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Adding a language requirement to the visa application

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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby RpgN » Wed 01.16.2008 6:22 am

while it is a good idea of speaking Japanese before living there, I wonder how strict they are going to be. Is it good enough to speak the language but not as a native speaker? And how about reading and writing?
So, do you think I can learn Japanese?
私は日本語を習うことができると思いますか?
これは本当に難しいですね?だから今は頑張っている! 楽しいです!
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby TrashTreasurer » Wed 01.16.2008 7:40 am

I spent about a month all around France a couple of years ago, and I even prolonged the trip by about half a year so I could really get my French down and not look like a jerk, expecting everyone to know English just because I was a tourist. I could see myself visiting Japan with my limited knowledge of the Japanese language, but couldn't fathom making any kind of serious attempt to obtain residency, citizenship, or long-term staying abilities without having a true and firm grasp of the Japanese language. To me, this is just common sense, and Keatonatron's example with the confused police officer is a prime example, above so many examples, of why it just makes sense to be able to communicate with the natives in a meaningful manner.

What in the world could you get out of living in Japan if every day was a linguistic struggle just trying to make friends, order food, find an apartment, or god forbid attempting to ask for an ambulance? As a lighthearted example, I couldn't walk into a star trek convention, carrying a lightsaber (yes, I mean lightsaber for this argument) like some confused fool, asking "so, who's this captain kirk dude, anyways"? to everyone you see. You obviously aren't getting anything out of going, you're wasting a lot of money and energy because you're surrounded by so many people yet allow yourself to be almost completely alone. It's courtesy and common sense, to me at least.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby Adriano » Wed 01.16.2008 8:27 am

it is really a good thing.
everyday I read a notice about the brazilian robbers, murderers in Japan(the 3th outlaw community, after chineses and iranians, I guess) and know well that the great motive to do so, it´s because they go to Japan without study even hiragana, so can´t make friends, socialize well with the people, can´t get a good job(as tantousha) because the language, and do not know the culture, another main reason to disrespect the laws, in special, the traffic laws.

If I would work in the 外務省, I give the visa to anyone(descendant, black, blonde, blue) who has at minimum a 3-kyuu or 2-kyuu proficiency level, and know the basic of the basic about the culture and laws, that would be noticed making a short interview.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 01.16.2008 9:14 am

I think whether this is a good thing or not really depends on the specifics of the law. There aren't enough details in the article (and perhaps the details haven't been arrived at yet) to really criticize it from my standpoint -- one way this could theoretically be bad is if the government used this language test as nothing more than a de facto way to keep foreigners from becoming permanent residents, regardless of their language ability. (There's no evidence that this would take place, of course, but it's theoretically possible.)
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 01.16.2008 11:06 am

chikara wrote:
Wakannai wrote:
I'd hardly say that Spanish is the only language this applies to. ....

I was suggesting that Spanish should be made the official langauge. ;)


Making spanish the official Language to the US would be like making Maori the official language of Australia. Yeah.. both make sense.

the worst part about long term immigrants (legal or not) that can't speak the language is when you try to buy something and you can't understand them and they can't understand you..

in those cases, where they speak spanish, I just speak back to them in Japanese and laugh at the looks of bewilderment that happen.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby AJBryant » Wed 01.16.2008 11:59 am

Mike Cash wrote:
By the time a person has been here long enough to apply for permanent residency, I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect him to have achieved some degree of functionality in the Japanese language. Further, I think they should have to show some degree of having made an effort to assimilate. Multiculturalism is destructive hogwash.


Would that we had such a law here.

I get so pissed off going through the drive through at Wendy's or Burger King or what have you and not being able to get my order straight because the person they have taking the orders (the person TAKING THE ORDERS!) can't speak English well.


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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby Wakannai » Wed 01.16.2008 12:46 pm

I had that very problem this morning.

I was at mcdonalds. I ordered a #1 OJ instead of coffee.

"so you want orange juice and coffee?"
"No I want OJ instead of coffee."
So you want juice and coffee?
"No I don't want coffee, I want OJ INSTEAD OF coffee."
she finally got it right.

The girl had a heavy russianish acccent.
Last edited by Wakannai on Wed 01.16.2008 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 01.16.2008 1:04 pm

I go to the mcdonalds.. and I get this.. (accent left out to protect the moron taking my order)

can I take your order?

me: yes I would like a quarter pounder with cheese, no onions, and a medium dr. pepper.

you wanna combo?

me: no, just the quarter pounder and drink..

ok, quarter pounder and coke.

me: no, a dr. pepper.

ok, dr. pepper, what size?

me: medium

ok, dr. pepper medium. is that all?

me: no, medium doctor pepper and quarter pounder with cheese, no onions.

is that all?

me: yes.

i get to window and there is a large coke, a double quarter punder with no cheese and it has onions.

me: this order is all wrong.. i ordered a med dr. pepper, quarter pounder with cheese and no onions. this is a large coke, double quarter punder with no cheese and it has onions, take it back and fix it..

what you want?

me: I want to speak to your manager (however I say this in Japanese)..

excuse me sir, I don't understand..

me: that's obvious from what you gave me. get me someone that can speak english now.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby AJBryant » Wed 01.16.2008 5:35 pm

Welcome to my world. They call Herndon "Little Ecuador."


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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 01.16.2008 5:52 pm

The main problem with language requirements is that they retard immigration. Of course it's a huge political debate right now as to whether this is a good or bad thing; I tend to agree with the thought that significant barriers to immigration become more and more impractical as time goes on (and is more impractical the higher your current immigration rate is). Last week's The Economist had a really good special report on the issue.

The claim that this is being done to benefit immigrants I personally find to be highly dubious; obviously the fact that this issue is coming up at all means that immigrants are managing to live successfully in Japan without Japanese ability. It seems to me that if Japanese is necessary for life in Japan, then immigrants will have to learn it whether or not there's a specific law in effect to mandate it. If it's not necessary, then why should the government require it? Same thing with English in the US. The stories in this thread aren't stories about an immigrant being harmed or inconvenienced by their own lack of English knowledge, but about other people being annoyed or inconvenienced by it. But you could say the same thing about people speaking dialectical English or just being rude jerks.

But I guess we're not supposed to discuss politics here.
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Wed 01.16.2008 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 01.16.2008 6:30 pm

Well, I know that if one wants to do anything in Japan, short of riding the bus, riding the train, or just hanging out, they certainly need to know the native tongue there and that would be Japanese. I would support the measure to require its use, as long as there were ways made available for those that don't learn as fast or have a hard time picking it up.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby HarakoMeshi » Wed 01.16.2008 7:00 pm

If this is just for permanent visas then that's one thing, it sounds reasonable. Most countries have that.

But if its for temporary ones like a few years it doesn't sound good. Well, I can give an example where it doesn't sound so good. In my company, we sometimes send young employees who have interest in Japan to work in our Tokyo office for a year or two. Its a chance for them to fulfil their interest in Japan, learn some Japanese, and practice collaborating with the Japanese, plus it can be a good motivator. Imposing that they would have to reach a certain standard in Japanese before doing something like that, would be like putting the cart before the horse.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 01.16.2008 7:03 pm

Yeah, I think it's a good idea for any immigrants to a country to learn the language of that country -- it can only benefit them. What I'm unsure about is whether it's a good idea to have the government legislate a specific language ability requirement for immigrants.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby Gundaetiapo » Wed 01.16.2008 7:09 pm

I thought visas are only granted to "skilled workers". I'm only surprised that language isn't already considered a skill.
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RE: Adding a language requirement to the visa application

Postby chikara » Wed 01.16.2008 7:55 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
Making spanish the official Language to the US would be like making Maori the official language of Australia. Yeah.. both make sense. ....

My comment was tongue in cheek, hence the ;)

Bondi, a suburb of Sydney, is said to have the largest Kiwi population of any urban area outside of Aukland but it still only has signs in English. When I lived in the USA I saw a large number of signs that were in both English and Spanish.

Even in Minnesota where I lived I saw signs in Spanish and came across many workers in hotels and restaurants that spoke Spanish as a first language.

If English is the only contender for the USA's official language why hasn't it been made so?

two_heads_talking wrote:
.... where they speak spanish, I just speak back to them in Japanese and laugh at the looks of bewilderment that happen.

That is so cruel :D
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