Because the Japanese school system isn’t going to teach them how to say “The set list is lit!”

If you’re learning a foreign language, pretty much any entry-level class or textbook will teach you the basic words and phrases for talking about things like food, clothing, and transportation. Get into higher levels, and they’ll cover scientific, economic, and political terminology too.

But what’s tricky is finding a resource for learning about niche topics like specific hobbies, which is where English for Oshikatsu comes in. Japanese publisher Gakken has designed the book to provide Japanese otaku and fujoshi with the skills the need to talk about their passion for anime, games, and idols, including their oshikatsu, or activities for supporting their oshi (favorite character or performer).

The book’s focus is on words and phrases used in fan-to-fan conversations and social media posts, especially casual and slang phrases that aren’t likely to be introduced in classroom instruction, like “I cleaned and rearranged my merch altar,” “Let’s take photos of the plushies,” and “My fave looks happy, and that’s all that matters.”

Incidentally, this means that the book can also be used by English-speakers who want to learn how to talk about otaku subjects in Japanese, as long as you can determine the readings for the Japanese text.

▼ For example, here we can see that an offline meet-up among online friends is called an ofukai, and that the trendy way to say “plushie” is nui (as opposed to the full-form nuigurumi taught in Japanese classes).

▼ There’s even a template for writing fan letters.

English for Oshikatsu is priced at 1,500 yen (US$13) here on Amazon. Pre-orders are open now with an official release date of March 10. In total, the book contains 330 vocabulary words and 477 phrases, which should be enough to craft more than a few English-language social media posts about a new anime episode or voice actor concert. While serious-minded linguists may scoff at the idea of such trivial topics, there’s no denying that the greater level of mental and emotional involvement that comes from talking/writing about something you’re personally interested in makes it a lot easier for new vocabulary and grammar to really sink in, so we might see a few more Japanese otaku making English social media posts come spring.

Source: PR Times via Denfami Nico Gamer via Otakomu
Top image: Amazon
Insert images: Amazon, PR Times
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