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Thank you for Amy Chavez’s beautiful Japan Lite columns (Saturdays). Many years ago I was trying to learn Japanese and remember my confusion trying to untangle the katakana word “sakiyoreeta” in scientific text. After a week or so, I decoded it: “circulator.” There were many other words to decode, and it was a lot of fun. In 1992 I spent four weeks in Japan on a post-doctorate stay during which I learned as much about my field as during the 10 previous years. Everybody tried to speak English and was friendly. Contributions like Chavez’s refresh me and bring me closer to the country of my best friends!

jiri polivka

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