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Question for Japanese people about foreigners learning Japanese

Weltall

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How do Japanese feel about foreigners trying to learn Japanese? (Or that have learned it and become good at it...?)

I know discrimination happens everywhere... I see it happen here in Canada too. I mean no offense to ask this, I am deeply interested in your great culture. However I've heard many 'horror stories' over time. Even so far as to say that Japanese are suspicious of foreigners who speak Japanese, or that no matter how good you are, you'll always be speaking in baby talk.

Your culture is rich and interesting, it's just hearing these horror stories are a bit discouraging... I don't believe that these generalizations can really reflect everyone's ideas, especially the modern generation's. Surely there are Japanese out there not afraid and even enthusiastic about cultural exchange? I think this board proves that it's so...
 

Mikawa Ossan

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I am not Japanese, but I'll tell you my opinion from my experiences here in Japan.

I overwhelming find that Japanese people are happy to find that non-Japanese people are studying Japanese and can speak it.

They generally don't expect that you can speak it, but aside from JR employees and several other subsections of society, they tend to be quite relieved when they find out that you do speak competent Japanese.

Take what you read at this forum with a grain of salt. The bad experiences one has will always stand out and make for good stories. Average to good experiences are less juicy, and therefore they have a harder time making it to this forum.

I have had my share of bad experiences, but I would argue that taken as a whole, my life in Japan is overwhelmingly positive. I think that people who try to become a fully functioning integrated part of the society will generally say the same. The problem IMHO is if you don't want to adapt and integrate to the culture.
 

Sensuikan San

The Geezer
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Just an observation ....

Mikawa Ossan said:
I am not Japanese, but I'll tell you my opinion from my experiences here in Japan.

I overwhelming find that Japanese people are happy to find that non-Japanese people are studying Japanese and can speak it.

They generally don't expect that you can speak it, but aside from JR employees and several other subsections of society, they tend to be quite relieved when they find out that you do speak competent Japanese.

Take what you read at this forum with a grain of salt. The bad experiences one has will always stand out and make for good stories. Average to good experiences are less juicy, and therefore they have a harder time making it to this forum.

I have had my share of bad experiences, but I would argue that taken as a whole, my life in Japan is overwhelmingly positive. I think that people who try to become a fully functioning integrated part of the society will generally say the same. The problem IMHO is if you don't want to adapt and integrate to the culture.

I've never had the experience of visiting Japan - yet - but I think your points are well made.

My own experience, and that of more well travelled friends, tells me that this is the case in most, if not all other countries too .... even in Quebec ... and Texas! ... and, I hope ... to be expected. If you make the effort - you gain respect.

In return for the kindnesses that I have received, I always make a point of trying to give the same respect to people who have problems with English ... it's very rewarding when you can assist ... for all parties.

( .... of course ... it goes without saying that Australians and Scots in particular can be a little problematical from time to time; their own language(s) being so colourful but so far removed from our own. One can sympathise. :wavey: :D )

As for the JR - I seem to recall that an awful lot of British, American, French, German, Belgian, Italian, Canadian ... even Swiss, minor beaurocrats can be remarkably offensive and intolerant with anyone who doesn't have their tongue.

Oh dear! ... must run! I see a massed army of Aussies and Scots bearing down on my frail self .....!

ニ淡ニ停?。ニ停?
 

Carlson

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I have had no problems with japanese people giving me trouble trying to speak japanese. most are patient and some laugh a little because i still sound american. and most all have tryed to help me. the only thing i have heard from some people is be careful to learn to much japanese from my gf or i will end up speaking like a women.
 

Weltall

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I think the more I look into it and think about it, it's really not so different than here in North America for example...
 
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