Japanese President and Bill Clinton

Transcribed Text:

“When Bill Clinton was in office, the Japanese president wanted to..um… invite him over and meet him. However, the Japanese president couldn’t speak a word of English at all, so he asked his advisers how to greet him when he sees him. His advisers tell him to say ‘how are you’ and when Bill Clinton replies, with ‘fine,’ he should say ‘me too.’ The Japanese president makes sure to learn these, and when he finally meets Bill Clinton, he goes up to him and says ‘who are you’ instead of ‘how are you’ because he did not understand what he was saying. Bill Clinton replies with ‘I’m Bill Clinton. I’m Hillary Clinton’s husband.’ The Japanese president then, without understanding him, replies ‘me too.'”

The informant is a housewife and and currently resides in Cupertino, California. She first learned about this joke when she was watching a Tamil version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The host told this joke on the show and ever since then, the informant has not stopped laughing when she thinks about the joke. She thinks that the joke is extremely funny because of the mistake that the Japanese president makes when he tries to speak English. She also says that she has heard that this joke has become viral on Japanese websites, where some are trying to get Japanese people to become more educated about the English language so that they won’t make mistakes like this.

It is interesting how this joke is told in a way to create humor, but is also used to teach about the importance of learning English in Japanese culture. While English is a mandatory language to learn for Japanese people in middle and high school, many people are still very illiterate in the language. It is interesting how the informant says that she heard that this joke was being sent around on Japanese websites to teach Japanese people to become more literate in a language that is very prominent in this world today. It shows how much importance many people put on the education in the language, especially in Japan.