Characters: F: Felicity; T: Tomo; M: Mac
F: Hey, Tomo, you seem full of beans today.
T: Oh, am I that obvious? (grinning from ear to ear)
M: Let me guess... Someone gifted you with chocolates
as a post-Valentine gift?
T: Nah, I wish.
F: C'mon, spill the beans, Tomo!
T: (shaking his head) Nah-ah, my lips are sealed.
After more prodding...
T: OK, OK, I give up. (raising both hands) Well, tomorrow
is a big day!
M: Huh? What do you mean? Are you going to get a promotion
T: Nope. As you may already know, my wife is expecting
and she has a doctor's appointment tomorrow.
F: Aha! You will know by tomorrow whether you're having
a girl or a boy, am I right?
T: You hit the nail on the head.
F: I knew it! That's wonderful news, Tomo. Any
M: Are you hoping for a girl or a little Tomo?
T: My wife says she thinks this one's going to be a
junior. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (winks).
M: Well, congratulations then! Let's just hope he gets
his looks from your wife.
F: You can say that again.
They all burst out laughing.
★full of beans‐生き生きとしている
★spill the beans‐うっかり秘密を漏らす
★my lips are sealed‐秘密にしておく、漏らさない
★tomorrow is a big day‐明日はすごい日、重要な日
★hit the nail on the head‐まさにその通り
★you can say that again‐まったくその通り、言えてる
登場人物: F:フェリシティ T:トモ M:マック
T: わかったわかった、もう降参。(両手をあげる) 実は、明日は
M: へえ、どういう意味？ 昇進するかなにか？
F: ああ！ 明日には、男の子か女の子かわかるのね？
F: やっぱり！ すばらしいニュースね、トモ。それで予想は？
M: だとしたらおめでとう！ ただ坊やが奥さん似なことを祈り
In Dela Cruz English Club, we have been using a method known as "DCEC Method." This method involves the use of the right brain and mimicking the sounds a learner hears... just like a baby. That is why DCEC learners are always encouraged to listen to the audio CD provided to them and read the text aloud several times on a regular basis.
In a recent TED Talk show, Patricia Kuhl, a co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, talked about ability of babies to absorb language. According to their study, babies are geniuses when it comes to languages. They take "statistics" of a language as they listen. They are like little scientists on their own.
Based on their findings, one's ability to master a language starts to decline when we hit the 7 year old mark. It goes downhill from there. But this should not discourage adults. We should follow and copy how babies do it, through listening and mimicking... just like the DCEC method. So, this is another proof that our method really works. Come and see for yourself. Visit Dela Cruz English Club or call us at 048-649-6588.
Here is the video and below is the transcript (taken from TED Talk website).
I want you to take a look at this baby. What you're drawn to are her eyes and the skin you love to touch. But today I'm going to talk to you about something you can't see, what's going on up in that little brain of hers. The modern tools of neuroscience are demonstrating to us that what's going on up there is nothing short of rocket science. And what we're learning is going to shed some light on what the romantic writers and poets described as the "celestial openness" of the child's mind.
What we see here is a mother in India, and she's speaking Koro, which is a newly-discovered language. And she's talking to her baby. What this mother -- and the 800 people who speak Koro in the world -- understand that, to preserve this language, they need to speak it to the babies. And therein lies a critical puzzle. Why is it that you can't preserve a language by speaking to you and I, to the adults? Well, it's got to do with your brain. What we see here is that language has a critical period for learning. The way to read this slide is to look at your age on the horizontal axis. (Laughter) And you'll see on the vertical your skill at acquiring a second language. Babies and children are geniuses until they turn seven, and then there's a systematic decline. After puberty, we fall off the map. No scientists dispute this curve, but laboratories all over the world are trying to figure out why it works this way.
Work in my lab is focused on the first critical period in development -- and that is the period in which babies try to master which sounds are used in their language. We think by studying how the sounds are learned, we'll have a model for the rest of language, and perhaps for critical periods that may exist in childhood for social, emotional and cognitive development. So we've been studying the babies using a technique that we're using all over the world and the sounds of all languages. The baby sits on a parent's lap, and we train them to turn their heads when a sound changes -- like from "ah" to "ee". If they do so at the appropriate time, the black box lights up and a panda bear pounds a drum. A six-monther adores the task.
What have we learned? Well, babies all over the world are what I like to describe as citizens of the world; they can discriminate all the sounds of all languages, no matter what country we're testing and what language we're using. And that's remarkable because you and I can't do that. We're culture-bound listeners. We can discriminate the sounds of our own language, but not those of foreign languages. So the question arises, when do those citizens of the world turn into the language-bound listeners that we are? And the answer: before their first birthdays. What you see here is performance on that head turn task for babies tested in Tokyo and the United States, here in Seattle, as they listened to "ra" and "la" -- sounds important to English, but not to Japanese. So at six to eight months the babies are totally equivalent. Two months later something incredible occurs. The babies in the United States are getting a lot better, babies in Japan are getting a lot worse, but both of those groups of babies are preparing for exactly the language that they are going to learn.
So the question is, what's happening during this critical two-month period? This is the period for sound development, but what's going on up there? So there are two things going on. The first is that the babies are listening intently to us, and they're taking statistics as they listen to us talk -- they're taking statistics. So listen to two mothers speaking motherese -- the universal language we use when we talk to kids -- first in English and then in Japanese.
(Video) English Mother: Ah, I love your big blue eyes -- so pretty and nice.
Japanese Mother: [Japanese]
Patricia Kuhl: During the production of speech, when babies listen, what they're doing is taking statistics on the language that they hear. And those distributions grow. And what we've learned is that babies are sensitive to the statistics, and the statistics of Japanese and English are very, very different. English has a lot of R's and L's the distribution shows. And the distribution of Japanese is totally different, where we see a group of intermediate sounds, which is known as the Japanese R. So babies absorb the statistics of the language and it changes their brains; it changes them from the citizens of the world to the culture-bound listeners that we are. But we as adults are no longer absorbing those statistics. We're governed by the representations in memory that were formed early in development.
So what we're seeing here is changing our models of what the critical period is about. We're arguing from a mathematical standpoint that the learning of language material may slow down when our distributions stabilize. It's raising lots of questions about bilingual people. Bilinguals must keep two sets of statistics in mind at once and flip between them, one after the other, depending on who they're speaking to.
So we asked ourselves, can the babies take statistics on a brand new language? And we tested this by exposing American babies who'd never heard a second language to Mandarin for the first time during the critical period. We knew that, when monolinguals were tested in Taipei and Seattle on the Mandarin sounds, they showed the same pattern. Six, eight months, they're totally equivalent. Two months later, something incredible happens. But the Taiwanese babies are getting better, not the American babies. What we did was expose American babies during this period to Mandarin. It was like having Mandarin relatives come and visit for a month and move into your house and talk to the babies for 12 sessions. Here's what it looked like in the laboratory.
(Video) Mandarin Speaker: [Mandarin]
PK: So what have we done to their little brains? (Laughter) We had to run a control group to make sure that just coming into the laboratory didn't improve your Mandarin skills. So a group of babies came in and listened to English. And we can see from the graph that exposure to English didn't improve their Mandarin. But Look at what happened to the babies exposed to Mandarin for 12 sessions. They were as good as the babies in Taiwan who'd been listening for 10 and a half months. What it demonstrated is that babies take statistics on a new language. Whatever you put in front of them, they'll take statistics on.
But we wondered what role the human being played in this learning exercise. So we ran another group of babies in which the kids got the same dosage, the same 12 sessions, but over a television set and another group of babies who had just audio exposure and looked at a teddy bear on the screen. What did we do to their brains? What you see here is the audio result -- no learning whatsoever -- and the video result -- no learning whatsoever. It takes a human being for babies to take their statistics. The social brain is controlling when the babies are taking their statistics.
We want to get inside the brain and see this thing happening as babies are in front of televisions, as opposed to in front of human beings. Thankfully, we have a new machine, magnetoencephalography, that allows us to do this. It looks like a hair dryer from Mars. But it's completely safe, completely non-invasive and silent. We're looking at millimeter accuracy with regard to spacial and millisecond accuracy using 306 SQUIDs -- these are superconducting quantum interference devices -- to pick up the magnetic fields that change as we do our thinking. We're the first in the world to record babies in an MEG machine while they are learning.
So this is little Emma. She's a six-monther. And she's listening to various languages in the earphones that are in her ears. You can see, she can move around. We're tracking her head with little pellets in a cap, so she's free to move completely unconstrained. It's a technical tour de force. What are we seeing? We're seeing the baby brain. As the baby hears a word in her language the auditory areas light up, and then subsequently areas surrounding it that we think are related to coherence, getting the brain coordinated with its different areas, and causality, one brain area causing another to activate.
We are embarking on a grand and golden age of knowledge about child's brain development. We're going to be able to see a child's brain as they experience an emotion, as they learn to speak and read, as they solve a math problem, as they have an idea. And we're going to be able to invent brain-based interventions for children who have difficulty learning. Just as the poets and writers described, we're going to be able to see, I think, that wondrous openness, utter and complete openness, of the mind of a child. In investigating the child's brain, we're going to uncover deep truths about what it means to be human, and in the process, we may be able to help keep our own minds open to learning for our entire lives.
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Nor: N Tre: T Yu: Y
At the start of the class…
T: Nor, thank you for the gift that you sent me last time.
N: You are welcome. I hope you like the broccoli.
Y: Broccoli? The vegetable…?
T: Indeed. I think it was harvested in Nor's backyard garden.
Y: Really? I couldn't believe Nor has a green thumb!
N: Thank you for the compliments but I am not expert in farming.
Last month, I planted approximately 150 seeds of broccoli.
T: That's a lot. Let me guess… broccoli is one of your
Y: (Hesitantly asked…) May I know why you like broccoli?
N: It is delicious and undoubtedly a healthy food. I think
it is the food that has kept me out from catching colds for
almost six years now since I regularly included broccoli in
Y: Really? That's amazing!
T: Well, there is a concrete scientific explanation for that.
Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, A, K and other phytonutrients
that boost the immune system and assist the body's
N: It is also a good source of dietary fiber to keep me fit
and trim (winking his eyes)!
Y: Hmmm... (listening with all ears)
T: Wow! A good idea to reduce the number of my spare tires…
hahaha! So, Yu do like to gobble up some broccoli?
Y: I am not into it. I have a preference for meat over
vegetables…but on second thought, I might give it a try.
N: Just remember this old adage, health is wealth…
T & Y: Right!
(an extraordinary ability to make plants grow well.)
★keeps me out from ～‐～から自分を遠ざける
★fit and trim‐スリムで健康的
★all ears - 熱心に耳を傾ける(cutely attentive)
登場人物： N：ノア T：トレ Y：ユウ
Y: ブロッコリ？ 野菜ってこと…？
Y: (ためらいながら尋ねる…) どうしてブロッコリが好きなのか聞
T & Y: わかった！
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For the month of February, Dela Cruz English Club is celebrating Italy's "Carnevale di Viareggio."
Carnevale di Viareggio, celebrating 138 years of life and activity under the sign of a vivid tradition such as the long-established European tradition of Carnival festivals, is known for its giant, paper maché floats and masks used in parades., usually made of paper-pulp, depicting caricatures of popular people, such as politicians, showmen and sportsmen. The official mascot of the Viareggio carnival is Burlamacco, created by the painter Uberto Bonetti.
Every year, it attracts more than one million spectators gathering to attend the magic of night and day celebrations, with floats, parades, district celebrations, masked dances and shows of every kind.
In 2011, the usual five carnival masked parades are planned for February 20th , 27th and March 6th- 8th 13th , on the extraordinary Liberty style staging along the seaside avenues of Viareggio. The parade will also include folklore bands and performers from all over the world. The biggest floats will carry about 200 people in costume who will dance and throw confetti and candies. Other people will be inside the floats to manoeuvre the weights, the counter-weights and levers that will make the puppets move. The paper maché puppets satirise public and political figures, depict social issues, as well as the fairy-tales’ heroes. Noteworthy is the programme of related events including a large number of shows and cultural events such as fun musical comedies in vernacular, a series of carnival menus available in the restaurants of the area, festivals in the various town neighbourhoods, as well as numerous masked balls held in the most fashionable discotheques and ballrooms.
The first Viareggio carnival parade was held in 1873, when some wealthy middle-class men decided to organize a parade of floats adorned with flowers; a number of local citizens, as a sign of protest, then decided to put on masks in order to show their refusal of high taxes they were forced to pay.
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It has been a while since I ate a good breakfast while reading a newspaper. Since I am with my friend at The Pan Pacific Hotel in Yokohama, I had to.
As I munched on my croissant and sipped my freshly brewed coffee, I came across this interesting cartoon in The Daily Yomiuri.
It seems that the Arab countries are in turmoil nowadays. I think the people suddenly realized that they have voices and if they banded together, they can do big things… such as overthrow a tyrant.
The successful silent protests that happened in Egypt seemed to have opened a lot of unsaid and accumulated complaints toward some Arab rulers. Other countries in that area, such as Iran, Libya and now Bahrain, are following suit.
Hopefully, they end also without bloodshed and with the triumph of freedom.
The Daily Yomiuri
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By this time, probably the chocolates have been eaten...
the roses have been put in water...
the romantic dinner date photos have been posted in Facebook...
and all your friends and relatives have greeted you "Happy Hearts Day."
However, in Thailand some people are still celebrating this event.
Seven couples are still lip locked.
They are going for the new record of having the longest kiss recorded in the Guinness World Records.
As of now they have kissed for 32 hours and counting…
Guinness World Records is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.
A lot of crazy stuff have been recorded here.
Try finding some interesting records in their website (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/).
Some examples of records about Japan or the Japanese people...
Tamae Watanabe - in May 16, 2002 she became the oldest woman to climb Mt. Everest at the age of 63 years 177 days.
According to Guinness World Records, the most expensive admission prices in the world are in Japan, where the average price of a cinema ticket is US$10.80 (£5.97).
Toshie Kawakami has the record of having the longest eyebrow hair at 17.8 cm (7.01 in) when measured at Guinness World Records Museum, Tokyo, Japan, on 22 July 2008.
In 2209,Tokyo (Japan) with 261 stars shared by 197 restaurants according to the 2010 Michelin Guide became the city with the most Michelin stars.
And a lot more...
Wait let us check out the longest-kiss marathon in Pattaya, Thailand.
Are the couples still at it?
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Every February, most people usually see red.
Not the angry kind... the one with the hearts.
Yes, it is that time of the year again when love is in the air.
From where I come from, Valentine's Day is the day when men are expected to plan romantic dinners with their special someones in good restaurants,
secretly buy roses , greeting cards or chocolates and send them to their significant others.
Most women anticipate receiving something on this day, thus some feel out of place when they don't.
For most high schools, this is also the time when Junior-Senior proms happen.
That is why I was so surprised when I came to Japan and found out that the custom here is different.
Instead of men, throngs of women go to shops to buy chocolates for their loved ones, friends, male officemates or even for the ones they admire.
I passed by LOFT the other day (exactly 2 days before V-day) and saw a lot of ladies (young and not-so-young) carefully checking out the packed chocolates on display.
My curiosity was piqued so I browsed through the selection as well.
There I saw your typical bonbons, rare chocolates, chocolate bars, your cocoa drinks and a lot more.
In this website (http://www.mostinterestingfacts.com/culinary/top-5-most-expensive-chocolates-in-the-world.html), they listed expensive chocolates around the world.
3. Delafee chocolates costs $504 per 459 gram
Location: Neuchatel, Switzerland
Why the price?
They are hand-made 24-carat gold shaped chocolate pieces. Yes, it says "gold."
2. Noka is $854 per 450 gram
Location: Dallas, Texas
Noka Vintages Collection uses the best compilation of special black chocolate from Ecuador.
They don't add any emulsifier or any vanilla. If you are looking for the authentic cacao experience, then Noka is the one for you.
There is a store in Tokyo. (http://www.noka-chocolate.jp/)
1. Chocopolagie : $2,600 per 450 grams
In order to have this, you have to go pre-order or pick it up at Norwalk, Connecticut.
These delecacies are hand made chocolates with 70% Valrhona cocoa powder rolled over French Black truffle.
No wonder they cost a fortune!
Mouth-watering, don't you think?
Guys, enjoy this red day.
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.
To close this post, let me share this video.
It explains some useful expressions about love, relationships and all those mushy things.
Who knows... you might use one of these expressions today.
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Characters: N - Nicole M - Maki R - Riko
In the class...
N: Thank you for reading the dialogue perfectly.
(beaming at her learners)
I guess everyone took my advice during the recommendation
delivery. Both of you have set your heart on mastering
the English language.
M: Yeah, I now prepare for my lessons with all my heart.
R: Ditto. I even practice with my husband when he's not busy.
M: Really? You are so lucky to have someone to practice with.
R: I know! Well, he has my interests at heart.
M: Sometimes when I practice, I read the text aloud in front
of my mirror. I even know some of the text by heart.
(noticing Nicole's silence)
What's the matter, Nicole?
N: Nothing... (with a satisfied look)
It just feels so nice to sit here and listen to both of you
while you discuss your English study habits.
Music to my ears! (grinning widely)
M: Ha ha! But we are not just saying these things to
make you happy.
R: True. They are not lip service.
N: Of course I know that. (admiring her learners)
They moved on to the discussion part of the lesson.
N: Now, who could give me an appropriate situation for
the expression "It's a small world"?
R: (meeting Nicole's gaze) Let me try...
When I went to the bookstore to buy an English book,
I saw Maki browsing through the shelves.
It's a small world.
N: You're just pulling my leg, right?
M: She's dead serious. It was really a chance encounter.
N: Whoa! I don't know what to say...
(staring at her learners in disbelief)
R: I know. What a coincidence, right?
N: I guess you guys really took my advice to heart.
M/R: (in unison) We sure did!
★take somebody's advice－助言に従う、受け入れる
★set one's heart on something－何かを心に決める
★with all my heart－心から、心底
★has somebody's interests at heart－誰かのためを思って
★music to somebody's ears－誰かにとってうれしい、
★It's a small world.－世間は狭い
★pull somebody's leg－からかう
★take something to heart－何かを歓迎する、温かく受け入れる
R: 右に同じ！ 私なんか主人が忙しくない時一緒に練習までしてるわ。
M: ほんとう？ あなた一緒に練習する人がいて本当にいいわね。
N: さて、"It's a small world"と言う表現にふさわしい状況を
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When we watch TV , we usually don't care much about the commercials.
We either flip channels, go get some snacks or do some other things while they are on.
There are some though who sit still and enjoy these short ad clips.
We must not forget that these are the ones who sponsor the free programs we love to watch.
Yesterday, almost all my friends' and family members' walls in Facebook living in the USA were filled with just one topic... Super Bowl Sunday.
Before you assume that it means a big hunk of steaming ramen noodles , let me share you the definition from Wikipedia.
It is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day... Because of its high viewership, commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year.
Due to the high cost of investing in advertising on the Super Bowl, companies regularly develop their most expensive advertisements for this broadcast. "
So you see, in this event, people do not only watch the game but they tune in because of the commercials.
Of course, that's a good thing for the companies.
Remember that an effective TV commercial makes a mark on the eyes and ears more solidly than other forms of media.
If it is done in the right way, it leaves a positive feeling to the viewer which hopefully translates to a buying response.
Here are some ads I found uploaded in the Internet...
Doritos - Don't you dare tease a pug with these chips. This was hilarious! It is the top rated commercial in USA Today's Super Bowl Ad meter.
Volkswagen - For Star Wars fanatics, this one is for you. I found this little guy adorable.
Bridgestone - Have you ever heard of the word "karma"? I love the hand gesture of the beaver around 0:24. Way cool!
Bud Light - This is what you have when you mix dogs, party and beer.
Last but not the least...
This is another one from Bridgestone.
Totally funny. Now, I am beginning to wonder what is in the email that he was so determined for the others to not read.
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Learning a second language is not an easy task.
It doesn't matter what language you are learning but the difficulties second-language learners face are the same.
You have the vocabulary words/ expressions to memorize, the sentence structures to master, the grammar to study and ,of course, the words to correctly pronounce. Sometimes the person you are talking to hears the word differently from how you intended it to. Well, I am pretty sure the man at the hair salon or the lady at the bank had the same thoughts about me when I tried to talk to them in Japanese.
Correct pronunciation of words is a part of learning a language.
For most Japanese people learning English, they have difficulty in the following areas:
lack of distinction between voiced and voiceless consonants, such as [t]
vs [d] and [k] vs [g]
lack of distinction between [r] and [l]
addition of a vowel after a final consonant
To overcome these shortcomings, confidence, constant practice and patience are needed.
Below is a video uploaded by "sozoexchange" to help learners pronounce some difficult English words.
Browse through their channel; they have more than 200 videos showing the correct way to say words.
Why don't you try it with the video?
This second clip is a short scene from the movie "Pink Panther."
It shows a teacher patiently teaching a student to intelligibly say, "I would like to buy a hamburger."
Before you proceed to the video, I just would like to remind you that the intention is not to make fun of people who can't pronounce words correctly.
However, I would like viewers to focus on the fact that the "student" in the clip refused to quit and that the "teacher" was very patient.
Plus, it wouldn't hurt also to say that this is a funny movie clip.
Doesn't that make you want to make a run to the nearest hamburger store?
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E: Euneece M: Miko H: Hiro T:Taki
In a company lesson, during the first meeting in 2011...
E: Is that really you, Miko? How have you been? You
haven't shown up for ages.
M: Hi, Euneece! Glad to know you still remember me.
E: Of course! (teasing) It's hard to forget diligent
M: Yep, that's me! (grinning)
E: Seriously, we missed your jolly presence.
M: (apologized for his long absence) I had been up to
my ears in work and year-end routine tasks...
H: Like attending endless drinking parties. (chuckling)
E: OK. Apologies accepted.
M: But I'm less busy now so... (notices Taki tiptoeing
as he enters the room) You're back to work. How's your
T: (making a thumbs-up sign without uttering a word)
E: (looking perplexed) What's wrong with you? Why are
you in mute mode?
H: (playing the spokesperson) Actually, he slipped and
literally fell flat on his face.
M: As a result, he got a fractured jaw which required
about three weeks to recover.
E: I'm so sorry for you. Are you still in pain?
T: (making a gesture with his right thumb and pointing
finger denoting "a little")
E: I could only imagine. I pity you.
H: Do you know why he slipped?
M: (tapping the table with his palm as if answering a
question in a quiz show) He didn't see a banana peeling
on the street, stepped on it, then bang!
H: Nope! Sorry, wrong answer. Euneece?
E: My guess is that (looking at Taki) a drop-dead beauty
passed in front of you, you couldn't take your eyes
off her... (making a peace sign, and smiling)
T: I wished. (spoken in a hushed voice)
H: Ha! (Without further ado) He was so engrossed in his
smartphone that he didn't notice he was already
walking towards the edge of the curb.
M: And the next thing he knew, he was already on a
H: So the moral of the story is...
T: ...to always watch where you're going?
H: That, and to refrain from texting while walking.
E: Well, that's a lesson learned the hard and painful
★up to your ears‐[耳まで]どっぷり浸かる、没頭する
★fall flat on one's face－顔からまっすぐ落ちる
★in a hushed voice－静かな声で、声を潜めて
★without further ado－それほど苦労せず
★engrossed in ～－～に夢中になる
登場人物： E: ユニース M: ミコ H: ヒロ T:タキ
E: もちろんよ！(からかう) 勤勉な生徒を忘れるのは難しいわ。
M: (長期の休みを謝る) 仕事と年末の通常業務にずっと追われ
E: (当惑した表情) どうかしたの？どうして無言状態なの？
H: (代弁者になる) 実は、彼は滑って転んで、まさに顔を直撃
H: ちがう！ごめん、不正解！ ユニースは?
E: 私が思うには (タキを見る) 目を奪われるほど美しい美女が目
H: んとね！(それ以上ねばることなく) スマートフォンに夢中にな
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