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March 29, 2017

内容をきちんと考える英文読解―mental surveyとはどういうことか?


Even though Annie's demonstrates many of these characteristics, I knew we had to do more than know people, or to make them laugh when they drove by our store. I started asking myself, "What is it most of us need? What are we all longing for?" I did a mental survey of the people I know. Most are working hard and have too little time to relax. Most have enough money and are comfortable physically. But many are taking antidepressants or herbal stress remedies. Most complain that they don't have enough time to be with themselves, or with the people who mean the most to them. As I thought about these people in these situations, I wondered how Annie's might reduce the strains in their lives. (Ray Oldenburg (ed.), Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories about the "Great Good Places" at the Heart of Our Communities, Amazon Kindle版位置No.316)

通り一遍の訳語で「精神的な調査をする」などと解釈しても,この引用例の下線部がきちんとわかったことにはならない。mentalを英英辞典で引くと,たとえばCOBUILDには,A mental act is one that involves only thinking and not physical action.とある。つまり,実際に尋ねてみるのではなく想像の中で尋ねてみることをいっているのである。また,surveyも引いてみると,こちらはIf you carry out a survey, you try to find out detailed information about a lot of different people or things, usually by asking people a series of questions.となっている。この定義のquestionsを見たときに,引用例の下線部を含む文の前に"What is it most of us need? What are we all longing for?"という疑問が示されているから,この質問を頭のなかで常連客に質問してみるところを想像して答えを考える,と言っているのだと判断できるのである。


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