A message from Kelly

Kelly Itoh, Head Master of pecs

Welcome to pecs (Plain English in Cyberspace) !!
pecs is the world's first virtual school of Plain English for Japanese students of English. Thanks to the Internet, you can learn Plain English anytime, anywhere.


The Japanese are notorious for their turgid and stilted English. Why do the Japanese use English incomprehensible to the native speakers of English? Our answer is this: Japanese people translate Japanese into what they think is its English equivalent. The Japanese translate Japanese, word for word, into English when they speak or write English. This means that the Japanese use the signs called English, not the English language.

Equivalent words in two languages are not the rule, but the exception. It is impossible to translate Japanese into English or vice versa. Translation is never done. We just accept that translations are always approximations. We can't create English, but English is just there.


The best we can do is detach ideas from the original Japanese and express the ideas in English. To that end, pecs employs what we call the Binary Method. It is a bilingual approach to language learning. It is not word for word translation practice, but idea to idea translation practice.

Here is an example of how the Binary Method changes your way of thinking:

Japanese to English
Japanese: Kono tatemono wa, tokubetsu na baai o nozoite, donata demo ohairi ni naremasu.
Typical Japanese English (word for word): Anybody can enter this building except for special cases.
Plain English (idea to idea): This building is open to the public.

Children learn their mother tongue naturally, of course. Adults, however, can't learn another language naturally. They learn a second language by using their brains.

And for the Japanese, using their brains means thinking in Japanese. If a Japanse student wants to master the way of thinking in English, it is more practical to let her or him realize the differences in thinking or logic between the two languages with the practice of putting Japanese into English or vice versa. With that, the Japanese student will come to think in English.

The sections and their goals:

  1. Japanese to English
    Learn what it is to "detach ideas from words."
    Learn to convey the ideas, not to be dominated by the original structure.

  2. Basic Verbs
    Learn the core meanings of basic verbs in English.

  3. Home Page Reading (English to Japanese)
    Build up vocabulary and enhance comprehension.

about pecs

Established on December 2, 1996.

Financed by Kelly's English Laboratory (KEL) and Itochu.

KEL, founded by Kelly Itoh, a U.S. licensed broadcaster.

Kelly Itoh, a 19-year resident in Tokyo, has been advocating Plain English here in Japan.

Mr. Itoh has written 34 books on Plain English and has been doing corporate seminars at Japan's leading businesses.

KEL's major clients include the Bank of Japan, Sony, Itochu.

Itochu is one of Japan's "sogoshoshas," of course.

Copyright © 1996 Plain English in CyberSpace, Inc. All rights reserved.