Speak Japanese. Speak Japanese. Where’s a Japanese person? He’s gotta be hiding somewhere. You want to speak Japanese. Obvious fact. And if you don’t live in Japan, or you do but are in a heavy English environment (like an English conversation school), you are limited with conversation opportunities. So what do you do when you are all out of Japanese people?
Talk to other foreigners who speak Japanese.
You knew that. And it makes perfect sense. Not only are you likely to have fellow learners somewhat near you, but they really want to talk in Japanese, and are enthusiastic and passionate about it.
But there is a strange trend. One that I don’t like and think needs to be obliterated for all time.
Foreigners often don’t like talking to other foreigners in Japanese.
Here are the reasons I’ve heard before:
Two foreigners speaking Japanese looks weird. It feels weird. It creates a sense of uneasiness. It isn’t natural.
4. Lack of need
There is no reason to speak in Japanese to each other when we both speak English perfectly.
3. Fear of being judged
Most likely when two foreigners come together, their levels will vary. The weaker level may feel intimidated by the stronger level and worry that he will be judged in a negative light. He also may not want to trouble the higher level.
2. Not wanting to lower one’s level
On the opposite end of the above, the higher level may not want to have to simplify his Japanese, slow it down, and make it easier to understand for the lower level. He came this far and got this good and doesn’t want to purposefully drop his ability.
1. Not liking the other person
When you speak in Japanese, it is almost always a fun and pleasurable experience. Some people don’t like to share this experience with a person they don’t like.
Foreigner talk or foreigner silence?
Do you talk with other foreigners in Japanese? Why or why not? Can you think of any other reasons holding people back?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.