PDA

View Full Version : English-friendly Japan



Maciamo
Oct 21, 2005, 16:14
Japan is indeed a very English-friendly country for one that does not have English has its official or government language. Bilingual street or transportation-related signs (Japanese-English) are the norm, not just in Tokyo, but in most Japanese cities.

If that is normal in almost any country in international airports, few European countries actually have street signs or maps in English. Government buildings, big shopping centres and some major companies also generally have bilingual signs. Amazon Japan (http://www.amazon.co.jp/) has an English-version, but Amazon France and Amazon Germany don't, despite the fact that much more English speakers reside in France than in Japan. Budget business hotel chains like Toyoko-inn (http://www.wa-pedia.com/cgi-bin/jump.cgi?ID=12928), have websites with complete English translation (not just a few practical pages like Amazon), and signs in the hotel both in Japanese and English too. Many restaurants (especially chains) have menus in English, which is rarely the case in most European countries.

Japanese people all have to learn English at school (and cannot choose another foreign language in most schools). There are more English conversation (Eikaiwa) schools per square metre in Japan than anywhere else on earth.

Movies in cinemas are usually in original version with subtitles, contrarily to big European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain) where they are dubbed. Even the national TV channel NHK provides bilingual programmes (including the news). All the major Japanese newspapers or news agencies (http://www.wa-pedia.com/practical/news.shtml) (Asahi, Yomiuri, Mainichi, Kyodo...) have an English-translation of the major news, updated on a daily basis. There is even the Japan Times, written in English only, yet directed at both a foreign and Japanese audience. In comparison, European newspapers almost never have an English translation. France's great newspapers like Le Figaro or Le Monde are in French only. In a multilingual country like Belgium, rather than translate the news in both Dutch and French, newspapers are completely separated, and never have an English translation. In non-English speaking EU countries in general, the only English newspapers or news websites both in English and the country's languages are pan-European ones like EuroNews. I can only think of Deutsche Welle (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/), which has news in both German and English (along 28 other languages !). In that sense, Japan is very English-friendly.

What I find somewhat odd is that the English craze has gone so far in Japan that many signs (and sometimes even ads) are provided in English only, despite being used mostly by Japanese people. I have created a special gallery of pictures (http://www.wa-pedia.com/entertainment/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/522) to illustrate this phenomenon.

Has English become Japan's second language, like in Hong Kong (and somehow also Shanghai) ?

Mandylion
Oct 22, 2005, 01:41
Just to add -

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is really pushing to have all graduating high school seniors able to pass the ikkyu level of eiken and is (at least when I was in the system a year ago) sending officials out to proselytize their new "action plan" for English education in public schools.

I can't recall what the time frame was for their goals but not too far out there if I'm remembering things right (MEXT speakers tended to put most of the hall to sleep to begin with....)

GaijinPunch
Oct 22, 2005, 10:49
Japan is indeed a very English-friendly country for one that does not have English has its official or government language.

Can one that speaks/reads Japanese make that call? I can't, b/c I already had a few years of university under my belt before arriving so could at least communicate, but all my friends that have visited have complained about it being English-unfriendly -- not even comprable to most places in Europe.

THe signs... yeah, sure. The people? I'd say not.

Maciamo
Oct 22, 2005, 13:35
Can one that speaks/reads Japanese make that call? I can't, b/c I already had a few years of university under my belt before arriving so could at least communicate, but all my friends that have visited have complained about it being English-unfriendly -- not even comprable to most places in Europe.

How well do your friends know both Japan and Europe (and what countries in Europe) ? I doubt that they have my experience on the subject. The most English-friendly countries in Europe, where English also is a de facto second-language, are Nordic countries and the Netherlands. YET, there aren't so many signs, commercials or newspaper translations in English as in Japan. So from that point of view at least, they lose. As a short-term tourist, Northern European countries are probably easier for English-speakers, but the number of resources and services in English cannot compare to those found in Japan. The Japanese government even sends explanations in English to registered foreigners (automatically, without request) on how to pay taxes, how to fill out the population census form, etc. I get all my water bills in Tokyo (although not gas and electricity, probably because they are private companies, whereas water is still public) are bilingual Japanese-English. I don't think any (non English-speaking) European country provides all this in English. Even in multilingual Belgium with all its EU expats in Brussels.

GaijinPunch
Oct 22, 2005, 14:50
I never got my bills in English except from Citibank. I'm not really talking to live though - I'm talking about visiting, which is what the majority of foreigners due (for any country). You can't really expect Japan to have everything easily accessible to the English speaking population though, like parts of Thailand or other sunny places. There's no tourist industry (Indonesia, Thailand, etc.) and despite have occupational forces present Japan wasn't a colony of an English speaking country (HK). I still don't know why they speak English in Singapore.

But simply mentioning those places, what parts of asia are less English friendly than Japan and are developed nations? Arguably Korea and China, but that's probably it.

Maciamo
Oct 22, 2005, 15:19
But simply mentioning those places, what parts of asia are less English friendly than Japan and are developed nations? Arguably Korea and China, but that's probably it.

Only Korea, Japan, Singapore and HK are considered "developed". I have been to all South-East Asian countries except Laos, Myanmar and Brunei, and there is not a single country more English-friendly than Japan (except Singapore which officially is an English-speaking country). Of course if you only stay in tourist resorts that does not count. I mean really going anywhere in the country like a local would.

GaijinPunch
Oct 22, 2005, 17:36
I guess that's why visitors ***** and moan all the time about how they can't communicate with people. I even remember going to the immigration office when it was still in Shibuya and there not being a very strong English speaker in there.... or maybe it was his day off.

Mike Cash
Oct 22, 2005, 18:22
Can one that speaks/reads Japanese make that call? I can't, b/c I already had a few years of university under my belt before arriving so could at least communicate, but all my friends that have visited have complained about it being English-unfriendly -- not even comprable to most places in Europe.

THe signs... yeah, sure. The people? I'd say not.

If we're just talking about the signs Maciamo posted a link to in his post, I'd say they're appallingly poor specimens for supporting his contention. Almost without exception the English on the signs serves no functional purpose whatsoever, being nothing more than decoration on the signs. The functional meaning is conveyed by images, context, sign placement, etc.

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 22, 2005, 19:53
If we're just talking about the signs Maciamo posted a link to in his post, I'd say they're appallingly poor specimens for supporting his contention. Almost without exception the English on the signs serves no functional purpose whatsoever, being nothing more than decoration on the signs. The functional meaning is conveyed by images, context, sign placement, etc.
I was thinking the exact same thing.

Jack
Oct 22, 2005, 20:00
ditto, i thinks others would agree.....

Maciamo
Oct 22, 2005, 21:53
I guess that's why visitors ***** and moan all the time about how they can't communicate with people. I even remember going to the immigration office when it was still in Shibuya and there not being a very strong English speaker in there.... or maybe it was his day off.

And was it better in all the non-English-speaking countries where you lived ? Please tell me which one they were !

Jack
Oct 22, 2005, 21:56
its strong arm to weave Maciamo, but im agreeing with you, you cant fault when a japanese person is speaking bad English, its the idea that hes trying to that counts.
If someone makes the effort to talk in your language you make the effort to listen.

Maciamo
Oct 22, 2005, 22:13
If we're just talking about the signs Maciamo posted a link to in his post, I'd say they're appallingly poor specimens for supporting his contention. Almost without exception the English on the signs serves no functional purpose whatsoever, being nothing more than decoration on the signs. The functional meaning is conveyed by images, context, sign placement, etc.

That's because the few pictures I took were signs that were only in English. But you can't deny that almost all street signs (including romaji versions of street names and neighbourhood names), area maps, train and subway directions, etc. are bilingual. How many countries that do not have English as an official language do you know that do the same ? I admit that it was the case in Shanghai (but surely not in most of the rest of China), but even in Seoul or Bangkok, there weren't half as many English signs. Tokyo Metro even has its ads about train manners (http://www.tokyometro.jp/sasshi/poster.html) in both Japanese and English (and not Chinese or Korean, although there are much more speakers of these languages in Japan/Tokyo).

I mean, there is no reason for the Japanese government of private companies to translate all these signs in English, when countries like France or Spain that receive 16x to 10x more annual visitors (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/eco_tou_arr&int=-1) (including proportionally much more English speakers) don't. Over half of all foreign residents and visitors in Japan are Korean or Chinese. So why are signs in Japanese and English, rather than Japanese and Korean or Chinese ? (some are in the 4 language, but they are few). Why are NHK's bilingual programmes translated in English and not Korean or Chinese ? I think it is pretty selfish for English-speakers to complain that Japan is not English-friendly, when it is more English-friendly than almost anywhere else, and much less Korean- or Chinese-friendly despite all good cause.

There are less than 100,000 native English-speakers (http://www.wa-pedia.com/society/foreigners_in_japan.shtml) residing in Japan out of 2 million registered foreigners, so only 5% of all foreigners, or 0.07% of the total Japanese population. According to the JNTO stats (http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/STA/PDF/E2004.pdf) (pdf), visitors from English-speaking countries represent 1,345,000 people out of 6,137,000 visitors in 2004, or 21% of all visitors.

I say that proportionally to the number of native English speakers in Japan, and for a country that was not a British or American colony and does not have English as an official language, Japan is remarkably accommodating to English speakers.

Mike Cash
Oct 22, 2005, 22:22
That's because the few pictures I took were signs that were only in English. But you can't deny that almost all street signs (including romaji versions of street names and neighbourhood names), area maps, train and subway directions, etc. are bilingual.

Oh, I could deny it, but that would make the second time (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=255725&postcount=27) I have denied that particular contention of yours and, frankly, it isn't worth the effort.

Maciamo
Oct 22, 2005, 22:26
Oh, I could deny it, but that would make the second time (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=255725&postcount=27) I have denied that particular contention of yours and, frankly, it isn't worth the effort.

That was not very convincing. If you are just referring to signs used by truck-drivers, then it's pretty normal that they are not in English, as you are one of the very few English-speakers to do this job in Japan. Anyway, I have expressedly said "street signs" and not "road signs" remembering your post. Not my fault if you can't differentiate a street (in a city) from a road or highway (between cities).

Mike Cash
Oct 22, 2005, 22:47
So why not just say "All bilingual signs are bilingual" if you're just going to conveniently ignore the bulk of signs which disprove your point anyway?

And I'm not referring to signs which apply only to truck drivers, either. There are tons of signs which apply to everybody in general and which are not bilingual.

And placing any sort of reliance on there being romaji on road/street signs (there is no distinction between the two, other than the artificial one you just made up) would be ill-advised. Very often along a route consistency of signage with regards to having or not having romaji is very spotty. One can follow the signs with romaji along the road and find that the place where one must turn in order to continue to one's destination is marked in kanji only. That's not as common as it used to be, but such quirks of the signage still exist. In fairness, though, compared to how signage was back when I first started out there has been an absolutely astounding improvement in the quality and consistency of signage. It used to be embarassingly abyssmal sometimes.

Perhaps the single largest improvement to come along in the last few years has been the numbering of roadways other than national highways. Navigating one's way around used to rely heavily on knowing the names of roads. For example, what we used to called the OÉ͐ is now Gunma prefectural route 2. The ɐ is now pref. route 39. I believe Tokyo's Ž is 317. National hwy 15 is, in the Tokyo/Yokohama area, more commonly known as ꋞl while Hwy 1 is 񋞕l. Practically nobody knows that Rʂ is also ˜Z. It also has one of the newer numbers assigned to it, but I'll be hanged if I can recall it (despite driving it 6 days a week).

In other words, the signage is on the tail end of a transitional period, in a sense. People used to the old system still use the names of the roads, while people who started later on are more familiar with the number system. Getting romaji onto the signs is, likewise, still in a transitional phase. You see lots of them because your eyes/mind self-select them; they stand out more because of their romaji and make a larger impression in your consciousness. But the change is by no means complete, and I doubt that it ever will be.

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 22, 2005, 22:54
Wow! I think that in the month or so that I've been a member of JREF, this is the longest post I can remember from mikecash!

Mike Cash
Oct 22, 2005, 22:56
I try to keep in mind that the longer the post, the less chance people will actually read it and the greater the chance of being misunderstood. Both of which make the act of typing overly windy posts an exercise in futility.

Jack
Oct 22, 2005, 23:06
thats kinda of true the longer posts are daunting for some to read, but i very good at skim reading so im alright.

Maciamo
Oct 22, 2005, 23:10
That's not as common as it used to be, but such quirks of the signage still exist. In fairness, though, compared to how signage was back when I first started out there has been an absolutely astounding improvement in the quality and consistency of signage. It used to be embarassingly abyssmal sometimes.

Well, I don't know if you have ever driven in Continental Europe, but there is still nothing in terms of English signs. You may think it's useless as it's in Latin characters anyway. Well, not so. In Belgium, most cities have different names in Dutch and French (and often also in German, English, Spanish or Italian). The problem is that signs are always written only in the language of the region where the road/highway's location. So signs in Dutch-speaking areas are in Dutch only, and those in French-speaking areas are in French only.

Some are fairly easy to guess. For example, 'Bruxelles' in French is 'Brussel' in Dutch, or 'Brussels' in English. Some are a bit less clear. Antwerpen in Dutch is
Anvers in French or Antwerp in English. But others are so different that if you don't know them, there is no chance you'd find your way. E.g. Mons in French is Bergen in Dutch, Liege in French is Luik in Dutch, Lille (in France) is Rijsel in Dutch, and Aachen (in Germany) is Aix-la-Chapelle in French (and Aken in Dutch).

Of course, there are also sign such as "slow down" or police annoucements about weather or traffic conditions, and they are also only in the area's language, and never in English, although Belgium is at the crossroad of all motorways between France, Germany, the Netherlands and even Britain (via ferry or Channel Tunnel). Depending on the day and place, 1/3 to 2/3 of all cars on the motorway are not Belgian. I wonder how Italian or Danish truck drivers that first come to Belgium manage to find some cities.

Coming from this background, you may understand better why I find Japan rather English-friendly.


In other words, the signage is on the tail end of a transitional period, in a sense. People used to the old system still use the names of the roads, while people who started later on are more familiar with the number system. Getting romaji onto the signs is, likewise, still in a transitional phase.

And when this transitional phase will be complete, Japan will effectively have bilingual signage, like no European country, even in their own official languages ! All that for 0.07% of English-speaking foreign residents. We are pampered by the Japanese government !

Mike Cash
Oct 22, 2005, 23:17
I'd be more tempted to attribute the replacement of the signs without romaji to a convenient way to provide sweetheart government contracts to industry under the camouflage of kokusaika.

You are correct; I have never driven in Europe. Nor do I ever wish to.

GaijinPunch
Oct 23, 2005, 05:14
There's one important fact everyone seems to be overlooking. How many foreigners (even long term ones) drive in Japan? I don't know the exact number, but I'd bet my house it's no more than a small fraction. Even for the ones that do drive, I would assume driving signs would still be the least of their worries. What about finding a specific electrical part? Calling a locksmith when they get locked out of their house? Finding out the ingredients of the food they buy? Getting mustard on their french fries instead of catchup, or even ketsup for that matter?

DoctorP
Oct 23, 2005, 06:11
And when this transitional phase will be complete, Japan will effectively have bilingual signage, like no European country, even in their own official languages ! All that for 0.07% of English-speaking foreign residents. We are pampered by the Japanese government !


Might I point out that you no longer live in Europe! (by your own choice I believe!)

As for other countries not using bilingual signage. In the US we tend to use International symbols and a numbering system so that you really don't need to be able to read English in order to drive. I mean...if you have a map, you really don't need to read the signs in order to know where you are going. Within the next few years I really don't think that you will need signs in Japan in order to get anywhere by car. I use my GPS in order to find places I'm not familiar with. I can just input the phone number of the location and it will direct me to the most direct route. I can effectively drive there without ever checking the signs on the road...or even the street! :p

Mike Cash
Oct 23, 2005, 07:16
Might I point out that you no longer live in Europe! (by your own choice I believe!)



Amen. It gets amazing tiresome and tedious to see each and every thing about Japan constantly analyzed in minute detail as it compares to each and every European country.

Maciamo
Oct 23, 2005, 09:49
What about finding a specific electrical part?

If you need something specific, it's very easy to check it first in a dictionary. That's just one word (or a few) to remember. Not a big deal, even for the least linguistically able person (people who can't do that shouldn't decide to live in another country in the firts place).


Calling a locksmith when they get locked out of their house?

And what if a tree fell on my house during a typhoon ? I have never been locked out of my house and neither do I know someone (close to me) who has. These are extremenly rare situations (I have never had to deal with a locksmith in my all life in any country). If it happens, it wouldn't be a big deal to ask a local friend for help, or again resort to an electronic dictionary (which you should always have on you if you live in a country where you don't speak the language, until you get reasonably fluent).


Finding out the ingredients of the food they buy?

Never had any problem with that. Just go to the supermarket and see by yourself what you need. If you need to read to name tag to know that a cabbage is a cabbage or a carton of milk is a carton of milk, then it is better to safely stay in your home country. My sister stayed one month in Japan this summer. She doesn't know a word of Japanese, but didn't have any problem to buy even Japanese ingredients. She could recognise the various kinds of sauces (bulldog, soy sauce, etc.) or guess from the image that one puding was "pumpkin" taste, while another was "mango". Even a child could do that.


Getting mustard on their french fries instead of catchup, or even ketsup for that matter?

Not sure what you mean. It's impossible to confuse in a supermarket (ketchup is red, FYI). In a McDonald or something, either ask (the Japanese words are the same : "masutaado" and "ketchappu") or see by yourself the colour of the package. What's more, most kinds of food having labelling in romaji - sometimes also in English. There are just so many imported products in Japanese supermarket. There is even Belgian jam (Materne) and chocolate (Cote d'Or), or French mustard and spices at my local supermarket, which isn't specialised in imports at all like Meiji-ya or Seijoishii !

A few more things you can now get in English in Japan (some were difficult a few years ago) : bilingual mobile phone, bilingual ATM, PC with keyboard and Windows in English (e.g. from a Dospara/Prime PC (http://www.wa-pedia.com/cgi-bin/jump.cgi?ID=11335) store nationwide or directly online), legal service in English (just check in JREF's directory (http://www.wa-pedia.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?query=legal)), English-speaking emergency services (http://www.wa-pedia.com/practical/emergencies_medical_services__doctors_japan.shtml) (police, ambulance, medical information, foreign residents advisory, etc.), etc. I am sure that many people don't know about them (they might not know JREF), but they do exist. I have done a lot of research to gather information for this website, and done the same for Belgium (http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/). I can tell you that Japan has much more services, signs, etc. in English than cosmopolitan and multicultural Belgium. Apart from mobile phones that have dozens of languages so that the same model can be sold Europe-wide, and ATM's that usually have several languages, most of these things are not so easy to find in Belgium. You might be looking for the airport and not find the sign on the road because it's only written "luchthaven" in Dutch. That doesn't happen in Japan.

I also thing your disagreement about Japan being English-friendly are based on 2 things : 1) you confuse English-friendly with 'equal in convenience to an English-speaking country.', and 2) you forget that this is a compared to other countries in the world, not what you'd personally wish to find.

Maciamo
Oct 23, 2005, 10:06
As for other countries not using bilingual signage. In the US we tend to use International symbols and a numbering system so that you really don't need to be able to read English in order to drive.

Well, when I went to the States, I found that there was a lot more written signs ("Yield"...) that in Europe. I was mostly referring to traffic advisories on electronic board above highways, or maybe a "slow down, children playing" when arriving in a residential area or village (in addition to the circular red and white '50' indicating a speed limit of 50km/h). In fact, all those 'interntaional signs' are supposedly the same in all Europe (as the driving licence is the same). Or else a pedestrian zone sign with "except delivery" written in the locak language under it.

Some countries have a few unique signs. Belgium has a harasssing "priority-on-your right" rule marked by a red and white triangle with a black X in the middle (http://www.pch.public.lu/reseau_routier/signalisation/a_danger/A_21_a/A_21_a.gif). When nothing is indicated, it is the default, except on main roads marked by a yellow and white losange (http://www.pch.public.lu/reseau_routier/signalisation/b_priorites/B_3/B_3.gif).


I mean...if you have a map, you really don't need to read the signs in order to know where you are going.

In a densely populated country like Belgium, with motorway exits every few kilometers, when you are looking for "Mons" and signs only show an exit for "Bergen", what do you do ? Yet, it's the right exit. Then, road signs are not just about finding your way. If you find a no No Stopping Zone sign, but another sign under it mentioned "only from Monday to Friday" in a language you don't know, you may miss an opportunity to find a parking place on a weekend. And European towns tend to have narrow streets and few parking areas...

Here are some examples of European road signs (http://www.aviano.af.mil/newcomer/signs/) (Italy in this case, but there is hardly any difference, except the few with Italian words).

GaijinPunch
Oct 23, 2005, 14:18
And what if a tree fell on my house during a typhoon ? I have never been locked out of my house and neither do I know someone (close to me) who has.

Happened to me. Keys can fall out of pockets. I'm not saying it's going to happen to everyone, but it can. Anyways, it was just an example of a time when you'd be screwed if you didn't speak the langauge. That's to say, when signs won't help you, you have to rely on people, in which case it's NOT an English-friendly place to live. In my case, there were no neighbors, and the landlord wasn't home. At the time I had about 3 or 4 years of Japanese to fall back on though, so no worries.


Never had any problem with that. Just go to the supermarket and see by yourself what you need.

Well, you obviously aren't a vegetarian living in Japan. People that are picky about what they eat want to know the ingredients of what they buy. I"ve not been to any country where a cabbage has a list of ingredients. A bottle of dressing or something else that might contain something does though. Also - not everyone cooks.


She could recognise the various kinds of sauces (bulldog, soy sauce, etc.) or guess from the image that one puding was "pumpkin" taste, while another was "mango". Even a child could do that.

I could go on about a friend that was hospitalized due to an allergy she had to an ingredient in some food.


Not sure what you mean. It's impossible to confuse in a supermarket (ketchup is red, FYI). In a McDonald or something, either ask (the Japanese words are the same : "masutaado" and "ketchappu") or see by yourself the colour of the package.

It was a joke. If you ask for Mustard instead of ketchup, you get a look of confusion. It will take a second to register that the person actually does want mustard. Or at least it did 5 years ago when I last ate in a McDonalds.

Bilingual mobile phones have been there for a while. My first one in 1998 was bilingual, so they're nothing new. Not all models are bilingual though. PCs in English have been around as well, but you gotta pay for them. If you think about it, you can get just about anything in English you want if you don't mind going out of your way or paying for it, which is why I quickly got out of the habbit of going the English way.



English-speaking emergency services (police, ambulance, medical information, foreign residents advisory, etc.),

I've got a story about that one... ambulances/hospital specifically. I guess it's not too geared towards English speaking though, although langauge barrier was a big element. It'll need to go into personal stories though. It's a little long.


and 2) you forget that this is a compared to other countries in the world, not what you'd personally wish to find.

I'm basing it on other countries I've visited (not lived in).
South Korea, Thailand, Germany, France, Italy, Mexico, and McAllen, TX.

Maciamo
Oct 23, 2005, 15:53
Well, you obviously aren't a vegetarian living in Japan. People that are picky about what they eat want to know the ingredients of what they buy.

Well, my sister (in the example I gave) happens to be a vegetarian. She just asked me or my wife what kind of food had no meat in it. Once you know them, it's no problem. It's very easy to ask a (Japanese or Japanese-speakung) friend. I doubt that there are many foreigners in Japan who don't have at least one Japanese friend to help them a bit from time to time (that would be very sad).


I"ve not been to any country where a cabbage has a list of ingredients.

Sorry, I thought you meant your shopping list of ingredients to cook something at home.


I could go on about a friend that was hospitalized due to an allergy she had to an ingredient in some food.

That's again a special case. I also don't know anybody with food allergy. Such people are special cases and should always be extra careful (e.g. double check with a Japanese friend), even in their home country.


PCs in English have been around as well, but you gotta pay for them. If you think about it, you can get just about anything in English you want if you don't mind going out of your way or paying for it, which is why I quickly got out of the habbit of going the English way.

Check the link of PrimePC. Their English PC's are very cheap, and the exact same price as the Japanese version (E.g. laptops in English (http://www.primepc.jp/goods_pc/goods_pc.php?b10=25) vs laptops in Japanese (http://www.dospara.co.jp/goods_pc/goods_pc.php?b10=5&a=r)). And that is one of the biggest PC shop in Japan with about 100 shops nationwide (http://www.primepc.jp/shop_guidance/).

GaijinPunch
Oct 23, 2005, 18:08
It's very easy to ask a (Japanese or Japanese-speakung) friend.

Let's see. I ordered "Spaghetti Carbonara with no meat" once and it came covered in bacon. Of course, I was reassured that it was "bacon --- not meat". I also ordered a Vegetable Gratin once after carefully reading the menu, only to learn that it had a patty of ground beef in the middle... and I was an intermediated speaker/reader at worst at the time. Japan's painful as a vegetarian even if you do eat meat. I'd hate to try it w/o being able to properly communicate to anyone.

I suppose you could learn how to say "niku nuki" after everything and look like a complete tool, but then you need to understand their canned response on how they can't do it.

Maciamo
Oct 23, 2005, 18:28
Let's see. I ordered "Spaghetti Carbonara with no meat" once and it came covered in bacon. Of course, I was reassured that it was "bacon --- not meat". I also ordered a Vegetable Gratin once after carefully reading the menu, only to learn that it had a patty of ground beef in the middle... and I was an intermediated speaker/reader at worst at the time. Japan's painful as a vegetarian even if you do eat meat. I'd hate to try it w/o being able to properly communicate to anyone.

Being a vegetarian is hard enough in most countries. You can't blame that only on language abilities. There are countries in Europe where vegetarians have a hard time finding something to eat in restaurants too (Belgium is one).



I suppose you could learn how to say "niku nuki" after everything and look like a complete tool, but then you need to understand their canned response on how they can't do it.

For my sister, I wrote on a piece of paper for her "vejetarian nanode, niku nashi de onegai shimase", which she would tell the staff or show them when she went out with her partner. She didn't have any problem, but limited herself to Italian and Indian restaurants or Tempura ones. No need to try a sushi-ya or yakiniku-ya if you are vegetarian.

Mikawa Ossan
Oct 23, 2005, 18:46
And what if a tree fell on my house during a typhoon ? I have never been locked out of my house and neither do I know someone (close to me) who has. These are extremenly rare situations (I have never had to deal with a locksmith in my all life in any country). If it happens, it wouldn't be a big deal to ask a local friend for help, or again resort to an electronic dictionary (which you should always have on you if you live in a country where you don't speak the language, until you get reasonably fluent).
I locked my keys in my car once in a rest area off the expressway in Kyusyuu once, if that counts. I had no local friends around, and even had I brought an electronic dictionary, it most likely would have been with my keys, in my car. Fortunately I knew enough Japanese to figure out what to do, but I couldn't imagine calling JAF using English only.

Another time I forgot to turn off my lights or something and my car battery died. Luckily I knew how to call JAF and take care of it in Japanese. Once again, I couldn't imagine trying to explain to the guy what was wrong and more importantly, where I was in English.

When I visited Korea, I thought it was more English friendly than Japan, but since then Japan has become at least as English friendly as Korea in my estimation. (I'm talking about the Subway system mostly.)

Japan is certainly more English friendly than say German-friendly.

But if you have a problem, it's still difficult. Or at least I would imagine so. Unless you have a lot of experience with speaking broken English in such a way that Japanese people can generally understand, I find you mostly get blank looks when people are presented with English.

Maciamo
Oct 23, 2005, 19:19
Japan is certainly more English friendly than say German-friendly.

That is partly the point of this thread. English speakers can't complain. What should someone who only speaks French, Spanish, German, Korean or Chinese say ? In fact, the Koreans and Chinese residing in Japan represent respectively 6.5x and 5x more people than all native English speakers. Even assuming that all Westerners in Japan can speak English (which isn't the case, as I have met French people whose English was really not brilliant), all the Westerners still don't make more than 15% of the Koreans and Chinese combined. So why has Japan become an English-friendly country, when it could have more logically become Korean-friendly or Chinese-friendly ?

I don't think it's just a matter of international image ("kokusaika"), as there would be no need to translate so much, especially outside big cities. I was surprised that even in smaller places like Nagasaki, Shimonoseki or Takamatsu, English signs are as present as in Tokyo. That's quite a lot of money to change tens of thousands of signs just for the sake of "kokusaika". Anyway, most foreign investors and politicians who may care about "kokusaika" probably will never see such rural places.

Mike Cash
Oct 23, 2005, 19:24
Romaji != English

Maciamo
Oct 23, 2005, 19:32
Romaji != English

What about this ?

http://www.wa-pedia.com/entertainment/gallery/data/523/CA260354.jpg

http://www.wa-pedia.com/entertainment/gallery/data/523/medium/bilingual-3.jpg

I also remember seeing signs indicating "highway XX" (not Kousoku-douro XX), "X Airport" (not X Kuukou), etc. Exit are called "Exit" not "Deguchi" and "Post Office" are called like that not "Yuubinkyoku" in romaji. Now, I don't think that translating "Big Slope" for "Osaka" or "Broad Island" for "Hiroshima" are going to help more foreigners - on the contrary.

GaijinPunch
Oct 24, 2005, 10:37
Maybe I'm biased b/c I come from a very bilingual state. Even in the northern parts of Texas, lots of police officers speak Spanish, as do hotel personel, super market managers, etc. Government offices always have a Spanish speaker/translator and even Spanish speaking public schools.

There's ALWAYS someone at the larger police stations that can speak Spanish. If you're incarcerated in Japan (in Shibuya anyway) you have to book a translator in advance to speak English with your English speaking vistors. Otherwise, it's nothing but nihongo since none of the monitor can't understand English.

I do understand that the Mexican population has a huge impact on that, but that's incidental. The reason people feel Japan isn't English friendly is due to the relatively small foreign population.

Maciamo
Oct 24, 2005, 11:48
Maybe I'm biased b/c I come from a very bilingual state. Even in the northern parts of Texas, lots of police officers speak Spanish, as do hotel personel, super market managers, etc. Government offices always have a Spanish speaker/translator and even Spanish speaking public schools.

There's ALWAYS someone at the larger police stations that can speak Spanish.

So, we could say that Texas is Spanish-friendly. But is it French-friednly or Japanese-friendly ? That's good that many people speak Spanish, but are there signs in Spanish everywhere as well ?


If you're incarcerated in Japan (in Shibuya anyway) you have to book a translator in advance to speak English with your English speaking vistors.

I don't think police officers are a good reference of how "foreigner-friendly" a country is, especially Japan. However, many Japanese business people do speak at least some English. How many American business people speak Japanese ? I think that business-wise Japan is more English-friendly than Western countries are Japanese-friendly. You just can't expect everyone (like the police) in a non-English speaking country to speak English. But as I said, Japan is almost only English-friendly, as other languages are almost completely ignored (except for a few signs that also have Korean and Chinese, mostly at Narita aiport or the Oedo-line in Tokyo).



I do understand that the Mexican population has a huge impact on that, but that's incidental. The reason people feel Japan isn't English friendly is due to the relatively small foreign population.

But compared to the tiny percentage of English-speakers (0.07% of the population), Japan is justly remarkably English friendly. France receives tens of millions of English-speaking visitors each year and is not more English-friendly (well, for some things a bit more, but for others less). I think it is essential to always think in terms of 'relativity' (i.e. as a comparison to other countries, and, in this case, to the number of speakers of a language in each country).

Gaijin 06
Oct 25, 2005, 09:26
I think the comparisons with Europe are a bit fatuous to be honest.

Two points:

1. In Europe, it is far easier for any Westerner to navigate round a different European country (e.g. for an English speaker in France, or a Spanish speaker in Italy than it is to navigate Japanese. Obviously this is due to the inherent similarities between the European languages, and the use of a shared alphabet.

1. Japan is not visitor friendly for an English only speaker, regardless of how many English speaking residents there are.

There is nothing wrong with this - after all Japanese is the national language and English isn't.

Not criticising Japan in the slightest, just putting the point of view from a non-Japanese speaker. I've only been here four weeks and my experience is much closer to GaijinPunch than Maciamo.

Mike Cash
Oct 25, 2005, 16:29
What about this ?


Tokyo != Japan

Maciamo
Oct 25, 2005, 18:10
Tokyo != Japan

I saw bilingual signs and information in most cities I visited in Japan, from Kyushu and Shikoku to Hokkaido (sorry if I didn't take pictures to "prove" it to you, except those of Sapporo here (http://www.wa-pedia.com/entertainment/gallery/showgallery.php?si=sapporo&x=0&y=0&limit=&thumbsonly=0&perpage=9&cat=522&ppuser=&thumbcheck=0&page=1&sortby=&sorttime=&way=&cat=522)). It's true for bus and trains timetables, highways, ticket machines, area maps, or almost anything I cited (of course, computers, mobile phones, emergency services, government information, and other nation-wide stuff). There is just in the "countryside" (outside cities and towns of at least 100,000 people) that English translations are harder to find.

Mike Cash
Oct 25, 2005, 18:50
I didn't say they don't exist; I just think you overstate the case of how English-friendly Japan is.

Maciamo
Oct 25, 2005, 20:40
I didn't say they don't exist; I just think you overstate the case of how English-friendly Japan is.

I have been to about 20 countries in Europe, 3 in the Middle East and North Africa, India, Nepal, all North-East and South-East Asia except 5 countries (North Korea, Mongolia, Burma, Laos, Brunei), Australia, North America...

Japan is about as English-friendly than countries that have English as non principal official or communication language like Malaysia, the Philippines or India. Some former British colonies like Egypt, are less English-friendly. In most of Continental Europe, people may speak English as well or better than the Japanese, but few countries can boast as many government-sponsored actions to make the country English-friendly, like translating the most useful public signs, government websites, ads, etc.

The Japanese government just has so many websites translated in English (e.g. National Tax Agency (http://www.nta.go.jp/category/english/), Meteorological Agency (http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/indexe.html), Statistics Bureau (http://www.stat.go.jp/english/index.htm), National Diet Library (http://www.ndl.go.jp/en/index.html), Geographical Survey (http://www.gsi.go.jp/ENGLISH/index.html), Prime Minsiter & Cabinet's website (http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/index-e.html), Self-Defense Forces (http://www.jda.go.jp/e/index_.htm), National Police Agency (http://www.npa.go.jp/english/index.htm), most ministries (http://www.wa-pedia.com/dir/Government_&_Politics/Ministries_&_Agencies/) and many prefectural and municipal government's websites (http://www.wa-pedia.com/dir/Regional/Prefectures/index.shtml), just to name a few), unlike countries like most European countries (except Germanic ones).

In comparison, the official websites of the national police of Belgium (http://www.police.be/), France (http://www.defense.gouv.fr/gendarmerie/), Spain (https://www.policia.es/), Germany (http://www.bundespolizei.de/) and Austria (http://www.bundespolizei.gv.at/lpk/) are only in the local language(s), although the Italian, Dutch or Swedish ones have an English version.
The national tax agency's website in France (http://www.impots.gouv.fr/), Spain (http://www.aeat.es/), or if they don't have a seprate site from the finance ministry Italy (http://www.finanze.it/i) dont have English versions. The German (http://www.minfin.nl/), Austrian (http://english.bmf.gv.at/), Belgian (http://www.minfin.fgov.be/) and Dutch (http://www.minfin.nl/)finance ministry are the only ones I found that have an English version. The meteorological agency's website in France (http://www.meteofrance.com/), Germany (http://www.dmg-ev.de/), Austria (http://www.meteorologie.at/), Italy (http://www.meteoam.it/), Spain (http://www.inm.es/), the Netherlands (http://www.knmi.nl/) are also all in the local language only (Belgium's (http://www.meteo.be/english/index.php) or Sweden (http://www.smhi.se/en/) are in English though). Even the national parliament's official websites in Italy (http://www.parlamento.it/), Sweden (http://www.riksdagen.se/), Austria (http://www.parlinkom.gv.at/), Poland (http://www.sejm.gov.pl/) or Belgium's Lower House (http://www.dekamer.be/kvvcr/choose_language.cfm) don't have English versions, although those of France (http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/english/index.asp), Italy (http://www.parlamento.it/), Spain (http://www.congreso.es/ingles/) or Germany (http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/) do. Italy even has Italian-only websites for things as basic as national government (http://www.italia.gov.it/) and national statistics (http://www.istat.it/).

I could continue the list with any other government website (don't want to spend all the evening on that though), and we will see similar results, with many Western European countries that do not have websites in English. Japan is the only non-English speaking developed country to almost constantly offer English translations.

National train companies in Europe usually have websites in English, like Japan's JR or metro companies. However, the biggest difference between Europe and Japan, more even than for government websites, is that all major news agencies have English websites (not just corporate info, but translations of most of the news articles), and NHK offers bilingual (Japanese-English) TV programmes. The only two multilingual channels I know in Europe are EuroNews (http://www.euronews.net/) and EuroSport (http://www.eurosport.com/), as they are pan-European. As you still need cable or satelite to get them, it does not make a big difference from watching directly international channels like BBC World, CNN or NBC.

Mike Cash
Oct 25, 2005, 22:15
I have been to about 20 countries in Europe, 3 in the Middle East and North Africa, India, Nepal, all North-East and South-East Asia except 5 countries (North Korea, Mongolia, Burma, Laos, Brunei), Australia, North America...


"My name is Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht"

Bugs Bunny

Maciamo
Oct 25, 2005, 22:35
"My name is Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht"

Bugs Bunny

Actually, I travelled on an average of 150 US$ a month around India and South East Asia. I actually managed to save money while travelling in Asia, compared to what accommodation and food only would have cost me in Europe or Japan.

In Europe, I have lived in 5 countries and travelled from there, and used the 60-day Eurolines pass (http://www.eurolines-pass.com/index.php?id=110) (now only 40 days) which gave me unlimited travel inside most of Europe for about 300 US$ for 2 months at the time. I slept in the bus on long journeys to save money on hotels.

Almost anybody from a developed country with enough time and willing to stay at cheap hotels and sleep in night buses can travel like I did at minimal cost.

I visited Korea and China from Japan. They have flight+hotel packages from about 30,000yen (260 US$ at current rate, or 230 US$ 2 years ago). It's more expensive to take the train or pay the highway fee and petrol from Tokyo to Osaka and back.

Silverpoint
Oct 25, 2005, 22:39
I have been to about 20 countries in Europe, 3 in the Middle East and North Africa, India, Nepal, all North-East and South-East Asia except 5 countries (North Korea, Mongolia, Burma, Laos, Brunei), Australia, North America...

Maybe you could put this information into your signature to save yourself the effort of having to re-type it every time you make a point. ;-)

Mike Cash
Oct 25, 2005, 23:38
Need to tack that "I have lived in Japan for 4 years" bit in there, too.

And Maciamo, you entirely missed the point of the Bugs Bunny quote.

Gaijin 06
Oct 26, 2005, 09:27
Sometimes it is better to let the argument stand on it's own merits, without having to bolster it by telling everyone how great you are, how high your IQ is, how much you've travelled, how less money you spent doing it etc.

Maciamo
Oct 26, 2005, 14:06
And Maciamo, you entirely missed the point of the Bugs Bunny quote.

So what was the point then ?

Maciamo
Oct 26, 2005, 14:18
Sometimes it is better to let the argument stand on it's own merits, without having to bolster it by telling everyone how great you are, how high your IQ is, how much you've travelled, how less money you spent doing it etc.

What's wrong with telling people who I am (not how great I am, but on what personal experience my analysis is based).

As for the IQ, I only mentioned it once when I was asked for it (maybe I shouldn't have as immature people tend to think it's a form of show-off). I don't understand people who react so negatively about telling one's IQ. It's as natural as telling the colour of your eyes or your body height. It's just a fact that one cannot decide or change. Knowledge can be aquired, but not IQ. IQ does not determine success or even intelligence, since intelligence requires acquired knowledge (i.e. a personal effort), a good memory (not related to IQ), and maybe also a good imagination, creativity, interpersonal and artistic skills, which are all unrelated to IQ. (Non-verbal) IQ is about reasoning and spatial skills - nothing more, nothing less.

As for letting the argument stand on it's own merits, you don't understand how much I dislike people who come and criticise my analysis based on nothing but their own desire to argue. If Mikecash or GaijinPunch had wanted to demonstrate that other non-English-speaking countries were more English-friendly than Japan, they would have found some kind of evidences, as I did. They could have said that they had checked various government websites, found information about TV channels or area maps in other countries, and that there was no reason to believe that the Japanese government tried harder to accommodate English speakers than European or other Asian governments. But they didn't. They didn't spend hours of research before posting their arguments as I did. Then Mikecash find it amusing to find a way to contradict me with a single line post, or quoting Bugs Bunny. I feel it is lowering the level of discussion and seriouness of this thread. People are free to disagree, but if you want to publicly affirm that I am mistaken, then try to provide facts - photos, links, or whatever.


Maybe you could put this information into your signature to save yourself the effort of having to re-type it every time you make a point.

I wish I could add a small biography in my signature, but that would be too big. As I said before, people who read posts on this forum are not limited to a few habitues. We have thousands og unregistered visitors or occasional members that come here, don't know me or any of the regulars and their background. That is why it is sometimes necessary to understand an argument, to give some background. In my eyes, an argument against a thread I start is not just between me and one other person; thousands of people are reading, or could read tis thread in the future. Therefore I cannot let some clows make fun of me when I am serious about one topic.

Just to make it clear, I am not talking about this thread in particular, but any "serious" thread.

DoctorP
Oct 26, 2005, 22:23
I don't understand people who react so negatively about telling one's IQ. It's as natural as telling the colour of your eyes or your body height. It's just a fact that one cannot decide or change.

I bet a well placed tire iron could change someone's IQ! :p



I wish I could add a small biography in my signature, but that would be too big. As I said before, people who read posts on this forum are not limited to a few habitues. We have thousands og unregistered visitors or occasional members that come here, don't know me or any of the regulars and their background.

Why not write an article about yourself? Then you could do two things that you love at once...writing, and telling about yourself! (ok...that was a little rude, but I was serious about posting a bio!) Being that you are one of the creators of the site, and that you do all of the articles, I think that it would be a resonable thing to do! Many news sites that I go to have links to the staff bios.

Mike Cash
Oct 26, 2005, 22:29
When discussing Japan, I don't feel a need to constantly do it in terms of comparisons with other places and don't understand why you think I would need to find evidence of the relative English-friendliness of other countries.

The Bugs Bunny quote was what our British friends refer to as "taking the p*ss", I believe. You seem to be incapable of making any point whatsoever without resorting to the use of statements of personal experience meant to serve as authoritative authentification. This is why I give you crap about constantly going on and on with your "I have lived in Japan for 4 years blah blah blah blah". Any statement or point that can't be presented in a way that it can stand on it's own without resort to length of time in Japan to serve as a crutch to prop it up isn't deserving of serious consideration, in my opinion. The amount of time one has spent in Japan serves as a reliable indicator of one thing and one thing only: the length of time one has spent in Japan. It gives no indication of the merits of one's opinions or assertions and tends, in most cases, to be inserted into statements as a cheap (and ultimately meaningless) method of establishing to others who have not been here that long (the bulk of JREF members/visitors) that one's credentials for opinions offered are authoritative and unassailable. It serves to establish some sort of gaijin pecking order and I find it to be crass in the extreme.

ArmandV
Oct 27, 2005, 00:46
Thank God that Japan is as English-friendly it is. I truly appreciate having signs in English so I can navigate myself around, etc. Whether or not it compares to other countries in this aspect is irrelevant. I am just happy it has what it has.

Gaijin 06
Oct 27, 2005, 09:34
As for letting the argument stand on it's own merits, you don't understand how much I dislike people who come and criticise my analysis based on nothing but their own desire to argue.

I've only just arrived at this website, but maybe they don't actually agree with what you're saying? Also maybe your arrogant and patronising tone might have something to do with the responses you elicit?

I don't agree with you on this subject, based on nothing but my own experiences in the month I've spent in Japan as a non-Japanese speaker.



What's wrong with telling people who I am (not how great I am, but on what personal experience my analysis is based).

I think you're trying to draw a false distinction between the two - seems more like you are telling us about yourself to emphasise how great you are and how you can never be wrong. You can never be wrong, right?

Maciamo
Oct 27, 2005, 10:02
I don't agree with you on this subject, based on nothing but my own experiences in the month I've spent in Japan as a non-Japanese speaker.

Alright. Like everytime I write a thread about cultural/country comparison, I should have given the reason why I decided to write such an article in the first place. This is in my signature, but for those who hadn't noticed, I am also the webmaster of Eupedia (http://www.eupedia.com/), whic includes a directory of Europe-related websites in English (http://www.eupedia.com/directory/), similar to JREF's Japan Directory (http://www.wa-pedia.com/dir/).

While working on these directories (I've bee reorganising a lot in the last few days), I found that European countries tended to have fewer websites in English than Japan, especially when it came to government websites (but maybe more when it came to hotels and tours). Whereas Japan has almost 300 government websites listed, France only has 64, Belgium 148, the Netherlands 118, Germany 118, Italy 72, and Spain a ridiculous 25. The trend is even more surprising when looking at news and media websites. Japan has close to 400 of them in English, while European countries typically have around 10 or 20. Yet these are two rather fundamental things for English speakers living in a foreign country. I think it is largely due to the Japanese authorities' desire to look more "international", but also because of the Japanese tendency to (falsely) believe that Westerners cannot learn their language.

Then, being also the author of JREF's Japan Guide (http://www.wa-pedia.com/practical/sightseeing.shtml). Having travelled extensively around Japan to gather information and take photos, I realised that Japan (and not just Tokyo) was in general much more English friendly than the countries where I had lived or visited many times in Europe. I'd say that the Netherlands, then Switzerland, then Germany, then Belgium are the most English-friendly countries in Continental Europe. I think it is necessary to explain that I have lived in 5 EU countries and know well several others (e.g. France, where I have never lived) so that people can assess the value of my comparisons, based on my observations as a "travel writer" (I have also written the Belgium Guide (http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/) and England Guide (http://www.eupedia.com/england/)) and somebody probably more "analytical" than average*.

* that's what I have been told, but I sometimes find it difficult to accept (socially) that other people should be less analytical than me.


I think you're trying to draw a false distinction between the two

Does that mean that you do not accept this distinction ? Does IQ detremine someone's greatness for you ? Yo visibly have no idea of how hard it is to live (especially as a child) being exceptionally gifted.


- seems more like you are telling us about yourself to emphasise how great you are and how you can never be wrong. You can never be wrong, right?

Oh yes I can be wrong. But I like it when people come with stronger arguments to demonstrate that I am wrong, the way I demonstrate that I am right. An argument is like a scientific theory; it's right as long as it has not been proven wrong.

Akakubisan
Oct 27, 2005, 10:12
[QUOTE=Maciamo]

Does that mean that you do not accept this distinction ? Does IQ detremine someone's greatness for you ? Yo visibly have no idea of how hard it is to live (especially as a child) being exceptionally gifted.


Umm, I have a feeling that it is just as difficult or more so to have a learning disability (say ADD) as a child or an adult. Having a high IQ is not totally unnatural, I have a similar IQ, and I know a number of people as well with high IQ's.

Please get off your high horse and leave it.

Maciamo
Oct 27, 2005, 10:34
Umm, I have a feeling that it is just as difficult or more so to have a learning disability (say ADD) as a child or an adult. Having a high IQ is not totally unnatural, I have a similar IQ, and I know a number of people as well with high IQ's.

Please get of your high horse and leave it.

I cannot know for sure what your IQ is. But did you experience an utter feeling of boredom at school because it was always too easy ? Did you get envied by your class mates because you passed tests witout studying while they were studying 2h a day ? Did you find yourself misunderstod on a daily basis because the words you used were to difficult for people of your age to fully understand ? Did you dislike school because you prefered learning by yourself ? Did you experience that your own family members never managed to understand the way you thought or even felt as if you were speaking different languages ? Did you constantly have completely different (more mature and more intellectual) interests than people of your age ? (e.g. preferring to read an encyclopedia than play football) Did you argue with your teachers when you disagreed or found that then had mistaken (and could prove it) ? Did you get hated by some of those teachers for making them look stupid in front of the class ? Did you want to study almost every subject at university and couldn't get satisfied if you couldn't have enough variety ? Do you often find that you are like an alien among humans ? Do you do an intellectual activity to relax when others prefer watching TV, have a massage or play sport ?

If the majority of these are not true for you, then I doubt that we are comparable.

Here are a few accounts on the internet of/about other exceptionally gifted people (please keep in mind that gifted, highly gifted, exceptionally gifted and profoundly gifted are all different).

Highly, Exceptionally, and Profoundly Gifted (http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/highly_gifted.htm)

Characteristics of Giftedness Scale (http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/Articles/Characteristics_Scale.htm)

Gifted adults (http://www.educationaloptions.com/gifted_adults.htm)

Why do I call myself the Outsider? (http://home1.gte.net/richwebb/rant/rant000.htm)

NB : Do me a favour, edit your post above and add the missing [/QUOTE] tag.

Akakubisan
Oct 27, 2005, 11:58
I fixed my quote, thanks for pointing that out.

Akakubisan
Oct 27, 2005, 12:18
Originally posted my Maciamo
I cannot know for sure what your IQ is. But did you experience an utter feeling of boredom at school because it was always too easy ?

Yes


Did you get envied by your class mates because you passed tests witout studying while they were studying 2h a day ?

Yes again. (doesn't make you very popular)



Did you find yourself misunderstod on a daily basis because the words you used were to difficult for people of your age to fully understand ?

Don't really recall


Did you dislike school because you prefered learning by yourself ?

Depends on whether it was interesting or not.


Did you experience that your own family members never managed to understand the way you thought or even felt as if you were speaking different languages ?

Yes as a child and teenager, this is what happens when you are young, as you get older you learn to explain yourself.



Did you constantly have completely different (more mature and more intellectual) interests than people of your age ? (e.g. preferring to read an encyclopedia than play football)

I don't know about the more mature part, but yes i prefer the intellectual interests over others like sports.



Did you argue with your teachers when you disagreed or found that then had mistaken (and could prove it) ? Did you get hated by some of those teachers for making them look stupid in front of the class ?

I don't know if I ever made them look stupid, I did argue with them though.
I still argue, I'm pretty good at that.



Did you want to study almost every subject at university and couldn't get satisfied if you couldn't have enough variety ? Do you often find that you are like an alien among humans ?

Yes to the first no to the second


Do you do an intellectual activity to relax when others prefer watching TV, have a massage or play sport ?

Yes watchinig TV is not high on my priority list, I prefer to read. But a nice massage is wonderful.


If the majority of these are not true for you, then I doubt that we are comparable.

I never said we were comparable, I was just pointing out that there are other highly intelligent people in the world and that you have to deal with it.

Gaijin 06
Oct 27, 2005, 12:57
Does that mean that you do not accept this distinction ? Does IQ detremine someone's greatness for you ? Yo visibly have no idea of how hard it is to live (especially as a child) being exceptionally gifted.


Oh dear. I don't want to get into a "my IQ/father/willy/bank balance" is bigger than yours discussion.

I'll leave others to draw their own conclusions, rather than forcing my opinion of myself down their throats. For the record, pretty much all of those things you mentioned were true for me - but I grew out of them.

Back onto the subject at hand


I realised that Japan (and not just Tokyo) was in general much more English friendly than the countries where I had lived or visited many times in Europe. I'd say that the Netherlands, then Switzerland, then Germany, then Belgium are the most English-friendly countries in Continental Europe.

As a non-Dutch speaking, non-German speaking, non-Japanese speaking person I found it much easier to live in the EU than Japan. Why - very simple reason, already stated:

European languages share the same alphabet and origins - many of the words in one language are recognisable in another. So for an English speaking person, it is much easier to live in the EU than it is Japan.

Also, it seems more common to me for EU inhabitants to speak English as a secondary (or tertiary) language than it is for Japanese people to speak English.

While I am not denigrating Japan in the slightest for this, I must take issue with your assertions that is it very English-friendly and much more so than European countries.

Maciamo
Oct 27, 2005, 13:24
European languages share the same alphabet and origins - many of the words in one language are recognisable in another.

But kanji are also pretty easy, as you can understand words just from the shape of the character, even if you can't pronounce it or write it. It's a fairly minor adaptation problem, compared to understanding the local culture, business customs, political system, taxation system, history, or any other fundamental thing that somebody should know to live and work in a country.

I don't deny that it is much easier for a speaker of a Germanic or Latin language (English being a hybrid of both) to learn another language of this group. But motivation to learn the local language is as important, in my opinion.


So for an English speaking person, it is much easier to live in the EU than it is Japan.

But that's a different issue. I never said that it was easier for an English speaker to live in Japan than Europe. The cultural difference is so much bigger that it seems pretty obvious. Then, an English-speaking Weterner could easily pass for a local in most of Europe, without facing discrimination or having locals behave weirdly in their presence.



Also, it seems more common to me for EU inhabitants to speak English as a secondary (or tertiary) language than it is for Japanese people to speak English.

That's where I completely disagree. All Japanese learn English at school, and for 99% of them, their is no 3rd language available at school until university. Apart from Nordic countries where most people speak English quite well, Europeans tend to learn first the language of the nearest country from where they live, or the one they personally prefer. For example, Most Belgians learn the second main official language (Dutch or French) before English. In France, people typically learn first German in the North-East, Italian in the South-East, Spanish in the South-West, and English in the North-West. Many German people learn French before English (esp. near the border). Many Spaniards, Portuguese or Italians learn another Romance language first, because it is easier. I know that many French speakers are not muc better at English than the Japanese (even though they ought to, as French is much more similar to English). I have lived a bit in Italy and Spain, and most people couldn't speak English, or not well enough to comfortably hold a conversation. In Eastern Germany (I lived a while in Berlin), more people speak Russian or French than English. It didn't matter for me, as I was there to learn the local language.

Nowadays, most Europeans may learn English (the rate is increasing year by year), but still often as a 3rd language (which means that they may only have 3 or 4 years of it instead of 6 or 8).

You might want to check the statistics regarding the percentage of the EU population that speaks other European languages (http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/policies/lang/languages/index_en.html). If it is true that English is the most widely spoken EU-wide thanks to Nordic countries and Eastern Europe, only 31% of non-British/Irish Europeans can speak English.

Have a look at the graph below to know the percentage of people who speak English as a foreign language in each EU country. Apart from Malta and Cyprus that were British "colonies", only Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria have more than 50% of people who can speak English. Only 32% of French people, and 28% of Italian people can speak English. I think it's comparable in Japan.

http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/policies/lang/languages/images/image004.gif

Gaijin 06
Oct 27, 2005, 14:03
But kanji are also pretty easy, as you can understand words just from the shape of the character, even if you can't pronounce it or write it.

You might be able to, but I have no clue. Same with katakana.

If I want to order from a menu, visit the barber, understand the pricing options on furniture in Tokyu Hands, understand a place name, understand what the words on the adverts in real estate agents windows mean etc etc I can confidently say that looking at the shape of the characters did me no good whatsoever.

All examples from my first month here.



Have a look at the graph below to know the percentage of people who speak English as a foreign language in each EU country. Apart from Malta and Cyprus that were British "colonies", only Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria have more than 50% of people who can speak English. Only 32% of French people, and 28% of Italian people can speak English. I think it's comparable in Japan.


I wouldn't, from what I have seen. Learning a language (or any other skill) at school isn't the same as being able to apply it anyway. I learn to read music at school and can't anymore because I never practised it. Many of the things I learnt much more recently in university I would struggle to perform now as I've not used or practised them enough.

I am sure this is the same for many people. In fact I learnt French at school, got the highest grade possible and now can't remember more than a few words.

From your link above, 1 in 2 people in the EU think they speak English well enough to hold a conversation. Lets take the 1 in 3 figure of Europeans who speak English but not as their mother tongue..

Are you seriously asserting than 1 in 3 Japanese people can hold a conversation in English? If so then I'm living in a different country to you.

Again I'll stress this is not meant as a slur or slight against Japan or Japanese people.. it is just about the claims made in this thread. I no more expect English to be spoken/used in Japan then I do Japanese in England.

Maciamo
Oct 27, 2005, 14:04
I never said we were comparable, I was just pointing out that there are other highly intelligent people in the world and that you have to deal with it.

What made you think that I did not recognise that there were other highly intelligent people in the world (or on this very forum) ? I think we have quite a lot of very gifted or intelligent members on this forum. I am not going to give names for fear of offending those I forget to mention. I certainly do not hesitate to show my appreciation of other members' contributions by giving them the reputation points they merit. I wouldn't enjoy this forum as I do if we didn't have so many interesting and bright people (I tend to get bored quickly around "not so bright" people).

So what is this about ? Because Gaijin 06 said "Sometimes it is better to let the argument stand on it's own merits, without having to bolster it by telling everyone how great you are, how high your IQ is..." ? For the record, I only mentioned once my IQ in over 6000 post and over 3 years on this forum (because I was asked for it), and never mentioned it on any other forum. I never once said that I was "great" or anything to that effect. As for the "condescending tone", this happens when I am irritated that some intelligent people do not make use of their intelligence to post (= don't think enough before they post) or try to (deliberately or unconsciously) sabotage my thread.

Maciamo
Oct 27, 2005, 14:23
You might be able to, but I have no clue. Same with katakana.

If I want to order from a menu, visit the barber, understand the pricing options on furniture in Tokyu Hands, understand a place name, understand what the words on the adverts in real estate agents windows mean etc etc I can confidently say that looking at the shape of the characters did me no good whatsoever.

All examples from my first month here.

Is it much easier to understand these things in French or German ? When I first went to Germany, I couldn't speak German at all. Everyday I had to check dozens of words in my dictionary to help me get by n my daily life. That's wasn't very different from Japan, except that German words were a bit easier to remember, when they were similar to the languages I already knew. As for the kana, it took me 1 week to memorise them (less than 100 characters, so not that difficult), and that was just before coming to Japan, as a preparation.



Are you seriously asserting than 1 in 3 Japanese people can hold a conversation in English? If so then I'm living in a different country to you.

Most people under 40 can speak at least some English. Often they can read it or write it much better than they can speak it or hear it.

In 2003, about 1.5 million Japanese took the TOEIC test. You can check the results here (http://www.toeic.or.jp/toeic_en/media/pdf/TOEIC_DAA2003.pdf) to see what are their average scores (most have high levels enough to hold a basic conversation). It's difficult to know exactly how many Japanese have taken the test (or others like the more difficult TOEFL or Eiken) in their life. But with 1.5 million a year, that's tens of millions in the last 10 years alone.



Again I'll stress this is not meant as a slur or slight against Japan or Japanese people.. it is just about the claims made in this thread. I no more expect English to be spoken/used in Japan then I do Japanese in England.

Well, that's a serious mistake. All Japanese learn English for at least 6 years. Many now start from kindergarten. Most Japanese companies check TOIEC scores to recruit their employees. Japan has more private English schools per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world. If you've only been one month in Japan, you will see that very often Japanese people are just very shy and lack confidence to speak English, but once you get to know them and they are a bit more used to speak English (even just once a week), they will open up and speak it. I have had some students who wouldn't say a word in the first lesson as they were nervous. They couldn't even answer a simple question like "What are your hobbies ?" or "What kind of job do you do ?". But they read books in English during their free time and could understand most of it without a dictionary. After a few lesson, they gradually started to speak, and their level eas much higher than I could have imagined at first.

Gaijin 06
Oct 27, 2005, 14:36
Is it much easier to understand these things in French or German ? .

Yes!




Most people under 40 can speak at least some English. Often they can read it or write it much better than they can speak it or hear it.

Fine, but in relation to the topic - how English-friendly is Japan - the majority of interaction most people need is verbal!



If you've only been one month in Japan, you will see that very often Japanese people are just very shy and lack confidence to speak English, but once you get to know them and they are a bit more used to speak English (even just once a week), they will open up and speak it.

I read that before I came to Japan, but it really not applicable to how English-friendly this is again.

If I want to buy a bed, some shabu shabu, a hair cut, a mobile phone or rent an apartment I don't want to have to get to know the sales person, barber, waitress or realtor before they're confident enough to talk!

If most people who can speak English choose to refuse or are reluctant to - then it isn't very "English-friendly".

Maciamo
Oct 27, 2005, 14:55
Fine, but in relation to the topic - how English-friendly is Japan - the majority of interaction most people need is verbal!

Er not really. The title of the thread is not "How well do the Japanese speak English". It is English-friendly Japan, and Japan is the country more than the people. It means that the facilities, signs, information available to residents and tourists, etc. are made to accommodate English speakers. How well the locals speak is only relevant for institutions/companies that deal with foreigners (at least that was what I meant since the beginning of the thread).

Gaijin 06
Oct 27, 2005, 15:14
Ummmmmm.. I would say Japanese people are are important component of Japan.

Much more so than signs and facilities to be honest. I would venture that it isn't just companies/institutions that deal with foreigners, and that many Japanese people also do so.

Maciamo
Oct 27, 2005, 16:28
Ummmmmm.. I would say Japanese people are are important component of Japan.

Much more so than signs and facilities to be honest. I would venture that it isn't just companies/institutions that deal with foreigners, and that many Japanese people also do so.

Tourists can easily take the train/metro, find their way (maps, street signs), reserve a hotel, find English menus, etc. Not every hotel staff speaks English, and not every restaurant has an English menu, but there are enough of them to be convenient (more than in Thailand or China).

For residents, there is enough info about government, laws, visas, taxation, emergencies, enough services in English (Amazon Japan, other bookshops in English, mobile phones, PC and TV programmes in English...) to live easily. Before the advent of DVD's, it would have been very difficult to find non-dubbed movies on TV or in video shops in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, for instance. As for meeting people, there are certainly enough Japanese who speak English fluently enough to find them easily at a bar or party. Anyhow, I would expect any resident in a foreign country to learn the local language, except if they want to stay with expats that speak their language. It's the same everywhere, so it's kind of absurd to claim that Japan is not English-friendly because the locals don't all speak English perfectly fulently. There is a big gap between "English-friendly" and "English-speaking" country.

India is an English speaking country, yet only 2% of Indians are native English speakers. Because English is an official language used in government and education (most universities have lessons in English), you can expect at least a few percent of the people to be very fluent at English. But Japan is not an English-speaking country.

Belgium has French, Dutch and German as official languages, but very few people can speak German outside the tiny German area, and I haven't seen any street signs in German in most of Belgium. Likewise, there are still many people who do not speak (or not well) the other main official language (Dutch/French). In many ways, Belgium is less German-friendly than Japan is English-friendly, and French-speaking Wallonia is about as Dutch-friendly (less for street signs) than Japan is English-friendly.

Is that unreasonable to say that Japan is English-friendly when the infrastructure and government are as English-friendly as if English was a national language (yet from a different region), and the locals speak English about as well as Belgian people would speak one or both of their other national language ? In that case, Belgium would not be Dutch-friendly, French-friendly or German-friendly although these are the national languages (let alone English-friendly). Why not claim that Canada is not French-friendly because many English-speakers don't speak French ? I guess a place like New Mexico would not be very English-friendly either then.

Gaijin 06
Oct 27, 2005, 16:39
Anyhow, I would expect any resident in a foreign country to learn the local language, except if they want to stay with expats that speak their language. It's the same everywhere, so it's kind of absurd to claim that Japan is not English-friendly because the locals don't all speak English perfectly fulently. There is a big gap between "English-friendly" and "English-speaking" country.


I agree that residents in foreign countries should learn the language.

In Japan it is a necessity as it's not "English-friendly" and hard to get by in daily life without speaking and reading Japanese.

Anyway, I didn't claim "that Japan is not English-friendly because the locals don't all speak English perfectly fulently."

Of course, the number of people who can speak English has a direct bearing on how English-friendly a country is. Kinda obvious really. If most stores, restaurants, barbers, bars etc had one person who could speak English then that would go a long way towards being "English-friendly" for me.

However this is not my experience at all, even in areas with a heavy alien population like Akasaka.

Maciamo
Oct 27, 2005, 19:50
Of course, the number of people who can speak English has a direct bearing on how English-friendly a country is. Kinda obvious really. If most stores, restaurants, barbers, bars etc had one person who could speak English then that would go a long way towards being "English-friendly" for me.

So you are basically saying that Belgium is not German-friendly, although it's an official language, Switerland is not Romanche-friendly although it's only spoken there, and Spain is not Galician-, Basque- and Catalan-friendly because most Spaniards cannot speak those languages, although again they are only spoken in Spain and all official. :?

For me, Japan is like a country where English would be official without having native speakers (apart from the foreign residents or naturalised Japanese like Arudo Debito). In every possible way, the Japanese government behaves as if English was the second official language. Were Guam or Saipan to be annexed to Japan and English declared an official language, there is little the Japanese government could do it is not already doing to make the country more English-friendly for its English-speaking population.

Here is another example of what I mean :

http://www.wa-pedia.com/entertainment/gallery/data/523/CA260111.jpg

celtician
Oct 27, 2005, 22:52
Check the site "japanese Engrish" to see how Engrish friendly this cuntry is. Still very retarded.

DoctorP
Oct 27, 2005, 23:11
Well, that's a serious mistake. All Japanese learn English for at least 6 years. Many now start from kindergarten.


I worked as a teacher and have many friends who (still) are teachers or professors. In my observances the vast majority of people who have studied English for 6 years in school are still struggling with the same phrases that the 1st year learners are being introduced to!

DoctorP
Oct 27, 2005, 23:24
Tourists can easily take the train/metro, find their way (maps, street signs), reserve a hotel, find English menus, etc. Not every hotel staff speaks English, and not every restaurant has an English menu, but there are enough of them to be convenient (more than in Thailand or China).

But doesn't that equate to more money pumped into the economy by tourists? If everything was in Japanese, then the average weekend tourist would have difficulty getting around. These things are not necessarily done to accomodate long term residents as they are to help make the tourism industry more adaptive to foreigners. Don't you think?




For residents, there is enough info about government, laws, visas, taxation, emergencies, enough services in English (Amazon Japan, other bookshops in English, mobile phones, PC and TV programmes in English...) to live easily. Before the advent of DVD's, it would have been very difficult to find non-dubbed movies on TV or in video shops in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, for instance. As for meeting people, there are certainly enough Japanese who speak English fluently enough to find them easily at a bar or party. Anyhow, I would expect any resident in a foreign country to learn the local language, except if they want to stay with expats that speak their language. It's the same everywhere, so it's kind of absurd to claim that Japan is not English-friendly because the locals don't all speak English perfectly fulently. There is a big gap between "English-friendly" and "English-speaking" country.

Is that unreasonable to say that Japan is English-friendly when the infrastructure and government are as English-friendly as if English was a national language (yet from a different region), and the locals speak English about as well as Belgian people would speak one or both of their other national language ? In that case, Belgium would not be Dutch-friendly, French-friendly or German-friendly although these are the national languages (let alone English-friendly). Why not claim that Canada is not French-friendly because many English-speakers don't speak French ? I guess a place like New Mexico would not be very English-friendly either then.


I would think (though I am not positive) that the choice to use English was based on the idea that English is a global language. I would think that a decision was made to adapt to a foreigner friendly language and English was chosen to accomodate the maximum number of people (of course the US military presence probably played into this as well!). As for the creation of the websites, etc... It is only a guess, but I would think that many of these places only employ a limited number of people who are cabable of performing this work. Chances are that the people who work there are only capable of translating to English (as the number of English speakers is quite high in Japan). Many government sites are not going to spend the necessary money to change to mulitple languages. Especially since you have so often noted that Japan is less than welcoming to people of other nationalities to become long term residents...I really don't see them wanting to make this process as easy as possible for people by putting all of the information in their native tongue!

All of this is likely to change in the next 5-10 years as Chinese may likely overtake English as the preferred language in the international community. :p

Maciamo
Oct 28, 2005, 01:12
But doesn't that equate to more money pumped into the economy by tourists? If everything was in Japanese, then the average weekend tourist would have difficulty getting around. These things are not necessarily done to accomodate long term residents as they are to help make the tourism industry more adaptive to foreigners. Don't you think?

The reason why they spent money translating all the stuff is matter for another separate discussion. If you check the JNTO link earlier in this thread, you'll see that Asian tourists make up a much bigger part of all tourists in Japan than Westerners. So the policy of the Japanese government is at best inconsistent with reality, at worst a form of discrimination to encourage English-speaking tourists and discourage others. This lead us to your second comment :


I would think (though I am not positive) that the choice to use English was based on the idea that English is a global language.

Or at least the commonly shared Japanese belief that all Westerners speak English, and that Westerners are more desirable as tourists than other Asians. It's not with such policies that Japan is going to improve its relations with Korea, China and other Asian countries. At least, there is a new trend to translate 'some' public signs and websites into Korean and Chinese - but that's a tiny fraction of the signs and websites that are translated in English.

Mike Cash
Oct 28, 2005, 02:13
The growing trend around here is for them to be translated into Portuguese/Spanish, but not English.

DoctorP
Oct 28, 2005, 06:37
The reason why they spent money translating all the stuff is matter for another separate discussion.

Not really...I am merely shedding light on one reason why they would be, as you put it, so "English-Friendly"!



If you check the JNTO link earlier in this thread, you'll see that Asian tourists make up a much bigger part of all tourists in Japan than Westerners. So the policy of the Japanese government is at best inconsistent with reality, at worst a form of discrimination to encourage English-speaking tourists and discourage others. This lead us to your second comment :

True, but there are also another 100,000 Americans here yearly that are not classified as tourist, but contribute significantly to the tourism industry!




Or at least the commonly shared Japanese belief that all Westerners speak English, and that Westerners are more desirable as tourists than other Asians.


I will not debate who is a better tourist. That would be hard to prove. I suppose I could drudge up numbers on how much money is spent by each group, but I suspect that it would be Asians that lead this, being that many Americans desire to be more frugal with their money.

As for the language part...It is still widely believed, not just by the Japanese, that English is a more widely known language worldwide.






It's not with such policies that Japan is going to improve its relations with Korea, China and other Asian countries. At least, there is a new trend to translate 'some' public signs and websites into Korean and Chinese - but that's a tiny fraction of the signs and websites that are translated in English.

But that is not the point of this thread, nor is it the desire of the Japanese...so why bring it up?

Gaijin 06
Oct 28, 2005, 08:54
So you are basically saying that Belgium is not German-friendly, although it's an official language, Switerland is not Romanche-friendly although it's only spoken there, and Spain is not Galician-, Basque- and Catalan-friendly because most Spaniards cannot speak those languages, although again they are only spoken in Spain and all official. :?


For someone with a self-proclaimed high IQ you are having surprising difficulty grasping the concepts of this thread.

Did you miss the bit where we agreed that it is much easier to move from one European language to another than it is to move between a European language and Japanese?

As for the signs - I could go and take pictures of hundreds of Japanese only signs, just like you can go and take pictures of hundreds of signs in both languages. Not really enhancing the argument, is it?

Maciamo
Oct 28, 2005, 09:37
For someone with a self-proclaimed high IQ you are having surprising difficulty grasping the concepts of this thread.

As far as I know, I am the one who started this thread, and I am the one who decide what this thread is about. Are you saying that you know better than me what I had in mind and meant when I started this thread ?


Did you miss the bit where we agreed that it is much easier to move from one European language to another than it is to move between a European language and Japanese?

That's completely irrelevant. I have learnt many European languages and Japanese, and Japanese is not much more difficult. It's just an impression that people who haven't learnt it have. In fact, Japanese has so much more words that come from English that once you get used to the katakana pronuciation (I guess after a few weeks in Japan), Japanese becomes more similar to English that most European languages for many daily things. You mentioned going the hairdresser.

How do you say 'haircut' in Japanese ? 'Heakatto" or just "katto" from the English. Is that more or less difficult to understand than the French "coupe de cheveux" or Spanish "corte de pelo" or Italian "taglio" or German "Haarschnitt" ? I suppose that any English speaker would say easier.
There thousands of daily words in Japanese that come from English : doa (door), te-buru (table), gaidobukku (guidebook), mauzu (mouse), konpyuta- (computer), sofuto (software), ea-kon (air-con) ju-su (juice), rentaka- (rent-a-car), pen (pen), kontakuto lenzu (contact lenses), wain (wine), kyabetsu (cabbage), sukedyu-ru (schedule), kamera (camera), no-to (notebook), surippa (slippers), handobaggu (handbag), furaipan (frying pan), shawa- (shower), bakettsu (bucket), nettowa-ku (network), sokkusu (socks), pantsu (pants), ka-digan (cardigan), sha-tsu (shirt), etc.

I could make a huge list and compare them to the words in French, Italian, Spanish, German and Dutch, and you'd see that most of them are completely different from English. I'll just compare the above with French, as I don't have time to do everything (keep in mind that the pronuciation of French is completely different from English for the same spelling, and that someone pronoucing a word with an English accent will almost never be understood) :

door : porte
table : table
guidebook : guide de voyage
computer : ordinateur
software : logiciel
mouse : souris
air con : climatisation
juice : jus
rent-a-car : voiture de location
pen : stylo
contact lenses : lentilles
wine : vin
cabbage : choux
schedule : agenda/emploi du temps
camera : appareil photo
notebook : cahier
slippers : pantoufles
handbag : sac a main
frying pan : poele
shower : douche
bucket : seau
network : reseau
socks : chausettes
pants (US) : pantalon
cardigan : gillet
shirt : chemise

Being a native speaker of French, and being also fluent in English and Italian and conversational in Spanish and German, I know that the vast majority of the thousands of katakana words used the most commonly in Japanese come from English, and that these are usually very different from their European equivalent. This further makes Japan, and indeed Japanese language, more English-friendly. I have met a lot of French people in Japan (and discussed on French forums), and I found that those whose English was not good (or inexistent), had a notable disadvantage to learn Japanese. They didn't have the head start of the thousands of katakana words. Maybe it's difficult to realise that when you only speak English.

Gaijin 06
Oct 28, 2005, 10:11
As far as I know, I am the one who started this thread, and I am the one who decide what this thread is about. Are you saying that you know better than me what I had in mind and meant when I started this thread ?

No, I think you are having problems understanding the posts in this thread, even when they are quite simple.



That's completely irrelevant. I have learnt many European languages and Japanese, and Japanese is not much more difficult. It's just an impression that people who haven't learnt it have. In fact, Japanese has so much more words that come from English that once you get used to the katakana pronuciation (I guess after a few weeks in Japan), Japanese becomes more similar to English that most European languages for many daily things. You mentioned going the hairdresser.


Maybe it's difficult to realise that when you only speak English.

Maybe it is difficult for you to realise that Japan is not English-friendly given you speak Japanese and learnt at least some before you came?

Or are you arrogant enough to believe you can put yourself in my situation situation and see it better than the way I can see it myself?

"I am Maciamo and I can tell you that you had no difficulty in any of these situations - ordering from a menu, visiting a barber, understand the pricing options on furniture in Tokyu Hands, understanding a place name, understanding what the words on the adverts in real estate agents windows.

My opinion is right and if your opinion differs then it is wrong because I speak English and Italian and and am conversational in Spanish and German as well as - crucically - speaking Japanese."

Maciamo
Oct 28, 2005, 10:26
Maybe it is difficult for you to realise that Japan is not English-friendly given you speak Japanese and learnt at least some before you came?

I just learnt the kanas and a few basic greetings about one month before coming, like I had done for any other country where I was going to live.


"I am Maciamo and I can tell you that you had no difficulty in any of these situations - ordering from a menu, visiting a barber, understand the pricing options on furniture in Tokyu Hands, understanding a place name, understanding what the words on the adverts in real estate agents windows.

If you tried a bit, you'd see that it's not that difficult, and often there will be some English-speaking staff. Maybe you've just been to the wrong places. Don't expect people speak your language in a country where it's not an official language. Again "English-friendly" has so little to do with "English-speaking" country. That's what you don't get. I seriously doubt that if you had to deal with French- or Italian-speaking staff (who didn't speak English as is the norm), you'd have easier to make yourself understood than in Japan.



My opinion is right and if your opinion differs then it is wrong because I speak English and Italian and and am conversational in Spanish and German as well as - crucically - speaking Japanese."

It certainly helps me see things from a broader angle.

Gaijin 06
Oct 28, 2005, 12:05
I'd fed up of discussing with someone who will never accept anything but their own point of view. Why start a discussion if you are unwilling to discuss anything?

For your information I've travelled widely in Europe and Asia and had far less problems communicating than in Japan. So I am comparing like from like based on personal experience, whereas you are speaking from conjecture only.

As for your frankly insulting suggestion that I have not "tried a bit". Do you think I did not want any of these things (meals, hair cuts, double beds) etc? Do you think I didn't try to communicate with the people I was dealing with? Maybe you don't interact with people much and don't think others do but you're wrong on this point too.

As for

"Don't expect people speak your language in a country where it's not an official language."

I don't expect that at all. Again I re-iterate for the third time in this thread this is not a slur on Japan, or a criticism at all. I don't exepct everyone should speak English, nor do I expect them to! I really don't see how I can make this clearer.

However the fact that so few people speak English makes this a difficult country for those of who do not speak Japanese to be in, so it is not English-friendly.

Anyway, this is my last word on this matter as I can't be bothered arguing you. You will doubtless post again and have the last word, and you're welcome to it.

Maciamo
Oct 28, 2005, 12:37
I'd fed up of discussing with someone who will never accept anything but their own point of view. Why start a discussion if you are unwilling to discuss anything?

I feel exactly the same way about you.

I will repeat it a last time; the title "English-friendly Japan" is intended to mean "Japan is more accommodating to English speakers than speakers of any other languages (except maybe readers of traditional Chinese characters like in H-K and Taiwan or well-educated mainland Chinese). Do you agree or disagree with that ?

My intention was never to say that Japan is easy to live and communciate in any given situation for an English-speaker (well, one that does not speak Japanese, otherwise it's obviously easy).

There are 4 main points in my thread :

1) Public signs, government websites, etc. are translated in English if they are translated (virtually never in French, German, Arabic, Hindi, Thai or whatever). => English is the first language of translation and English signs are common enough to find some about anywhere you go in big cities and toursitical areas.

2) The Japanese government encourages more the learning of English at school than any other language. As a matter of fact, all Japanese have been learning English (only) at school for the last few decades.

3) Japanese language uses more words imported from English than any other language (except Chinese if kanji compounds are counted as 'Chinese words'). There are thousands of English words used in daily life in Japanese. It does not mean that English speakers will understand Japanese. It means that English speakers have a slight advantage on speakers of other languages regarding vocabulary, and are more likely to be understood if they say a word they don't know in their language than speakers of most the 6,000+ languages in the world.

4) Because of the above mentioned, the Japanese government seem to regard English as if it had a 'special status', similar to that of a minor official language in a multilingual country (like Belgium, Switzerland, Canda, India, China...). It does not mean anybody, or even a majority of the people can speak English. English does not have such a special status in Continental European countries, as I explained in post #41 (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=267522&postcount=41).

Do you fundamentally disagree with any of these points ?

I apologise if I made it sound like Japan was the most English-friendly speaking on earth, or a country where English speakers would never have trouble communicating with locals. I have tried (in vain) to explain that it was not what I meant. I hope that is clear now.

Silverpoint
Oct 28, 2005, 17:01
Maciamo. For someone who is so apparently 'gifted', I find it extraordinary that you cannot understand how pompous, arrogant and condescending you appear in the eyes of so many 'lesser mortals' who read your comments. Can you not see at all that the tone of your comments consistently alienates a large number of people? To me this doesn't come across as particularly intelligent behaviour at all.

Why should you decide what can and can't be discussed in this thread? It makes not a single bit of difference that you started it. If the discussion couldn't be widened in this or other threads, then this forum would very quickly stagnate and die. It's the introduction of new or interesting points and broader opinions that keeps a thread interesting and constantly changing.

Finally, it makes no difference whatsoever that you are the webmaster, editor, administrator or great and omnipotent god of this website. A ten year old child can make a website - anyone can. It adds absolutely no credability to your views whatsoever.

Maciamo
Oct 28, 2005, 17:56
Maciamo. For someone who is so apparently 'gifted', I find it extraordinary that you cannot understand how pompous, arrogant and condescending you appear in the eyes of so many 'lesser mortals' who read your comments.

First of all, IQ and EQ are completely different things. My EQ (capability to understand people's feelings/emotions) is probably under average. But if you ask me, I never had the impression of being "pompous, arrogant and condescending". What made you think that ?


Can you not see at all that the tone of your comments consistently alienates a large number of people?

No. Why ? Not all threads are meant to be discussed. Some are articles meant to be read. I appreciate feedback, but not people who try to destroy my arguments just because they don't agree with the title based on their own feelings, without really trying to understand the message of my article.

I am pretty sure that if my title had been "Japan is more accommodating to English speakers than to speakers of other languages", there wouldn't have been the stupid arguments and misunderstanding above (I will therefore add it). But in my views, a title should ideally be short and catchy, even if it does not reflect exactly the content of the thread. In fact, if the title said it all, there would be no need to write a long article at all.


Why should you decide what can and can't be discussed in this thread? It makes not a single bit of difference that you started it.

There is no reason to argue that "English speakers can have a hard time communicating with non-English-speaking Japanese" when it was never part of the subject of the thread. I never disagree with that. Yet, Mikecash, Gaijin Punch and Gaijin 06 all came up with that argument, because for them "English-friendly" had that meaning - but not for me, and I explained many times that it was not what I intended to discuss. Now if they want to talk about how hard it can be for someone who doesn't speak Japanese to deal with everyday situation in Japan, fine with me, but in another thread. Anyway, I never disagreed with that. Mikecash argued that most signs in Japan were in Japanese only. I didn't deny it either. But it can't be denied English signs are relatively common, even if they only make 1% of all signs.


Finally, it makes no difference whatsoever that you are the webmaster, editor, administrator or great and omnipotent god of this website. A ten year old child can make a website - anyone can. It adds absolutely no credability to your views whatsoever.

So what ? Did I say otherwise ?

Mike Cash
Oct 28, 2005, 18:50
As far as I know, I am the one who started this thread, and I am the one who decide what this thread is about.

Is this JREF Forums? Or Maciamo's Ego Blog, with comments allowed so long as they don't annoy the overlord?





How do you say 'haircut' in Japanese ?

I say U.

Mike Cash
Oct 28, 2005, 19:00
Maciamo. For someone who is so apparently 'gifted', I find it extraordinary that you cannot understand how pompous, arrogant and condescending you appear in the eyes of so many 'lesser mortals' who read your comments. Can you not see at all that the tone of your comments consistently alienates a large number of people? To me this doesn't come across as particularly intelligent behaviour at all.


Hear, hear!

There are definitely people who have been very put off by Maciamo's pompous, arrogant and condescending tone....which has, in my opinion, grown incredibly over the last two or three months. An inability to distinguish between statements of fact, opinion and conjecture and a tendency to extrapolate isolated, anecdotal personal experience to Universal Truths doesn't help matters any either.

Even very recent newcomers such as Gaijin06 immediately spot it and are put off by it. Recently there have been some posts wondering "Gee...where did everybody go?"....Well, I suggest that our high-horse riding, narcissistic, egotistical omnipresent UberModerator may figure into it somewhere.

Maciamo
Oct 28, 2005, 19:44
Same reply as to Silverpoint.

PopCulturePooka
Oct 28, 2005, 20:44
Well...

Now I don't feel as bad for my 'discussion' and some things I said a few months back.

Mike Cash
Oct 28, 2005, 21:02
There is no reason to argue that "English speakers can have a hard time communicating with non-English-speaking Japanese" when it was never part of the subject of the thread. I never disagree with that. Yet, Mikecash, Gaijin Punch and Gaijin 06 all came up with that argument

I did? Strange...I don't remember it.


Now if they want to talk about how hard it can be for someone who doesn't speak Japanese to deal with everyday situation in Japan, fine with me, but in another thread.

Because only admins are allowed to cause threads to drift.

Maciamo
Oct 28, 2005, 22:37
I did? Strange...I don't remember it.

Maybe not explicitely, but you supported GaijinPunch's comments and said :


I just think you overstate the case of how English-friendly Japan is.

... which means you agreed with GaijinPunch that in spite of the numerous English websites, signs, TV/radio/newspapers, and gigantic Eikaiwa industry, Japan is not so "English-friendly" because most Japanese cannot speak English very well (or at all).


Because only admins are allowed to cause threads to drift.

I am not sure I understand what this means. But I am trying my best justly NOT to let the thread drift offtopic.

Silverpoint
Oct 29, 2005, 00:17
I never had the impression of being "pompous, arrogant and condescending". What made you think that ?

The fact that you even need me to tell you, just underlines the problem. How can you not see that constantly harking on about your superior intellect, knowledge, experience etc. comes across badly to other people.


There is no reason to argue that "English speakers can have a hard time communicating with non-English-speaking Japanese" when it was never part of the subject of the thread. I never disagree with that. Yet, Mikecash, Gaijin Punch and Gaijin 06 all came up with that argument, because for them "English-friendly" had that meaning - but not for me, and I explained many times that it was not what I intended to discuss.

Believe it or not Maciamo, JREF is not just a two-way discussion between yourself on one side, and the rest of the forum members on the other. You simply cannot dictate what people are and aren't allowed to say. As I mentioned previously, threads grow, evolve and expand their scope as time goes on, with new related opinions and issues being introduced. This is what makes forums so interesting. You can raise one point, and then someone introduces another perspective to the debate. If you consider Gaijin Punch, Gaijin 06 and others' comments to be going off-topic then your definition of what is "off-topic" is so narrow as to be almost unworkable.


So what ? Did I say otherwise ?
You have puffed away on several occasions in different threads about how you have edited travel guides, when basically all you've done is make a bunch of web pages. Something which I or anyone else could if we had the inclination. If you don't feel it makes you more authoritative, why did you feel the need to tell everyone in the first place?

Edit: By the way, someone just wiped a load of reputation points off my score (not that I really care). Strangely, no red dots - just the total was decreased as if someone had edited it manually. I assume that was you?

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 00:52
The fact that you even need me to tell you, just underlines the problem. How can you not see that constantly harking on about your superior intellect, knowledge, experience etc. comes across badly to other people.

Why should that come across badly ? Is that a problem of envy ? Experience and knowledge can be filled if one has the motivation. My viewpoint is that people who do not have the knowledge or experience about the particular things we are discussing just don't care enough or lack the motivation to get them.



Believe it or not Maciamo, JREF is not just a two-way discussion between yourself on one side, and the rest of the forum members on the other.

Who makes you think that ? There are plenty of people with whom I never argue and usually agree. The gang that is always pick holes in my posts is always the same : you, mikecash, CC1, and the occasional "Me-too" (http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm/bigdogmetoo.htm) (Gaijin 06...). In fact, I find that GaijinPunch does not really intend to fight, but often helps you and mikecash to start criticising me.


You have puffed away on several occasions in different threads about how you have edited travel guides, when basically all you've done is make a bunch of web pages. Something which I or anyone else could if we had the inclination. If you don't feel it makes you more authoritative, why did you feel the need to tell everyone in the first place?

Do you seriously think that "anyone" has the time, energy, experience, dedication and capabilities to create not "a few webpages" as you said, but several hundreds of such travel pages like I did (in less than one year, as I did for Japan, England and Belgium) ? FYI, I haven't found any other websites with more detailed online guides of Japan and Belgium. For Japan, there is japan-guide.com, but the pages are much shorter and there are less destinations. I think you have no idea of the hundreds of hours of toil this demands. The research work is just huge. The fact that so few detailed guides of Japan exist, despite the great number of Western Japan fans, somehow shows that few people have the motivation or ability to make such a guide. I am conscious that my English is not top (not like a Lonely Planet writer) as I am not an native speaker. But I do my best, and don't ask anything in return for the free information provided, but some appreciation.

Note that this is the Japan Reference and Eupedia Forum, so it is a bit normal that the admin should mention about his Japan Reference Travel Guide and Eupedia Belgium & England Guides. It's not boasting. It's just a bit of self-advertisement by letting forum members know that these guides exist on this website. Occasionally it serves to prove my interests for Japan, or like here, that I have travelled enough around Japan to be able to give a reasonably fair judgement of how common are English signs nationwide (as mikecash was saying things like "Japan=Tokyo!", insinuating that I didn't know the rest of Japan).

Silverpoint
Oct 29, 2005, 01:00
Why should that come across badly ? Is that a problem of envy ?

I give up...

Mike Cash
Oct 29, 2005, 04:59
... which means you agreed with GaijinPunch that in spite of the numerous English websites, signs, TV/radio/newspapers, and gigantic Eikaiwa industry, Japan is not so "English-friendly" because most Japanese cannot speak English very well (or at all).

I can't recall having expressed an opinion on the numerous English websites, TV/radio/newspapers, and gigantic Eikaiwa industry at all in this thread. Nor have I expressed an opinion on spoken English ability in Japan.

Silverpoint
Oct 29, 2005, 11:13
(as mikecash was saying things like "Japan=Tokyo!", insinuating that I didn't know the rest of Japan).

Actually, I believe he said "Japan != Tokyo".

"!=" is the 'not equal to' or 'inequality' relational operator, most commonly found in imperative programming. Your example means the opposite.

Mike Cash
Oct 29, 2005, 11:25
Given the other misrepresentations of my statements he has made, the != thing hardly seemed worth mentioning.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 11:47
Actually, I believe he said "Japan != Tokyo".

"!=" is the 'not equal to' or 'inequality' relational operator, most commonly found in imperative programming. Your example means the opposite.

That does not change the message. I understood that he was being sarcastic about Japan being reduced to Tokyo. If that meant that Japan is not equal to Tokyo, it's basically the same, without the sarcasm.

I didn't know that mikecash was so verse in computer programming. "!=" is not really the kind of standard sign one expect to find on a forum like this one. I personally prefer "/=" to indicate inequality in prosaic writings (not as opposed to "poetic" but as opposed to "programming language").

Mike Cash
Oct 29, 2005, 12:27
No offense, Maciamo. You're hardly the first person to think I'm a dumba$$.

I'll try to use signs that conform with your preferences in the future.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 15:10
No offense, Maciamo. You're hardly the first person to think I'm a dumba$$.

I apologise if you didn't think that Japan is not English-friendly in the way I described it.

Apart from teasing comments like "Romaji != English" or "Tokyo != Japan", I was pretty pissed by some of your rather insulting comments in this thread, starting with :


Amen. It gets amazing tiresome and tedious to see each and every thing about Japan constantly analyzed in minute detail as it compares to each and every European country.

This forum is not only about Japan, but has also been dedicated Europe since the beginning of 2005 (hence the new logo with 'Eupedia' and new 'Europe Forum' categories). I find it quite offensive that you describe a comparison between the 2 parts of the world to which this forum is dedicated as "amazing[ly ?] tiresome and tedious". If you don't like the few threads with such comparisons, why not just ignore them and concentrate on others of the thousands of threads on the forum ? You can't always like the topic of discussion, but everyone is free to start a discussion about what they want (yes, even the admin !).

Then, the following comments (especially the tone) were well beyond what I consider acceptable :


Is this JREF Forums? Or Maciamo's Ego Blog, with comments allowed so long as they don't annoy the overlord?


Hear, hear!

There are definitely people who have been very put off by Maciamo's pompous, arrogant and condescending tone....
...
Well, I suggest that our high-horse riding, narcissistic, egotistical omnipresent UberModerator may figure into it somewhere.

And after that, you are still trying to culpabilise me on thinking you are a dumbas$ (which I never said). I was not the one to start the provocations, and I didn't call you names as you did ("Maciamo's pompous, arrogant and condescending tone", "narcissistic, egotistical omnipresent UberModerator"...)

The only thing I said about you that may have vexed you to the point of insulting me is that you were trying to sabotage my thread with comments which I have shown to be mostly irrelevant ("Romaji != English", "Tokyo != Japan"...) or for provocating me in the first place (" It gets amazing tiresome and tedious...").

What is more, it is not the first thread in which you behave like that with me (usually also exchanging disparaging comments about me with Silverpoint).

DoctorP
Oct 29, 2005, 16:20
Edit: By the way, someone just wiped a load of reputation points off my score (not that I really care). Strangely, no red dots - just the total was decreased as if someone had edited it manually. I assume that was you?


Don't feel bad Silverpoint...the same things has happened to me! I can only suppose that Maciamo must have done this as there are no red dots nor are there any comments under reputation. I just noticed that my rep went down by 100 points though. It is a sad state of affairs when you can not post your true opinions on this site. Message here? Piss off the GOD and he will punish you...but anonymosly (strange thing to do don't you think?)

Ya' know...this isn't the first time something rather sneaky happened here on JREF...I remember being banned by one user with Admin rights just because he got his feelings hurt before! The same people who ***** and moan about corrupt officials in Japan, abusing the system here, but not having the heart to stand up for his actions! :?

Silverpoint
Oct 29, 2005, 16:30
Ya' know...this isn't the first time something rather sneaky happened here on JREF...I remember being banned by one user with Admin rights just because he got his feelings hurt before!
How extraordinary! The same thing also happened to me.


Apart from teasing comments like "Romaji != English" or "Tokyo != Japan", I was pretty pissed by some of your rather insulting comments in this thread
Maciamo, you don't have to use direct language to be offensive to other people. Many people feel that the language that you often use is deeply insulting to our intelligence. The difference is that you totally and utterly refuse to accept this and use a condescending and arrogant tone to deliver your message, whereas we are usually pretty upfront and direct about it. I would ask you - which is the more honest approach?

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 16:50
I just noticed that my rep went down by 100 points though. It is a sad state of affairs when you can not post your true opinions on this site. Message here? Piss off the GOD and he will punish you...but anonymosly (strange thing to do don't you think?)

I will give you neg. rep. if I feel insulted. Red dot or not, it doesn't matter as you cannot see who give you the rep points anyway. That way I am sure you know it's me. My reputation power is by far the highest on this forum, with over 6000 posts, member almost since the very beginning, and with currently the highest reputation. All these contribute in the number of points I can give or take. Basically, when I give rep. to a new member, his/her green dots can pass from 1 to 3 in just 1 or 2 votes. For some reasons, even admins cannot change any member's rep. power, as it is constantly re-calaculated based on the current number of posts, rep. level and number of days since the joined date.


Ya' know...this isn't the first time something rather sneaky happened here on JREF...I remember being banned by one user with Admin rights just because he got his feelings hurt before! The same people who ***** and moan about corrupt officials in Japan, abusing the system here, but not having the heart to stand up for his actions! :?

As far as I know, you have never been banned, you or Silverpoint, and are still on the forum. If I had wanted you out, you wouldn't be posting now.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 17:20
The difference is that you totally and utterly refuse to accept this and use a condescending and arrogant tone to deliver your message, whereas we are usually pretty upfront and direct about it. I would ask you - which is the more honest approach?

You call yourself upfront and direct, and more honest ? Shall I remind you that you are the one who posts sneaky contemptful comments about me out of the blue here and there. Shall I refresh your memory :

In the thread " What 3 things would you take with you to an uninhibited island", you posted something saying that I had "serious personality issues" (I split this discussion elsewhere) because of my reply ( What 3 things would you take with you to an uninhibited island). This was your only contribution to the thread.

Then, on 20 October 2005 : Post #17, #29, #30, #32 of this thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19944), you and mikecash made disparaging comments behind my back. Mike even gave you good rep. for your post and said "I take it that the word "someone" refers to the Belgian Lungfish" (yes, all admins and mods can see any member's reputation comments). In fact, you, CC1 and mikecash have exchanged each others reputation points, congratulating each others in the rep. comments, for every insulting comment made on me. This has happened in quite a few thread, including this one.

It is always the 3 of you (and you, Silverpoint are by far the worst), so you understand that I tend to lose my patience with you guys when you come and look for a fight in the threads I post.

Mike Cash
Oct 29, 2005, 18:12
I find it sad that the person in charge of the forum can not respect the privacy of the members. Not only snooping around reading reputation comments when no complaint has been lodged regarding them, but publicizing them as well.

Are we to take it that your voyeurism extends to reading what are ostensibly "private" messages as well?

<edit>

I'll save you the trouble of violating my privacy by rooting through my private messages by just placing my most recent one here in the open where everyone else can see it:

Sent to: Thomas

I don't see how members can continue to enjoy the full use of JREF forums when we learn that the Admin not only abuses his access powers by snooping around reading rep point comments when no one has complained of abusive comments and requested an investigation of them, but also feels free to publicly post private comments.

I made the comments in question, don't deny them, don't regret them, and most certainly don't apologize for them. My complaint is based on a matter of principle.

Does the guy also read people's private messages? If he has access, I can only assume that he does.

I don't think anyone can continue to use JREF Forums with any degree of confidence that their privacy will be respected so long as he retains either admin or moderator status.

DoctorP
Oct 29, 2005, 18:14
I will give you neg. rep. if I feel insulted. Red dot or not, it doesn't matter as you cannot see who give you the rep points anyway. That way I am sure you know it's me. My reputation power is by far the highest on this forum, with over 6000 posts, member almost since the very beginning, and with currently the highest reputation. All these contribute in the number of points I can give or take. Basically, when I give rep. to a new member, his/her green dots can pass from 1 to 3 in just 1 or 2 votes. For some reasons, even admins cannot change any member's rep. power, as it is constantly re-calaculated based on the current number of posts, rep. level and number of days since the joined date.

My point is that it is quite cowardly to do it with hopes that no one would notice! I guess that a high IQ = no spine? I can only suspect that you are the type of person who could hit someone's car and then quickly speed away in hopes that no one witnessed a thing! :?






As far as I know, you have never been banned, you or Silverpoint, and are still on the forum. If I had wanted you out, you wouldn't be posting now.

I am not speaking about this incident, but another one in the past where you seemed to be ticked off at the fact that I did not agree with you, nor did I wish to bend over and accept your position as the only correct one. Do not worry, I will go on...it is not the end of the world. :-)

*Edit*
In fact, you, CC1 and mikecash have exchanged each others reputation points, congratulating each others in the rep. comments, for every insulting comment made on me. This has happened in quite a few thread, including this one.

I wouldn't call it congratulating...if I am not mistaken, Rep points are:
Its purpose is to hopefully give users an idea of how respected, knowledgeable, helpful, gracious, etc., a person is. It is a system in which you rate your peers. It is a system that, hopefully, will make you think twice about your posts.

I do not have a problem with you disagreeing with a post and giving negative rep points...that is what the system is for! As it is also for me giving Mike or Silverpoint positive rep if I agree with their post! Is that not correct?

What I do have a problem with is you sneaking in to take the rep! Why not do it the same as everyone else? To me, what you did is no worse than a CEO embezzling money from a corporation! But as I stated before...I will get over it!

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 18:55
I find it sad that the person in charge of the forum can not respect the privacy of the members. Not only snooping around reading reputation comments when no complaint has been lodged regarding them, but publicizing them as well.

No one complain about them ? I do ! I am the one who is being abused here. How comes you always seem to think that because I am the admin I do not have the same rights as other members to complain or discuss what I want in a thread that I start ? This message about about me. As a forum member (not as admin), I object to being talked about so indignanatly by supposedly "respectable" members like you (judging that you have the third highest reputation of all forum members).


Does the guy also read people's private messages? If he has access, I can only assume that he does.

Just so that you know, it is not possible to see other users' PM, even for Admins. This was designed like that by the programmers of vBulletin.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 19:17
I do not have a problem with you disagreeing with a post and giving negative rep points...that is what the system is for! As it is also for me giving Mike or Silverpoint positive rep if I agree with their post! Is that not correct?

So you think that calling me names is a factor determining how respected, knowledgeable, helpful, gracious, etc., is the person that does it ? Very gracious, indeed. Especially when you know what kind of rep. comments are attached to the already insulting post !


What I do have a problem with is you sneaking in to take the rep! Why not do it the same as everyone else? To me, what you did is no worse than a CEO embezzling money from a corporation! But as I stated before...I will get over it!

I don't see what it changes whether you see a red dot for one particular post or not, as you cannot see the rep. is from me anyway (only admins and mods automatically see who gave them rep. points). If you want to know, I didn't attach the rep to one post, because I gave it to you for the reputation points issues between you, mikecash and silverpoint. I certainly do not want to give you the feeling that I am giving you bad rep. for a random post that does not deserve it, when I really did it to punish your above-mentioned behaviour. I guess I could have sent you a PM saying "hey you know, I gave you bad rep points !", but that would have sounded quite provocative. Instead, I took the opportunity to explain it in this thread. Note that I could have denied giving you bad rep. and even blame it on the system, had I been what you called me. But I affirmed it outright and exlpained my reasons to everyone.

In fact, had you not raised the issue, the three of you would have benefited from my discretion about your shenanigans against me. But you were not sagacious enough to think about why I needed to give you bad rep. and about the consequences of carelessly raising the subject in public. I feel a bit sorry for mike who did not complain about his rep. (maybe because he got a red dot), after all, he was the one to make the most ungracious comment on my account (not just in "private", but in this thread too).

DoctorP
Oct 29, 2005, 19:44
I certainly do not want to give you the feeling that I am giving you bad rep. for a random post that does not deserve it, when I really did it to punish your above-mentioned behaviour.

so you admit to abusing the system? Whatever, it really doesn't matter to me anyway! If I cared what you thought of me I would...well nevermind I do not feel like stooping. Could we please get this thread back on topic? I am tired of you drifting!

PopCulturePooka
Oct 29, 2005, 20:13
No one complain about them ? I do ! I am the one who is being abused here. How comes you always seem to think that because I am the admin I do not have the same rights as other members to complain or discuss what I want in a thread that I start ? This message about about me. As a forum member (not as admin), I object to being talked about so indignanatly by supposedly "respectable" members like you (judging that you have the third highest reputation of all forum members).

The point is that they were messages from one member too another. Supposed to be private. Even if you have access to those messages, you should not be reading them unless one of the two parties involved in sending and recieving complains.

You are still invading the privacy of members, even if you are the subject of the messages.

Otherwise its an abuse of admin powers.



Just so that you know, it is not possible to see other users' PM, even for Admins. This was designed like that by the programmers of vBulletin.Actually, there are a few hacks that allow admin's to read private messages. An admin at my old board I modded at installed one.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 20:13
so you admit to abusing the system? Whatever, it really doesn't matter to me anyway! If I cared what you thought of me I would...well nevermind I do not feel like stooping. Could we please get this thread back on topic? I am tired of you drifting!

Abusing the system ? Under what rules ? Rules are written by the admin (not by any government or common concensus of all the users), and do not mention anything in this regard. Admins and mods have the power and right to look at reputation comments, ban users, punish them in another way (like I did), and maybe more things. For example, admins can determine the number of points necessary to pass from one level to another, write the sentence describing one particular level, and edit them at any given time if they judge it necessary. I was the one to introduce the reputation system (you'll note that Thomas does not use it, as is anybody's choice) and to set the rules. So I don't think you are in a position to admonish me.

Contrarily to what Silverpoint said earlier in this thread, admins do set the rules and censor when they deem necessary. I don't know who he is to tell me :


Why should you decide what can and can't be discussed in this thread? It makes not a single bit of difference that you started it.

Yet, it had been discussed long before he joined this forum, whether people should be allowed to "highjack" someone's thread, or go offtopic at will. At first moderators tried to keep all discussion 'on topic', and scolded those who didn't. Then, we decided (among team members, but also judging from what the wish expressed by some members at the time), that off-topics would be split into new threads. I wanted to do so here, but it became almost impossible in order to understand the ensuing argument. So I create a new thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20101), learning from my mistakes by changing the title and announcing from the start that the topic was not about "how easy it was for English-speakers to live in Japan" so as to avoid futile arguments. Well, unsurprisingly the same trouble-makers as in this thread (except you), were the first (and only ones so far) to reply and to "sabotage" again the thread with irrelevant comments.

How am I supposed to react, as an administrator of this forum, in face of this constant defiance by the same few ? Honestly, what would you do if you were in my shoes ?

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 20:18
The point is that they were messages from one member too another. Supposed to be private. Even if you have access to those messages, you should not be reading them unless one of the two parties involved in sending and recieving complains.

You are still invading the privacy of members, even if you are the subject of the messages.

Admins AND mods have the power and right to read reputation comments to check for abuses of the reputation system. I couldn't believe that Silverpoint had so many "green balls" with only a few hundred posts, a good deal of which were unproductive arguments with me, and otherwise few really remarkable posts. He only started 4 threads, including one about his wedding.

That's how I came across mikecash's comments.


Actually, there are a few hacks that allow admin's to read private messages. An admin at my old board I modded at installed one.

Well we don't do that here.

PopCulturePooka
Oct 29, 2005, 20:31
Admins AND mods have the power and right to read reputation comments to check for abuses of the reputation system. I couldn't believe that Silverpoint had so many "green balls" with only a few hundred posts, a good deal of which were unproductive arguments with me, and otherwise few really remarkable posts. He only started 4 threads, including one about his wedding.

Are they abuses of the system if the two parties aren't complaining?

Its their perogative about what comments they make to each other.

It does not matter how much rep Silverpoint has and why he has it. People can give rep if they agree with or support another poster.

Tell me, if you read a rep comment from Mikecash to say... Frank badmouthing me, would you inform me?

What makes the same happening to you any different?

Mike Cash
Oct 29, 2005, 20:50
The lack of integrity displayed by the snooping and publicizing of private comments makes it very hard to have much faith in the "Well, we don't do that here" regarding hacking into private messages.

I'm just thankful I didn't have to enter my credit card information.....

People with god complexes are poor choices to place in positions of authority.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 21:01
Are they abuses of the system if the two parties aren't complaining?

Its their perogative about what comments they make to each other.

It does not matter how much rep Silverpoint has and why he has it. People can give rep if they agree with or support another poster.

If you had read the "sticky" thread "Reputation Points" : RULES (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12138), posted a bit more than one year ago, you would have noticed that I already checked several users' reputation comments on suspicion of abuse. It was clearly explained that :


If I do find anyone contnuing their unfair trade of rep points (and all admins and moderators have the capability to view any users's reputation comments and who it comes from), I will not hesitate to penalise them (at worst I could reset their rep. to zero)

This means that I had the capability and right to check reputation comments from the start (this was posted soon after the reputation system was introduced), and I explicitly said that I was going to check people whenver I felt it necessary (or even at random) tp prevent abuses. As forum members are supposed to have read these rules, they cannot complain about writing "private" things there. CC1, and Silverpoint that joined the forum only 3 months ago, have read and replied to this thread. I doubt that mikecash, who has 2,250 posts and even joined the forum before me (I only realised that now => Join Date: 15-03-2002 !), never to have noticed this thread, prominently stuck at the top of the "Site & Forum Updates" subforum.

Mike Cash
Oct 29, 2005, 21:07
Do the rules say that admins/moderators will make public the contents of rep point comments?

Given your attitude about the rep point system, I can't understand why you don't disable the system for members and just assign points as you wish.

Now that I see the unpricipled whims of an individual make a mockery of the system, for the first time I have a reason to disable display of rep points.

PopCulturePooka
Oct 29, 2005, 21:08
Tell me, if you read a rep comment from Mikecash to say... Frank badmouthing me, would you inform me?

What makes the same happening to you any different?

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 21:09
People with god complexes are poor choices to place in positions of authority.

I also find it hard to swallow that after all this time on this forum (and several arguments between you and me on the subject), you do not yet know (or repeatedly forget, or can't accept ?) that I do not believe in any forms of deity. That's all in the Religion & Philosophy subforum (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=139).

If it is my "title" N_ that make you think this way, I explained in this thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19989) that it mean something like "accuse god (the gods) of crimes/misdeeds" (in the case you had forgotten, we had an argument on the subject of "god" in that very thread, 7 days ago !). It's my way of showing that I don't believe in god(s) and think that religions have been the cause of many of the world's wars and misery.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 21:15
Tell me, if you read a rep comment from Mikecash to say... Frank badmouthing me, would you inform me?

What makes the same happening to you any different?

I am not sure, I haven't seen anything that could seriously compromise other members so far. In fact I now rarely check people's rep comments as there are just too many of them and too many members. Sometimes we have request or complaints from some members and we check whether it is justified or not. The last person I checked before the three here was McTojo (I wondered who could have given him positive rep points as it went up a few times).

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 21:19
Do the rules say that admins/moderators will make public the contents of rep point comments?

If you scroll down a bit to post #4, you will see 3 examples of comments exposed to the public and denounced as abuses. :-)

Mike Cash
Oct 29, 2005, 21:27
If you scroll down a bit to post #4, you will see 3 examples of comments exposed to the public and denounced as abuses. :-)

Further examples of your unpricipled abuse of power hardly constitutes an article in the rules.

PopCulturePooka
Oct 29, 2005, 21:28
I am not sure, I haven't seen anything that could seriously compromise other members so far. In fact I now rarely check people's rep comments as there are just too many of them and too many members. Sometimes we have request or complaints from some members and we check whether it is justified or not. The last person I checked before the three here was McTojo (I wondered who could have given him positive rep points as it went up a few times).
So, without complaints from anyone who sent or recieved comments, how were you to know there were abuses being performed unless you decided to read the comments on a hunch, something you just admitted to not usually doing?

What made you decided to check mikes, silvers and CC1's comments?

PopCulturePooka
Oct 29, 2005, 21:40
So when should you give reputation to someone ?

Reputation is made to reward good members for their participation. I recommend all of you not to be stingy on reputation votes and approve any message that :

- answered your question, gave your relevant information or made you learn something interesting
- was well-written or funny enough to deserve recognition
- express exactly what was in your mind (i.e. agree completely)

DoctorP
Oct 29, 2005, 22:51
Abusing the system ? Under what rules ? Rules are written by the admin (not by any government or common concensus of all the users), and do not mention anything in this regard. Admins and mods have the power and right to look at reputation comments, ban users, punish them in another way (like I did), and maybe more things. For example, admins can determine the number of points necessary to pass from one level to another, write the sentence describing one particular level, and edit them at any given time if they judge it necessary. I was the one to introduce the reputation system and to set the rules. So I don't think you are in a position to admonish me.

I am in a perfect position to admonish you as I am one of the users of this forum! I am a member of this republic...a customer, I am a JREFian! If you are so perfect, please note that I quoted the actual JREF FAQ's...maybe they should be updated to reflect the entries in the sticky thread! :?




Yet, it had been discussed long before he joined this forum, whether people should be allowed to "highjack" someone's thread, or go offtopic at will. At first moderators tried to keep all discussion 'on topic', and scolded those who didn't. Then, we decided (among team members, but also judging from what the wish expressed by some members at the time), that off-topics would be split into new threads. I wanted to do so here, but it became almost impossible in order to understand the ensuing argument. So I create a new thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20101), learning from my mistakes by changing the title and announcing from the start that the topic was not about "how easy it was for English-speakers to live in Japan" so as to avoid futile arguments.


So why haven't you 1) tried to put this thread back on track as I did earlier? or 2) create a seperate thread to continue this discussion in?


Well, unsurprisingly the same trouble-makers as in this thread (except you), were the first (and only ones so far) to reply and to "sabotage" again the thread with irrelevant comments.

Can you attempt to clarify this for me? The wording is slightly confusing!


How am I supposed to react, as an administrator of this forum, in face of this constant defiance by the same few ? Honestly, what would you do if you were in my shoes ?

The defiance you mention is the use of the rep system and free speech? Or the fact that (some) users do not agree with your point of view? If it is the latter, that is part of life.

Jack
Oct 29, 2005, 23:08
The last person I checked before the three here was McTojo (I wondered who could have given him positive rep points as it went up a few times).

This is done it for me, i gave Mc-tojo rep because i like his style hes very afformistic(dictionary), and i find out here folk are looking about peoples pm's and rep's, this is not very nice is it?

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 23:15
This is done it for me, i gave Mc-tojo rep because i like his style hes very afformistic(dictionary), and i find out here folk are looking about peoples pm's and rep's, this is not very nice is it?

Nobody is looking at people's PM, what mikecash is trying to make you believe.

Jack
Oct 29, 2005, 23:17
Could i ask you then,
do you think its wrong to use admin powers to look at members private messages?

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 23:28
Could i ask you then,
do you think its wrong to use admin powers to look at members private messages?

Yes, I think it is wrong. Private messages are not used like reputation comments. The latter is supposed to show only approval or disapproval, and explain why. There shouldn't be anything "private" about this. In some forums the reputation system works with points from 1 to 5 for each post, and everybody can see how many people have voted and what is the avergae score for any message on the forum. This goes well beyond the current system in terms of "privacy", as if somebody gets 15 bad votes for a single post, then everybody will immediately notice it. What's forum, the forum on which I saw that system has no reputation comments to justify those points.

Mike Cash
Oct 29, 2005, 23:28
Nobody is looking at people's PM, what mikecash is trying to make you believe.

I have asked if it is possible for admins/moderators to view private messages.

How do you come up with the idea that I am trying to make anyone believe that admins/moderators can read private messages?

And you conveniently ignore that jack2 mentioned both private messages and rep point comments.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 23:37
So why haven't you 1) tried to put this thread back on track as I did earlier?

I tried many times, but it would only degenerate further because some people were set to make it happen this way. Note that I never disagreed with the fact that many Japanese people cannot speak English well or at all, which was the main reason the argument started with GaijinPunch, then especially Gaijin 06, who would not understand, and others that supported them.


or 2) create a seperate thread to continue this discussion in?

I did it as fast as I could. If you look at the date and time, you will see that I posted the new thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20101) between post #84 and #85 in this thread, i.e. before it started getting really nasty. We are now at post #125. 40 posts have past after all confusion had been cleared.



Can you attempt to clarify this for me? The wording is slightly confusing!

I was referring to the new thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20101) and Gaijin 06, Silverpoint and Mike Cash posting irrelevant posts when they knew very well from this thread I did not wish it.


The defiance you mention is the use of the rep system and free speach? Or the fact that (some) users do not agree with your point of view? If it is the latter, that is part of life.

It is neither. The defiance is that the 3 I have just mentioned posted the following in the new thread :


Didn't we have another thread discussing this, quite recently?

My first sentence in the thread was : "After the long series of off-topics and misunderstandings in the thread English-friendly Japan, I have decided to start over again on less ambiguous grounds. Let me state from the beginning that this thread is not about how easy it is for an English-speaker (that does not speak Japanese) to live in Japan or communicate with the locals. It is a comparison of how accommodating Japan is to English and English-speakers compared to other non-English speaking countries."

He clearly did not even bother to read more than the title before replying.

Then he continued with an ambiguous comment :


Sarcasm, it's just a seven letter word beginning with s?

to which Silverpoint joined the thread and added :


It's not sarcasm unless Maciamo says so. You should know that by now.

and mikecash added one blow :


Not enough people oohed and aahed in agreement with him in that thread, so we have to have a do-over here.

This is what I call "sabotaging" the thread, as the posts are
1) irrelevant to a constructive discussion
2) slightly provocative
3) come after the same 3 protagonists started picking holes and calling me names in this thread for reasons I still do not fully understand (almost certainly because of previous grudges).

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 23:46
I have asked if it is possible for admins/moderators to view private messages.

How do you come up with the idea that I am trying to make anyone believe that admins/moderators can read private messages?

I am sorry, but have rarely seen some so dishonest as yourself. Like in almost every single post of this thread, you deny obvious things, even things you had barely finished to write. 3 hours ago you wrote :


The lack of integrity displayed by the snooping and publicizing of private comments makes it very hard to have much faith in the "Well, we don't do that here" regarding hacking into private messages.

Then you post a daring vote of confidence (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20114) claiming " abuses of admin power". It certainly cannot refer to checking the reputation comments, as it was part of the 1-year old rules. So, I conclude it means you still believe that admins can read your PM's, which we can't and wouldn't do even if we could. So, rather than propagating lies and defamations with your fundamentally dishonest mind, I'd rather have a vote of confidence on whether you should stay or not.


And you conveniently ignore that jack2 mentioned both private messages and rep point comments.

Is that too much asking you to read what I wrote ? I compared both rep comments and PM's just above.

Jack
Oct 29, 2005, 23:48
Part 3 of Maciamo's reply, yeah i thought that bit was a bit wrong when folk were picking into him and insulting him when he was stating a few things, so what if he's been places and likes to tell folk, this part of this thread wasn't nice.

The part of it i dont like is the bit about pm's being looked at and reputation being looked at and well you get my point.

Maciamo
Oct 29, 2005, 23:51
So, without complaints from anyone who sent or recieved comments, how were you to know there were abuses being performed unless you decided to read the comments on a hunch, something you just admitted to not usually doing?

What made you decided to check mikes, silvers and CC1's comments?

I explained that in post #109 (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=269252&postcount=109). That was your first question !


So when should you give reputation to someone ?

Reputation is made to reward good members for their participation. I recommend all of you not to be stingy on reputation votes and approve any message that :

- answered your question, gave your relevant information or made you learn something interesting
- was well-written or funny enough to deserve recognition
- express exactly what was in your mind (i.e. agree completely)

Are you worrying about your own comments ? It wouldn't be nice to approve of a negative post toward someone else, would it ? :okashii:

PopCulturePooka
Oct 30, 2005, 00:00
I explained that in post #109 (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showpost.php?p=269252&postcount=109). That was your first question !
So... you decided to snoop on someone because they had a lot of rep quickly?

How did CC1 or gaijin06 get involved?

That still does not settle right at all and hardly seems like a justification.

Why are comments they have made to each other of consequence to you in the first place? Your own rules for rep state:
- express exactly what was in your mind (i.e. agree completely)


What this seems like is you being unable to handle criticism, unable to handle people speaking ill of you in any way, unable to handle people questioning your authority or 'knowledge' and being unable to handle people disagreeing with you.

Maciamo
Oct 30, 2005, 00:04
The part of it i dont like is the bit about pm's being looked at and reputation being looked at and well you get my point.

See, Mike, you made Jack2 believe that some PM were looked. It never happened (it's just not technically possible on this very forum).

You know, Mike, you remind me of G.W. Bush (whom you have claimed to support, for our readers who wouldn't know it). You get false ideas into people's mind, like the WMD in Iraq or trying to damage someone's reputation very much the way Bush proceeded against Kerry in the last election. Here, you want to make people think that admins check people's PM, as a way of diverting the real issue of this thread; the fact that I have proved you wrong on every single argument you advanced against me, and you finally resorted to name calling and dishonest comments (e.g. "I don't remember saying this or that" when you had just finished saying it), because that's all you had left. Your vote of confidence is part of your divertion to try to save your face, as you can never admit defeat against me (or anyone).

Jack
Oct 30, 2005, 00:09
i was hazy that it is possible at all, i mean i use to manage a forum, which in no way could i look at peoples pm's, but when someone claims that admin did so, you've got to be weary, haven't you?

PopCulturePooka
Oct 30, 2005, 00:09
See, Mike, you made Jack2 believe that some PM were looked. It never happened (it's just not technically possible on this very forum).
I think that was a misunderstanding on Jacks behalf.

ArmandV
Oct 30, 2005, 00:38
You know, Mike, you remind me of G.W. Bush (whom you have claimed to support, for our readers who wouldn't know it). You get false ideas into people's mind, like the WMD in Iraq or trying to damage someone's reputation very much the way Bush proceeded against Kerry in the last election.


Oh-oh, now you've gone and done it!

If William Jefferson Clinton, the United Nations, the CIA, British Intelligence and others (all prior to George W. Bush's administration) all had the same intelligence reports, and believed those reports, that Saddam had WMDs in Iraq, wouldn't you think there's something to it?

In the case with Kerry, Bush didn't damage Kerry's reputation. Kerry's reputation was damaged by Kerry himself. The people who knew him in Viet Nam just exposed him. Can they help it that he's a sleazeball?

Silverpoint
Oct 30, 2005, 02:24
Frankly I'm appalled. Appalled, disgusted and disappointed.

Maciamo. I've rarely agreed with you. I've found you to be pompous, arrogant and conceited. But, until now I've been quite happy to argue my case with you. To put my point of view and have you put yours. But now you've shown your true colors. And those colors are absolutely pathetic. In fact I would go so far as to say I find you abhorent.

You are an utter disgrace to this forum. To admit that you actually go behind our backs and spy on peoples private messages (reputation messages), means that no one can ever post here again with faith in this website. I don't give a f*ck if you ban me, because I can't see myself continuing to contribute to this place when someone like you has any involvement in it. You should take a long, hard look at yourself, and wonder why very few people here like you. And I mean VERY few. You've lost the trust of so many people today. And what's more... You totally deserve it. You make me sick to my stomach.

This is my last post.

Mike Cash
Oct 30, 2005, 06:26
Someone e-mail me when Maciamo no longer has admin or moderator status, please.

mikecash AT gmail DOT com

Dutch Baka
Oct 30, 2005, 06:53
mike, and silverpoint, i hope the 2 of you guys stay... as i enjoy reading your posts, and i am sure other enjoy them to....

you guys are throwing fishes to each other all the time in this thread... * ISAYHELLO.. come..* maybe you guys should find a way to be a bit nicer to each other, maybe not replying on each other, or respect how people just are....

just i hope you guys all can be nicer, and respect each other...

from.. Dave.

p.s. i wont say anything else...

RockLee
Oct 30, 2005, 07:59
For you people who don't know how it works:

NO, you can't look into other people's PM's as an admin.
YES, you can see who gave who bad rep and the comment with it as an admin.

Simple as that.Silverpoint, get that candle out of your arse man and come back !

I gave Mc Tojo good rep on a comment when he was on -2 rep balls.Because of my high rep he got into the Green zone again.Oh, surprised? :eek: