bookmark_borderA review of A-Seat ☆ a new service launched by JR West

SRS, the Special Rapid Service — one kind of japanese express — no, rapid trains operated by JR West. Almost all residents in Kinki region has known that, JR West launched a new service A-Seat, which is connected to SRS.

I’d had no plan to use the service. In one day, “A-Seat” on a digital timetable bord came into my sight, and “Oh, that’s just the A Seat!” I excited. Now the A-Seat is hardly seen because it may be still under trial operation, so that I got on it straight.

You can sit any empty seat and when you sit then you are charged. In short, it’s unreserved and later payment system.


There is relatively less noise in a car of A-seat because a car type is クハ (the symbol ハ denotes trailer, in other words, with neither motors nor engines). However it’s not less than limited express train or bullet train. While you can enjoy limited express like atmosphere easily. I heard type 223, operated as SRS, shares undercarriage design with type 161 and 163, operated as limited express especially Thunderbird, so that she is just the Thunderchick! And she reminds me of lost JNR’s expresses…

A-Seat also supplies a power for passengers so you can charge your devices like mobile phone or laptop. It’s may be useful for some people (I didn’t use it because every my devices has tough battery).

Declaration of the destination

The uniform 500 jpy fare per 1 ride on A-Seat should be charged for the seat, it must have no relation with milage. But I was reqired to declare my destination (a station I get off the A-seat train, not a station I go out of) when I got on and sat a seat. Hmm, is it only a questionnaire? because this operation may be trial… I thought. However the destination I declared was printed on the receipt. I have no idea why JR West do it. Is there some vulnerability to do some cheat if the destination is undefinite?


Limited express like atmosphere is more worth for me than its comfortability. When you feel like traveling on a limited express but too lazy to make reservation, the A-Seat is just for you! … How can that be?

She inherited 187’s character, took a step for a limited express.

bookmark_borderDe Grasse (croiseur)

One of my favourite light cruisers — De Grasse.

I read her article on French Wikipedia with a french dictionary. I’m glad to learn about her and french language a little.

De Grasse (croiseur) – Wikipédia

I write down a simple translation, some review and notation for french language below.


De Grasse is a french navy’s light cruiser. Her name is derived from a 18th century french admiral “François Paul de Grasse”.

Her construction had begun and planned to have bigger body and higher anti-air performance than previous “Galissonnière” class, after that WW2 broke out and her construction stopped. Germany, defeated France, had tried to change her into light aircraft carrier, but that was also not realized due to lack of materials.

She was launched after the war and towed to Brest to complete the construction. Her sailing test was carried out later and she was assigned at Toulon in summer 1956.

She leads Toulon’s fleet as the command ship, conducted trainings in many sea: Mediterranean, Caribbean, and so on. She returned Brest and was reformed for 1954-1966, after that she became the nuclear operating force’s command ship. She made 7 expeditions to conduct nuclear weapon’s tests at french polynesia. At the nuclear test Betelgeuse in 1966, General Charles de Gaulle watched the shot of the bomb from the captive balloon, on her.

She turned to Brest, reserved in 1972, was lined out in January 1974, and finally was sold out to La Spezia in 1976.


I knew about her only that she is relatively later ship and good at anti-air. Actually she was working really actively on many seas in the world, that’s exciting for me. She was basically at Toulon but at Brest for construction, reformation and reservation. Brest may be a homeport of her. Anyway, I read her article in french language and got familiar to her a lot.

Notation for French Language

croiseur et croisière

“croiseur” is cruiser a kind of warship, “croisière” is to cruise. Therefore “missile de croisière” means not “missile, launched from a cruiser” but “missile, cruising by itself”.

être mise à l’eau

I looked at a phrase “Se coque est mise à l’eau” and then I mistook “Oh, her body was flooded!”. But it’s strange and I found my mistake.


“rayer” simply means “to draw a line”, and “rayon” means “ray of light”. In addition “rayer” means “line out” in other words “delete register”.

le bâtiment amiral ou le bâtiment de commandement

I cannot find difference between them. command ship.

les autres

  • croiseur léger : light cruiser
  • l’honneur de … : honor of
  • achever : complete
  • arsenal : arsenal
  • concevoir : design, come up with
  • l’armement antiaérien : anti-air weapon
  • échapper : escape
  • bombardement : bombing
  • porte-avions léger : light aircraft career
  • coque : body
  • remorquer : tow
  • essais : test
  • expérimentation : experiment
  • escadre : squadron
  • refonte : reform
  • nucléaire : nuclear
  • bord : edge
  • assister : attend
  • tir : shot
  • commandant : commander
  • réserve : reserve
  • rayer : draw a line, line out
  • démolition : demolition

I wish your successes in zjsnR too!

bookmark_borderThe custom CSS, to print a wikipedia’s article for reading practice

Wikipedia has a function to print an article as a pdf. But I need an additional space between every line because I add many notations in the article in order to read foreign language.

I made a custom CSS, with which you can add some space between every line before printing. You can available it to import to custom CSS hosting plugin like Stylus.

/* remove unnecessary info */
    display: none !important;
    margin: 2rem !important;

/* set base font size */
    font-size: 16px !important;

/* set relative font size and line height */
    font-size: 1rem !important;
    line-height: 3rem !important;

    font-size: 2rem !important;
    line-height: 2rem !important;

    font-size: 1.5rem !important;
    line-height: 1.5rem !important;

    font-size: 1.2rem !important;
    line-height: 1.2rem !important;

/* decoration is not needed for printing */
    color: #000000 !important;
    text-decoration: none !important;
    border-bottom: 0px !important;

I need wide space for some language, for example russian language which inflects very much or chinese language characters of which don’t denote their own sound uniquely.

I remember the Print Wikipedia but that is only English ver.

bookmark_borderDeep into a language

I’ve tried to some foreign languages then one pattern to go deep into a foreign language is getting to form. I would like to write it down here.

I come to have some interest

First, I have some impression of the language or know some interesting story. For example, wikipedia’s articles, the mechanism series by hakusui-sha, essays by liguists or translators, etc.

Next, I come to have some interest like that … “it will helps me!”, “It seems to have a strange mechanism!” or “Fictional characters speaking it is very exiting for me!”.

These steps are not included in learning phases, I do them naturally before learning. When I want to know more detail, go the next phase.

I get to know some feeling or basic mechanism

I read a textbook through roughly with simply imitating characters and sounds.

In this phase, I study NOT slowly, NOT hard or NOT strictly. If I aim at perfect then I would give it up. I understand basic mechanism and always can refer it later — That’s enough. It’s difficult to tune myself, I tend to spent much time but it’s bad. It’s quite better to give up for a short time than struggling with nervous. Unless you restart someday, there is no problem, even for several years.

In a textbook usually former descriptions may be more important and latter descriptions may be less important, so it’s natural I go on reading it then getting to be rough. I read first sessions (usually characters and pronunciation, existence, presente tense) very hard, but I skim last sessions (i.e. subjunctive mood, politeness). In case of some kind of languages characters of which are not familiar for me — like korean, arabic or russian langauge — If I only study some former sessions in textbook then sounds come out lively from symbols, which has been only set of lines! What exiting that is!

There are quite various textbook, especially of major languages, and is very wide range of seriousness and I choise only your feeling. Actually I go to a large book store, skim every textbook, and buy favourite one. If I buy serious one then I can read it roughly.

By the way, The “basic books of linguistics” series by Hakusui-sha, the covers of which are similar to Koudan-sha’s paperbacks, seems to be serious. If I learn a language seriously the series is for me.

I buid a database in my brain and grow it

Simply I read many example sentenses and listen raw talks on internet radio.

It’s same to video games. I get experiences and grow myself. No termination condition is very boring for me. Well My database deteriorates unless keeping my motivation? Maybe no, so I can do with being relaxed.

I tend to get tired from thinking and buy vacabulary book, but such book has relatively less efficiency in a long term view bacause in which every sentenses doesn’t share a context. From the first, I should put a dictionary on the right of me and a grammar textbook on the left of me. It’s also rather fan. Or recently there has been some context focused vocabulary books, they are also OK.

And then I imitate writing and speaking. These are physically outputs but don’t do assemble sentenses or sounds from mind scapes, so that it’s one of the input phases.

I write down my feeling and thought

I use the language at a note, blog or SNS.

I have no idea about this phase. It may be just enough that I do whatever I want to with the language. The bigger the database gets, the better my output may get. However I may have not to recognize that.

Some view

I put each phase orderly but I have not to follow each phase this order, acutually I don’t and usually they are change each order or run parallel each other. Only I felt some correlation in these running order.

Well I wrote “In this phase, I study NOT slowly, NOT hard or NOT strictly.” above, but it may be apply to not only that phase but also every phase. Learning a language will never complete and cannot define a relative progress so that it’s boring for me, however at least I will not degrade. I should go with being relaxed.

I often see a comment like that “If you want to continue learning a language, set some purpose”. It might depend on a case. In my case completely as hobby so I don’t set any purpose. However I have a slight motivation like that fictional characters speaking a foreign language is exciting for me. Such “slow fire” keeps my small small “fever”.

If you climb then you can go up.

bookmark_borderI took a glance at arabic language and korean language, then I found they are very good

I’ve gotten interest at languages since I learned Chinese as my tertiary language in my college days, and after that I’ve tried very major europian languages — french, italy, german and russian languages. I cought some common atomosphere among major europian languages so here I change the direction and try to arabic language and korean language.

Why they are chosen? there is no exact reason but also not completely random. Here are some rough requirements.

  • It is major in the world
  • It has fresh features for me
  • Most japanese people cannot understand at all

I don’t know where those requirements come from, but it’s not a problem so I ignore it.

Impressions of Arabic Language

Now I’ve skimmed a textbook “New Express Arabic” and understand characters and pronunciation.

I had confused its characters but got familiar with them soon. It’s rather fun writing. I’m right handed but change to left when arabic.

It has less vowels and more consonants instead. I think more vowels make more fatigue therefore arabic language seems to have advantage in this point. By the way, french langauge is also one of some power-saving languages.

Arabic language is minor for japanese people, on the contrary, some japanese people may have a bad impression on arabic language due to many political or religious news. However that background gives also a kind of benefit: I can get exited as if learning minor language even though it’s very major language. It’s rare case.

It’s good that speaking and writing are exited. I reserve it.

Impressions of Korean Language

Now I skimmed a textbook “Entry into Koren Language” and understand a basics of characters and pronunciation.

Hangul was made with certain aim like “Yeah let’s make our own characters!” at about age of discovery so it’s artificial. Cyrillic characters may be same but it was derived from greek characters. Well I tried to write Hangul and felt it’s very systematic and orderly, but hard to get familiar with my brain. This point is opposite to arabic language. Korean language is not suitable to thinking? No. I will get familiar it someday because actually great many people uses korean language.

Characters are arranged very simply but it seems difficult to arrange word. Hangul has ability to classify details but it’s us who do it. Hangul may get natual for next 100 years, 200 years, … It’s exited a little for me.

I feel familiar to korean language about ways to express my feelings or thought. Some memories come with me when I was learning the basics of japanese langauge in my elementary school. I may be able to express jepanese language’s feeling with korean language directly.

It has also many interesting features and I want to able to read Hangul at various places in Japan, almost stations, so I reserve it.

If you don’t know then you can’t understand at all, however it’s rather good.