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Thread: Fluent Foreigners Now Accepted In Japan!

  1. #51
    Life is adventure Thunderthief's Avatar
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    Personal experience going there myself, duh.

    Not that hard to figure out.

  2. #52
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderthief View Post
    Personal experience going there myself, duh.
    Not that hard to figure out.
    Actually, it was very hard to figure out.

    I looked and saw that you are 19 years old and not in Japan, so the possibility was there that you were just regurgitating hearsay.

    Also, your personal experience, which I am guessing was of a very limited nature both in scope and duration doesn't jibe with my own personal observations, so you can see there why I couldn't dash straight to the conclusion that you were speaking from personal experience.

    Combine those with the obvious tone of strident hyperbole and surely you can see where someone might need to ask for clarification.

  3. #53
    Life is adventure Thunderthief's Avatar
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    I've been studying the language for the past year, and am taking college classes in the language and culture. I have went there although only for a few weeks (sort of a vacation thing I guess).

    I should probably remove my age from display because it provokes arrogance and stereotypical assumptions that I don't know what im talking about.

  4. #54
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderthief View Post
    I've been studying the language for the past year, and am taking college classes in the language and culture. I have went there although only for a few weeks (sort of a vacation thing I guess).

    I should probably remove my age from display because it provokes arrogance and stereotypical assumptions that I don't know what im talking about.
    Nothing to do with stereotypes and everything to do with math, actually.

    Knowing that you visited Japan for a few weeks while speaking practically zero Japanese helps us to know with how large a truckload of salt we are to take your initial comments. Thanks for clearing that up.

  5. #55
    Life is adventure Thunderthief's Avatar
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    Another poor assumption on your part, I can get around fairly well.

    But please continue placing me into your dilusional mental stereotype, or "math" as you call it.

  6. #56
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Not a poor assumption at all. With under a year of Japanese study and in the context of playing tourist for a few weeks, there's no way you had enough exposure to Japanese people and life to issue a blanket statement like: "Japanese are incapable of understanding a gaijin doesn't always need to be talked to as if they're five years old, they always have been and always will be."

    I can certainly understand the genesis of such an opinion, and there's a modicum of truth and accuracy to it. Not enough to save it from being hyperbole, unfortunately.

    People here don't talk to me like I'm five years old. Not to say that they never have, but it has been a while.

  7. #57
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    I can't recall having been talked to like I'm five years old yet. In fact, I have more of a problem with people speaking a dialect with a thick accent.

  8. #58
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    No offense Thunderthief, but being in Japan for a couple of weeks does not make you an expert on Japan or Japanese people. Even being in Japan for years on end doesn't make one on expert.

    Studying Japanese for a year may put you on a level where you can get around fairly well, but there's a ton left to be learned.

    I don't mean to diminish you at all, but please realize that in the eyes of some us JREFers, you are still a "beginner" for lack of a better term. That may be frustrating now, but everyone must start as a beginner before they can become a "pro". It's the same with everything.

    I personally do sometimes find people who talk to me like a 5 year old. It's very rare, though. Certainly my experience can not be summed up by your earlier comments.

  9. #59
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    The only ones who have ever spoken to me as a 5 yr old, were in fact speaking English. (meaning they sounded like a 5yr old instead of treating me like one!) Once I respond in Japanese, they rattle off all sort of things to me as if I were fluent and I usually have to slow them down a bit.

  10. #60
    puzzled gaijin
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    What has been interesting for me sometimes is people assuming I don't speak Japanese because I don't respond immediately. Once at a drycleaners, dropping of some femine things for my roommate, the clerk asked my name and address. I thought it was odd of the clerk to ask for those (based on my experience at other dry cleaners in Japan), but before I could reply, she started in broken English in an irritated voice, asking the same questions.

    Some the assumptions made in Japan cut both ways, as some embarassed foreigners have found out ('assuming' they knew the neighboring Japanese spoke no English).

  11. #61
    経験値が足りない J44xm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderthief View Post
    I've been studying the language for the past year, and am taking college classes in the language and culture. I have went there although only for a few weeks (sort of a vacation thing I guess).

    I should probably remove my age from display because it provokes arrogance and stereotypical assumptions that I don't know what im talking about.
    Age has nothing to do with this. It's both the wildly exaggerated content of your message combined with the fact that you've only ever been in Japan for a few weeks--and on vacation, at that.

    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but understand that, to most of us, it's a pretty far-out opinion that contradicts what most of us have experienced here and has nothing to back it up but 'I've been studying Japanese and visited Japan briefly.' Like Mike Cash said, there's an element of truth there, but it's buried under several layers of hyperbole.

  12. #62
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinalways View Post
    What has been interesting for me sometimes is people assuming I don't speak Japanese because I don't respond immediately. Once at a drycleaners, dropping of some femine things for my roommate, the clerk asked my name and address. I thought it was odd of the clerk to ask for those (based on my experience at other dry cleaners in Japan), but before I could reply, she started in broken English in an irritated voice, asking the same questions.
    I don't even have to leave my own home to get something similar to that. Often my wife of 20+ years will relate to me in Japanese some interesting bit of news she picked up from somewhere. If I betray shock or consternation at some aspect of the story she generally stops and then starts telling me the story in English. I have to tell her, "Hey, I understood what you were saying. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing."

  13. #63
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1 View Post
    The only ones who have ever spoken to me as a 5 yr old, were in fact speaking English. (meaning they sounded like a 5yr old instead of treating me like one!)
    I assumed he was talking about English, and perhaps the English of JR station workers which is the only group I've found has mastered the art of patronizing to a bullying level. Until I noticed a few clerks also flashing fee totals on a calculator to Japanese customers instead of speaking and realized how many aspects of the system treated you like a 5 year old. But I don't really want to get this discussion re-started....

  14. #64
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    Only once, did a drunken Japanese guy speak to me like a 5 year old using broken Japanese. I replied in fluent Japanese and asked him what was wrong with him, at which point, he said "JAPANESE GOOD!!! HAHAHA VERY GOOD."

    I wanted to punch him in the face, but I politely smiled and returned to my conversation with my friend.

  15. #65
    Regular Member Gentleman10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash View Post
    I don't even have to leave my own home to get something similar to that. Often my wife of 20+ years will relate to me in Japanese some interesting bit of news she picked up from somewhere. If I betray shock or consternation at some aspect of the story she generally stops and then starts telling me the story in English. I have to tell her, "Hey, I understood what you were saying. I just couldn't believe what I was hearing."
    hmmm, I think this may be more of a pride issue than it is concerning language skills...

  16. #66
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gentleman10 View Post
    hmmm, I think this may be more of a pride issue than it is concerning language skills...
    Please elaborate. I can't understand exactly what you mean just by that short post.

  17. #67
    Regular Member Gentleman10's Avatar
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    Whenever fluent foreigners are asked/explained something in English, people make it seem as if a great offense has been committed. But really, it's just people trying to be polite and convenient. Theoretically, from the perspective of a Japanese person, I'd imagine that since there are most likely many more foreign people who understand English than those who understand English and Japanese, if they weren't to respond immediately as like Japanese, then I'd do my best to speak English so the conversation can keep going smoothly.
    I think because we as foreigners have invested so much time in learning such a unique and difficult language, once we reach the level of fluency, we want to display our hard work and achievements, and maybe we expect to always be spoken to in standard Japanese. And when consistently prodded questions to in English, I can very well imagine how this can hurt someone's pride they've built as well in learning the language. Because of this, sometimes I think fluent foreigners are more sensitive to situations when Japanese people do their best to communicate in English. We do our best to blend in with the Japanese people by learning the language/customs/culture etc., yet at the same time some doofus will come and ruin our happy day of blending-in by yelling (ヘイミスター外人さん!)。
    Well guys, it comes down to the fact that people are simply trying to be polite to us. We went out of our way to learn Japanese for their sake, so why can't they go out of their way to speak English for our sake?
    Hmm, when I was talked to like a 5 y/o I really couldn't do much but think "Well at least they're trying". I mean, gosh, now that I think about it, almost every department store I went to I was 5-year-olded (I'm making that a verb now). Granted my Japanese isn't at the level of complete fluency (JLPT lv2 Dec3 baby! Wish me luck!) , but frankly whenever my ペラペラ host brother explained something to me I already knew about in English, I just felt that was thoughtful of him and not insulting that he was telling me something that I already knew.
    I think it's our jobs as foreigners in Japan to tolerate 5-year-olding or recieving translation help from our Jspouses (lol Jrock, Jpop, JR,and now Jspouses, what's next?), and even if you are fluent, just roll with it, because they're trying to be just as nice as we are (most of the time).
    ... it sure is better than not knowing what the person is talking about.

    O ya, any Japanese opinions on this subject? I'd be interested in hearing them

  18. #68
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    I appreciate your thoughtful reply and have no particular disagreements with it. I merely wish to emphasize that the situation I was talking about was with my wife of 20+ years. You'd think that after having the roof over her head, the clothes on her back, and the food on her table provided courtesy of my Japanese ability (I work in a 100% Japanese-only environment) that she'd give me a little more credit than she does...but human nature being what it is, expressions of incredulity over shocking aspect of a story she is relating often gets mistaken for an expression of not having understood what has been said to me.

  19. #69
    Five times to Japan. ArmandV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash View Post
    You'd think that after having the roof over her head, the clothes on her back, and the food on her table provided courtesy of my Japanese ability (I work in a 100% Japanese-only environment) that she'd give me a little more credit than she does...
    Imagine this domestic scene in the Maciamo household. Only there, he'd probably be giving her infractions.

    (Just kidding, Mac!)

    Armand's Rancho del Cielo

  20. #70
    Regular Member Kyoko_desu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmandV View Post
    Imagine this domestic scene in the Maciamo household. Only there, he'd probably be giving her infractions.

    (Just kidding, Mac!)
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  21. #71
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    I am curious: One thing that thus far I have not seen to be addressed are hakujin (白人
    ) and hafu!(ハーフ). Sooo.... Are hakujins and people considered to be hafu lumped into the gaijin class? Or are Japanese hakujin and hafus accepted into Japanese society -- even if actually born in Japan or indeed from Japanese families?

    I am curious about this as I consider myself to be a hakujin/hafu. (87.5% caucasian and 12.5 % Japanese).

    Can someone please answer this question, I would like to know what to expect before later this year when I go across the Pacific. (I am temporarily living in the States).

  22. #72
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    Every country in the world want raise relation for trade and mutual benefits so they get to get take advantage in this process intermixer utilize resources and get perfect growth.

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