Friday, October 12, 2007

Eigo, wakarimasen!

The other day, as I was sitting peacefully at my desk, doing such typical consulting tasks such as making slides about the bulk chemical market, my phone rings and with my ordinary gusto I pick it up and answer. The call was from an american person living and working here in Japan who at some point felt that he had been wrongly treated by someone in my company and is out to get us. He called my number since I have previously been forced to contact him by e-mail and he must have picked up my phone number from that e-mail.
The following conversation took place:

Mr. Salaryman: (In Japanese) Mr. Salaryman at Mr. Salaryman Inc.
Mr. X: (In fluent Japanese with an american accent) Hello? My name is Mr. X and I would like to talk to Salaryman-san please
Mr. Salaryman: (Cheerful and friendly in English) Well, Mr. X, good day to you, we can speak English if you want to, in fact it's probably easier for me!
Mr. X: (Slightly aggressive in Japanese) No! I've immigrated here to Japan so I think we should speak Japanese!
Mr. Salaryman: (In Japanese) Well, sure we can do that...

I still don't fully understand this...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just trying to prove himself... to himself.

Many foreigners who speak fluent (or think they can) Japanese in Japan get offended when natives assume they only speak English. But since they spent all that time and energy learning Japanese, might as well let them use it, right? :D

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