「tell、talk、speak、say」の違い (part 4)

I haven't said anything on this blog since the earthquake. Google says that this site has readers in Fukushima, Miyagi, and other places hit by the quake. I think I have only met one of you, but I want to say to all of you that we have been so concerned. I feel so sorry for the whole region. At first, I wanted to say that I hope our readers and their friends and families are OK. Then I thought that saying that would be strange. I want everyone to be OK. I want all of the suffering to end.

During the earthquake, I was sitting in Starbucks and trying to study Japanese. The building started to shake. I was watching the things hanging from the ceiling (in the photo above) begin to sway. The swaying got more and more violent.

× I can tell that I was afraid. <- see this post for more about "tell"
◯ I can say that I was afraid.

I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been for those who were closer to the epicenter.

● epicenter 震源 しんげん 震源地 しんげんち 震央 しんおう (definition from jmdict)

"Say" is similar to "tell", except that it doesn't need a target. It just needs to be followed by content.

× After the earthquake, my parents and I said. <- no content!
◯ After the earthquake, my parents and I talked. <- casual
◯ After the earthquake, my parents and I spoke. <- a bit more formal

× They told that they were really worried.
◯ They told me that they were really worried.
◯ They said that they were really worried.

I'm also worried about the situation, especially with the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, but NHK says that engineers there are making progress with the help of fire fighters. I also frequently look at various websites where data on radiation monitoring has been posted. They say the radiation in Tokyo is just slightly higher than normal, so I don't feel so nervous.

I hope that in a couple of weeks I will be able to say that the worst part of the crisis has past. However, this being such a huge disaster, who can say when Japan will have recovered from it? I can only say that it will be a long time from now.

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