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I Made an Embarrassing Mistake in Japanese

in The Doing English Blog

I speak Japanese pretty well.

Yes, yes.

I know.

I’m as humble as I am handsome.

But that doesn’t mean I’m perfect. Ohhhhh, no. Even after being in Japan almost 12 years, learning and using the language every day sometimes I still totally mess up.

Like today.

My sons both have a cold.

And guess what?

I’m coming down with it too. So I took them (and myself) to the doctors.

No problem there.

But when I was going home, I heard someone call, “Julian!!”

It was one of my friends who lives near me.

“What are you doing?” she asks me in Japanese.

“Just been to the doctors,” I replied.

“Oh? Doesn’t your wife cut your hair at home?” she says.

Me: “?????”

I was pretty confused. My wife does cut my hair (once upon a time she was a hairdresser). But then later I realised: In Japanese “doctors” is “byouin” … and “hairdressers” is “biyouin”.

Pretty similar, right?

I got the two mixed up (again), and said the wrong one. And although it’s not strange to take your sons to the hairdressers for most people… when their mother is a hair stylist, it IS kind of surprising.


You probably don’t want to come to me for Japanese pronunciation.

But English?

That’s a problem I can solve.

And the place to start is my best-selling book, Master English FAST. It’ll show you step-by-simple-step how to master English as an intermediate to advanced English learner, and yes, it talks about accent and pronunciation (in particular in regards to CHUNKING and how that affects pronunciation).

Get yourself a copy here.


P.S. You can read the first chapter for free if you like — Just go here.


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