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View Poll Results: Which of these statements/opinions have you heard from at least ONE Japanese person ?

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  • Japan is such a small country

    16 42.11%
  • English grammar is more similar to Chinese than Japanese

    8 21.05%
  • Western people usually speak English

    13 34.21%
  • Japanese is a more difficult/complex language than English

    15 39.47%
  • Japan is special (or unique) for having 4 seasons

    13 34.21%
  • Most non-Japanese do not like sushi or natto

    11 28.95%
  • Westerners normally cannot use chopsticks

    15 39.47%
  • Foreigners in Japan usually cannot speak Japanese

    13 34.21%
  • Foreigners have difficult understanding Japanese people and culture

    16 42.11%
  • Foreigners in Japan are responsible for the rise in criminality

    15 39.47%
  • Japanese people have predominantly A blood group, and Westerners O blood group

    7 18.42%
  • In ancient times, Japanese people were farmers and Europeans were hunters

    6 15.79%
  • Gaijin stink ! ("gaijin kusai !")

    7 18.42%
  • Chinese people are indoctrinated since their childhood

    4 10.53%
  • Japan has managed to become a very rich country all by itself after WWII

    6 15.79%
  • Japanese food is the best in the world

    7 18.42%
  • Japanese cars and electronics are the best in the world

    11 28.95%
  • Japanese manga/anime are technically superior to any other

    4 10.53%
  • Japanese brains work differently from foreigners' brains

    6 15.79%
  • Japanese people are able to appreciate some arts or scenes that non-Japanese just cannot

    6 15.79%
  • None of these (but I have never lived in Japan)

    3 7.89%
  • None of these (and I have lived in Japan)

    1 2.63%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Results 26 to 45 of 45

Thread: Survey : which of these statements/opinions have you heard in Japan ?

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhk9
    Most of them don't speak English... so although they want to say that Japanese is difficult, they cannot be sure that it is harder than English. That's the impression that I have been getting
    Right.

    And what he intentionally forgot saying is...
    No matter how stupid, ignorant, ultra-nationalistic or whatever his students or his friends were, they tried to communicate with him.
    I think it is much better than indifference.

  2. #27
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    Maciamo, isn't that what each person who spoke to you was doing? Their own little survey? Yet it ticked you off enough to leave.
    What are you talking about ? I left because of dozens of reasons, such as police checks, discrimination agiants foreigners (e.g. in real estate agencies), lack of carreer opportunity in my field for non native Japanese, earthquakes (not good to invest in a house), general disgust at Japanese politics, regular need to change country after a few years...

    Maybe you are talking about my annoyance at people asking questions which they can answer themselves if they reflected a bit (e.g. "does your country have 4 seasons ?"), or questions without answer because it is too general (e.g. "do foreigners do this or that ?" instead of asking me whether I do). This survey is only about the opinion/knowledge of the person to whom I am asking.

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  3. #28
    Master of the Universe Bucko's Avatar
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    There's not much "Japan has four seasons" talk at all here in Osaka. The most I got was comparing the seasons of my home town to Osaka, and someone saying, "so your home town has four seasons like Osaka". However, when I lived up near Tokyo for some reason there was a lot of talk about the whole "four seasons" thing and I got quite a few questions about it. Of course at that time I was pretty new to Japan so didn't think anything of it.

    Nevertheless, I decided I'd have a bit of fun playing mind games in a lesson I did today. It was about activites to do in the different seasons. I started off saying that America has four seasons, and rattled off some different activities that can be done in those seasons. I then sneakily said, "so how about Japan? In Japan there are *five* seasons. So what activities can you do in those five seasons?" The students looked a bit confused and tried to correct my by saying that Japan has four, but I just laughed and wrote down the names 'summer', 'autumn', 'winter', 'spring', and 'rainy', and continued on as if it was a normal thing, asking them what they did for each of Japan's five seasons. Hehe, I'm so evil. I just wish I did it up in Tokyo when I was there. Poor Osakans.

  4. #29
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    I have moved the whole offtopic discussion about Chinese state indoctrination and free speech here.

  5. #30
    Wanderer Mamoru-kun's Avatar
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    I felt something very strange when I went to Japan this summer, some kind of big difference (my own point of view of course) between this time and the first time I visited that country 9 years ago: at that time, when facing a shop counter I was asked questions in English (of course, gaijin face meant english speaking...naturally! ) and when I answered some words in Japanese, even very basic words, I was answered things like "Wow, you speak a fluent Japanese!" (don’t make me laugh!...). Three weeks ago, I've been staying there for more than two weeks, and -not at all- was I asked anything in English! Any time I came close to a counter, shop people always engaged the discussion in Japanese! And not gaijin-purpose Japanese, but directly in keigo (high Japanese language)! That first surprised me, as I still have my gaijin-face, and most of the time hold a big camera in hands. Then of course I answered in Japanese, but this time, after 9 years, I was able to answer what I was asked in the same Japanese level. Well in this case I would have been pleased to hear "you speak a fluent Japanese!", but no!, not even a smile or a surprised face! Have something changed in Japan those last 9 years? Are gaijin so common now that shops's people first try in japanese and then switch to english if their mother tongue is not working?! 9 years ago, it was just the opposite...
    Not that it's a big deal for me, but as this thread exists...

  6. #31
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Mamoru-kun, maybe the Japanese shop assistant you met had read my articles on the subject on JREF. Or I told so many people how annoying that was that the word spread realy quickly. Wow, I changed a country's culture and habits just by ranting to a few peolpe !

  7. #32
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    Your mistaking yourself for ghettocities, Maciamo.

    If its true its good to see the Japanese (in an odd way) arent so bothered or impressed by foreigners anymore.

    The only Japanese people who spoke English to me now that I come to think of it were the cabin crew/airport staff, and my girlfriends family.

    I think thats how it should be, speaking the local language first before trying something else, whats the point of going to a foreign country if you dont get a chance to experience the language along with other things?.

  8. #33
    Five times to Japan. ArmandV's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Mamoru-kun, maybe the Japanese shop assistant you met had read my articles on the subject on JREF. Or I told so many people how annoying that was that the word spread realy quickly. Wow, I changed a country's culture and habits just by ranting to a few peolpe !

    Wow! Does this mean that you can move back to Japan?

    Armand's Rancho del Cielo

  9. #34
    Master of the Universe Bucko's Avatar
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    I have to admit, I get really annoyed when I speak Japanese and they speak English back. Even when they say "thank you" or "sorry" I find it irritating. Yesterday at the supermarket when I bought a 弁当 I asked 「おはしありますか」 and the woman replied "eeh, chopusuchikusu, ehh, insaido". Grr.

    Another thing, I remember when I first arrived in Japan and couldn't speak a lick of Japanese, I found it strange that there was so much English and romaji written around the place (convenient as it was). In fact, I found it quite disappointing. It didn't feel much like the foreign country I was hoping for. These days I not only find it disappointing, but kind of pathetic, like they're selling off their culture for the sake of either 1) looking cool, or 2) "helping" foreigners. That's one of the reasons I like visiting the countryside in Japan so much, because of the lack of English. Although, I ended up getting on the wrong bus in the countryside once because I read the kanji incorrectly, and arrived in some remote town in northern Kyoto Prefecture, but I still hold the opinion that there is too much English.

    Funny thing is, the Japanese don't seem to think this. A few weeks back, a student even went out of his way to say that he thinks Japan is not "foreigner friendly" enough! He was definately surprised when I told him that I hate all the English that's written around the place, even the romaji at train stations. He said, "well, that's because you study Japanese", but then I told him of my initial disappointment when first arriving, when I couldn't speak any Japanese.

  10. #35
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    If I go to Japan, and see things written in English, I'd find it helpful rather than annoying, because although I'm learning Japanese I'm still not that good, and it would be useful because then I could get to recognise meanings quicker.

    I went last year to Barcelona, and I found a lot of the signs, like on public transport system, were written in Spanish, Catalan and English. I found that useful. On the contrary in Munich, there weren't a lot of things in English, particularly not in the metro (or however you call it!). This made things more difficult for me as I don't speak any German at all (I can usually figure out a bit of Spanish from French).

    I think people kind of expect Japan to be very 'foreign', and to see English language in a lot of places sort of disappoints this image, whereas on Europe, there's often an attitude from English people that there should be signs in English (don't get me wrong I'm not saying everyone's like that ^^). But you could say that destroys the 'foreignness' or 'mystique' of, say, Spain just as much as Japan.

    I think such things are helpful for language learning, because even though the things you learn are only basic, it can still teach you new words and stuff. And I'm saying that as a person who normally insists on doing things the most difficult way possible!

    Of course, being spoken to in English when you speak in another language must be really annoying, though.

  11. #36
    Wanderer Mamoru-kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao
    Of course, being spoken to in English when you speak in another language must be really annoying, though.
    To avoid that particular aspect, I personally wait for the other to engage the discussion whenever it's possible. If he/she first speaks in Japanese, I answer in Japanese. And if it's in English, well...It even happened that some whole discussions were held in English, without the people in front of me ever know that I could have held it in Japanese (modestly speaking )! The problem in such a situation is that you -have to- avoid inserting Japanese terms in the discussion, else your discussion-partner will probably feel unease when he/she'll notice that he/she could have spoken in his/her own language from the beginning. That's something I've learned with Japanese after all those years: insulting, or making jokes on a Japanese person is as bad as making him/her feel shame (ashamed?) because of you...

  12. #37
    Master of the Universe Bucko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoru-kun
    That's something I've learned with Japanese after all those years: insulting, or making jokes on a Japanese person is as bad as making him/her feel shame (ashamed?) because of you...
    Haha, so I wonder how the woman at the train station kiosk felt when I asked if she was unable to speak Japanese?

    Me: 地図が売りますか。
    Kiosk lady: えええ。。。えええ。。。マッポ????ええ、ハット 、ハット、えええ(pointing to a man wearing a hat)
    Me: 日本語話せませんか。
    (Japanese guy behind me cracks up laughing)

  13. #38
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    None. =) My time in Japan has been really positive.

  14. #39
    ガイジン娘。 doinkies's Avatar
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    About the "Japanese anime and manga are superior" thing, I've only ever heard that from rabid anime and manga fans in America, never from Japanese people.
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  15. #40
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doinkies
    About the "Japanese anime and manga are superior" thing, I've only ever heard that from rabid anime and manga fans in America, never from Japanese people.
    I haven't heard it between Japanese people, nor have I heard Japanese people "boasting" about it. But when I asked my wife if she thought that Japanese anime and manga were superior, she answered "of course they are !" (until I gave them the example of Disney and she changed her mind a bit). I asked a few people (both male and female) while I was in Japan and their reaction was the same (and they also retracted after I asked them about Disney or Peter Rabbit). What amazed me is how Franco-Belgian comics are almost completely unknown in Japan. As a Belgian I naturally asked countless people whether they knew 'Tintin', 'Spirou & Fantasio', 'Lucky Luke', the 'Smurfs' or other Belgian comics. Tintin is famous in all the world. People in India and Thailand usually knew Tintin, but 90% of the Japanese I met had no idea who "Tintin" was. Those who knew had seen or been to one of the two 'Tintin shops' in Tokyo, but hadn't read the comics. Likewise, I haven't met anybody who knew of the French comics 'Asterix'.

    I find it strange as Japanese people are more into comics than anybody else in the world. In Europe or America, even adults who have never watched anime or read manga can cite a few Japanese titles (e.g. Dragon Ball, Pokemon...) because their (grand-)children watch them or they have stumble on it while hopping channels. Obviously, if they don't know anything else than Japanese comics/anime (or conveniently forget that Disney is not Japanese), they are bound to think they are the best...

  16. #41
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    I actually prefer European comics to most of manga (I haven't read all that much so I am keeping an open mind though! =P). Well, it's just a personal preference for type of art work, for me.

    I can sort of understand that Japanese people don't know much of European titles, though; until about a year ago I'd never heard of any anime or manga titles (except for Pokemon!), even the ones that to me seem now well known. Until I'd started investigating Japanese things, I didn't know of them, so maybe it's the same for Japanese people and European things.

  17. #42
    ガイジン娘。 doinkies's Avatar
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    European and American comics are a small niche market in Japan, I think (even then Japan gets more American comics than European ones). American superhero comics are especially niche, although there are publishers out there who do license and translate them and there is a small following for them. Probably Peanuts might be the most well-known American comic in Japan...helps that the character designs look かわいい XD But Japan already has a big thriving comic industry, so the market for foreign comics there is very small (similar to how, in the 80s and early-to-mid 90s, the market for anime and manga in America was also very small).

    As for the European comics that Maciamo mentioned, though I know a bit about Tintin and Asterix, I didn't know that the Smurfs was a comic until a couple years ago.

  18. #43
    puzzled gaijin
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    That's true. Myself, I saw 'Asterix' first while on a camping trip when some Germans we shared lobster with showed it to us in a Quebec City bookstore. 'Tin Tin' came later, while I was working in Taiwan, it was used with our high level returnee students. I also like 'Babar', whose 70th birthday is the year, and thus they are being promoted heavily in some parts of France.

    Peanuts is very big here, though sadly mostly just Snoopy. The aforementioned Smurfs were a doll, then a show, then a comic book.

  19. #44
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    i definitely think cars made in japan are better than cars made in america
    my honda civic's interior trim wasn't made in japan and guess which parts are shedding faster than a fat snake
    and yeah, have heard most of the italicized ones, and also the gaijin kusai on the train
    i forget why, but i was out at makahari messe and had been walking around for quite a bit in the middle of july (this was like 3 or 4 PM), so i can't say it wasn't deserved.
    thought about saying something, but felt suddenly sorry for all three of them
    i don't necessarily care for a lot of people's breath either
    Last edited by budd; Aug 19, 2006 at 02:44.
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  20. #45
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    Not from a japanese person but from a chinese person... my in laws are chinese and im european mut, they didnt think americans could eat rice (i love rice) and they handed me a bowl, i almost have it and they pull it back and say oh she cant eat this. so mean. they also keep giving me spoons instead of chopsticks, i have terible fork, knife, and spoon skills and prefer chopsticks!! its been 3 years and sometimes they still forget...

    (some of them actualy think im jap & my friends parents insist that im adopted)

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