Wednesday, June 03, 2009

How long??

Via Japan Probe, I found this truly amazing video:

And I thought I was bad at Japanese! Of course, I've been here for 8 years, but not formally studying Japanese for that duration, in fact I have a full time job that involves very little contact with the language and no real incentive to learn (no matter how well acclimated I become, I'll still probably be randomly thrown out with little notice and less justification at some point in the future, given how typical that experience is). Nevertheless, I can manage a few simple phrases about how long I've been here and whether I can eat natto. Shockingly, this interviewee was majoring in English at university! Presumably when she graduates she will end up in the Engrish slogan-writing division of some company. Well, that or "teaching" English to unsuspecting Japanese children, who will themselves end up incapable of stringing two words together after 7 years...the mind boggles.

For the avoidance of doubt, I should point out that there are very many highly capable English-speakers here. In fact I think that almost everyone in my institute is far better than this specimen. But maybe not all.

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