May 14, 2014

Your English’s Getting Very Good: Munenori Kawasaki and His English

A few years ago, I heard that Munenori Kawasaki, who was a member of the Japanese national baseball team in 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics, would try out for MLB.

Honestly, I thought that it would be really hard for him to become successful. Although there are many Japanese pitchers showed good performances in MLB, most Japanese infielders failed because of lack of power. Kawasaki, as a shortstop player, is agile enough, but it was obvious that he didn’t have enough power to be in the starting lineup in MLB.

Since I hadn’t heard anything about him for a while, I'd almost forgotten about him.

I'd heard that he'd become popular on the Internet, and so I watched a video about him on YouTube.

In a post game interview, his teammate, Mark DeRosa, called him over, and he just shouted, "Thank you very much. My name is Kawasaki. I'm from Japan. I'm Japanese!"

He was pretty funny. When I saw it the first time, I laughed out loud.

The following video is an interview with him from a program on the MLB network.

In this one, both Kawasaki and DeRosa reappear. Kawasaki read out some phrases from his small notebook.

I laughed out loud again, but at the same time I was really impressed that he had really made an effort to survive in MLB.

English may not be great, but his character shines through. I can’t help loving him.

Recently, I've heard that his English has gotten much better.

The interviewer said, "Your English's getting very good." I agree with him. He has made great progress. What he was talking about might not have been all that important, but he was able to have a conversation with the interviewer, whereas in the earlier videos it was like he was just making pronouncements.

It’s wonderful that he doesn't seem to be the least bit timid or shy.

In the interview he said, "I have teacher. Everyday talking."  I guess that he talks a lot with his teammates. That might be quite important for his MLB life.

I was wrong.

He has an enough ability to play in MLB.

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