Marty Friedman, Iconic Rock Guitarist: How the Mastery of the Japanese Language Unlocked Opportunities for his Life and Career

Last week we had the fourth event in the Cardiff-Japanese Lecture Series, this time with Marty Friedman – Multi-platinum selling recording artist, and Ambassador to Japan Heritage as appointed by the Japanese Government Agency of Cultural Affairs.

Marty was first known for his tenure as the lead guitarist in one of the most successful and influential heavy metal bands in history, Megadeth, from 1990-2000. Marty’s unlimited love of Japanese popular music and the language led him to uproot his entire life to Japan in 2003, and since then has released 10 solo albums, performing his music at Budokan and Tokyo Dome and every other major venue in Japan. He is also actively engaged in multi-faceted activities in Japanese TV, radio and other mass media, ranging from music, variety, comedy, politics, to education using his native-like fluency in the Japanese language.

In this webinar, Marty talked about his motivation to study Japanese, his unique learning methods and gave fascinating advice on effective Japanese language learning. We also heard how his mastery of the Japanese language opened many opportunities for him in his professional career. The stories also pointed to the importance of not taking short cuts when learning languages and also one of the most amusing examples of what happens when you mix up your particles in Japanese (and why it’s important to laugh off mistakes and not worry about them when learning a language). This story is so good I plan to create a version of it in my next novel.

Here is a link to the recording of the webinar:

You can also see Marty’s post about the webinar on Facebook here:

Also check out some of Marty’s musical contributions – I particularly like his cover version of 負けないで (Makenaide) by one of my favourite Japanese groups, Zard (see Wikipedia link here).

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