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Ichiro Suzuki is a man of many talents. The New York Yankees outfielder not only is one of baseball’s most unique players, with his blazing speed, unorthodox hitting approach and unmatched work ethic, but he boasts another skill that’s arguably the most entertaining one in his arsenal — he speaks Spanish.

According to Brad Lefton of the Wall Street Journal, Ichiro picked up the language throughout his career so that he could interact with Latin players and — more importantly — trash talk them for a laugh.

As told by Lefton, Ichiro once asked veteran first baseman Carlos Pena “What the hell are you looking at?” in Spanish after reaching first on an infield hit. Ichiro also once responded with something not fit to print when Miguel Cabrera called him “feo” or “ugly” while he was on the basepaths.

But more than that, Ichiro said he feels a special connection with Spanish-speaking players. Although he can’t engage in a full conversation with them, Ichiro’s short, humorous interactions with Latin players has helped them build camaraderie.

“I feel a bond with them,” he said. “We’re all foreigners in a strange land. We’ve come over here and had to cope with some of the same trials and tribulations. When I throw a little Spanish out at them, they really seem to appreciate it, and it seems to strengthen that bond. And besides, we don’t really have curse words in Japanese, so I like the fact that the Western languages allow me to say things that I otherwise can’t.”

Ichiro’s efforts certainly have won over the Latin players in the league. Lefton recalled a time at the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston when the seven Venezuelan players participating in the Midsummer Classic lined up for a picture. But there ended up being eight All-Stars in the photo when someone motioned for Ichiro to join them, asking him to stand right in the middle of the group.
http://nesn.com/2014/09/ichiro-suzuki-learned-spanish-to-trash-talk-opponents-for-laughs/
 

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The Japanese language doesn't have curse words?
 

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The Japanese language doesn't have curse words?
Actually no, not a lot at least. It is a very limited language, in that regard. There is no word like "f*ck" as a curse word. There is a word that is technically like "shit/god damn", and words to call someone a bastard, but not a lot (like one for both of these). In Japan offending someone often depends on context (like in a lot of cultures), there is this one word and the meaning depends on the level of the relationship with the person you are talking to. If it's a (close) friend, the meaning is like "hey you", if it's an acquaintance or somebody you have a not good relationship the meaning is "you bastard". Insulting is more about not respecting than dissing people openly. You know how in Japan they have suffixes like "-san" meaning Sir? (you would be RollWithEm-san e.g.) Well, there is a suffix which meaning is associated with kids, cuteness and girls, you must have heard of this one, it is the "-chan" suffix. If you use this one on a grown up man in almost every case you are openly disrespecting them. (again context is important, if a close friend calls you RollWithEm-chan it may just be a joke between you because you did something)
You can offend someone if they are above you in stature and you don't use the appropriate suffix or use an inappropriate one intentionally.
I hope you find this interesting :D :shrugs:
 
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