Ranald MacDonald’s sojourn in Nagasaki lasted from October 11, 1848 to April 27, 1849. His movements were very much restricted but the ‘Dutch Interpreters’ in Nagasaki profited from his presence by learning as much English as they could. The interpreters were already aware that English was a ‘larger’ language than Dutch, but while their knowledge of the Dutch tongue was impressive, their knowledge of English was less than basic.

Especially the young Einosuke Moriyama (1820-1872) made great progress in English thanks to Ranald MacDonald. In 1853/54 Moriyama was a member of the group of people who negotiated with commodore Perry’s delegation when the Americans tried to gain entry into Japan. During the negotiations it was said about Moriyama that ‘he speaks English well enough to render any other interpreter unnecessary…’