Tuesday, December 16, 2003

My New Manner

Eventually it's sunny, dry, windy and cold Tokyo day today!! This is typical Tokyo winter day of my childhood.

BTW between drunk and sleep these days, something I am dreaming of thinking of.
It was one day in last week, was having lunch at an Indian restaurant run by Indian and there came in a group of English speaking foreigners in the restaurant and seated a table behind me. They were enthusiastic in chatting in loud voices that I was unable not to listen them and to understand they were teaching something at separate high schools over some years and discussing who's school was the best in terms of payment, work hours and hardness.
Then a young Indian waiter came round their table for taking order. Wile telling him orders they also asked him "How long are you staying in Japan?" and "Do you like Japan" , he replied "1 year" and "No" then returned to the kitchen. His reply naturally caused them gave them to discuss about "how weird Japan and Japanese are" stuffs more enthusiastically for a while.

Well I don't care such talk as don't know anywhere not weird place on the globe.
Fascinated me this time was then, if they knew or cared someone Japanese in the restaurant understood what their talking in English or not. As they were talking not particular persons they knew but general Japan and Japanese stuffs their words included every Japanese customers in the restaurant.

When I stayed in UK, well….must admit that I used talk lots "how weird" stuff with Japanese friends in Japanese anywhere public places like in subway, at cafe, on crowded street, etc. We did not care people around here us because we knew it was unlikely to be understood fully our conversation in Japanese. Even in case someone might know Japanese, we created many secret codes such as; Tea people for British, Foue Gras People for French and so on.

It was natural to me (and friends) that keeping our true feeling. I mean "Honne".. within our group and not show it outside people. When we got to speak to non-Japanese in English, would probably spoke things we think it sounds good to hear for them..."Tatemae" which might be different from “Honne” Of course, more or less it is manner of any languages to choose appropriate topics for the situation. But It’s so easy to go too far with a help of language barrier. Care could be easily dropped off and used Japanese for "Honne" and English for "Tatemae", as perfectly preserving double standard of "Honne" and "Tatema"!!

Just remembered one Japanese lady proudly talked me in London that when she got irritated by local English, she would say " dumb " in Japanese with her best smile and they never realized it!!!

Anyway as long as I do not take foreign language for a "Honne", it is not suppressing that I had difficulty to express simple "Honne" things of casual talks in English even with years of study. And suffered difficulty to communicate to non-Japanese people whereas many other language speakers communicate well by bad English in short time.

Also I think that it is unfair that, say, I hide my "Honne" within my Japanese and listen native English speaker's "Honne" in English. And as they accept "International English" for tell and hear "Honne", it's the best mannerly to speak "Honne" equally both in Japanese and in English. So am gonna to try…………………