Ex-industry gossip

It seems to me that Berlitz aim to be the Ivy League of the English Conversation world -- the place where you go when you're so serious about learning English that you're even wearing a suit. They don't have celebrities in their ads, they brag about rejecting the vast majority of teacher applications they get, and all that jazz.

But then they carefully put that aside and proceed to seltzer themselves in the face by using their on-train advertising time to teach passengers the phrase "working hard or hardly working?"

Seriously, Berlitz. What's next? "Hot enough for ya"? "I just flew in from Hong Kong -- and boy, are my arms tired!", perhaps? Maybe we can dig back even further and teach the people about "Oh, you kid!"

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Gaijin Biker:

"Take my English class -- please!"


Sounds like they're going for the same exact "cheesy phrases that no one barely uses anymore" campaign that NOVA uses. I mean really, who says "he's the big cheese" anyway?

Stupid dead-eyed puppets.


I had a Berlitz Japanese tape that translated "How do you do" as "Hajimete o me ni kakarimasu". That's the only place I've ever heard it. Does anybody still use that expression?

- Language Geek


We were taught that as well when I was beginning to study Japanese.

I can't recall ever hearing it used, either.

(I considered it a sadly lost, much more poetic alternative to hajimemashite until someone laughingly paratransphlased it as "I humbly hang before you like a ripe fruit." Good riddance!)


I've heard it, but mostly is referneces o the greeting, as it, "May I meet you again" said very politely.

All it really does is humble by treating oneself as an object coming into the addressee's field of view. Something like "Here I am before you," sensewise.

I think most people feel the mashite is polite enough as it is nowadays, but then you don't often meet someone so high above you to make you feel mere normal politeness is rude, so you wouldn't hear it a lot, I guess. I would bet you hear it more often in business and political circles.


I think they about covered it... I've never heard it in place of "hajimemashite" either, but then, I'm not often at events where big cheeses meet other big cheeses. But I have heard it in the context of "We'd like to meet with you (again) next Friday".

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