The Best Way to Learn Japanese

What’s the best way to learn Japanese?  After pouring years, beers, and tears into  the question (pretty much in that order), I finally have an answer.  Man, it has been one long decade.

They say the best things in life should be savored.   I got that from an instant coffee commercial, actually.  Well, there’s irony for you.   But as far as I’m concerned, most things—like making money, learning Japanese, and folding my laundry—would be best done as fast as possible. Continue reading “The Best Way to Learn Japanese”

What Do You Think of Japan?

I used to think there were three possible answers to any question: yes, no, and whatever’s not covered by yes and no.  Like, when the waitress asks, Do you want another beer?  That’s a yes.  Isn’t it about time you thought about going home?  That would be a No, not until I get that beer I’m waiting for.  And, Would you at least please stop bothering the other customers?  That would would be a Well, if that’s how you feel about it, then I’m leaving.  Just as soon as I get that one more beer.

It’s interview season in Japan.  Continue reading “What Do You Think of Japan?”

Why are Japanese so Bad at English? (5 Reasons)

Everyone knows Japanese people aren’t exactly Masters of the Universe when it comes to speaking English, despite receiving six years of English education.  Six years?  Are you kidding?  You could build yourself a Great Pyramid in less time.  I’m pretty sure.  Just chop up some limestone and stack it up.  Probably take you a couple of years at best.

But okay, there are clearly some good reasons why Japanese folks can’t speak English.  And if you study Japanese, you also need to avoid the same traps. Continue reading “Why are Japanese so Bad at English? (5 Reasons)”

How to be Popular in Japan

I’m the most popular guy in town.  And given that about a million people live in my town, that’s quite a distinction, seriously.  So recently I bought a jump rope.  Look, it’s not easy keeping in shape in Japan.  Like I’d just gotten home last Thursday night when I got a call from this old guy that I teach English to.  He’s about seventy years old and some president of a company or something.  Actually, I don’t even know his name.  I just call him President-san.  Anyway, I pick up the phone and he says, “Can you sing The Beatles?”  And I’m like, “Who is this?”  Continue reading “How to be Popular in Japan”