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日本と海外の架け橋 グローバル・ビレッジ名古屋

英語学習English

【英語多読】An Asian Foreigner's Perspective on Living in Japan(日本で生活するアジア人の苦労)(GaijinPot)

2015年5月1日

日本の情報を海外に紹介するGaijinPotにアジア人からの視点で見た日本で生活する苦労話がありましたので紹介します。通常が欧米人の視点が多いので読んでみて新鮮でした。多様性の理解にも役に立ちました。 原文はこちら。An Asian Foreigner's Perspective on Living in Japan(日本で生活するアジア人の苦労)

英語多読教材の英日対訳 An Asian Foreigner's Perspective on Living in Japan(日本で生活するアジア人の苦労)はこちら。      

英語多読教材のJapanese「日本で生活するアジア人の苦労」はこちら。

I found an interesting article in GaijinPot that illustrates an Asian perspective on living in Japan, which gives us a fresh look into diversity in Japan. We occasionally read articles reflecting the perspectives of Caucasians from westernized nations who living in Japan, but reading this article, I really feel interested to see what Asian people feel about in Japan. This is an article written by a female Chinese Singaporean.

My mother tongue is English and second language is Mandarin Chinese. Japan isn’t very different from Singapore. That is, I wasn’t surprised by Japan because Japan has a common value with other Asian nations. However, what surprised me a lot was Japanese reactions toward international people.

It didn’t take me much time to adapt myself to Japanese culture and make friends. Reading about Japanese culture on the Internet, I have read many blogposts that intrigued me, made me feel strange and disturbed me, but I have never experienced such things in my daily life.

In fact, an awkward moment is when my Caucasian friend and I went to a cafe. Accompanied with an Australian friend who can speak Japanese fluently, I went to a cafe and the cafe doesn’t have an English menu. My friend ordered what she wanted in Japanese, and it was my turn to order and my friend interpreted for me, which surprised a waitress a lot.

I have known throughout my life in Japan that most Japanese people don’t think Asian people can speak English at all. They seem to think that Caucasians can speak English to some extent or they are native speakers, but they never think Asians do the same. When I chat with friends in English in a train, I heard some office workers speak ill of me, saying I boasted of my English. In Singapore English is the first language. The mother tongue of many Singaporean people is English. Mistaken as Japanese, I have seen many Japanese people feel shocked to see me when I couldn’t speak Japanese but speak English.

I have noticed on TV that TV crews do not have interviews with Asians. If they have interviews with them, such Asians always are stereotyped people wearing ethnic clothes.

Whereas the ability to fly under the radar is attractive, problems arise when Japanese consider me as an Asian. Caucasian friends are always helped and talked and asked for a date, but Asians including me and friends don’t have such opportunities.

In the westernized nations “yellow fever” is on the rise, but in Japan “white fever” is going on. Asian friends coming to Japan, please not expect to be welcome as a super hero. The reality may be the other way around.

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