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BackwoodsBoy

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I'm from Indiana, 25, I've been watching anime forever and now starting to learn 日本語. I'm about 3 months in, finished Kevin Marxs "learn Japanese in 90 days" so I'm lookin for some new literature. I work for a Japanese automotive factory and I guess my first question is, how do I politely say hello passing by Japanese people at work. I understand there is a lot of formality within this and if done wrong can be seen as rude. It would be nice to quickly say hello in an honorific phrase as we pass if possible, thanks!
 

thomas

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Welcome to the forum, nice to have you on board! Please post your questions to the "Learning Japanese" section. :)
 

mdchachi

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I'm from Indiana, 25, I've been watching anime forever and now starting to learn 日本語. I'm about 3 months in, finished Kevin Marxs "learn Japanese in 90 days" so I'm lookin for some new literature. I work for a Japanese automotive factory and I guess my first question is, how do I politely say hello passing by Japanese people at work. I understand there is a lot of formality within this and if done wrong can be seen as rude. It would be nice to quickly say hello in an honorific phrase as we pass if possible, thanks!
Welcome. As Thomas said there's another forum for these questions but I'll answer anyway. Basically you can't go wrong with "ohayou gozaimasu" in the morning and "konnichiwa" from mid-day on.
 

Mike Cash

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Welcome. As Thomas said there's another forum for these questions but I'll answer anyway. Basically you can't go wrong with "ohayou gozaimasu" in the morning and "konnichiwa" from mid-day on.

Between coworkers?

"Ohayou gozaimasu" regardless of the time of day for the first greeting of the day, unless at the end of the workday and/or the other person is clearly leaving for the day.

"Otsukaresama desu" at the end of the workday or if the other person is clearly leaving for the day.

"Osaki ni shitsurei shimasu" if leaving for the day ahead of others.

"Konnichiwa" never ever ever.
 

BackwoodsBoy

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Between coworkers?

"Ohayou gozaimasu" regardless of the time of day for the first greeting of the day, unless at the end of the workday and/or the other person is clearly leaving for the day.

"Otsukaresama desu" at the end of the workday or if the other person is clearly leaving for the day.

"Osaki ni shitsurei shimasu" if leaving for the day ahead of others.

"Konnichiwa" never ever ever.
お疲れ様. thanks! I've heard that before but I didn't understand what it meant haha.
 

Mike Cash

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お疲れ様. thanks! I've heard that before but I didn't understand what it meant haha.

I'm surprised to learn it wasn't covered in a guide that makes one a fluent Japanese speaker in ninety days....
 

mdchachi

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I assumed he was talking about strangers -- or at least people he doesn't know well and probably doesn't know their names. I've been in many Japanese auto factories, including one in Indiana. They are huge places. He'll be passing by many Japanese people he barely knows or has never seen before as there are a lot of visitors coming in and out from Japan, engineering centers, etc. They are not coworkers in the traditional sense. In fact many are not coworkers in the real sense because they are employed by the various suppliers that feed into everything it takes to produce a car. In that context my advice stands.
 

Mike Cash

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Well, if you want to broaden it like that....he should probably address them either not at all or in English rather than assuming every Asian face he sees at work is necessarily Japanese.
 

BackwoodsBoy

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I assumed he was talking about strangers -- or at least people he doesn't know well and probably doesn't know their names. I've been in many Japanese auto factories, including one in Indiana. They are huge places. He'll be passing by many Japanese people he barely knows or has never seen before as there are a lot of visitors coming in and out from Japan, engineering centers, etc. They are not coworkers in the traditional sense. In fact many are not coworkers in the real sense because they are employed by the various suppliers that feed into everything it takes to produce a car. In that context my advice stands.
Hey have you been to TMMI??? That's where I work! Lol and yes you are 100% correct this factory is one of the largest in the US. We build about 1,040 Toyota highlanders daily along with the sienna and sequoia (which are hand built and I'm proud to be one of the lucky few who do that). Also yes there are many Japanese and I'm pretty sure Akio Toyoda visits us every other month or so. I see them all as management, and some are friendly. Others pass by with a hardened look and ignore you (not sure if that is customary towards us white devils), but nonetheless I would like to be humble and impress my management team verbally
 

BackwoodsBoy

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I'm surprised to learn it wasn't covered in a guide that makes one a fluent Japanese speaker in ninety days....
Yeah that's why I joined on here. I liked the guide but I was kinda disappointed, tae Kim's free app taught me more than the 90 day guide I bought, so I'm in need of new literature.
 

Mike Cash

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Yeah that's why I joined on here. I liked the guide but I was kinda disappointed, tae Kim's free app taught me more than the 90 day guide I bought, so I'm in need of new literature.

You might consider the Genki textbook series. Are there no Japanese classes available in your area? Community college or something like that?
 

BackwoodsBoy

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You might consider the Genki textbook series. Are there no Japanese classes available in your area? Community college or something like that?
I think a university close by has classes of the sort but I already work 50 some hours and have a daughter, etc.. I've passed my N5 test, which I know that doesn't mean much of anything especially when actually conversing in reality. I'll look into it. I reviewed the genki series alittle and I think I'm going with the "complete guide to Japanese kanji" good idea or no?
 

Mike Cash

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I reviewed the genki series alittle and I think I'm going with the "complete guide to Japanese kanji" good idea or no?

That's an apples and oranges choice. I would suggest using materials for learning the language instead of one that focuses on teaching the symbols used to write the language. It isn't the same thing.
 

mdchachi

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Hey have you been to TMMI??? That's where I work! Lol and yes you are 100% correct this factory is one of the largest in the US. We build about 1,040 Toyota highlanders daily along with the sienna and sequoia (which are hand built and I'm proud to be one of the lucky few who do that). Also yes there are many Japanese and I'm pretty sure Akio Toyoda visits us every other month or so. I see them all as management, and some are friendly. Others pass by with a hardened look and ignore you (not sure if that is customary towards us white devils), but nonetheless I would like to be humble and impress my management team verbally
Yes. I've been to TMMI for a Sienna program. Also TMMC (Rav4/RX), TMMTX (Tundra) and TMMK (Avalon). But I don't go to plants that often so every time it's still a novelty and amazing place to me. I don't think Akio visits that frequently but I could be wrong.
I wouldn't read anything into the "hardened look." Even in Japan, Japanese people typically don't catch strangers eyes or greet each other out on the street. But they do in some circumstances (like when there's a sense of camaraderie such as passing by on hiking trails). That's kind of how I see your circumstance. By all means throw an "ohayou gozaimasu" or "konnichiwa" towards the friendly-looking ones when your eyes catch when they're touring your work area or whatever. Are there any coordinators in your area that you interact with regularly? If you can find a friendly one you can expand your interactions and learning opportunities.
 

BackwoodsBoy

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Yes. I've been to TMMI for a Sienna program. Also TMMC (Rav4/RX), TMMTX (Tundra) and TMMK (Avalon). But I don't go to plants that often so every time it's still a novelty and amazing place to me. I don't think Akio visits that frequently but I could be wrong.
I wouldn't read anything into the "hardened look." Even in Japan, Japanese people typically don't catch strangers eyes or greet each other out on the street. But they do in some circumstances (like when there's a sense of camaraderie such as passing by on hiking trails). That's kind of how I see your circumstance. By all means throw an "ohayou gozaimasu" or "konnichiwa" towards the friendly-looking ones when your eyes catch when they're touring your work area or whatever. Are there any coordinators in your area that you interact with regularly? If you can find a friendly one you can expand your interactions and learning opportunities.

Coordinators not necessarily, but I see them regularly when coming into work as they are leaving so I'm sure they are employed here and not through other companies. So would these guys be considered "社長"? Should I address them as such? Is 社長さま a viable title or does that just sound silly?
 

BackwoodsBoy

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No. Not unless they are all the president of your or some other company.



Only if you want to sound like a whorehouse tout accosting men passing by in the street.
Lmao that's awesome. It's just crazy how different the culture is compared to America. you try to sound respectful and end up insulting someone haha. I have a lot to learn for sure
 

Mike Cash

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Lmao that's awesome. It's just crazy how different the culture is compared to America. you try to sound respectful and end up insulting someone haha. I have a lot to learn for sure

Would you address white coworkers you don't know as "President"?
 

Mike Cash

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No lol. Maybe a hey (casual greetings, etc) but don't Japanese find that insulting?

I've never met a Japanese person or any other kind of person who was insulted by a sincere greeting. Have you?
 

Mike Cash

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I've never talked to one so I kinda have this social barrier I have to get over.

The barrier is mental and imaginary. Japanese people are just people. Treat them the same way you'd treat anybody else. If you have some idea they all go around constantly on the edge of being insulted over the least little thing then you have watched too many samurai movies or ridiculous-ässed cartoons.

If you want to endear yourself to people who are in a strange land... yours...then treat them the same way you'd treat anyone else you know in daily life. If you want to alienate them and make them cringe every time they see you coming, then interact with them as stereotypes instead of as individuals...make it clear the only reason you're interested in them is because they're different and constantly make a point of harping on the differences. Nobody wants to be included because they're seen as a token or a pet.
 

BackwoodsBoy

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The barrier is mental and imaginary. Japanese people are just people. Treat them the same way you'd treat anybody else. If you have some idea they all go around constantly on the edge of being insulted over the least little thing then you have watched too many samurai movies or ridiculous-ässed cartoons.

If you want to endear yourself to people who are in a strange land... yours...then treat them the same way you'd treat anyone else you know in daily life. If you want to alienate them and make them cringe every time they see you coming, then interact with them as stereotypes instead of as individuals...make it clear the only reason you're interested in them is because they're different and constantly make a point of harping on the differences. Nobody wants to be included because they're seen as a token or a pet.
Too much anime most likely ha. And the fact that their language is pretty much ancient origin which is pretty awesome. But yeah I'll just try treat em like anyone else. And if I get a mean glare or something I can always apologize. No biggie. I need a mentor real bad. I found those class dates so I will see if I can get some of those under my belt.
 

BackwoodsBoy

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So someone told me that there is "country" music in Japan and i guess it's pretty popular. I wanted to see if anybody had translated some American country songs to Japanese and came up with nothing. I'd like to try and translate a Jason Aldean song to Japanese, I've listened to quite a few J pop songs and their lyrics seem fragmented to coincide with the rhythm of the song, I feel like imma fail but hey it might give some of you a chuckle to read my horrible translations lol
 

Mike Cash

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So someone told me that there is "country" music in Japan

There is.

i guess it's pretty popular

It isn't.

I wanted to see if anybody had translated some American country songs to Japanese

They have.

I'd like to try and translate a Jason Aldean song to Japanese

Never heard of him. Go ahead and give it a try. You'll find it both educational and humbling.
 
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