A local health professional has seized the chance to practice speaking English after a gaijin patient declared they lacked knowledge of a specific term for a fairly uncommon mouth ailment.

Harry Armstrong was held hostage for around 35 minutes while the dentist attempted to practice some of the English vocabulary he had learnt at medical college over 25 years ago.

“My Japanese ability failed to extend to rare gum diseases, giving the dentist license to initiate countless silent pauses followed by some broken, often unintelligible, English,” said Armstrong.

“He even said the word ‘three’ in English, after first saying ‘san’.”

Armstrong says next time he will just nod his head if he doesn’t understand another random Japanese word seldom used in every day life.

Image: Flickr/kc7fys


  1. I went to the doctor and had colitis and this exact thing happened. Im not a native English speaker so I had never heard the word. I finally understood when the doctor showed me the kanji for the japanese word. Im pretty sure the doctor got pissed off and prescribed me wrong medicine because I had diarrhea for 5 weeks.

  2. That’s not why you had diarrhea. While it may have been a side effect of the medication or colitis itself, no doctor would purposely give you the wrong medication out of spite. That’s what a crazy person, not a medical doctor, would do.

  3. Most medical professionals have pretty strong ethics, and try their best to do right by their patient, even if they do not like said patient personally.


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