be glad Mr. M didn't choose to make elsif in Japanese.
It's nothing like the English. But the way Ruby methods work by being  
appended to an object does work like a lot of Japanese grammatical  
endings (sans the dot of course). I can't say for sure that it has  
anything to do with that choice of syntax, but it may explain why  
Ruby is popular in Japan. Many structures in Japanese language are  
similar to functions but the parameter list comes before the  
function. Learning Japanese certainly wouldn't hurt understanding  
most programming languages.