I feel this blog needs some rant [to take off this sugary coat of »rainbow unicorn« adventures]
Sometimes, living here, in a foreign country, I do wonder !! WTF !! …these 3 letters appear constantly in my mind thinking how crappy English is in everyday life. I’m not a native nor do I have the ability to understand every word I hear. But what Japan lacks is basic grammatical knowledge (a huge contradiction to the ‘hell’ they go through, made of grammatical sentences and examples.)
·−> Seems my concern is a recent topic for China; see this news “no more chinglish“
Tokyo, too, is full of official signs and warning notes, i.e. short sentences — using wrong grammar or totally wrong words. Same goes to product placement and designing.
·→ For example this pocky version which originally should express ‘suki + pocky‘ [I like you + pocky] and thus represent something you give to a person you like/love. Well, if you wanna see a person ‘
love laugh’ then just go on, hand it over.
…but still..I feel so sorry for the students here. They endure hell for nothing. I haven’t researched this phenomenon, but it feels like all the info is pressed through their left ear and teachers forget the fact a normal human head has another ear, so info wont stay, but fall out as new one keeps coming.
Movies are another proof of this messy way of treating the English language. It makes you feel as if one guy ‘hears‘ the movie trying to make up sentences. This website I found today shows the problem persists and got even worse than better, over time.
(e.g. when I went to cinema watching Guardians of Galaxy 2 she said “you`re kidding me” – subbed in jap /you are killing me/↓ )
One thing I learned is that Japanese people still are island people. Who superficially ‘accept‘ cultural differences, but at their core, deep down in their hearts non-japanese (looking!) people will always be non-japanese.[even DNA foreigners who are born and raised here have a hell of a life] On the other hand they try so hard to be ‘american‘(= western) struggling to implement their service-culture into a life, where foreigners are a welcome source of income to keep this country running.
As long as you are a guest here you are the king. But that’s it. You can try as hard as you want, there will always remain a certain “feeling” you are an outsider. And these English signs are subtle reminders…..day by day.