Sarah LaBrie comments

Posted in: Why you shouldn’t learn Japanese See in context

Read this a while ago but remembered it today because it's been relevant to my recent work experiences, haha.

I personally could never live here in Japan long-term without learning the language, because I'm stubborn and also as a chick particularly I've found that it's a lot harder making actual friendships/romantic relationships without a pretty high level of Japanese. For my private life, I'm very glad that I kept at it, though the article is definitely correct in saying that there's always a higher goal to reach for and occasionally that is effing frustrating. Even with JLPT N1 you will still make stupid mistakes on a daily basis.

But for work, I'm definitely beginning to wish that I could just fake not knowing Japanese. I've worked at a few places with other foreign employees, and the difference in treatment is pretty striking for those that don't speak Japanese. They can show up late, leave early, piss off customers, etc., and the bosses never get on them because it's too much trouble or because they file this stuff under "cultural differences", or usually a bit of both. If you can speak, though, they'll hold you hard and fast to the rules, even if your culture is the same as the other guy's and even if you've actually been living in the country for a shorter amount of time than he/she has.

I don't want special treatment, myself, but the unfairness gets annoying.

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