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#1
Just curious for anyone who has been to or lives in Japan, is it really necessary to learn japanese?

For working purposes and general living, do people understand english well enough over there?
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#3
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#4
I'm asking because I live in sweden and learning swedish is completely unnecessary, everyone here knows english well enough.
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isnt there a law against not shaving? thats somewere in our constitution. i think it goes something like a girl maybe be a freak in the sheets but no be wild down stairs is treason and for that she will be beheaded.-good old Benjamin F.

#5
Go to Hong Kong, everyone knows English there and they pretend not to understand you. It's the truth.
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#6
yeah you need to learn Japanese, it's not like Europe where pretty much everyone speaks English. There are enough people that speak enough English that you could get by if you where just visiting, but if you actually want to live there knowing Japanese is pretty much essential.
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#7
Only a small amount of people there speak and understand English at all, so for working purposes and general living English won't do you much good. It's easier for you to just learn Japanese instead. I'm taking Japanese lessons myself, and it's not that hard to learn. The only confusing thing is their usage of three different alphabets (Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji), but once you get past that it's a piece of cake.
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#9
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#10
Yes yes yes yes yes yes!

Japanese schools require you to take English from middle school to graduation, but regardless, it's very rare to find someone who knows English. Just learn Japanese, it's easy. In 5 months, you can learn enough to get by for a long time (try Rosetta Stone if you're serious).
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#11
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Go to Hong Kong, everyone knows English there and they pretend not to understand you. It's the truth.

A bit like Wales then.
#13
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^ and alot like France

Nah, the difference between Japan and France is...


Dum dum DUMMMM!

Japan doesn't suck balls.

>> <<
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#15
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Nah, the difference between Japan and France is...


Dum dum DUMMMM!

Japan doesn't suck balls.

>> <<


Hey! I like France

-answering the question though. It's going to be massively benificial for you to learn at least the basics of Japanese. Trust me, within a few months of living and working alongside people over there you should be virtually fluent.

We had a Polish girl come to my work who knew a small amount of English about 6-7 months ago. Now she can speak English perfectly
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Last edited by wiggy1988 at Jan 5, 2009,
#17
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#18
If you're moving to a another country that speaks another language of course you have to learn it because not everyone speaks English and if you don't you won't understand Japanese TV shows. From what I hear it's not a hard language to learn. My moms sister lives there and she said it only took her like 3 days before she spoke it well.
Last edited by HGS9669 at Jan 5, 2009,
#19
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#20
Quote by wiggy1988
Hey! I like France

-answering the question though. It's going to be massively benificial for you to learn at least the basics of Japanese. Trust me, within a few months of living and working alongside people over there you should be virtually fluent.

We had a Polish girl come to my work who knew a small amount of English about 6-7 months ago. Now she can speak English perfectly


Seems like a plan.
Thing is I'm bad with languages but I'll have to study like hell I guess..

I learned english perfectly when I went to the U.S. when I was 9, then came back to sweden a little while back and relearned some of that.

I dunno, guess I'll try my best to learn.
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isnt there a law against not shaving? thats somewere in our constitution. i think it goes something like a girl maybe be a freak in the sheets but no be wild down stairs is treason and for that she will be beheaded.-good old Benjamin F.

#21
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doesn't matter, they still hate you.

Not if you aren't american.
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#23
I think its a bit ignorant to go to live somewhere and not bother learning their language.
It is necessary, but its not a difficult language to pick up... apparently.
My sister is living there at the moment, it seems that with her bit of Japanese and their bit of English she's able to communicate well enough with most people.
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#24
Quote by Harmonius
Go to Hong Kong, everyone knows English there and they pretend not to understand you. It's the truth.



I can testify to that fact.


It's not necessary, but it helps.

The merit of having japanese in your lexicon in that you can hold intelligent conversations and you can access all of Japan, not just the english-speaking parts.
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#25
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Seems like a plan.
Thing is I'm bad with languages but I'll have to study like hell I guess..

I learned english perfectly when I went to the U.S. when I was 9, then came back to sweden a little while back and relearned some of that.

I dunno, guess I'll try my best to learn.

The biggest problem you'll have is the sentence structure.

In English, it goes "subject, verb, indirect object, direct object," (usually. Correct me if I'm wrong, English is indeed my 2nd language) with adjectives interspersed in there for good measure.

In Japanese, it's "subject, indirect object, direct object, verb." It becomes quite confusing between Japanese and English.
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#26
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I think its a bit ignorant to go to live somewhere and not bother learning their language.
It is necessary, but its not a difficult language to pick up... apparently.
My sister is living there at the moment, it seems that with her bit of Japanese and their bit of English she's able to communicate well enough with most people.


I think people are just happy to see that your trying to learn their language more than anything, must make quite a nice change from being spoken to in very loud and deliberate English.

"DO...YOU KNOW...WHERE...THE HOTEL IS!!!"

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#27
If you want anyone there to respect you, I assure you, you need to know japanese. Actually if you want a job there you need to know japanese. Hong Kong is a different story though, if you move there you just need english.
#29
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I can testify to that fact.


It's not necessary, but it helps.

The merit of having japanese in your lexicon in that you can hold intelligent conversations and you can access all of Japan, not just the english-speaking parts.


the thing with Japan though is that there aren't really any English speaking parts except for a few areas in Tokyo (and maybe Osaka, I didn't spend enough time there to find out) that are largely populated by foriegners, even in Tokyo most bigger stores and restaurants outside of the tourist areas will have one or two people that can speak English fairly well, but other than that you're likely to have problems.
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#30
However, don't be surprised if, seeing your American/English appearance (double eyelids, lighter hair), people try to speak English to you, even if you're fluent in Japanese.

Trust me, I look English, so people always try to practice their English on me, even when I show them that I can communicate perfectly well in Japanese...
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Society's doing great. There's a rise of people like PlayMadness. I feel pretty good about the way things are going.
#31
Seriously necessary .
To shatter some expectations:
Japan is an incredibly homogeneous culture, not speaking Japanese will make you essentially unable to live there. The language is vastly different from English (and most western languages for that matter) and the various social norms are equally different.

Expect to be stared at. The percentage of people of none Japanese ethnicity in Japan is low enough that you'll be a novelty. Expect people to not want to sit next to you on the train for fear of having to speak to you in English.
Work in Japan is also different, its considered very rude to leave work before your boss and most people end up working an incredible amount of unpaid overtime. Japan is the only country in the world as far as I'm aware where overworking can be declared the cause of death.

Not trying to put you off by the way, but a lot of people have this idea of Japan as some sort of awesome wonderland. It's definitely an interesting place to spend sometime, but I'd not work there myself.

Some recommended reading:
www.gaijinsmash.net - a hilarious blog written by a black American teaching English in small town japan. Touches on various cultural issues and work issues and is generally a good read.

http://japanmanship.blogspot.com/ - a blog written by an English games designer working in japan. Touches alot on work issues.
#32
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However, don't be surprised if, seeing your American/English appearance (double eyelids, lighter hair)


double eyelids?
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#34
i think you'll get along much better if you learn some basic japanese before you go there. people will respect you more for at least attempting to communicate with them in their own language, and like others have said, you will need to learn it eventually so you might as well get started early.
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#36
Quote by rizo299

Expect to be stared at. The percentage of people of none Japanese ethnicity in Japan is low enough that you'll be a novelty. Expect people to not want to sit next to you on the train for fear of having to speak to you in English.
Work in Japan is also different, its considered very rude to leave work before your boss and most people end up working an incredible amount of unpaid overtime. Japan is the only country in the world as far as I'm aware where overworking can be declared the cause of death.



Lol I think I'd prefer it if people left me to myself.

And I really could give less of a damn if some boss has his head up his ass expecting me to work overtime just so he gets the respect he thinks he's entitled to. If I don't get fired for not staying overtime, I'll leave.

I'll be fine as long as I learn the language.
Quote by buddha
isnt there a law against not shaving? thats somewere in our constitution. i think it goes something like a girl maybe be a freak in the sheets but no be wild down stairs is treason and for that she will be beheaded.-good old Benjamin F.

#37
i haven't been, but i do have friends that have been and for the most part they seemed to enjoy it. i believe that they had all taken at least a year or two of japanese.

as far as my own experience in learning the language, i took the most basic level of the class that i could last term. we spent around 2 weeks mastering hiragana, we then moved on to katakana, and the prof slowly introduced some common kanji. if you are going to try to learn on your own, i would suggest doing things the same way. it is also probably important to have a native speaker around to correct your pronunciation, but if you don't have access to someone like that, your next best option is to find audio files to go along with whatever book you are using.

Quote by shakin'cakes
Lol I think I'd prefer it if people left me to myself.

And I really could give less of a damn if some boss has his head up his ass expecting me to work overtime just so he gets the respect he thinks he's entitled to. If I don't get fired for not staying overtime, I'll leave.

i'm not sure that is the right attitude to have. you probably won't be left alone no matter what you do. example, a friend of mine with red hair went to china and people were constantly wanting to take pictures with him.

also, respect seems to be a major thing in japanese culture and not displaying it towards the people you are supposed to probably won't go over well.
#38
jsut go there .. pointing alone would get you what and whee you want.
You'll learn Japanese so quick you wouldn't even notice


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#39
Quote by Harmonius
Go to Hong Kong, everyone knows English there and they pretend not to understand you. It's the truth.


I know this is offtopic, but how much of an English presence is still there? the place has only been independent for 11 years, so I imagine there are a fair few British areas dotted around.
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#40
People in the UK...

Do you remember back in the day say about 10 years ago everything on tv was like WOW YEAH **** JAPAN! AWESOME, with all the technology and random programs like Adam and Joe go Tokyo and now it has all died a death?

I was thinking about it today.. 'Cuz I used to want to go there so badly.
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