I found this wreath on a door the other day. It says:
× Country Home, Sweat Heart
○ Country Home, Sweet Heart
  • sweat (noun) 汗◆【類】perspiration (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  • sweet (adj) 思いやりのある (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
If your heart is sweating, you had better see a doctor.

If your heart is sweet, I'd like to meet you! Why don't you come visit one of my classes?

I suppose this person is fantasizing, but an office in Tokyo is about as far from a country home as you can get.
  • fantasize (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  • country home 田舎の家 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  • Both countries are about as far away as you can get from each other. 両国はもうこれ以上遠くなりようがないほど離れている。(example from Eijiro on the Web)
I'm waiting for all of you sweethearts in my city office.
  • sweetheart 親切な人 (example from Eijiro on the Web)


「fall apart」の使い方

It might be hard to tell what that is a photo of. It's my two-year-old cap. I've used it and washed it too many times, so now it's falling apart.

The definition for "fall apart" in this sentence from Eijiro on the Web is ボロボロになる. There are a lot of other meanings, like in my sentence below. Take a look at the other definitions of "fall apart":


The mesh is coming undone, and I'm afraid the whole back is close to unraveling.
  • come undone ほどける、失敗する、破滅する (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  • unravel 【自動】解ける、ほどける、ほぐれる、明らかになる、ほころびる、解体{かいたい}する、分解{ぶんかい}する 【他動】~をほどく、ほぐす、~を解く、解明{かいめい}する、〔計画{けいかく}を〕つぶす (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
At least I have other caps to wear as backups to this one.

At the same time, it seems that Japan's old nuclear plans are falling apart. China's plan to sell high-speed rail to the rest of the world seems to be coming undone, too. The American economy is unraveling. I wonder what backups to use in these situations? Dark days, huh?
  • dark days 失意の時代、不遇の時代 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)


「oops!」の使い方・私は日本語の使い方に注意した方が良い(part 5)。

Over the holiday weekend, I moved our website to a new hosting company.
over the weekend 週末{しゅうまつ}に~
holiday weekend 祭日{さいじつ}と重なる週末{しゅうまつ}(definition from Eijiro on the Web)
The internet is a complex system. Have you ever thought about how it works? Basically, you type an address into your browser. The address you use is an easier one, though. For example, when you type the address for this blog, "upgradeenglish.blogspot.com", there is a special computer (called a "name server") out on the internet that converts this address to something called an IP address. For upgradeenglish.blogspot.com, the IP address is
convert コンバート, コンヴァート, 転換 (definition from jmdict)
Basically the computer at that IP address gives you the web page that you have requested.

When I moved our website to a new hosting company, the IP address changed, even though the name you use, upgradeenglish.com, didn't change. It takes some time for all the name servers to know the new IP address.

On Sunday night when I looked at the webpage, I saw this page which said "oops!".
oops 【間投】
    ・Oops, I did it again. : やばい、またやっちゃった。
    ・Oops, I hadn't thought of that! : しまった、それを忘れてた。◆【場面】計画などに見落としがあった。
Use "oops" by itself, often followed by a "!" to acknowledge a mistake.
You may learn a lot to acknowledge your mistakes and this will help your effort for self improvement. もっと自分の間違いを素直に認めるようにすれば、内面的な成長の役に立つはずです。◆【出典】Hiragana Times, 1993年12月号(株式会社ヤック企) (sample from Eijiro on the Web)
As a result, some of you may have seen a broken webpage on the weekend or had trouble sending me email. If you did, I'm sorry about that! Everything seems to be working fine now, though.

I also recently found out I had a Japanese spelling mistake on the website. I wrote "ブログ" as "ブロッグ". Oops! If you find any mistakes, please let me know!



Is OK a good thing or bad thing? Ok, I suppose it depends on the situation.

Here are some definitions for OK from Eijiro on the web.





Is everything OK? : すべて順調[大丈夫]ですか?、すべてうまくいっていますか?

I hope everything will be OK. : うまくいくといいんだけど.


I am an OK cook. : 私の料理の腕は人並み[まあまあ]です。

So as you see if something is okay, it doesn't always have a good meaning.

I am sure you are familiar with ALSOK. I had always wondered what it stood for. I didn't find out until very recently. If your security is always (just) ok do you feel 100% safe? Maybe "Always Security Great" or "Always Security Fantastic" would have been better but "ALGREAT" or "ALFANT" doesn't have a nice ring to it. Maybe ALSOK is an ok name after all.

Useful vocabulary

have a nice ring

〔言葉などが〕耳に心地良い、語呂がいい、響きが良い、すてきな響きがある◆しばしばhas a nice ring to itの形で

after all


・It is, after all, only a movie! : しょせん、それはただの映画なんだから!

・After all he is a fool. : 何と言ったってやつはばかなんだからな。

・After all, human beings are all very much alike. : 結局どこの人間も同じってことですね。

「here you are」と「here we go」の違い

Someone asked me to explain the difference between "here you are" and "here we go", so here we go.
  • here we go = let's start, we're starting
First, it will be useful to look at the definitions of these two phrases given by Eijiro on the Web. Here you are:
  • Here we go.  1.(さあ)行くよ。/さあ始めるよ。2. せーの。/それっ。◆複数の人たちが力を合わせて物を動かすとき。
  • Here you are! さあどうぞこちらです。はいどうぞ!
We use "here we go" sometimes for encouragement, but sometimes as a complaint. As a complaint, we often add "again".
A: Let me tell you why what you did bothers me.
B: Oh no. Here we go again. <- it sounds like this person has heard this complaint before
"Here you are" is said when we want to offer something. It can also be used with "there" instead of "here", when the possession of something has passed from the giver (using "here") to the recipient (using "there").
  • recipient【名】受領者、容器、受取人、受け手、受信者、受益者
So, there you are! That's the difference.

Oh! I haven't given you a photograph with this post. I should add something! Now, you may be thinking "oh, here we go again, another of Nick's strange photos!". Anyway, here you are, a picture of a guy on a motorcycle at Nihonbashi who loves antennas.
  • antenna 【名】1.  〈米〉アンテナ、空中線{くうちゅうせん}◆【略】ANT◆【同】〈英〉aerial; 2.〔昆虫などの〕触角{しょっかく}(definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Please let me know if you have more questions that I can answer in posts!



Our new classroom is on Bank of Japan Street (日銀通り). We use "on __ street" to talk about the location.
Bank of Japan - 日本銀行、日銀 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
British people say "in Bank of Japan Street", but I think for Americans "in the street" has a different meaning.

Don't play in the street! It's dangerous!
in the street (definitions from Eijiro on the Web)
    1. 通りで、街頭{がいとう}で
    2. ブラブラして、住む所がなくて、あぶれて
    3.〔株の取引{とりひき}が〕時間後売買{じかんご ばいばい}の
It really is just up the street from the Bank of Japan; it's only about 400 meters away.
up the street - 通りを向こうへ、この先に (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Back in May, the azaleas they have in front of the building were blooming beautifully.
azalea -《植物》ツツジ (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Across the street, there's a Family Mart. It's very convenient, and the manager is a helpful guy. One evening he spent some time giving me advice on how to throw out our cardboard boxes from moving. As it turns out, though, I really did have to put them in the street for the garbage collector.

One street over is Main Street (中央通り), where Mitsukoshi-mae (三越前) Shin-Nihonbashi (新日本橋) Stations are located. Kanda (神田) Station is just a couple of streets up from our building.
one street over - 次の道
Come by and pay us a visit! Here's the details of our location.
pay someone a visit - (人)を訪ねる[訪問する・見舞う](definition from Eijiro on the Web)



Wow! It's been a long time since we talked.
It's been a long time, hasn't it? 久しぶりですね。(definition from Eijiro on the Web)
We were really busy in June. That's because our classroom has moved from the south side of Mitsukoshi-mae Station to the north side of Mitsukoshi-mae Station.


We are pretty happy with the new classroom, and I think it will get even better once we have finished organizing our stuff.

More blog posts are coming soon!