彩 or 絢 or 亜矢
in Japanese!!
but mine is 綾。;)

Samer said...

yahhari, a person can't learn from songs.. this is 'rough learning'..

We have a saying roughly translated 'a poet has more rights than other people' (arabic: ya7eq lil sha3er ma la ya7eq

Um, Aya-san, I perfectly understand 'oikosu'. My idea and understanding was metaphorically saying that the scenery was moving (ugokenai koto o ugokeru koto ni tatoeru) since: from her eyes the scenery is whats moving, not the train!!

Two things confuse me: 'nagare' (i didn't it meant line or procession) and 'who is 'oikosu'ing.. did I mention that I hate 'de' and 'ni' too?...

Let's move on before my head explodes.. :p

Aya in Arabic means proof, epitome or profound example. e.g. something is 'the epitome of beauty' = 'aya of beauty'. I learned 'epitome' in japanese yesterday while studying kanji.. too bad I already forgot it. Kanji are so volatile..

Also 'aya' in arabic means a 'verse of qur'an'.


aya said...

oh, aya means a good meaning in Arabic!! I am so happy to hear that.

yes..lyrics or poems are so difficult even to native speakers,
because they are sometimes gramatically incorrect or so vague.
so I don't really recommend to make yourself indulged in those, unless you are majoring in Japanese literature.

>'who is 'oikosu'ing..
In Japanese language, if there is no subject specified, you can add "watashi(=I)" to the sentence.
Therefore, Yumin is passing"=oikosu" the line of cars and the buildings with a sideways glance at them.
so, Yumin herself is moving, not the scenery is moving.

Samer said...

What if.. the subject was the scenery but after nagare she omitted 'wa'..

hehehe.. joudan desu yo.

thanks for your explanations, Aya-san. I'm sure I tested your patience.

Sanad-san, every blog post you write ends with long and unrelated discussion.. :) Thanks for the space!

aya said...

Sam san,
it is always good to have questions and ask it to others.

Although I said music lyrics are not good source of learning Japanese, they can sometimes be a big motivation. So, I hope you will keep you motivation and keep up your good work!

aya said...



a travel report to Jordan by Japanese computer geek.
A lot of info about Jordanian computer scene!

Kanji_chan said...

すごい ページ!(^_^) 期末試験が終わったら、あのページをもっと見たいのです。
そうです!「アヤ」はここにも、いい名前です。アラビア語を使うの国にも、「アヤ」は女の名前です。「ナラ」の名前も使う!( ^_')b
私、ヨルダン人です。エルベッドに住んでいる。エルベッドはヨルダンの北です。 よろしくね~~! (^O^)/

Samer said...

Indeed Aya-san, it is near impossible to improve in a language without mixing with the country's people and culture.. and the easiest to access is popular culture (games, anime, songs..)

Thanks for the kind and encouraging words.

aya said...







Kanji_chan said...

エルビッドには、日本語学校はない。私は、ハーフでもない。実は、私は自分で日本語を勉強している。でも、私はまだまだです!!(@_@)もっと日本語を勉強したいのです。( ^_')b

aya said...



aya said...