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english in Japan??

Travel Forums Asia english in Japan??

1. Posted by gen20 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

Do they speak a lot of english in Japan? I'm hoping it's not too hard to get around because of the languaga barrier! I'm leaving on august 1st.
Thanks for the help!
Gen

2. Posted by Data1000 (Full Member 29 posts) 11y

Many can, but most can't/won't. Many high school students can read Shakespeare classics, but probably won't understand if you ask "Are you having a nice day today?" :)

You still have time to learn a few important phrases, so invest in a cheap Japanese instruction cd.

3. Posted by gen20 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

Is it worth getting an interpreter or will I still be able to visit by myself (along with a dictionary of course)? I'm going to Osaka and maybe I would like to spend a week-end in Tokyo but if I can't go anywhere since no one understand than I don't know what I'll do!! :(

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Gen,

Just keep in mind that you won't be the first or the last English-only person to visit Japan. It's been done before! As Data mentioned, learn a few key phrases and carry a pocket dictionary. People everywhere tend to open up if they know you're making an effort, and sometimes a point to a map and a shrug will give you a nod in the right direction.

Tway.

5. Posted by newguy (Full Member 197 posts) 11y

Never been to Osaka but for Tokyo, i know from experience that most of the Japanese can't speak English.Not even those that are working in the service side Nevermind that, because there's alot of caucasians living in Tokyo. The few times i had to get out of my shell to ask for directions, most of them(japanese) were able to tell me in broken English the right direction.U just need to know the place first though. U can easily find city guides and they are in English and Japanese.

6. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

In Tokyo and Taipan..Hokkaido are ok but in Osaka, i am a bit concern of that... Don't forget: human's body language may be our basic tool of every 'impossible' bilateral communication. I agree on Jared. Etch the names of every important detail in your mind. Speak politely and there's no exact pronunciation of 'l' in Hiragana, Katagana and Kanji (mostly Japanese speak Kanji) - so watch out!

One more thing, the drivers and police there are very friendly and helpful! Lots of visitor's centre there!

Bon Voyage!
Lee

7. Posted by newguy (Full Member 197 posts) 11y

Quoting cikusang

One more thing, the drivers and police there are very friendly and helpful! Lots of visitor's centre there!

Lee

I dare them not to be friendly after charging us that sort of fare? Very expensive cab fares there. Anyway, if in doubt try asking the ganguro girls for help.

8. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

One more thing is the way you greet them is truly important in Japan's society - i mean the 'pronouns' as in English Grammar. Japanese emphasizes a lot on this. They would say " I'am back!" although there's nobody in the house!You ought to say "it's delicious!Good!" on every meal you take, okay? Note that Japanese is always ended with 'kudasai' in a very fine well-mannered intonation, which could be meant in different way...do you know French? It could be like S'il vous plait or salut or etc (depends)...take note.

Bon Voyage again,
Lee

9. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

I dare them not to be friendly after charging us that sort of fare? Very expensive cab fares there. Anyway, if in doubt try asking the ganguro girls for help.

My darling Jared. I will look for you in Japan, if by chance...hahaha