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Obama Speech Textbooks Are a Hit in Japan


Barack Obama's speech audience just got even larger. An English textbook, "The Speeches of Barack Obama," has sold more than 400,000 copies in two months, which is apparently a big hit for Japan where very few novels sell more than a million copies a year.

According to the book's publisher, presidents and presidential candidates "are excellent as listening tools to learn English, because their contents are good and their words are easy to catch." Words and phrases like "yes, we can," "change," and "hope" are simple and short enough that non-English speakers can memorize them easily.

The 95-page paperback has topped the bestseller list on Amazon Japan and includes Obama's speeches in English from the 2004 Democratic National Convention and the Democratic Party primaries with Japanese translations. The publisher claims he's received postcards from readers who heard the speeches, and said they were so moved they cried even though they aren't English speakers. Do you think his speeches are textbook and cry worthy?

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