This week, I have chosen these beautiful purple Campanula カンパニュラ to decorate the reception room of the Smith`s school of English スミス英会話 in Fuse, Higashi Osaka東大阪布施 (click here to get to the main page of the English Conversation school 英会話学校のメインサイトはこちらへ。) Commonly known as Bellflower in English, the name Campanula stems from the Latin original name. The Japanese Katakana name カンパニュラis a direct representation of this original Latin name. It means “little bell” – thus the English name Bellflower. The species in the reception room of our English Conversation school英会話学校 in Fuse布施 are not so little – they are up to five centimeter long and the bells have a diameter of up to four centimeter – so I guess it is a different species than the ones that gave the genus it`s original Latin name.
As the name suggest, the flower is home in the Mediterranean region地中海, especially East of the Caucasus, but flowers of this genus are spread over the northern hemisphere so that five species also exist in Japan. For details, have a look at the Japanese wikipedia page of the genusホタルブクロ属. Interesting enough, the genus` name “hotarubukuro”ホタルブクロ属 means “Bag of the Firefly” – written in Katakana.
As always, we like to use the flowers, like these bellflowers, to initiate a small English conversation 英会話. Most students would start the conversation by themselves. With not so common flowers like the Campanula カンパニュラ, they often ask for the name in English 英語. After telling them the name, I ask them if they like the flowers, and most answer with “Yes, I like them.” or a similar answer. By asking them “Why?” next, the English conversation students英会話生徒 get the chance to express their feelings. Some might answer “I like the color” , some other say “They are cute.” They often venture to explain it more in detail. With most students, I leave it there, but some are interested in talking more about the flowers, and they often know something interesting they can tell me.