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Słuchaj i ucz się – S-08. Japanese Men and Marriage

Wersja do druku

Voice 1


Hello, I'm Marina Santee.


Voice 2


And I'm Ruby Jones. Welcome to Spotlight. This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.


Voice 1


It is late in the day. Most people are going home. But a group of men are meeting together. The meeting is in a popular Izakaya - a Japanese eating place in the city of Tokyo. The men meet in the top floor of the building. The atmosphere is calmer there. They sit around a long table. Some of them eat their meal. Other men smoke and talk quietly. After a while, a man sitting in the centre of the group hits the table. He asks the men if they want to start the meeting. They answer yes - they are ready to begin. Then, together they all say three sentences in a loud voice:

top floor - najwyższe piętro

calmer - spokojniejszy

"Always be ready to say thank you. Do not be afraid to apologize. Do not be ashamed to say, 'I love you.'"

be ashamed - wstydzić się

Other people are eating nearby. They are not part of this group but they can hear what is happening. They are a little shocked. Why are these men doing this? But some of the women in the room start to clap their hands. They like what these men are saying!

nearby - w pobliżu

clap hands - klaskać

Voice 2


The leader of the group of men is Shuichi Amano. He started these meetings for men in 1999. But not just any man could attend. These groups were for husbands who were having problems in their married life. Shuichi's friends were the reason he started these groups. His friends said that their wives were considering divorce. Suichi then told his wife about this. He was very shocked to hear her say that she was thinking of divorcing him!

attend - brać udział, uczęszczać

consider - rozważać

divorce - rozwód; rozwodzić się, brać rozwód

Shuichi Amano did not want this to happen. So, he decided to do something about it. He started to help his wife with the housework. His wife suspected that Shuichi had done something wrong. She thought that was why he was making an effort to please her. But slowly, Shuichi's different behaviour had an effect. And married life improved for both Shuichi and his wife.

housework - prace domowe

suspect - podejrzewać

make an effort - (po)starać się, (s)próbować

please - sprawić przyjemność

behaviour - zachowanie

improve - poprawić się

Voice 1


Shuichi Amano told his friends about the changes in his situation. He shared with them how he decided to change his behaviour towards his wife. He advised them to try and do the same. Then, maybe their married lives would also improve. And their wives may wish to stay married to them. Soon, other men heard about Shuichi Amano's advice to his friends. And they told their friends about it. So, Shuichi started a network of men's groups across Japan. And by 2007, the number of men in the network was one thousand two hundred!

advise - poradzić

advice - rada, porada

network - sieć

Voice 2


So, why are these groups so popular? Shuichi Amano believes he knows the answer to that question:


Voice 3


"Women can always find some friends to talk to when things are going wrong. But men, especially Japanese men, find it harder to share their emotional concerns. These groups are the beginning of something new. They provide a place where men can share their problems. And they can advise each other on how to solve these problems."

when things are going wrong - kiedy źle się dzieje

share - dzielić

concern - troska, zmartwienie

provide - dostarczać, dawać, zapewniać

solve - rozwiązywać

Voice 2


But why do Japanese men in particular find it difficult to talk about their feelings? Yohei Takayama is twenty-eight years old. He has only been married for six months. But already he has joined one of the men's advice groups. Yohei believes that Japanese history is to blame. For many men, ancient warrior soldiers represented the right way for a man to behave. He says:

in particular - w szczególności, szczególnie, zwłaszcza

is to blame - jest winny

ancient - starożytny

warrior - wojownik; wojowniczy

soldier - żołnierz

behave - zachowywać się

Voice 4


"It is the way of the samurai - the ancient soldiers of Japan."


Voice 2


Samurai were strong, brave men. They went out to work and fight. And women stayed at home to take care of the family. Many Japanese men still think this way. But now men like Yohei Takayama want to learn a new kind of behaviour.

brave - odważny

take care of - zajmować się

Voice 1


The system works like this: there are ten levels of behaviour. Each level requires the husband to perform different acts of kindness for his wife. Once he has done them, he receives an award for that level. He can then move up to a higher level. Level one includes helping with the housework. Level five requires the husband to hold hands with his wife in public. And level ten is the hardest of all. In this level, men must be able to say, "I love you" to their wives without feeling ashamed. Very few men in Shuichi's network have reached this level!

level - poziom

require - wymagać

perform - wykonywać

kindness - uprzejmość, przysługa, dobroć

once - gdy tylko

award - nagroda

move up to - przejść do

include - zawierać, obejmować

hold hands - trzymać się za ręce

in public - publicznie

hardest - najtrudniejszy

reach - sięgnąć

Voice 2


But what about Japanese women? Many wives do get angry that their husbands do not help them at home. Many of them feel strongly enough about this to divorce their husbands - even after many years of marriage! And a change in the law now makes the divorce process easier for women. If a husband and wife divorce, a woman can claim up to half of her husband's money. So many women are deciding to separate from their husbands. They will then receive enough money for a good life. This seems better than suffering in a marriage that makes them unhappy.

claim - domagać się, żądać

suffer - cierpieć

Voice 1


These Japanese men are making real efforts to make their wives happy - sharing work, listening, telling their wives they love them. But some people think that this should be normal for husbands and wives - wherever they are in the world. So what should married life mean? Christians believe that the Bible describes well how a marriage works. The Bible says:

wherever - gdziekolwiek

mean - znaczyć

Voice 5


"God created humans in his image. He created them in the image of God. He created them male and female."

image - obraz, podobieństwo

male - mężczyzna; męski

female - kobieta; żeński

Voice 1


So, men and women are of equal value to God. And they should be of equal value to each other. Behaviour in married life should demonstrate this.

of equal value - tej samej wartości

demonstrate - demonstrować, okazywać, dowodzić

Voice 2


The Bible also says that in the beginning, God created woman to be the friend of man. God meant for a man and a woman to live together as one new being. He designed their characters to fit together well. We all know that men and women are different in how they think and behave. And these differences can lead to arguments and problems. But God also meant that love should be at the centre of married life. People who love each other are more willing to change. This is the lesson Japanese men are learning. And it is a good thing for all married people around the world to remember too.

being - stworzenie

fit together well - dobrze do siebie pasować

argument - kłótnia; argument

willing - chętny

Voice 1


The writer and producer of today's programme was Ruby Jones. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. Computer users can hear our programmes, read our scripts and see our word list on our website at This programme is called, "Japanese men and marriage". Thank you for joining us today. Until next time, goodbye.


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