Do You Sound Like a Japanese Girl?

Japanese wind chimes

Recently, a reader posed an interesting question:

When you speak Japanese is it men’s version or women’s? I’ve known a few Americans who were taught by women and live and work in Japan. They usually get no respect in the business world because they sound effeminate.

This brought to mind a conversation I had with the fearsome Sachiko. Now, some people say the truth is elusive. Clearly, those people have never met The Sachiko.

“Look what I got you,” I beamed, “A Rirakkuma handkerchief! Check out the embroidering—see the little bear? He’s so cute! Eating a tiny stack of pancakes! Do you love it?”

Continue reading “Do You Sound Like a Japanese Girl?”

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”