Monthly Poem and Pictograph - July 2000 -

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This page has English, Japanese and EL.

This time I picked a couple of haiku: 26) and 27) in 100 Mississippi Delta Blues by Geoffrey Wilson.
I've never been in Mississippi area, but I felt the air of Mississippi Delta through his haiku.

Standing on the crossroads
In the dark. It's warm; but
I have goosebumps.

Standing at the crossroads
In the dark. At dawn, which road
Shall my feet take?

辻にすくむ 闇生暖かく 鳥肌立つ
闇の辻だ 夜明けにゃ どちらに踏み出そう

: legs /  : hand /  : face


{gd,53}(situation verb) {48,51}(legs): standing (立って)
gc(preposition) {01,34}(the) {31(shape), 25 (cross)} {{10.14}(road),27(plural)}(roads):
at the crossroads (十字路に) ; maybe only {{10,14},26 (piled)} would be okay for crossroad, what do you think?
{gc,19}(in) {05(no),{02,23}(light)}: in the darkness (暗闇に)
{{37,70}( sky ),52(heat)}: atmospheric temperature {gd,53} 07:  is large ('high' in this case) (空気は暖かい)
{gb,06( opposite )}: but (しかし)
{34,62}: my (私の)  {20( outside ),28( sheet, plane ),67( life )}: skin (皮膚)
gd( verb symbol )  {13( same ),15( recognition )}( similar ): become like ( something ) (... のようになる)
{23,41,70}( bird ( by the shape )) {01,34} ( it /the one ): the thing of a bird (鳥のそれ)
{61( before ),{36( time ),44( a part of the sun ),17( up )}( sun rise time)}: dawn (夜明け、日の出前)
{30( indicating ),57( wonder )}( which )  {10( place ),14( way )}( road ): which road (どっちの道)
{34,62}: I ( as the subject of the sentence with the nominative case marker:  ) (私は)
{gd,20( future tense )} {{47,61}( feet ),21( go )}: will walk ( the subject's feet will take ) (歩いていこう)
32: period of a sentence; the first and the third sentences have only predicate. (終止符)
57 01 01: expression of wondering by oneself (自問する表現)
* A question about the usage of  {01,34} and articles in English:
  I found that EL messages from Europeans/Americans have many {01,34}, because they translate all 'the' in their language into EL  . I don't think it is necessary in EL for each 'the' in English, and I'd like to know if you agree or not.

  Grammatical articles are one of the most difficult part to learn English for Asians( Kanji users ), because they don't have the custom to use a, an, the. In the alphabet languages, articles make the definition clear with the good rhythm. In Kanji, the two particular characters show 'the planet earth' and they distinguish the characters for 'soil' or 'a part of earth' from 'the earth'. An article as an adjective is included in their noun words.

  The EL characters are symbols of meanings by shapes, as well as Kanji , so I think a character or a set of joined-characters without an indefinite article or a plural form is okay to be understood as a general term. Also in the case 'everybody' can recognize it as the only one particular thing, the definite article is not always necessary.  is used for showing that it's the thing of the topic, as the adjective or the noun. When you want to show 'a ( single )' for a noun, put 1 in front of the noun. When you want to say the noun is plural, compound 27( plural ) on top of the noun character.

EL sentences and the English:
; The sun is shining. ( {33,44} means 'the sun' by itself )
: sunlight
: The light of the sun ( to emphasize that the sunlight is at the particular moment/place in the topic; When emphasizing it isn't such important, you can omit this  , because usually anybody can know if  'sunlight' is in the particular situation or a general term through the story )
; The human Washington( as the abbreviation ), The state Washington, The river Washington (the each left character with the dl-bracket shows that the following character is the (name of the) particular kind, so no necessary to add 'the' more )
: A flower is a part of a plant. (for these general usage, just ignore if it's single or not)
: A flower of this grass is blooming (opening) since yesterday( ). (This 'a' means 'one' ())
; It (the flower) is white. (this  is a pronoun for the thing in the topic, and the subject of this sentence)
; I like it( the flower). (this  is also a pronoun for the thing in the topic, and the object of the verb in this sentence )I put  for 'the crossroads' in the above haiku, emphasizing it as the particular one. Kanji users/haiku creators usually use 'crossroads' without any articles for this kind of case. I think it's more enjoyable to allow some optional situations in the EL system. Because you need not feel too tight from your custom, and you can compare the back cultures with each others through manners.
: my skin become like a bird's one ( Usually English pronouns are short, and don't have modification words in front of them. You don't say 'bird's it'.  In EL, a pronoun or not, the left character modifies the right one, as the simple rule. This  is the pronoun for 'skin' in this topic, and the left character 'bird' modifies it. )
  Let me know what you think about this setting of  .

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The voice from the readers   Marked *** is additional Yoshiko's comment

From Willow
I agree with you strongly about "the".
English speakers use it all the time -- it's unnecessary, but probably gives a better rhythm.
I LOVE the way you use your definite article, to also mean "it", and "it" can be modified.
Your example showing different kinds of "Washington" is clever and cute.

I don't understand this sentence:  " can compare the back cultures with each other through manners".

  *** While using EL, maybe you can guess that the other might be in an English type of culture originally because she/he is fussy about  single or plural, and uses many  ...etc.

From Mattias P.
I admit that articles are difficult, in any language.
Russian has no articles at all, like many other languages ( such as Swahili
and many Indian languages ), while Bulgarian has an article that is added
at the end of the word ( as does Swedish ).