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A Japanese Person Told me this so it Must be Right? — 4 Comments

  1. I use Lang-8 a lot to have my writing corrected and there is a wide range of opinions on what constitutes correct Japanese. I like to wait for about 3 corrections and then choose the consensus. Since Lang-8 is all, more or less, anonymous you don’t know if your writing is being corrected by a 12 year old or a university professor of classic Japanese.
    I saw someone telling a Japanese person that “hot” doesn’t mean “spicey” (they were Philippino) and someone asked what does “swing round about” mean and all sorts of Americans having guesses but since they were neither from the UK or the antipodes, not one realised she meant “swings and round-a-bouts”, so the regional differences are pretty big in English and I think they must be even broader in Japanese.
    Some people on Lang-8 re-write instead of correct; i.e. they make it sound like they would say it, rather than correcting the grammar, so now I like to put a line of text copied from a textbook or other reliable source, and if someone corrects that line then I know they are on qn ego trip.
    So…age, region, ego….all come into the equation.

    • I like this strategy. Sounds like a good way to double (or even triple check) things that you want answers on.

      Ego wasn’t even something I had thought of, but that’s also a good point :)

  2. My Japanese companion is a writer, very literate, perhaps much more than the average Japanese person, and frequently corrects my Japanese. They’re always telling me “we don’t say that” “we don’t use that” which I ignore and invariably find that sometimes they’re wrong and sometimes they’re right.

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