Tag Archives: Fluent Japanese


Why are you Still in Japan?

People routinely ask, “Why are you still in Japan?” and I guess the answer depends upon which phase of Japanese life we’re talking about. Because first there’s 1. Amazement Living in Japan’s like being born again. Everything’s filled with wonder, nothing makes any sense, and you’re insanely pleased by the simplest stuff. Look!—-I’m riding the...
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Are Japanese People Retarded?

When I turned around from the chalkboard, there was chubby Mr. Kamei with his plump fist stuffed inside his waistband. We were in the middle of English 301 and he’d either developed one fearsome case of poison ivy in his pants or was masturbating like crazy. This is what it’s like teaching college in Japan....
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A Friend of Mine Learned Japanese in 1 Year

A reader recently posted an intriguing comment about foreign sumo wrestlers: “Within a year, they have a command of the language that would take most students years to develop.” Implying that with enough immersion and dedication, it’s possible to speak Japanese well in a short amount of time. Apparently, there’s a Japanese book that popularized...
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Why Your Japanese Sucks

It’s not Romaji That’s Evil—-It’s Hiragana I have a new co-worker, who just so happens to be white. It’s very exciting, finally speaking with a real foreigner. I really gotta practice the English more. I think she’s from some place like Kansas, probably because she reminds me of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, albeit...
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How to Learn Kanji, in 10 Steps

I don’t go to a lot of cocktail parties. But somehow when I do, I always meet people studying Japanese. Maybe it’s just me. Or more precisely, people who’ll eventually stop studying, only they don’t know it yet. Here’s how the conversation goes: “Ken! I’m studying Japanese! I’m stoked! And I’m completely serious about improving....
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How to Stop Learning Japanese

“Ken Seeroi, you should write a book.” People always say that. Well, like six people, but that’s still a lot. After my fabulous career as English-teacher-in-Japan, I’m counting on book sales to provide for retirement. I assume each person will buy at least ten thousand copies. Of course, I could write lots of books if...
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Why no one Helps you Learn Japanese

I have a lot of great ideas. Really, just a ton. Oh sure, to the untrained eye, I’m kicking it on the balcony drinking Asahi beer and watching sardine trains packed with commuters ride into the sunset, but really, I’m thinking. Hard. Like about my tiny Japanese apartment, and how to make it more livable....
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Learn Japanese Quickly – in 7 Easy Steps

So you want to learn Japanese fast?  Great—you can!—in just seven easy steps.  Just like the pros. Now don’t deny it, you want to believe those guys on the internet claiming to have “learned Japanese” in like a year or two.  For some reason it’s always guys too—why is that?  Aren’t women supposed to be...
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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...
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The Skill of Speaking Fluent Japanese

Speaking fluent Japanese is easy.  You only need three things: 1. A bunch of words 2. A bit of grammar 3. To think in Japanese While the first two points get a lot of attention, the third point is equally, if not more, important. Knowledge Versus Skill Thinking in Japanese is not just about knowledge. ...
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