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The result of a lie.

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The result of a lie.

Postby Kagemaru » Mon 01.08.2007 5:33 am

I have a shameful confession.

For the new years celebrations, I was in 三重県.

To cut a long story short, I was in a bar, and as customary when meeting a Japanese national for the first time I was asked:

「貴方は英語の先生ですか」 - "Are you an English teacher?"

Not living around there, I told the group of middle aged men and women an impudent lie that I was in fact a company employee 「会社員」.

Not only was the interaction unanimously different and refreshing, over the next four hours I listened to them on many occasions disclose their dislike for English teachers, confirming my sentiments and insecurities.

I would go as so far to agree with them, and enjoyed the new privilege that shoddily that lie afforded me.

Following that, two questions have sprung to mind if I may:

1. Are you asked: "Are you an English teacher?" each and every time you meet a Japanese national for the first time, despite whether you are an English teacher or not?

2. Have you conducted a similar sociological experiment as such, in order to confirm any insecurities or sentiments harboured that would otherwise be impossible to prove by asking Japanese directly?
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby paul_b » Mon 01.08.2007 5:37 am

Have you considered _not_ being an English teacher? :D
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby Kagemaru » Mon 01.08.2007 6:12 am

If I wasn't teaching in one of Nara's top 5 five high schools, and in one of the daylight robbery conversation schools, yes I would.

I am tired however of justifying the distinction between the two to Japanese people.
Last edited by Kagemaru on Mon 01.08.2007 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 01.08.2007 7:21 am

Kagemaru wrote:

1. Are you asked: "Are you an English teacher?" each and every time you meet a Japanese national for the first time, despite whether you are an English teacher or not?


Not each and every time. But usually when I meet new people it is in the context of my work, so that I am not an English teacher is pretty obvious.

I understand how you felt; I was never proud to admit it to people back when I taught English.

2. Have you conducted a similar sociological experiment as such, in order to confirm any insecurities or sentiments harboured that would otherwise be impossible to prove by asking Japanese directly?


Sort of.
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby keatonatron » Mon 01.08.2007 9:06 am

Surprisingly, my experiences have been quite different. In fact, I can't remember the last time someone asked if I was an English teacher. And when I tell people that I'm teaching English part time, they act really surprised. Maybe I don't fit the stereotype?

I guess I get asked if I'm an exchange student quite a bit.

I've really thought about doing what you did, but a little different... Once I saw this group of two tourist Americans and two Japanese girls by the train station. I really wanted to approach them, tell them I didn't know a lick of Japanese and was only in town for one week with no friends, and ask them to show me around (because they're obviously "in" with the Japanese people). It'd be a thrill to make up a completely random back story and act completely different from how I usually do. I guess it wouldn't be a social experiment, just fun to be able to listen in on conversations and have a different life for one night.

But I didn't do anything, so this post is much longer than it deserves to be.
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby Rounin T » Mon 01.08.2007 2:12 pm

Until recently, I had no idea it was such a burden of shame to be an English teacher in Japan. I've also never been an English teacher, unless you count answering Japanese friends' questions about the language. But I think I understand what you're saying. Most of my fondest memories of Japan come from times when I stepped out of character and became a "normal" resident.
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby Hatori » Tue 01.09.2007 12:40 am

Mike Cash wrote:
I understand how you felt; I was never proud to admit it to people back when I taught English.


Just wondering out of the blue, what do you work as now? :) My nose can reach far into another's mind. lol.
---
Anyways, I've never really ever thought that many Japanese people would ask you if taught English or not. I assume that the people asking are looking for English tutors, teachers, or something (Obviously.).
As I was reading in the other threads and forums, I read that the Japanese seem to be a bit nervous when using English too, even though that they can see that the foreigner can speak Japanese. I'd be a bit nervous too, but it seems like being an English speaker is a really big deal. :p
我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby keatonatron » Tue 01.09.2007 1:51 am

Hatori wrote:
Just wondering out of the blue, what do you work as now? :)


He drives trucks, as is mentioned all over this site :D
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 01.09.2007 3:39 am

Hatori wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:
I understand how you felt; I was never proud to admit it to people back when I taught English.


Just wondering out of the blue, what do you work as now? :) My nose can reach far into another's mind. lol.


Where I spend over half the day, 6 days a week:
Image

Anyways, I've never really ever thought that many Japanese people would ask you if taught English or not. I assume that the people asking are looking for English tutors, teachers, or something (Obviously.)


No, there is just a default assumption that white person = English teacher. It is widely assumed that we're incapable of anything else.

...it seems like being an English speaker is a really big deal. :p


Yes, at first you may feel you're being treated like a rock star. (We foreigners have in common with rock stars that we only have one name). After a (short) while, it gets very old.
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby Kagemaru » Tue 01.09.2007 7:26 am

Nice rig. Just as impressive, the superb reverse parking.

Pulling out the tape measure, you are smack dead between the lines....
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby Mariya » Tue 01.09.2007 8:44 am

Kagemaru -- Do you look like a teacher? I guess I find it a bit strange that the first question you get asked when entering a bar is whether your an English teacher or not :o

...And with the whole hours of hate conversations, I'd say you walked into an anti-teacher cult meeting at the wrong time... :o
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby AJBryant » Tue 01.09.2007 1:19 pm

I'm disappointed, Mike. I expected you to be in something like this:

Image

or this:

Image

I'm not surprised people are surprised by what you do. Don't all truck drivers, by law, look like Sugawara Bunta?


Tony
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 01.09.2007 1:26 pm

tony,

nice pull, i was wondering where the chimpira truck pictures were... somehow i kept envisioning those short trucks.. not a full tractor/trailor combo.

for some reason i kept thinking dyna trucks.. or something along these lines..

http://www.tradecarview.com/stock/photo.aspx?id=102054

http://www.tradecarview.com/stock/photo.aspx?id=101978
Last edited by two_heads_talking on Tue 01.09.2007 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby adriannrod » Tue 01.09.2007 1:33 pm

I was thinking about being an english teacher after I graduate. (In Japan) Should I Reconsider?
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RE: The result of a lie.

Postby Dehitay » Tue 01.09.2007 2:24 pm

adriannrod wrote:
I was thinking about being an english teacher after I graduate. (In Japan) Should I Reconsider?


If you don't want to go to Japan or if you can find a better job first, yes
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