Obama Speeches Teach English, Hope to Japanese
Dem's speeches good for language-learners, more inspiring than local pols'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 10:46 AM CST
Barack Obama waves to the crowd after his acceptance speech at Grant Park in Chicago.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Japanese version of Amazon.com features an unlikely bestseller: the collected speeches of Barack Obama, with Japanese translation and accompanying CD, Reuters reports. Obama’s inspiring but straightforward rhetoric is perfect for teaching English in a country that hankers to learn the language. He “uses words such as ‘yes, we can,’ ‘change’ and ‘hope’ that Japanese people can memorize,” the publisher says.

The affinity for Obama seems to go beyond the desire to learn English. “In Japan, we don't have politicians who have such a positive influence,” the publisher said. “That’s why we have to turn to a foreign president for someone in whom to place our hopes.” He said he receives postcards from readers who “cried even though they don’t understand English.”