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Working in Japan

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Re: Working in Japan

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 06.11.2008 11:16 pm

I know that this has probably been mentioned here before, but one thing that peeves me is when I ask a question of someone (usually shop staff) in Japanese and they direct their answer to my Japanese husband rather than to me.

It's especially annoying (or amusing depending on my mood) when I go out with a half-Japanese/ half Canadian friend of mine, and they talk to her because she 'looks' Japanese, even though she can only understand a few simple phrases.
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Re: Working in Japan

Postby clay » Wed 06.11.2008 11:19 pm

As soon as I said はじめまして he esclaimed 日本語ぺらぺらですね!

The bar is definately lowering for fluency in Japan. ;)


That's classic.

Of course the opposite can occur.

I remember once asking an older lady for directions on the street. I said ~はどこですか? She immediately threw her hands up and left saying, 「英語ができません!」
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Re: Working in Japan

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 06.11.2008 11:30 pm

becki_kanou wrote:It's especially annoying (or amusing depending on my mood) when I go out with a half-Japanese/ half Canadian friend of mine, and they talk to her because she 'looks' Japanese, even though she can only understand a few simple phrases.


I had a similar experience with a Chinese friend and I.

My most infuriating moment of the "talk to the Wife because she's Japanese" happened at a restaurant we were going to for valentines. I had made the reservation weeks in advance, but they had miswritten my name in the register, so we had to confirm my phone number in order to prove that I, パーハック could have possibly be misheard has パーバック. This is not the obnoxious part.

Throughout the entire conversation the guy checking our reservation would crane his neck literally over my shoulder to ask my wife questions. Even though I was the one he was having the conversation with. Even though she was reading a magazine. In the next room. :evil:

That STILL bugs the hell outta me.
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Re: Working in Japan

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 06.11.2008 11:39 pm

Ackk! Now that we're on this topic I keep thinking of more annoying incidents. Just this weekend we went to my husband's company barbecue and everyone would ask him questions about me ー directly in front of me, like I wasn't even thereー even though they *must* have heard me speaking to him (and to our dog) in Japanese the whole time!!!

Wow...It sounds like I'm really stressed and frustrated, but I'm not. I generally love it here, but sometimes little things like this just tick me off.
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Re: Working in Japan

Postby jimbreen » Thu 06.12.2008 3:36 am

Mike Cash wrote:On the other side of the coin, I've been reading Japanese novels and have people come up to me and attempt to communicate with gestures, assuming my Japanese to be zero.


You need to move your lips more.
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Re: Working in Japan

Postby spin13 » Thu 06.12.2008 4:08 am

Anybody remember the coffee rant from Pulp Fiction?

I don't need you to tell me how @$%!ing good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it. I know how good it is.

A version of this goes through my mind every time I hear 日本語が上手.

They certainly aren't be original, why should I be?
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Re: Working in Japan

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 06.12.2008 6:38 am

spin13 wrote:Anybody remember the coffee rant from Pulp Fiction?

I don't need you to tell me how @$%!ing good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it. I know how good it is.

A version of this goes through my mind every time I hear 日本語が上手.


Something to do with asking you if you saw a sign saying "Dead Gaijin Storage" in his yard?
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Re: Working in Japan

Postby OitaFish » Sat 07.05.2008 6:25 am

slackass wrote:Hi, I was just wondering if anyone can give me some advise about working in Japan as an engineer? I am thnking about applying for a position that was advertised with one of the recruitment agencies in my field. Are there any expat on this forum? If so, can you please tell me how does working in Japan compare to your home country? I have heard that working hours are long with not a lot of spare time? What about if you work in Japan, but for a non-japanese company? is it still the same? Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Hopefully you are still reading this thread even though its been hi-jacked. I am an engineer working in Japan. I am a regular employee at a Japanese company as opposed to an expat though.

There are some pretty big differences between working here and working in the US. I actually work less hours here than I did in the US. However, here, overtime is paid (and paid at a premium) so many of my co-workers like to work overtime to earn extra money and they are always looking for excuses to do it. Most of them are single too. I have a family and make a comfortable living without working tons of overtime so I don't.

What kind of engineer are you? I work in the semi-conductor business.
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