Talking About Japan In English

Study Index
Teachers Introduction

Contact the author
Do you know the English names for your favorite sushi? How would you describe the food you eat at New Years? Have you tried rice balls, 'moon cake', rice crakers, Japanese-style meat and potatoes, fermented soybeans...? I bet you have.

Additional Lov-e links
Zen Cuisine
You know your family home address, but can you say it in English? Canada has Provinces, American has States, what does Japan have? What is the water east, west, north, and south of Japan? What countries are Japan's neighbors, do you know the English names? What language do they speak?

Additional Lov-e links
Earthquake-Hanshin Hokkaido
How can we express our feelings in English? Are there unique ways that Japanese people communicate their feelings? How would you describe your relationship with your mother, your father, your siblings, your grandparents?

Additional Lov-e links
Expressing Feelings in Japanese
How is Japanese body language different than other countries? How do you express "Excuse me" "Sorry" "I'd like to talk to you" "Please be quiet" "Go away" "Come here" "I love you" etc. In body language and is it different in other cultures?

Additional Lov-e links
Non-Verbal Communication in the Classroom
Have you ever tried acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion heat treatment, or natural mineral hot spring baths? What do Japanese people call the energy that Americans, Europeans and Chinese call 'Chi'? Japanese people 'drink' medicine, what do English speakers say?

Additional Lov-e links
Smoking Health Hazards Seasalt for Health
Talking about religion is a big challenge for Japanese as it is seldom done as casual conversation in Japan. Yet people all over the world are very curious about your beliefs. How would you answer these common questions put to guests in many countries?...Do you believe in God? What religion are you? What do Japanese people believe?
Have you ever stopped to think what customs you do everyday that are unique to Japan? When we leave home in the morning in America some people say "I'm going now" and when we return "I'm home..." what do Japanese people do... think of all the details.

Additional Lov-e links
Mobile Phones in Japan Chat
Can you explain the difference between Kyudo and Western Archery, between Sumo and wrestling, between Kendo and fencing? Try listening to the English narration while watching Sumo in Japan. Listen to an American baseball game in English, the words are similar yet different enough to need study.
Like religion, Japanese people seldom talk about politics with new acquaintances. Yet in the West, people often are very curious about Japanese politics. People love to learn about how politics work in Japan and what Japanese people think about world affairs.
Japanese Flower Arranging, Gardening, Calligraphy, Bonsai, Paper-folding, Fan Dancing, Comedy Performances, Puppet Theater, All Woman's Theater, Kabuki, Noh, Noh Mask Carving, Wood Block Printing, Kimono Design, Harajuku Teen Performances ...

Additional Lov-e links
Okinawa Music TV talent show 'Nodojiman'
It is polite in Japan to describe ourselves simply as a 'salary-man', housewife, or student. But in other cultures, this sounds evasive and unfriendly. In the West we want to know about what you do at work, what you study at school, how you spend your day around the house. Can you make your life sound exciting? Can you share the challenges, frustrations, and joys of your life path?
Japanese people are world famous for their educational system, yet few people outside Japan understand the subtlety and significance of your experience. Many people go to some kind of school when they are young, but in many little ways the Japanese experience is unique.
When Japanese travel, people seem to know they are Japanese. But how do they know? We no loner wear kimono, so what exactly makes Japanese fashion unique around the world? Once Japan was the richest country in Asia with the best quality goods, but now the Chinese, Korean, and 'Tiger Economies' of South East Asia are traveling in the latest styles. Pop Fashion: IDOL*PEKO
Are you romantic? From a Japanese perspective what is romance? Is there a difference in the opinion of Japanese men and women about romance? Is being romantic important in life? Should married couples find ways to be romantic? What do you know about the romantic traditions of other cultures?
Students often express how important their family is to them. Let's review the vocabulary of family members. For example, do you know your great great grandparents? Do you have many cousins? What do we call our spouse's father and mother? If our father remarries, what is the word for our new mother and siblings?

Additional Lov-e links Depression in Teenagers
In America we wear two hats, one for our job and one for our social life. When we meet someone new we ask about both. "What do you do? " and "What do you do for fun? " are often the very first questions we ask after meeting. We share intimate secrets with someone we meet as a gift of friendship.
Our hopes and fears are important to us. They leave a gentle impression on all that we do. When we tell someone these hopes and fears we feel a little vulnerable, slightly embarrassed, afraid our revealing something so intimate will weaken our resolve. But we also see how we are similar or different than the people we are with.
I once asked my students to tell me about any experiences they may have had with the supernatural? I was amazed at how most Japanese people have a very scary or mysterious story to tell. Many have found themselves bound to their beds after a frightening dream, many have been visited by recently deceased family, or had the wits scared out of them on their way home late at night.
Japan has one of the best train systems in the world. Buses, too, can be very convenient. Recently cars have become increasingly popular with most families having more than one car. The roads get more crowded every year, but fortunately Japanese car manufacturers are investing in hybrid research for fuel efficiency and electrical cars.
Japan birthrates are at an all time low, one of the lowest in the world. Suicides are at an all time high, over 30,000 per year, almost double per-capita America. Life expectancy in Japan has always been good, with many centenarians living longer and longer.
Can you express these numbers and symbols in English?
5,687,324 yen

Visit all the Units at one Go!

How to use this site, a pedagogical perspective.

Contact the author