今回は彼の有名な Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things の中から、“YUKI-ONNA” の全文を朗読に挑戦してみたいと思います。
まずは本文に出てくるいくつかの単語の発音を確認しておきます。（発音は General British です）↓
woodcutter /ˈwʊdkʌtə/, apprentice /əˈprentɪs/,
brazier /ˈbreɪzɪə/, fasten /ˈfɑːs(ə)n/,
awful /ˈɔːf(ə)l/, continual /kənˈtɪnjʊəl/,
furiously /ˈfʊəriəsli/, billet /ˈbɪlɪt/,
frightened /ˈfraɪtnd/, lately /ˈleɪtli/,
Yedo /ˈjiːdəʊ/*, servant /ˈsɜːvənt/,
betrothed /bɪˈtrəʊðd/, pledged /pledʒd/,
honourable /ˈɒnərəbl/, daughter-in-law /ˈdɔːt(ə)rɪnlɔː/,
confidence /ˈkɒnfɪdəns/, declare /dɪˈkleə/,
persuade /pəˈsweɪd/, peasant /ˈpezənt/,
sewing /ˈsəʊɪŋ/, shriek /ʃriːk/, shudder /ˈʃʌdə/
* ‘Yedo’ は /ˈjedəʊ/ と /ˈjiːdəʊ/ の２通りの発音があるようですが、今回は後者で発音しています。なお、現在では ‘Edo’ と綴るのが一般的で、発音は /ˈedəʊ/ が主流です（J.C. Wells, Longman Pronunciation Dictionary 参照）が、/ˈiːdəʊ/ も耳にすることがあります。
それでは、全文を朗読します。（発音は General British です）↓
In a village of Musashi Province, there lived two woodcutters: Mosaku and Minokichi. At the time of which I am speaking, Mosaku was an old man; and Minokichi, his apprentice, was a lad of eighteen years. Every day they went together to a forest situated about five miles from their village. On the way to that forest there is a wide river to cross; and there is a ferry-boat. Several times a bridge was built where the ferry is; but the bridge was each time carried away by a flood. No common bridge can resist the current there when the river rises.
Mosaku and Minokichi were on their way home, one very cold evening, when a great snowstorm overtook them. They reached the ferry; and they found that the boatman had gone away, leaving his boat on the other side of the river. It was no day for swimming; and the woodcutters took shelter in the ferryman’s hut, thinking themselves lucky to find any shelter at all. There was no brazier in the hut, nor any place in which to make a fire: it was only a two-mat hut, with a single door, but no window. Mosaku and Minokichi fastened the door, and lay down to rest, with their straw rain-coats over them. At first they did not feel very cold; and they thought that the storm would soon be over.
The old man almost immediately fell asleep; but the boy, Minokichi, lay awake a long time, listening to the awful wind, and the continual slashing of the snow against the door. The river was roaring; and the hut swayed and creaked like a junk at sea. It was a terrible storm; and the air was every moment becoming colder; and Minokichi shivered under his rain-coat. But at last, in spite of the cold, he too fell asleep.
He was awakened by a showering of snow in his face. The door of the hut had been forced open; and, by the snow-light, he saw a woman in the room — a woman all in white. She was bending above Mosaku, and blowing her breath upon him; and her breath was like a bright white smoke. Almost in the same moment she turned to Minokichi, and stooped over him. He tried to cry out, but found that he could not utter any sound. The white woman bent down over him, lower and lower, until her face almost touched him; and he saw that she was very beautiful, though her eyes made him afraid. For a little time she continued to look at him; then she smiled, and she whispered: “I intended to treat you like the other man. But I cannot help feeling some pity for you, because you are so young… You are a pretty boy, Minokichi; and I will not hurt you now. But, if you ever tell anybody — even your own mother — about what you have seen this night, I shall know it; and then I will kill you… Remember what I say!”
With these words, she turned from him, and passed through the doorway. Then he found himself able to move; and he sprang up, and looked out. But the woman was nowhere to be seen; and the snow was driving furiously into the hut. Minokichi closed the door, and secured it by fixing several billets of wood against it. He wondered if the wind had blown it open; he thought that he might have been only dreaming, and might have mistaken the gleam of the snow-light in the doorway for the figure of a white woman: but he could not be sure. He called to Mosaku, and was frightened because the old man did not answer. He put out his hand in the dark, and touched Mosaku’s face, and found that it was ice! Mosaku was stark and dead…
By dawn the storm was over; and when the ferryman returned to his station, a little after sunrise, he found Minokichi lying senseless beside the frozen body of Mosaku. Minokichi was promptly cared for, and soon came to himself; but he remained a long time ill from the effects of the cold of that terrible night. He had been greatly frightened also by the old man’s death; but he said nothing about the vision of the woman in white. As soon as he got well again, he returned to his calling, going alone every morning to the forest, and coming back at nightfall with his bundles of wood, which his mother helped him to sell.
One evening, in the winter of the following year, as he was on his way home, he overtook a girl who happened to be travelling by the same road. She was a tall, slim girl, very good-looking; and she answered Minokichi’s greeting in a voice as pleasant to the ear as the voice of a song-bird. Then he walked beside her; and they began to talk. The girl said that her name was O-Yuki; that she had lately lost both of her parents; and that she was going to Yedo, where she happened to have some poor relations, who might help her to find a situation as a servant. Minokichi soon felt charmed by this strange girl; and the more that he looked at her, the handsomer she appeared to be. He asked her whether she was yet betrothed; and she answered, laughingly, that she was free. Then, in her turn, she asked Minokichi whether he was married, or pledged to marry; and he told her that, although he had only a widowed mother to support, the question of an “honourable daughter-in-law” had not yet been considered, as he was very young…
After these confidences, they walked on for a long while without speaking; but, as the proverb declares, “when the wish is there, the eyes can say as much as the mouth.” By the time they reached the village, they had become very much pleased with each other; and then Minokichi asked O-Yuki to rest awhile at his house. After some shy hesitation, she went there with him; and his mother made her welcome, and prepared a warm meal for her. O-Yuki behaved so nicely that Minokichi’s mother took a sudden fancy to her, and persuaded her to delay her journey to Yedo. And the natural end of the matter was that Yuki never went to Yedo at all. She remained in the house, as an “honourable daughter-in-law.”
O-Yuki proved a very good daughter-in-law. When Minokichi’s mother came to die, some five years later, her last words were words of affection and praise for the wife of her son. And O-Yuki bore Minokichi ten children, boys and girls — handsome children all of them, and very fair of skin.
The country-folk thought O-Yuki a wonderful person, by nature different from themselves. Most of the peasant-women age early; but O-Yuki, even after having become the mother of ten children, looked as young and fresh as on the day when she had first come to the village.
One night, after the children had gone to sleep, O-Yuki was sewing by the light of a paper lamp; and Minokichi, watching her, said: “To see you sewing there, with the light on your face, makes me think of a strange thing that happened when I was a lad of eighteen. I then saw somebody as beautiful and white as you are now — indeed, she was very like you.” Without lifting her eyes from her work, O-Yuki responded: “Tell me about her… Where did you see her?”
Then Minokichi told her about the terrible night in the ferryman’s hut, and about the White Woman that had stooped above him, smiling and whispering, and about the silent death of old Mosaku. And he said: “Asleep or awake, that was the only time that I saw a being as beautiful as you. Of course, she was not a human being; and I was afraid of her — very much afraid — but she was so white!… Indeed, I have never been sure whether it was a dream that I saw, or the Woman of the Snow.”
O-Yuki flung down her sewing, and arose, and bowed above Minokichi where he sat, and shrieked into his face: “It was I—I—I! Yuki it was! And I told you then that I would kill you if you ever said one word about it!… But for those children asleep there, I would kill you this moment! And now you had better take very, very good care of them; for if ever they have reason to complain of you, I will treat you as you deserve!”
Even as she screamed, her voice became thin, like a crying of wind; then she melted into a bright white mist that spired to the roof-beams, and shuddered away through the smoke-hold… Never again was she seen.
Today’s my singing
今回の歌は ‘Mine’ というバラードです。語数の少ない歌詞で、しかもスローなバラードなので、興味のある方はぜひ一緒に歌ってみてください。この曲を歌う時に一番気をつけるべきは ‘mine’（/maɪn/）の発音です。語尾が /n/ であることに注意しなければなりません。つまり、最後に舌尖を alveolar ridge にきちんと接触させるのを忘れないようにしましょう。
Mine is a heart
That beats for only you
Mine is a love
That always will be true
Beyond the end of time
I will be your love
Promise you’ll be mine
今回は Shirlock Holmes シリーズの A Study in Scarlet の中の一節を General British と General American で読み比べてみたいと思います。以前のブログで General British と General American の主な違いについては何度か紹介しました。たとえば General American は rhotic（綴りの ‘r’ はすべて発音しようとする）であるということと、/t/ が頻繁に tap [ t̬ ] で発音される傾向（‘city’, ‘sitting-room’, ‘narcotic’ など）は基本として知っておくといいですね。また、General British と General American の母音の種類や音色の違いは英語学習者にとってはいつでも厄介な問題かと思います。ではまず、今回の英文に出てくるいくつかの単語で、General British と General American の母音の違いがよくあらわれているのもをいくつか確認しておきます。（発音は General British に続いて General American です）↓
certainly £/ˈsɜːtnli/ – $/ˈsɜːrtnli/（rhoticity と母音の音色の違い）,
not £/nɒt/ – $/nɑːt/（母音の音色の違い）,
after £/ˈɑːftə/ – $/ˈæftər/（rhoticity と母音の違い）,
laboratory £/ləˈbɒrətri/ – $/ˈlæbrətɔːri/（母音と強勢位置の違い）,
hardly £/ˈhɑːdli/ – $/ˈhɑːrdli/（rhoticity と母音の音色の違い）,
word £/wɜːd/ – $/wɜːrd/（rhoticity と母音の音色の違い）,
narcotic £/nɑːˈkɒtɪk/ – $/nɑːrˈkɑːtɪk/（rhoticity と母音の違い）
それでは全文を朗読してみます。まずは General British で朗読します↓
Holmes was certainly not a difficult man to live with. He was quiet in his ways, and his habits were regular. It was rare for him to be up after ten at night, and he had invariably breakfasted and gone out before I rose in the morning. Sometimes he spent his day at the chemical laboratory, sometimes in the dissecting-rooms, and occasionally in long walks, which appeared to take him into the lowest portions of the City. Nothing could exceed his energy when the working fit was upon him; but now and again a reaction would seize him, and for days on end he would lie upon the sofa in the sitting-room, hardly uttering a word or moving a muscle from morning to night. On these occasions I have noticed such a dreamy, vacant expression in his eyes, that I might have suspected him of being addicted to the use of some narcotic, had not the temperance and cleanliness of his whole life forbidden such a notion.
次に General American で朗読してみます↓
Today’s my singing
今回の歌は ‘Fools Rush In’ という曲です。Johnny Mercer 作詞、Rube Bloom 作曲で1940年に発表された古い曲ですが、以来多くのシンガーがカバーしています。
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
And so I come to you my love
My heart above my head
Though I see the danger there
If there’s a chance for me
Then I don’t care, oh-oh-oh-oh
Fools rush in where wise men never go
But wise men never fall in love
So how are they to know
When we met, I felt my life begin
So open up your heart and let
This fool rush in
今回はイソップ物語の中から “The Fox and the Grape”（「すっぱい葡萄」）の朗読をしてみたいと思います。お腹を空かせた狐が実った葡萄を見つけますが、取ろうとして何度も一生懸命ジャンプしますが届きません。悔しい狐は「どうせすっぱい葡萄だろ」と負け惜しみを言うというお話しです。まずは、文中に出てくるいくつかの単語の発音を確認しておきます。（発音は General British です）↓
ripe /raɪp/, vine /vaɪn/,
branch /brɑːntʃ/, burst /bɜːst/, gaze /geɪz/,
longingly /ˈlɒŋɪŋli/, bunch /bʌntʃ/, hung /hʌŋ/,
distance /ˈdɪstəns/ ~ /ˈdɪstns/, leap /liːp/,
vain /veɪn/, disgust /dɪsˈgʌst/, sour /saʊə/ ~ /saə/,
worth /ˈwɜːθ/, gape /geɪp/, scornfully /ˈskɔːnfəli/
despise /dɪˈspaɪz/, belittle /biːlɪtl/
それでは全文を朗読してみます。（文章は http://www.gutenberg.org/ にある The Aesop for Children by Aesop からのものです。）↓
A Fox one day spied a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine trained along the branches of a tree. The grapes seemed ready to burst with juice, and the Fox’s mouth watered as he gazed longingly at them.
The bunch hung from a high branch, and the Fox had to jump for it. The first time he jumped he missed it by a long way. So he walked off a short distance and took a running leap at it, only to fall short once more. Again and again he tried, but in vain.
Now he sat down and looked at the grapes in disgust.
“What a fool I am,” he said. “Here I am wearing myself out to get a bunch of sour grapes that are not worth gaping for.”
And off he walked very, very scornfully.
There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach.
Today’s my singing
今回の歌は Joe South によって書かれ1970年にヒットした ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’ という曲です。エルビスを含め多くのミュージシャンにカバーされています。
If I could be you, if you could be me
For just one hour, if we could find a way
To get inside each other’s mind
If you could see you through my eyes
Instead of your own ego
I believe you’d be I believe you’d be surprised to see
That you’ve been blind
Walk a mile in my shoes
Just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes
Now if we spend the day
Throwin’ stones at one another
’Cause I will think, ’cause I will think
To wear my hat the same way you do
Well, I may be common people
But I’m your brother
And when you strike out, you’re tryin’ to hurt me
It’s hurtin’ you, Lord have mercy …