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Obama books

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A seller displays English-language textbooks called "The Speeches of Barack Obama" at a bookstore in Tokyo. Nearly two weeks after Obama's inauguration, his speeches are still selling well in Japan -- as an aid to learning English. "The Speeches of Barack Obama" has sold more than 400,000 copies in two months.

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International Hero - Barack Obama !

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Extraordinary people the Japanese. I once advised a young guy with zero English to bluff his way through a home stay with three sentences; 'No problem' and 'No way' and of course 'No sh..?'. He did, and was considered by many to be quite fluent. If we ever meet up again I will of course be sure to remind him to add; 'Yes we can' as half the bloody country seems to be mumbling repeatedly ...

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Alterna-caption: "Bandwagon Jumped On"

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Wow, the world really has high expectations for this US president.

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Guess what - people are using those speeches for English language training. Also they use the Obama speech videos for "voice doubling" - babbling like idiots and trying to emulate his way of talking and pronunciation.

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There was a much better article on the BBC and Reuters last week.

Seems the opposition party are studying the speeches so look forward to some deja vu later this year. I wonder if they got the bit about his chief writer being 26?

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Obama's speech is very good educated English that I like, but for really English learners his speech is not practical and not useful for general conversation for foreigners.

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You can always tell when a Japanese person has studied English using famous speeches. They say things like,

What is your dream?

I lost my dream.

I do not have a dream yet.

It's very difficult to correct, and they always look so confused and crestfallen. But King said it....!

I wonder what rhetorical knotholes Obama's speeches will put into Japanese English language learning.

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I wonder if credit is given to the real authors of the speeches, since Mr. "Yes We Can" can't seem to write most of his own speeches?

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I ran a quite successful class 2 weeks ago with Obama's speech. I had my adult students read a small excerpt and then relay it to the group's scribe orally. When the group had transcribed everything, they translated it. They had to carefully read and speak clearly or the scribe would get things wrong. They enjoyed it, and the material wasn't too hard. Stuff like (I don't remember the exact lines) 'The challenges we face may be new. The solutios with which we meet them may be new. But the things on which our nation's success has hinged - loyalty, patriotism, charity, etc etc.. These things are old'

Avergage students can handle that. They need a dictionary, of course. And I wonder if words like charity and other concepts translate differently, too. I didn't have time to discuss them all individually.

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Might be a good lesson plan, simply due to the interest in Obama in Japan. Student is interested=student learns.

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Haven't the Japanese media got something in their bonnet. This depiction of Obama as a modern Christ-like figure is going just a bit far. While I agree that what Obama offers is good for the future of the United States, I wish people would look beyond the image and judge him by the decisions he will be making in the future. Indeed, to ignore such issues and merely deify Obama is not much different to the cult of personality that was manufactured among Mao, Stalin and other dictators.

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Aye. Charisma is a very powerful and potent tool. Your average man has no where near as much charisma as a person like Obama, Stalin, Hitler, Malcolm X, JFK, or Gandi.

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nutsagain - Har!

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cleo that is classic true!

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timorborder... agreed.

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Obama! Obama! He's the man! If he can't do it, then no one can! ;)

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"Charisma is a very powerful and potent tool. Your average man has no where near as much charisma as a person like Obama"

No... duh! Why do you think he got elected?

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This depiction of Obama as a modern Christ-like figure is going just a bit far.

And I find this depiction of the respect and admiration of Obama to represented as "Christ-like" worship to be definitely going off the deep end.

Obama's a very good person in his own right. But he's getting a lot of extra shine by the stark contrast with what just came before him.

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[Announcer voice] "Yes, you too can speak like Obama! Learn how to speak English while promising billions in confiscated taxpayer income to your friends, supporters and followers!"

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