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karenlusted
January 16th, 2011, 23:21
Wasn't sure how to word that title without making it long-winded!

If you were to find a ALT/English teaching job in Japan, would you have to know Japanese when you attend the interviews etc? If you're on a visa then I assume they presume that you're foreign and may only speak a bit or no Japanese at all (a bonus if you can of course!). But in my case, with a Japanese passport, they would think "Japanese person, they must be able to speak Japanese!", but really I can only understand the very basics of Japanese...not at conversational level...unless they were to speak in single words!

It's all very well going to find a job there but if the language barrier is going to cause problems....what would I do!?

Miss_igirisu
January 17th, 2011, 11:03
No you don't need any Japanese as all, especially for non-jet alts. All but one of the non-jet alts in my town have minimal Japanese (and are filipino or from other small countries).

word
January 17th, 2011, 11:34
MG had an interview for a non-JET ALT position last week; it was all in English, except for a brief self-introduction in Japanese. Your Japanese passport will be a huge advantage.

Azrael
January 17th, 2011, 15:02
submit a japanese CV, they love that shit, but make sure you specify on it that english is your native language and you only have basic japanese. Thats for small scale operations, if you are applying for a major chain then they probably have a standard application form in english for you to fill out.

Its nothing to worry about, I know people who have been here 10 years and still cant form a sentence in japanese.

jandek
January 17th, 2011, 15:29
is it also true that those people live on american military bases?

UPGRAYEDD
January 17th, 2011, 21:32
There is no such thing as a 10 year rotation in a military base.

karenlusted
January 18th, 2011, 04:00
Thanks for the comments, it has calmed my paranoia a tad. I just want to make sure it's all clear in my mind before making a big decision in my life! Thanks again!

jandek
January 18th, 2011, 09:10
There is no such thing as a 10 year rotation in a military base.

truth, but when I would ski-host last year, we had guests come up from some base near Tokyo a few times. I had a number of civilian teachers that had been living on some base outside of Tokyo for at least a decade and was floored by their inability to say anything beyond ハロー、 オッケー、and バイバイ in japanese. When I asked them how they could live here so long and never learn the language, they said it was because they never needed to leave the base. And if they did, they could just communicate with gestures to get what they wanted. Very civilized.

Azrael
January 18th, 2011, 16:06
I know at least 3 people who have lived here over 7 years, cant read any japanese, cant form any sentences/know any grammar, only have about a 20 word vocabulary and none of them have ever stepped foot on a military base. Its easy to live here, especially if you have a japper for a wife who handles all the pesky paperwork

jandek
January 18th, 2011, 17:07
it's like being a teenager forever!

patjs
January 18th, 2011, 20:38
I used to get annoyed by people in shops who seemed to assume I was stupid/couldn't understand Japanese, but I've recently seen a few foreigners just walking in places and spitting out rapid fire English as if it's just assumed they understand. So I guess I can't blame some workers for their crazy reactions.

MixedNuts
January 18th, 2011, 23:28
I know at least 3 people who have lived here over 7 years, cant read any japanese, cant form any sentences/know any grammar, only have about a 20 word vocabulary and none of them have ever stepped foot on a military base. Its easy to live here, especially if you have a japper for a wife who handles all the pesky paperwork

Just be careful you don't get a japper wife who takes care of all the paperwork and suddenly you find yourself stripped of everything you have. "Where's my inkan?"

Miss_igirisu
January 19th, 2011, 08:13
When I lived in Nagoya I worked with a 40 year old Brit who'd been in Japan 10 years and couldn't speak Japanese further than basic "genki desu" and stuff. He once had to get his poor old ex girlfriend who was trying to avoid him to buy him cold medicine because he couldn't do it himself. I think she just drove to his house, put it on the door step, rang the bell and ran haha. He was a right loser though.

jandek
January 19th, 2011, 08:40
I used to get annoyed by people in shops who seemed to assume I was stupid/couldn't understand Japanese, but I've recently seen a few foreigners just walking in places and spitting out rapid fire English as if it's just assumed they understand. So I guess I can't blame some workers for their crazy reactions.

This. For some reason this used to insult me, but after a few years I think you start to understand why this happens. I especially see this if I am with another foreigner, because there is no way two white people would be wandering into a shop for any other reason than to buy trinkets in exchange for small pox blankets. To be fair, the more gaijin you roll with, the greater the chance you are a tourist group or a part of Soukagakkai.

Umber
January 19th, 2011, 12:26
My lab head told me that a compatriot of his has worked in Japan for over a decade, yet on the lab nights out they still offer to translate the menu for him. From what I gather...there're always going to be a few roadblocks you just can't roll over.

jandek
January 19th, 2011, 13:01
if there's been no prior verbal exchange and people are just offering you an English Menu, that's no insult. If you tell them the Japanese Menu will be just fine and then proceed to fuck up the order in Japanese, then perhaps you should have taken the English menu after all.

karenlusted
January 21st, 2011, 05:24
I've been spoken to in Japanese because they assume I'm Japanese...and it's quite embarrassing to reply with "wakarimasen!" Athough I can see why because I'm not exactly tall, and I was with my mum!

I think I look more Caucasian if I hang out with my Caucasian friends, but when I stand next to my Chinese friend, I look like her sister! Where I have had Cantonese spoken to me! =P

Umber
January 21st, 2011, 10:12
if there's been no prior verbal exchange and people are just offering you an English Menu, that's no insult. If you tell them the Japanese Menu will be just fine and then proceed to fuck up the order in Japanese, then perhaps you should have taken the English menu after all.

Given he'd worked with the people for a number of years and that they offered to translate the japanese menu they were given into english for him, I'd say that that's ignorance however you spin it. :P

jandek
January 21st, 2011, 10:26
haha, well then that's just silly.

MixedNuts
January 21st, 2011, 10:56
That happens quite often here. Even with coworkers. Even with coworkers that have heard you speak Japanese, seen you write Japanese, perhaps even seen you with a damn Japanese newspaper or magazine. I wonder what would happen if I would get all giddy everytime they did something "Western." Would they notice my sarcasm?

Umber
January 21st, 2011, 11:00
Perhaps if every time they said something in english, you almost shat yourself, they'd use english more often? It's a slippery slope, but it's one hell of an encouragement.

Unique Japanese mentality. Poke at it as much as possible. : D