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Not sure if to continue studying Japanese due to mannerisms.

Shahar1992

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Hi.
My name is Shahar and I am a 25 years old male from Israel.
I am a native speaker of hebrew.
A few weeks ago I decided to start learning Japanese as I like the way it sounds.
I did not realize however that there are so many mannerisms involved in speaking Japanese.
After watching several Japanese television shows and seeing how Japanese people actually speak I have noticed the several mannerisms :
1 ) Constantly nodding when someone speaks to you and interrupting their speech with "hai" all the time.
2 ) After you finish speaking saying "hai" and nodding several times.
3 ) Saying "ne" after almost every sentence you say.
4 ) Saying "eeeeeee" whenever someone explains something to you.
5 ) Whenever explaining something to someone, breaking the sentece to small pieces and elongating the pronunciation of the last word.
I don't know how to use Japanese to illustrate this point so i'll use English.
Let's say you want to explain to someone that you went to the supermarket yesterday and saw a fish with a big red mark on it.
So I noticed they would pronounce it something like this:
Yesterday when I went to the stoooore, I saw a big Fiiiiiish, the fish had a maaaark, and the mark was reeeed.
Something like that.

Anyway I don't ever see myself speaking with all these mannerisms and to be honest I find them quite annoying and cumbersome.
I like speaking a language in a "straight forward" way the way Hebrew, English and all European languages are spoken.
So I don't know if there is even a point in continuing to learn Japanese because speaking it in a "straight forward" way like you would speak Hebrew or English, without all these mannerism might not be appropriate or effective when speaking with Japanese people.
 

thomas

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I hope you are basing your decision on something more solid than TV shows.
 

Shahar1992

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I hope you are basing your decision on something more solid than TV shows.
Well I believe TV shows are a good because they show you how Japanese actually speak.
And I am not talking about Anime I am talking about TV shows were there is a panel and they also show a lot of interviews with people on the street so I believe it's a pretty accurate portrayal.
 

Shahar1992

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What TV shows did you watch?
I don't remember the specific names but it were a few shows on different channels so it's not just one show.
Just to be clear I am not talking about vagueness or politeness in here.
I am talking about all of the nodding, the "hai", the "ne" the "eeeeeeee" that Japanese people say all the time while speaking, besides the words themselves.
 

Toritoribe

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Are you saying that the sentence middle/final particle "ne" is not a word?? Do you think it doesn't have any grammatical function/meaning at all?
Actually, you need to know that people speak differently from real daily conversations in TV shows or interviews in most cases.
 

Mike Cash

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The only thing you mention which I find actually exists in real life is the signalling to the other person you are listening attentively to what they are saying. (To you it looks like interrupting).

I'm a native English speaker and after having been away from English speakers for a long time I find that there are MANY mannerisms common among English speakers which I find highly annoying.

People quickly give up studying Japanese all the time and for a variety of reasons. I think your decision is based on an inadequate understanding of the facts, but if you are so little interested that you are thinking about quitting over something this petty then it was just a matter of time until you would have quit for some other reason. Really doesn't matter.
 

Shahar1992

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The only thing you mention which I find actually exists in real life is the signalling to the other person you are listening attentively to what they are saying. (To you it looks like interrupting).

I'm a native English speaker and after having been away from English speakers for a long time I find that there are MANY mannerisms common among English speakers which I find highly annoying.

People quickly give up studying Japanese all the time and for a variety of reasons. I think your decision is based on an inadequate understanding of the facts, but if you are so little interested that you are thinking about quitting over something this petty then it was just a matter of time until you would have quit for some other reason. Really doesn't matter.

Well so you never noticed that when you explain something to Japanese people they say "eeeeeeeeeee"?.
Or that after finishing speaking they say "hai" and nod a few times?.
Or you haven't never seen a Japanese person nodding when they speak or listen?.

From what I have seen there are zero mannerisms in English.

And I don't know it doesn't seem quite "petty" as you put it.
All of this mannerism look quite central to Japanese from what I have seen.
That's why I am not sure if I should even continue study the language as I don't like to speak like that with all those interjections and mannerisms and nodding.
 

Lothor

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Shahar - For me, one of the pleasures of living in Japan is that the vast majority of people seem to be likeable and are pleasant to chat to and listen to in Japanese. However, i loathe Japanese TV and all those vacuous panellists (called 'tarento' here), who are basically paid to show the 'correct' emotion to viewers who are too stupid to work out how to react to anything without being told how, and therefore they ludicrously overact.
Unfortunately, having a wife who finds such programmes a good way of relaxing and two children who have not yet developed much taste, I'm unable to avoid such excreable toss. However, most people do not make such asinine noises and mannerisms when speaking (or at least not often), so I wouldn't use what you hear on the idiot box as a justification for not learning Japanese. Just find a better way of studying.
 

Lothor

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Just an afterthought. In Hebrew, things are expressed very concisely as far as I understand. You may really hate learning honorific Japanese language, which is used when addressing customers and 'superiors'. At the post office, it takes about 10 seconds for the recorded announcement to say 'Cashier number 3 please' when it is your turn to be served!
 
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Well so you never noticed that when you explain something to Japanese people they say "eeeeeeeeeee"?.
Do you mean the interjection へえ (hee)? That means something along the lines of "wow" or "really?" or "is that so?", just a simple way to show that you're listening.

As for the "interrupting" itself, yeah, it's different, but that's all it is. In Japanese culture, it shows you're listening. Cultural differences abound all around the world. Even certain manners of speaking in the same language can become annoying or even offensive if you change locations.

Yesterday when I went to the stoooore, I saw a big Fiiiiiish, the fish had a maaaark, and the mark was reeeed.
Something like that.
I didn't have a clue what you meant by this for a few minutes. But could it be that you're referring to the way some fictional characters in some situations will enlongate the way they say ~ます (-masu) or です (desu) in some situations (so that it's like ま~す or で~す)? I've seen that, but every time I've seen it, it's always been for some particular effect. Usually it looks to me like it's making a character look incredibly joyful, or something like that.

In any case, though, I think liking the sound of a language is a pretty shallow reason to learn it. So if that's your only motivation, I'd suggest you not bother with it any more. No one will judge you for it, and Japanese is a really hard language to actually learn well as a second language.
 

Shahar1992

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Just an afterthought. In Hebrew, things are expressed very concisely as far as I understand. You may really hate learning honorific Japanese language, which is used when addressing customers and 'superiors'. At the post office, it takes about 10 seconds for the recorded announcement to say 'Cashier number 3 please' when it is your turn to be served!

Again I am not talking about politeness levels and honorifics.
The word in English to describe what I mean is "interjections", that's what I meant by "mannerisms".
The "hai", "ne","eeeeeee","soooooo" and the constant nodding both when you speak and when others speak.
 

Shahar1992

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Do you mean the interjection へえ (hee)? That means something along the lines of "wow" or "really?" or "is that so?", just a simple way to show that you're listening.

As for the "interrupting" itself, yeah, it's different, but that's all it is. In Japanese culture, it shows you're listening. Cultural differences abound all around the world. Even certain manners of speaking in the same language can become annoying or even offensive if you change locations.


I didn't have a clue what you meant by this for a few minutes. But could it be that you're referring to the way some fictional characters in some situations will enlongate the way they say ~ます (-masu) or です (desu) in some situations (so that it's like ま~す or で~す)? I've seen that, but every time I've seen it, it's always been for some particular effect. Usually it looks to me like it's making a character look incredibly joyful, or something like that.

In any case, though, I think liking the sound of a language is a pretty shallow reason to learn it. So if that's your only motivation, I'd suggest you not bother with it any more. No one will judge you for it, and Japanese is a really hard language to actually learn well as a second language.

Yes I mean that one and all the other interjections that Japanese people use all the time.

That's not what I meant.
What I meant is this, for instance explaining someone you saw a big fish in the fish section in the supermarket yesterday, so some of them will say : kinou waaaaaaaaa, mise niiiiiiiii, fish aisle (don't know how to say it Japanese) niiiiiii, ooki sakana o mimashita.

Yeah I have already decided not to continue learning it because of the constant nodding and interjections they just drive me crazy.
I will never be able nor do I want to speak like that.
If the Japanese people spoke Japanese like you speak Hebrew or English, in a straight forward fashion without all those noddings and interjections I would have continued studying it.
I mean I am used that you listen to what other person has to say until he finishes and then you say what you have to say.
Like this :
Speaker A: Yesterday, I went to the supermarket, and in the fish aisle, I saw a big fish.
Speaker B : I see.

But this is how the Japanese people speak:
Speaker A :Yesterday , isn't it (ne)
Speaker B : Yes (hai).
Speaker A : I went to the supermarket, isn't it (ne).
Speaker B : Yes (hai).
Speaker A : And in the fish aisle, isn't it (ne)
Speaker B : Yes (hai)
Speaker A: I saw a big fish, isn't it.
Speaker B : I seeeeeeeeeeee ( eeeeeeeee).

I just don't like this way of communicating and from what i've seen this is how Japanese people speak their language.
 

joadbres

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Yeah I have already decided not to continue learning it because of the constant nodding and interjections they just drive me crazy.
I will never be able nor do I want to speak like that.

Unlike everybody else who has responded thus far, I actually agree with you. Those interjections don't exist only on TV; people in real life act that way, too (although what you see on TV is a more exaggerated version, I think) I also find this behavior annoying. It gets less annoying with exposure, but I am not going to lie to you by telling you it eventually gets to the point where it is not annoying. It still annoys me.

I do agree with the others, though, that this is not such a great reason for discontinuing studying the language, but that is your choice, and yours alone.

Best of luck with whatever you decide to study next.

Shalom.
 

Toritoribe

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kinou waaaaaaaaa, mise niiiiiiiii, fish aisle (don't know how to say it Japanese) niiiiiii, ooki sakana o mimashita.
Not all Japanese people are "gyaru". Again, those kinds of way of speaking indeed exist, but most people don't speak like that. It's OK you just learn and say "Kinō, mise no sakana-uriba de ōkina sakana wo mimashita" instead.
 

Mike Cash

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Imagine if he had watched a detective drama. He would believe that Japanese people never face each other when having a discussion!
 

Majestic

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Anyway I don't ever see myself speaking with all these mannerisms and to be honest I find them quite annoying and cumbersome.
I think you have asked, and answered your own question.
Best for you to move on to another language where you can speak without being annoyed.
 

mdchachi

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It gets even worse. Imagine you're in a conversation and you are often called a liar. Like,

A) I overslept an hour and ...
B) Lie!
A) then I missed the express train by 10 seconds.
B) Lie!
A) when I got to the office the elevator was broken and I had to climb 10 flights of stairs.
B) Liar!

The lack of basic trust in Japan is astounding.
 
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If the Japanese people spoke Japanese like you speak Hebrew or English, in a straight forward fashion
You mean, like, like this? Hashtag totally-true! LOL, I like, totally understand if you like, can't stand people like, totally butting in all the time? Like, I'm trying to like, tell them something like, totally cool, and they like, totally go off on me telling me I sound like, annoying? They're all like, "Sarah, you need to, like, chill with the 'likes'," and I'm all like, "Dude, I'm only saying it, like, a little!" OMG, like, totally hashtag grumpy.

^ Just one example of how to be annoying with the way you talk in English. ;)

Though I do have one serious response to what you said there: I wouldn't say that English is by its very nature straightforward. Lots of people (myself included) speak in abstracts and supplement specifics with all kinds of words: "like" (as demonstrated above), "you know?", "right?", etc. Heck, I'd say the majority of conversations are in really high abstracts.
 

Shahar1992

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You mean, like, like this? Hashtag totally-true! LOL, I like, totally understand if you like, can't stand people like, totally butting in all the time? Like, I'm trying to like, tell them something like, totally cool, and they like, totally go off on me telling me I sound like, annoying? They're all like, "Sarah, you need to, like, chill with the 'likes'," and I'm all like, "Dude, I'm only saying it, like, a little!" OMG, like, totally hashtag grumpy.

^ Just one example of how to be annoying with the way you talk in English. :emoji_wink:

Though I do have one serious response to what you said there: I wouldn't say that English is by its very nature straightforward. Lots of people (myself included) speak in abstracts and supplement specifics with all kinds of words: "like" (as demonstrated above), "you know?", "right?", etc. Heck, I'd say the majority of conversations are in really high abstracts.

In your example of annoying English, that's slang not interjections and I still find that way of speaking a lot less annoying than the interjections and the constant nodding of the Japanese.

By "straight forward" I mean that in English (and Hebrew and all other languages I know) you just say the words you want to say and you don't use all those interjections that the Japanese use and you don't nod all the time when speaking or listening.
You just say what you want to say and the other person listens until you finish.
And you don't elongate the last word.
For instance :
Speaker A : I live in New York City.
It's a very big city home to about 10 million people.
Speaker B : I see, interesting.

Whereas with the Japanese it will be like this :
Speaker A : I live in New York City isn't it?.(ne)
Speaker B : Yes.(hai)
Speaker A : It's a very big city Iisn't it?.(ne)
Speaker B : Yes.(hai)
Speaker A : Home to about 10 million people isn't it?.(ne)
Speaker B : I seeeeeeeee (eeeeeeeee)
All while both sides nod all the time.

So in short I like the way the words sound in Japanese but I just can't stand the way the Japanese speak it with all those interjecrions and nodding.
 

Toritoribe

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You are just repeating the same comment; your (wrong) assumption just getting from few TV shows without knowing or with ignoring the common way of Japanese people really speaking. Did you read my replies? Any response?
 

Shahar1992

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You are just repeating the same comment; your (wrong) assumption just getting from few TV shows without knowing or with ignoring the common way of Japanese people really speaking. Did you read my replies? Any response?

I have seen your replies but I find it hard to believe that these things only exist on TV shows.
So do you want tell me that outside TV shows Japanese people never nod or use all those interjections all the time, all the "hai","ne" and " eeeeeee"?.
 

Mike Cash

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You remind me of my grandmother. Even if she wanted to do something she would act like she didn't because she wanted people to beg her to do it.

We're not cultural missionaries trying to convince you to learn Japanese. A native speaker of Japanese and several foreign residents who have lengthy and extensive familiarity with the language in real-world daily usage have told you that what you saw during flipping through a few television shows is not representative of what one encounters in most interactions in real-life. You are free to ignore us and to persist with your misinformed and inaccurate perceptions. It is no skin off our noses if you don't learn Japanese. Chances are you would have quit soon anyway.

I don't understand why you are still hanging around here, unless you're just trolling us.

You essentially joined this site just to tell us you're not going to learn Japanese. Do you always do stuff like this when you're not getting enough attention? Nobody cares if you don't want to learn. Bugger off and satisfy your need to be the center of attention somewhere else.
 

Toritoribe

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Totally agree. Actually, I, too, think the OP might be just a troll...
 
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