Monday, July 06, 2009

Some notes on d Japanese..

Practicing Japanese Language

You need to communicate with Japanese speakers as much as possible to improve your Japanese.

Culturally speaking, many Japanese people find it extremely rude to correct someone. But your Japanese will only improve if you have a Japanese friend who can point out your mistakes. So, the ideal solution is to find a Japanese conversation partner whose English is not very good, so that you can correct each other`s mistakes without hesitation or intimidation.

Behavioral Psychology of Japanese People

1.Romaji are romanized characters, which is the way a Japanese word would look in English, for example : karate, sushi.

2.Japan is popularly known for cars, stereos, computers, anime, sushi, temples..but there are also other various aspects of Japan that you need to know. You have to explore Japan by looking at the land, people, society, culture, and mind, what Japanese society is like and the psychology of the Japanese people.

3.Long ago, Japanese referred to their country as “the Land of the Rising Sun.” The formal name of Japan is Nippon or Nihon.

4.The biggest non-Japanese population in Japan is Korean. The population of Caucasians is extremely small. Two indigenous groups in Japan are the Ainu people (residing in Hokkaido) and Ryukyu people (in Okinawa) which have their own distinctive culture. They speak Japanese as well as their own languages or dialects.

Japanese Society

1.Japanese society is quite opposite of American society (where there are a variety of individuals, and races tends to evolve into diverse culture.) Japanese society :
- consists of an overwhelming majority of people from the same ethnic group – Japanese.
- is very much uniform and much less diverse.
- tends to be strongly dominated by social protocols and rituals.

2.Getting accustomed to those protocols and rituals is crucial if you want to understand Japanese society and its language.

Japanese culture – in terms of inter personal communication

1.Casualness is typical in human interaction in a diverse society like America, but formality bears heavy weight on human interaction in an (almost) homogenous society like Japan.

2.Three important principles that you should keep in mind for better communication in Japanese are
- be polite : no matter whom you talk to. Try saying “eh” and “hai” which mean “yes” and also mean “I am listening to you.” It will make the conversation go more smoothly. However, frequent use of these expressions does not mean you agree with who you are speaking with.

- be humble : a good listener is a better communicator. The Japanese are extremely conscious of how they are perceived by other people and behave accordingly so that they will not stand out in a crowd. They tend to be receptive (and often passive) in communication. In America, if you dont speak up, people think you are dumb, but for Japanese, one needs to be less argumentative, even if you are in a disagreement with someone. Try to find agreeable points in your opponent`s argument, admire them, and dont be afraid to accept his ideas. You might be amazed at how smoothly your conversation will follow.

- know the time, place and occasion (synonymous with “courteousness” or “good manners”) : A good speaker knows whether it is the right time to say something, whether he/she is in the right audience and whether it is the right situation to talk about something. Japan is a group-conscious society, so speaking in front of the right audience is particularly important. Merely learning Japanese grammar will make you an okay speaker, but knowing the rules of Japanese behaviour will make you a better speaker. By being aware of the importance of behaviour, your Japanese will sound more “Japanese”.

~~summarized from the book Conversational Japanese.
Site Meter