How to tell if you're Japanese

by Hirofumi Nagamura

One in a growing series of counterparts to my How to Tell If You're American page. Hirofumi is a freelance translator who lives in Kobe, Japan. He also teaches English at a juku or study academy... a favorite after-school activity in Japan is more school. He picked up his English in the U.S., where he lived for several years of his childhood. He's also interested in programming, linguistics, and classical music.

Pronunciation guide: The consonants should be pronounced as they would be in English. The vowels are (roughly) a as in "car", e as in "bell", i as in "sit", o as in "or", and u as in "put". A circumflex accent (^) over a vowel indicates that it is pronounced twice as long as normal vowels.
Syllables are always of the form [consonant +] vowel [+ "n"]. No consonant clusters, no diphthongs or triphthongs. Very simple.

If you're Japanese... Mmm, sea cucumbers... Everything works except politics Why Jiro can't read his own T-shirt Emperor who? Contributions to world civilization They've never seen Paris-Match? Outside Kasumigaseki Space and time