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Monday, July 20, 2009

Interview with English learners №2: Japanese people don't eat sushi everyday

Hello everyone! Today is Monday and it is time for “Interview with English learners”. Our today’s guest is Toshiharu from Japan!

Name: Toshiharu
Age: 38 (getting to be 39 in Aug.)
Native language: Japanese
English level: Intermediate (maybe)

My English Webmarks: Interview with English learners №2Hello, Toshiharu! Could you please introduce yourself to My English Webmarks’ readers?

I'm a Japanese businessman living in a district surrounded by mountains in Shizuoka city, Japan. My district is about 25 km far from city’s central. It takes about 40 minutes to drive. And I have to drive to my office about 1 hour 20 minutes. It's a little bit trip everyday. :) (Of course no rail way) I'm working for an IT company as a manager of a department. I like fishing, reading. And I started Sunday carpenter recently. I'm making a stone oven.

Well, Toshiharu, why are you learning English language?

My first motivation was that I wanted to watch Hollywood movies without subscript. When I was 31, I decided to join an English conversation school. Before joining, I'd known many words but I couldn't make long sentences with them. Several months later, I got to be able to speak a little bit, but yet a little bit. Although, it was a revolution for me. I thought that I want to get to talk more with foreign people from all over the world in English.

How long are you learning English?

Of course, I'd learned English when I was a student. But Teachers taught students mainly English grammar in Japan. And many teachers couldn't pronounce correctly. (Can you believe?) So, most of students couldn’t pronounce correctly. English class was for entrance examinations of university. It couldn’t help me in speaking English. It's difficult to say easily.

Now I'm 38. It's come to 25 years since I started to learn English in junior high school. And it's come to 8 years since I joined English conversation school. But I have many blanks. In fact, I'm taking long rest after bankruptcy of my English conversation school two yeas go. But now I try to keep studying English by myself after the bankruptcy.

How are you learning English? Do you have some favorite methods that you use?

My recent methods are a lot of reading and a lot of writing. So I keep trying to read web pages in English, to write blog and tweet in English. I recommend a method for beginners. "Phonics" helps you to pronounce correctly. It leads to correct listening. And you have to know that many sounds drop off from conversations like "a" and "d" in "rock'n'roll". It helped me very much.

But you can face barriers against your progress. Maybe, you are facing now. In such a situation, I recommend to go abroad. It's OK to go other country where people don't speak English. 5 years ago, I went to Germany. I tried to speak in rudimentary English. Also most of Germany people were like me. But after that experience, I broke a barrier. I could hear English clearer than before going Germany. It was wonderful experience.

And, of course, a few additional questions:

Let’s talk about fishing. As I understood, you are a fisherman. What is fishing for you: a passion of life or just a hobby? Is fishing a popular outdoor sport in Japan?

Yes. Fishing is very popular. Many people go fishing on weekend. It might be one of the major sports, I think. Fishing is my eternal hobby. I won't quit it for life. I'll teach it my son when he gets a little bit older than now. My main targets are trout and bass. I used to go lake or fishing field. But these days, it’s hard to go fishing for me. Because I've been busy on weekend too since I started a family. I miss fishing. ;(

Could you please tell us the story about the biggest fish you have ever caught?

My biggest fish was Hucho perryi (Japanese name is Itoh) that I caught at fishing field near by my home. I was reeling as usual. Suddenly, I felt that reeling got heavy. I didn't realize I caught it at first. Because I didn’t feel any sign. Usually when I catch fish, I feel a sign that fish bite. I continued reeling, and then it appeared. I was very surprised. Because Hucho perryi is rarely caught. I was too surprise to take a photo of it.

I know fish is a main ingredient in a majority of Japanese dishes. There are many Japanese restaurants in Russia in this day and age. Of course, sushi predominate in their menus. Don’t get me wrong, I love sushi, especially rolled sushi with eel or salmon, but I have a question: do Japanese people really eat sushi every day?

Certainly, Japanese people might eat more than others. Sushi is the most popular Japanese food. Of course I like sushi too. But it's stereotype. Japanese people don't eat sushi everyday. At least I and my relatives don't as possible as I know. :) Sushi is expensive food rather than folksy food. There are many sushi restaurants what serve all pair of sushi at 100 yen per plate, though. I recommend you to try sardine with soy sauce and a bit of grated ginger. ;)

Thank you, Toshiharu for the interview. My curiosity about sushi is totally bated :)


Comments are welcome:)

10 коммент.:

  1. Ha! Russians drink very much vodka - it is stereotype too :)

  2. More precisely, not every russian drinks a lot of vodka:) I am from Russia and I drink only near-beer and champagne from time to time.

  3. Sushi is expensive in Taiwan, too.

  4. My husband says it's only I who it sushi everyday. But it is not true. I eat sushi only 2-3 time a week:)

  5. There are people who can't eat raw fishes in even Japanese person. It is also my wife. Such a she likes avocado and shrimp sushi.

  6. I'm Japanese,but I like "California rolles" Its American style Sushi..hehe Kazumi;-D

  7. @PsychoCat I can't eat shrimps becouse of their black eyes. I feel like they looks at me:)

    @Kazumi You are right, "Calofornia rolles" are really tasty:)

  8. There are three kind of sushi generally in Japan. "Nigiri", "Maki" and "Chirashi" are.
    Nigiri is the sushi that you know commonly as sushi. Handfuls of vinegared rice with various ingredients on it. Nigiri is usually more expensive than others.
    Calofornia rolles is one of maki.
    Chirashi is made from vinegared rice with pieces of deep fried bean curd and some kinds of
    pieces of boiled vegitables. And Chirashi is folksier than nigiri.

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  10. @toshiharu Thank you for the explanation! And thank you again for the interview!