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JMA / Puzzle #1

TGI-ECT

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I have an English language dilemma that spills over into a Japanese language dilemma, or my Japanese is just plain awful, which is true, or ... --- Well, I don't know where 'or' could take us. Please note that I am trying hard to create an 'us' situation, because something in my old bones is informing me that this is going to become very interesting.

The justification for the designations of "very high" and "very low" are given as follows in English and can be found below the image on this page:

Early Warning Information on Extreme Weather

The terms “very high” and “very low” refer to high or low temperatures with climatology appearance ratios of 10%.


Note: I am deliberately using the vocabulary justification, but the explanation for why should come later. And possibly in a separate thread. BUT this also spills into why I have placed this in this section "ALL Things Japanese" instead of the language section. This topic is going to continue into an area where we should receive some credit from JMA for helping them and I have the goal in mind of providing better weather information for athletes and coaches next year. I think this could assist JREF's reputation on the Internet. I mean, ultimately, this is not only language oriented.

So I am not understanding this part of that sentence; "climatology appearance ratios of 10%."

When I used search engines to see who else in meteorology used that phrase I came up empty.

And, yes, I did check the "Guide to Climatological Practices" but I only have access to the 2011 edition.

And I have archived all research, if anyone might be interested in how I did my research.

So then I figure that the English should be translations of the Japanese side of JMA's pages and I go to this page:

早期天候情報

But I couldn't find a source there for that English I quoted above.

Then I go to this page:

「2週間気温予報」と「早期天候情報」について

And I see this:

「かなり高い」「かなり低い」気温は、通常では10%の出現率なので、30%以上の確率とは、通常より3倍以上、現れやすくなっていることを表します。


Here is an image to show where that line is found down that page a bit:


JREF_024_JMAPuzzleP1-ImageA.jpg


But I am not seeing how that English translation can come from that. And I am not seeing any other phrase, or sentence that helps solve this puzzle.

So now I am asking if anyone has the time and inclination to help? And thank you.

Oh yes, I did use a search function on their site, (it is a Google product they use) but I could not get any proper answer that way. I also have that in my archive, if anyone wishes to see that.
 

Lothor

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I assume that the phrase simply means that the predicted temperatures are within the top 10% or top 10% when compared with historical records.
What I'm more concerned about is just how often temperatures are in the top 10% these days, which suggestes accelerated global heating.
 

seaDonkey

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「かなり高い」「かなり低い」気温は、通常では10%の出現率

Translating using a dictionary and my basic understanding of Japanse I get:

[ very high] [very low] atmospheric temperatures are normaly within the 10% appearence range.

I would localise it as 'Very high and very low refer to temperatures that fall within the ranges of the top and bottom 10% of recorded temperatures.'

Hotter than 90% of other recorded temperatures is math that makes my head hurt.

[5,5,6,7,8,3,4,5,6,7,9] - Is 7 in the top 10% range?..... I give up.
 

Buntaro

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かなり暑い pretty hot (weather)

とても暑い very hot

すごく暑い really hot

ものすごく暑い really, really hot

(I do not know that using a "90% criteria" is that helpful.)
 

TGI-ECT

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Lothor, your reference to global temperatures climbing is an important reason why this whole business first caught my attention on that focus page, but that needs to be addressed in Part 2 and also what I was referring to when I stated, roughly, that we are only in the first stages of this whole business.

seaDonkey, I appreciate your efforts there, but what caused me some puzzlement in that sentence was that reference that is essentially in the second half ---
30%以上の --- 30% or more
3倍以上 --- three times more likely

Well, it should be the entire sentence is properly translated, of course.

But I just can't fit that target sentence in English I am asking about as a translated version of that sentence you were reviewing, seaDonkey.

Buntaro, in defense of seaDonkey, I think the frequent manner of analyzing information is to go to that remaining percentage --- in this case, the 90% --- go to that and fit it into the overall picture --- IF you are having trouble with the lower percentage --- that 10% --- having trouble figuring out what exactly that is in reference to.

And that vocabulary I used --- "exactly" --- that sort of is the little image on the top of this piece of cake as an example of what the problem is --- the main problem.

When a professional meteorologist is explaining some sort of weather event or situation or whatever to the general public, as we have here, that meteorologist should pretty much throw those fancy words and phrases out the window.

Let me put it another way, from a field I used to work in.

The pilot or co-pilot does not tell his/her passengers the bird is about to "rotate" which is the way we frequently state it when we are talking shop to each other --- flight crews, I mean --- we tell the passengers we are taking off. If we tell them we are rotating they are not going to understand what the heck we mean. They will look out the window and wonder how we are going to turn that bird 90 degrees this way or that way.

Well, when the weather folks are trying to explain a red map that is supposed to alarm us they sure should tell us in plain language what it is we should be alarmed about --- PLAIN LANGUAGE!

And "climatology appearance ratios of 10%" sounds/reads like something Mr. Dickens would have written that his Mr. Holmes would have said to that sidekick to appear to be so cool and smart and worth paying attention to. But that sidekick in the movies always asks: "What the heck do you mean, Sherlock?"

Well, I am asking JMA: "What the heck do you mean?"
 

Toritoribe

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They mentioned what "10%" meant in a sentence right above the one you quoted "「かなり高い」「かなり低い」気温は、通常では10%の出現率なので、30%以上の確率とは、通常より3倍以上、現れやすくなっていることを表します。 ".

その地点・時期としては10年に1度程度(10%)しか起きないような著しい高温や低温

Thus, they meant "the probability of a phenomenon (= extremely high or low temperatures) that occurs only once every 10 years" by 10%.

Here's a more detailed explanation about "Early Warning Information on Extreme Weather" in Japanese. You can see this in the page "「2週間気温予報」と「早期天候情報」について" you linked.

早期天候情報
その時期としては10年に1度程度しか起きないような著しい高温や低温、降雪量(冬季の日本海側)となる可能性が、いつもより高まっているときに、6日前までに注意を呼びかける情報です。6日先から14日先までの期間で、5日間平均気温が「かなり高い」「かなり低い」となる確率が30%以上、または5日間降雪量が「かなり多い」となる確率が30%以上と見込まれる場合に、以下に示すような情報を発表します。月曜日(祝日などの場合は火曜日)と木曜日の14時30分ごろに、関東甲信地方などの地方ごとに発表します。
 

TGI-ECT

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Thank you for your contribution, Toritoribe, but I am afraid I do not understand either the Japanese or your English translation of what you indicate is an explanation of the sentence I am already confused about.

Well, I should be careful myself with how I phrase what you wrote. You wrote "they mentioned what '10%' meant" and I took that as you meaning that was an explanation.

But it doesn't explain anything to me.

As you seem to be indicating you are understanding that sentence you cited, is there any other style of English you could use so that it would be clear to me what is meant by whomever wrote that at JMA? I mean, if and when you have the time. I sure would appreciate the help.

I really am even more confused.

Maybe everyone else understands all of this and I am just too old and stupid these days and should just give up. Really. This is getting kind of depressing. I just do not understand why the concept of plain speaking is no longer in vogue with such public services as giving out weather information.

Well , like I wrote, maybe I am just too old and stupid and so I can't comprehend the public servants in government. I mean, those JMA employees are public servants, aren't they?

But if you folks understand all of this so well, one idiot like me doesn't really count.
 

joadbres

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Well, when the weather folks are trying to explain a red map that is supposed to alarm us they sure should tell us in plain language what it is we should be alarmed about --- PLAIN LANGUAGE!

They do that, On the Japanese-language page. The main language of the country whose weather agency is issuing the alerts, and the native language of the vast majority of people coming to that website to receive weather information.

While the English phrase you point out is obviously a poor translation, @Lothor was able to figure it out from the surrounding context.



I am afraid I do not understand either the Japanese or your English translation of what you indicate is an explanation of the sentence I am already confused about.

You wrote "they mentioned what '10%' meant" and I took that as you meaning that was an explanation.

In the very next sentence after he wrote those words, @Toritoribe placed the relevant Japanese text (i.e., what 10% means) in bold, and then went on to explain it further in, in English, in the sentence after that.



Since you seem to still not be getting it, how about this:
The terms “very high” and “very low” refer to high or low temperatures of a magnitude encountered, historically, with a frequency of less than once in ten years.

That could certainly be polished up and streamlined, but it should be good enough for the present purposes, I would think.
 

TGI-ECT

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Thank you for your help here, joadbres.

I'd like to get a full range of thinking as we progress and I have already stated this is only part one, in one sense of putting it.

Now this part of your post above, joadbres, I'd like to be sure I am not misunderstanding.

They do that, On the Japanese-language page. The main language of the country whose weather agency is issuing the alerts, and the native language of the vast majority of people coming to that website to receive weather information.

My questioning falls into two parts, if I may.

Firstly, am I wrong in getting the feeling that you are of the opinion that the English-language pages of the JMA site are of an importance that ranks low enough that the JMA employees/staff need not be too concerned whether the English they use on their English-language pages can be fully understood by those that rely on the information given on the English-language pages?

Secondly, let us suppose I were to type out cards with this paragraph printed on it, along with the image on that page.

早期天候情報
その時期としては10年に1度程度しか起きないような著しい高温や低温、降雪量(冬季の日本海側)となる可能性が、いつもより高まっているときに、6日前までに注意を呼びかける情報です。6日先から14日先までの期間で、5日間平均気温が「かなり高い」「かなり低い」となる確率が30%以上、または5日間降雪量が「かなり多い」となる確率が30%以上と見込まれる場合に、以下に示すような情報を発表します。月曜日(祝日などの場合は火曜日)と木曜日の14時30分ごろに、関東甲信地方などの地方ごとに発表します。

If I had that card and stood outside a train station and could get Japanese citizens to read it and asked them how much of that they understood you believe the majority would indicate they understood the printed text as it related to the image?

Of course, I would also have a complete copy of the page where that came from and would also be very sure they understood it came from the JMA website.

I used upper-case letters and wrote "PLAIN LANGUAGE" and you wrote "They do that." So that Japanese is plain language, in your opinion?

And thank you for your further assistance here.
 
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Lothor

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TGI-ECT - really, as joadbres says, it is clear. Despite his/her lack of confidence in their answer, seadonkey also got it right.
Consider the period from 19 Oct to 18 Nov in the current JMA seasonal forecasts. If they have the maximum temperature for each day in that period in previous years, they can average them, which would give them 100 numbers if they have 100 years worth of data. If the predicted average maximum temperature for this year is within the top 10% of these values, then you can claim that there is a climatography appearance of 10%.

By the way, don't you think you've being a bit ungrateful here? As joadbres says, it's a Japanese organisation, so a perfectly translated and proofread English site is a bonus rather than an essential (I work as a proofreader and errors in English jump out at me and there are remarkably few on the JMA site). They work extremely hard in managing risk and communicating it to the public during abnormal weather and you're nitpicking about a language point that at least three people on this thread have had no difficulties in understanding.
 

TGI-ECT

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Thank you for your input, Lothor.

My intention with the question about the English-language pages was simply to check my sense of what the key point was in that part of joadbres's post. I wasn't sure if I had the right sense of it.

And what is it that you think I am being ungrateful about?
 

Lothor

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You seem to be criticising minor details regarding the presentation of results when the big picture is that there's an extremely well functioning website with lots of detailed information in both Japanese and English helping people to make important decisions when there's potentially hazardous weather. That's why I used the word 'ungrateful' - maybe it wasn't the best choice of word.

Also, there may have been some small wobbles in the trajectory but the JMA established as early as Tuesday that Kanto had a high risk of being struck by a very strong typhoon. There was advice for people to check their emergency kits and stock up on essentials on the news that night, and as a result there was no panic buying on Friday and Saturday. To me, that is an organisation doing their job well.
 

TGI-ECT

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Thank you for continuing to help me understand matters, Lothor.

I am engaged in a research project and when I am engaged in such like this I don't really allow feelings of being grateful for this or that as it relates to the target of the project itself.

I am grateful to community members like yourself that help me, which you have been doing.

But I hope you don't mind my making an essential point about the JMA weather site.

It is not a bonus. It is for the purpose of assisting commerce. Assisting in the industries that deal with trade, which is crucial to Japan's economic survival, for one thing.

The language in these times that is used for international trade is English. That is why the decision was made many years ago by somebody in the appropriate position within the Japanese government to go to the trouble and extra expense to add the English language to their weather site.

If it were not essential to commerce, the Japanese government would not be allocating the necessary funds to maintain that part of the JMA site.

And my use of "for one thing" was because there is another, far more important, issue that has to be taken into consideration.

Food imports are essential for this nation to be able to feed its people.

Nation's food self-sufficiency rate

My file indicates I received this article soon after the date of publication, which is Apr 1, 2015.

And please allow me to copy here the first paragraph:

. . . . . . .<>--<>--<> Copy Starts <>--<>--<>
The government’s new target of raising Japan’s self-sufficiency in food to 45 percent in 10 years — compared with the previous target of 50 percent — may be more plausible because it’s closer to reality. Still, the question remains whether it is appropriate to retain food self-sufficiency as a major yardstick in the nation’s agriculture policy.
. . . . . . .<>--<>--<> Copy Ends <>--<>--<>

This is not a bonus situation, Lothor. This is essnetial to the survival of the nation.

When food imports are essential for the survival of the nation you do all you can to assist the international community that is supplying those food products.

The final issue related to "money" is the tourist industry.

No, the English-language pages do not constitute a bonus situation.

Maybe changing all those toilet facilities for the big event next year is a bonus, but not the English-language pages on the JMA site.
 
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TGI-ECT

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I feel I should apologize to Lothor --- I am sorry, Lothor, for using that lecture style there in my post above. Upon a second or third reading of that post -- after all the editing of mistakes -- well, it just struck me that I wasn't doing a good job up there at using a friendly tone, if that's the right way to put it.

It is, in fact, what makes this discussion platform such a challenge --- we cannot see the little signals that indicate the mood and degree of challenge in simple written words. We can get that in face-to-face or when we see the person even at a distance as he/she speaks, but not here. So the words can come off these stupid fingers of mine and through this weird keyboard thing and end up on the JREF pages looking all mean and stuff and that isn't my intention --- to be mean.

Even this apology doesn't seem to be ending up on the page properly.

Such a weird way to communicate, isn't it?

By the way, folks, due to a most unusual chain of events and because of a probably very smart lawyer --- they gave him a VP slot in that company --- but because I had to communicate with him on an awful situation I came up with a key word for this Internet World --- fiefdom. It is an absolutely perfect word to explain so much that is happening in this new Net World.
 

Lothor

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Hi TGI-ECT,

Absolutely no offence taken to your previous post. Sorry for not replying earlier, I've not been on this site for a few days.

The only criticism I'd make of the approach in your post is a methodological and hopefully helpful one.
Data is imperfect, researchers are aware of it, so are importers, farmers, people running the tourist information etc., and they just deal with it and do what they can, food is still being grown, research papers are being written, and tourists are arriving in Japan and mainly having a good time here. I would just accept the limitations of data and move on with your laudable project.

By the way, I think it's extremely important that the Japanese government focuses on increasing food self-sufficiency.
 

TGI-ECT

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Thank you, Lothor.

But I have obviously miscommunicated something in my posts above.

I have no problem --- almost --- if there are limitations to what data can be collected with the technology we presently have. Or can afford at a given government/commercial/educational entity.

What I am primarily interested in is how that information is presented to the average citizens on this planet, no matter which nation or institution, commercial or educational, is transmitting that information to the citizens.

Let me give you one example where there are lapses in presenting information to the public.

This relates to safety and I think I already touched on this in a previous post.

Water.

We are always being told to have extra water for drinking. But how often do you see anything about having extra water around for cleaning wounds one might suffer from broken glass or falling objects in an earthquake, Or any accident that happens due to some trouble?

And that water for your wounds also needs to be relatively clean or really clean, if possible. And because wounds need to be treated quickly, you need that water really fast after you can devote time and effort to doing that.

The answer to my question is we do not see enough effort put into that one small piece of information that could be essential for surviving a disaster.

That is just one example of not quite enough information being presented to the public.

But this isn't a thread about safety, so excuse me for going off-topic with that example.

Again, the collection of data is not the issue. The way that data is transmitted to the people is the issue.
 
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