Japan Scene 10: Doraemon the slave

My Japanese rap album flopped unfortunately but my list of blunders as I learn Japanese gets longer and longer each day. My main issue being mispronunciations or mixing up two words who sound similar. Somehow I mispronounced Doraemon and now he is enslaved – which is hilarious because I dressed up as a relative of Doraemon last year at an elementary school Halloween party but that is a story for another day because those pictures should NEVER make it unto the internet.


The word for slave/servant in Japanese is どれい ( 奴隷 ) – pronounced “dorei”. While reading “that” 2nd-grade junior high school lesson that many English teachers are used to in Japan I mispronounced Doraemon as Doreimon and my lovely students ( and co-teacher) erupted into laughter after taking a few seconds to process my blunder. I can’t be the only one that messes up often when switching between English and Japanese pronunciations mid-sentence right?

The worst thing that will happen is that I’ll be teased by the rascals for a few days – the best thing is this is a teaching moment about mistakes and I will now never forget the word for “slave” in Japanese. That is how I learned the word for “carrot” and “human” – that mistake made the local newspaper!! Tweet me your hilarious language learning mistakes @Jamaipanese.

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