in English!

  In order to became a good speaker there's two things we need; first and most important we need to be self-confident, and second and not less important we need a subject. 
  Of course basic grammar and some vocabulary is necessary for those who are trying to speak out their second language. Now, How to gain that precious confidence? well, you've got to start doing those things of what you're most afraid to do. So, if you are afraid to speak out in public (even in your own language) you've got to start doing that and repeat it the most you can until you deceive that fair.

  The other part is to have a subject, and to have always a subject to talk about, there's something that we can not disregard and that's sincerity.
YES! you need to be sincere with yourself and with the person you're talking to. I know that this is not always easy to do but if you want to have always a subject on hand you've got to be sincere. 

  Let's remember that the most important person in this world is oneself, and each one of us is full of worries and happy things that we want to share, so let's share those things and be sincere to everybody. I know is difficult but if you want to became a real English speaker and have always a subject to talk about you need to be sincere.

Mexican-Inspired Recipe

I'll Prepare a feast that fits for myself this Golden Week to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and remind myself of the good old days!

Though it is difficult to summarize a cuisine for a country as vast as Mexico, some of the ingredients that are characteristic of regional Mexican dishes include tomatillos, chiles, garlic, tomatoes, corn, cilantro, and more. Many of the ingredients just mentioned are incorporated into fantastic salsa recipes that can be used to top enchiladas, tacos, or grilled meats or fish. If you're feeling adventurous, try your hand at making these Homemade Corn Tortillas or your own baked tortilla chips (these are less time intensive). The chips are perfect for dipping into salsas or one of these homemade guacamole recipes. And, as you probably know, Mexico is also known for his tequila and, more recently, mezcal, though I prefer wine, Perhaps Syrah or Tempranillo will be a perfect match.

Christmas countdown.

Okay okay, so, today technically we start the twelve days of Christmas countdown. So how will we count those days? With cookies!? No way!! but with parties!.. yes! that's right celebrating fabulous Christmas for each day leading up to the holiday can be wonderful whether your are with family, friends or attending to the so called "enkai", you must enjoy this Christmas the best you can! Lets's have a great Christmas party.
 Good idea! isn't it!? Don't miss the chance ending up this year without learning or improving your second language! Merry Christmas!!

Real VS Accurate Pronunciation.

I've been teaching English over the past 8 years in Japan, private and group lessons,
beginner and advanced, experience have told me that to became a real bilingual, you have to start by mimic native speakers, is not important what they say but how the sound. The first step to acquire a real English pronunciation is by imitation.
  Notice that I say "Real" and not "accurate" because accurate pronunciation is different from real, "accurate pronunciation" is easier and anyone can easily learn it, because is more phonetic such as Spanish, Italian, Rumanian, French and JAPANESE among others unlike English which is based on consonants, and for that, Japanese Students and their peers in similar phonetic languages make a great effort to acquire those new sounds for them.
  So, to learn English with accurate pronunciation you do not even need a native English speaker, but a good English Teacher (and there are many Japanese who are good teaching English, their grammar is excellent and their pronunciation is accurate, though in most of cases they are not fluent), same happens with electronic dictionaries or e-pencils with voice (like the one implemented by the "Kumon") , but again those won't make you fluent either. to be fluent you need to have a "real" pronunciation, not and accurate pronunciation. Let's face it, native speakers, (most of them) do not speak accurately on regular basis conversation, in any language, and that's why students do not always understand what they say out of the classroom. So to be fluent you need a "real" English pronunciation, how do you do that?
The following are some possible things you can do;
1-living overseas for a while. (in two or three years you'll find the real sounds)
2-having a English teacher, native or not but who has lived overseas and UNDERSTAND the differences between "Accurate" and "Real" pronunciation. And who can teach you both (like me!)
3-Watching a lot Hollywood movies, listening a lot of pop American music and using like crazy the Internet sites where English is Spoken.
And the last and most difficult option is.. 
4-to find a boyfriend or girlfriend who do not speak in Japanese with you.
  I hope this writing can be of some help for you, keep on trying and enjoy English, remember Learning English most be Fun and Interactive! 
Good Luck!

A Funny Function devise in Washlets (ウォシュレット Woshuretto?)

 About some time ago I had a student who was the president of a small company manufacturing women’s underwear. Many female workers were working in his company. One day we had a conversation in which he said he had invented some device associated with the toilet. I went to his company to look at the device. The device was an attachment to the women’s toilet to save water.

 His invention appeared to be funny but he was very serious. . In those days his headache was the tremendous water bills sent by the water works department of the City Hall. His company had many female workers. There for the amount of water wastefully used in the toilet was a large quantity and sure this large quantity was reflected in the monthly bills. The women workers were thoughtless in using the toilet water. They were too scatterbrain to recognize that each drop of water was priced, meaning it was not free of charge. Therefore, my student tried to invent a device for preventing the wasting of water. He called the device “water saving device,” and wanted to patent it and sell it all over Japan.. If possible, he wanted to obtain patents overseas. The “water saving device" was a good title, sounding very serious.

 His invention was designed to prevent double flushing by women who were too concern about the residual looks after doing their thing.      I visited his company and inspect how the invention worked. He said that he had tested the devise on his wife without letting her know about it. He proposed to demonstrate in my presence how the device worked. He entered to the toilet, and switched on the device. An artificial big sound of water flushing was heard. The sound was so big and long that it was easy to believe that his pissing was perfectly drowned out.. He shouted in a large voice from inside the toilet, can you distinguish? I answered in a loud voice, "Perfectly!".
 A few days later he filed a patent application with the Patent Office, but eventually he abandoned the application. His company went into bankruptcy, and he could not afford to invest on his invention. I don't know whether his invention was successful in reducing the sums of the monthly water bills.. But I'm pretty sure that his invention help others to develop a new function device in the already sophisticated washlet (ウォシュレット Woshuretto?), and which artificial big sound of water flushing is not precisely for saving water but to save the embarrassment of women who doesn't want to be caught when expelling odds sounds from their bowels.
See you!

The Death Car, an Urban Legend..
As Halloween day I'd like to talk about ghost stories, or rather say, something a bit more scary as could be “an Urban legend”. But First of all, I have to tell you about what a urban legend is.. The traditional “urban legend” is a kind of modern short story which most people have heard as true stories of real-life experiences, like the typical “Yuurei” stories we know in Japan. A good example of the urban legends is a story about a car and death, commonly called “the Death Car story”. This death car is, as its name suggests, a story about a car associated with a dead person; that is a ghost. In these stories the car is very significant. Here is one example. One day a man from Los Angeles breathlessly told his friend that he could pick up a $5,400 Porsche sports car for only $500. According to him, the reason for the reduced price was that it had been parked in the middle of the Desert for one week with a dead man in it; consequently, the smell of death could not be removed from it. Now, if you want your friend get really scarred, tell him this story when he gets in your car (assuming that's the death car)and see how the color of his face turns pale. This is the bare-bones story with these recurrent motifs: expensive car, low price, suicide or murder, corpse long undiscovered, and lingering smell of death.
 The car is sometimes a Porsche, a Ford, a Toyota, or any other, and the price varies as well as the time in which the dead body was kept undiscovered. At any rate this story about the death car is ubiquitous with many variations in detail. These stories are classified as “urban legends”. In short, an urban legend seems to be realistic, and in fact, people narrate it from generation to generation as a real story. But in their mind they think it isn’t true or.. is it..?

Have a Happy Halloween Day!

A good dictionary

Many people have asked me what kind of dictionary do I recommend、I think Electronic dictionaries are the best option, at this days they are small, light, quick response and easy to use, the price is the only inconvenient, but if you really want to simplify and speed up your English learning or any other language; you better have one of this, besides living in Japan, why not to make the most of technology? Some times even during the lesson I use my electronic dictionary for give a better and quick explanation of the word or topic we are talking at that moment, but this is not a translation dictionary, is an English dictionary, to really understand difficult words you have to get the meaning in the language you are studying, that’s why I always encourage students of upper levels to use an English-English dictionary.
A good translator dictionary can often help you understand the differences between similar words, but not always, a translation dictionary isn’t much help some times.
Take for example these words: dirt, soil, ground and earth. The definition of it and its translation includes at least one of the other words. No wonder it’s confusing. Looking the definition at an English-English dictionary you will get closer to the real meaning and nuance of each word.
For example the definition of “dirt” in a translation dictionary appears “earth or soil” but this doesn’t tell us much, far from it we might get more confused and we will have to search the meaning of these two words too. In my English-English dictionary the definition of dirt appears: “any substance that makes something dirty” that’s a clear explanation of “dirt,” then you can make your own conclusions, for example, Motorcycle manufactures make motorcycles specifically for riding on unpaved road, they’re called dirt bikes. None of the other two words fit these situations.
Another good springtime example is the word “Soil” a translation dictionary will give us this time “earth or dirt” It doesn’t help much does it? Contrary an English-English dictionary tells us that soil “is the top layer of the earth in which plants, trees, etc. grow. What a difference! And again you can make your own conclusions, for example, some kind of plants grows better in sandy soil.
A translation dictionary isn’t much help with “ground” either; It says “soil or earth” but my English-English dictionary tell me that ground is “the surface of earth”, that’s something and making conclusion you can deduce that for example if you want to build a house, you dig up the ground for a cement foundation, I live in a two-storey building, there no ground up there. I have some soil in pots for growing things (and also dirt on some places) but there’s no ground. All the ground is downstairs.
The definition of “earth” in my English-English dictionary is “the surface of the world that is not sea or sky, the world; the planet we live on,” that’s very clear definition isn’t it? So again you make your conclusions, for example; People who are gardeners say that they like the feel of the earth on their hands. The big machines like bulldozers are called earthmovers.
If you’ve been able understand my words in this article without much help of a translation dictionary, now is time that for you to change and use an English-English dictionary. That’s my best advice. See you next time. Bye!