This is what I've really got to learn to cook. It's vegetarian char siu, which is Cantonese-style BBQ pork. This is a vegetarian one, so it's made with gluten and spices. The black parts, rather than being burnt meat, are a kind of fermented black bean sauce. I ate this in Hong Kong. It was so delicious, and I keep thinking about it and how to make it.
  • fermented【形】発酵した (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
There are vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo, but...
× the cost is cheaper in Hong Kong.
○ the [food is/restaurants are] cheaper in Hong Kong.
○ the cost is lower in Hong Kong.
The vegetarian food in Hong Kong is generally more delicious, too.

"Cheaper" means "lower in price". "Cost" is a synonym for "price". That means that the incorrect sentence above means:
  • The price is lower in price in Hong Kong. ← strange!
"Cost" or "price" is a number, so you should use "lower" or "higher". Use "cheap" for products.

If you happen to know a good recipe or tips for cooking char sui at home, please let me know, especially if you know how to cook the vegetarian version. The cost of making it at home is certainly lower than flying to Hong Kong to eat it again. If you know a way to get cheaper tickets to Hong Kong, though, I'd like to hear that, too!


「claim」と「complain」の違い, part 2

This was a really successful dish. I was already eating it when I realized I should take a picture of it so that I could show it to you. It's pan-fried mung beans with chopped lotus root, carrot, rosemary, and oregano.
  • mung bean 緑豆
  • lotus root レンコン
○ You might claim that it looks awful, but it really was yummy. ← you think it doesn't look delicious, but some people might not believe you

○ You might complain that it looks awful, but it really was yummy. ← you are expressing your dissatisfaction with the photo
  • dissatisfaction【名】不満、不平、不満の種 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Notice that "claim" and "complain" can both be used above, but that the meanings are different.   The common mistake, though, is to use "claim" when you mean to use "complain".

× Rather than claim about learning unfamiliar English words, just use them as often as possible to learn them naturally.
 Rather than complain about learning unfamiliar English words, just use them as often as possible to learn them naturally.

Exactly two years ago, I wrote a blog post about the difference between "claim" and "complain". You can read the definitions of the two words there:
It doesn't look so appetizing, especially since it's in the middle of being eaten, but I promise that it was great. Next time I'll take more care with the presentation.
  • appetizing【形】食欲をそそる、人の気をそそる (definition from Eijiro on the Web)



One of the restaurants I ate at on my trip was Pure Veggie House.


This dish is lotus seeds wrapped in strips of winter melon arranged on a bed of broccoli.
  • lotus【名】《植物》ハス、蓮 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
  • winter melon《植物》冬瓜 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
You might say it looks like an alien brain, but actually it had a very mild and pleasant flavor.

It was a vegetarian restaurant, and the menu was overwhelming. There were too many dishes to choose from.
In other words, there were so many dishes that I couldn't choose. At least, it was really difficult to choose. I will have to go again to try different dishes.

I'm too busy in Tokyo to travel as much as I'd like, but every time I go abroad I feel it's refreshing to get a change of perspective. There are so many places that I'd like to visit that I can't see them all in one year. Maybe not even in five years is enough.
  • change of perspective《a ~》観点の変化[を変えること](definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Maybe you feel the same about traveling. If so, English is a really useful skill. It's too useful not to work on improving it now. If you aren't doing so already, I hope you'll start coming to a class to improve your English.



I just returned from a trip. I departed from Tokyo Station on the Narita Express. While I was waiting on the train, I noticed this sign. It says:
× The following Narita Express trains are in a short set of 6 cars. They don't stop about here. Please wait near the pillar No. 16 ~ No. 27.
○ The following Narita Express trains are in a short set of six cars. They don't stop in this area. Please wait between pillars 16-27.
  • pillar【名】〔建物などの細い〕柱、支柱、装飾柱 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
Probably the writer wanted to say "around here". However, "around here" sounds a bit too casual for a public sign.

You can say "about here", such as:
  • It was about here that I took the photo. ← said when standing in a place which is roughly the correct place
We usually don't use "not" with "about here" when saying that the approximate position is not correct.
  • approximate【形】おおよその、概算の、近似の (definition from Eijiro on the Web)
However, you might hear something like this:
  • The article is not about here. It's about another place.  "about" means "regarding", not "roughly"
The other mistake the Tokyo Station staff have made is using "the". In this case, "pillar" is a title, like "Mount" or "Mr.". In such cases, we don't use "the" in front.

I'm about finished with this post. There's lots to catch up on from being out of town. I'll write again about this time next week, if not before! I'm not sure what I will write about, though. Maybe I'll look for some mistakes around here.