[173] New Zealand needs a new flag


New Zealand needs a new flag For decades New Zealanders have been unhappy about having a flag that looks almost the same as the Australian flag. The two flags were often confused in international conferences and sporting events. So the New Zealand government has held a contest to design a new, distinctive flag. They have narrowed down the candidates to four designs, two of which include the previous Southern Cross constellation, and all of which include a symbol of the fern plant. The citizens will vote for the best flag via a post office voting system.

constellation: 星座
distinctive: 持ち味・截然


biting my nails

Emma: Did you get an answer from the university about your application?

Salma: No, I sent it to them 6 months ago, but they still haven’t given me an answer. I’ve been biting my nails for half a year.

Explanation: When a person is very nervous and waiting for some important information, they are “biting (their) nails.”

Bite (one’s) nails (verb): 爪を噛む



Patient: My daughter is getting married one week after my surgery. Will I have to skip my daughter’s wedding to come in for a post-op checkup?

Doctor Keynes: No, it won’t be necessary to come to this hospital. You can visit a clinic in the city where your daughter lives, and then we can use telemedicine to transfer the data to our lab here. We can also talk to you directly by internet video link.

Explanation: The term “telemedicine” means the use of technology to consult with patients and transfer medical information without being in the same place.

telemedicine (noun): 遠隔医療・テレメデシン
post-op (post-operative) (adjective): 術後



Dear Oliver:

Our competition is coming out with a voice-activated car GPS system that has totally disrupted the technology sector. The system doesn’t even have any buttons on the panel! We have to react quickly to this new competitive challenge.

Explanation: To “disrupt” is to create a strong change in business or technology. The phrase has become very popular in the past couple of years at technology conferences and in business journalism.

disrupt (verb): 破壊
disruption (noun): 破壊的技術