Back when I was learning Japanese, I distinctly remember thinking to myself that the Speedo swimsuit company had to be Japanese. The reason for this was the way all Japanese sounds are based on syllables -- for example, you can have sa, shi, su, se and so but never s by itself -- which plays some tricks with English names when rendered into Japanese. Since all syllables end in vowel sounds (except for n, the only consonant that can come at the end of words), English words get a bit of unwanted vowel at the end, which changes a word like "meet" into something like "meet-oh" and the word "friend" into "friend-oh." The English word "speed" similarly becomes "speed-oh," which is where my confusion came from. The Japanese know that they often have thick accents when speaking English, and sometimes try to snip this final vowel sound in order to sound more natural. Sometimes they clip too much, though. Once a student of mine asked me for a "tish," and it took me several minutes to realize he was trying to get me to give him a tissue.