Foreign Language

Old Apr 21st, 2008, 07:21 AM
  #1  
francophilenoob
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Foreign Language

How hard to you try and learn the language of the country you're going to visit?

I'm going to Tokyo in 4 weeks (to stay for 10 days min), then to Paris in June (to stay for 8 days). While I've given up learning any Japanese phrases (too difficult and too unfamiliar), I've enthusiastically trying to learn French every minute I have cause it seems easier to learn. I might be making a mistake though. I heard that it's harder to get around Tokyo cause English is hardly spoken over there, while I know that almost everyone in Paris speaks it.

What say you?
 
Old Apr 21st, 2008, 07:29 AM
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It's easy to say a few Japanese phrases that will get you around if you are only going for 10days. Have a look at the BBC website language section. Japanese is not difficult to pronounce, the grammar is easy, it's the writing that's hard. All signs in streets and stations are in Roman characters as well as Japanese. Lots of people in the centre of Tokyo and in the tourist industry speak English. You will have no problem. Just learn a few things like please and thank you and excuse me. They will appreciate it.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 07:35 AM
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You probably keep going back to French and find it easier because you already know some. When I began using the Pimsleur French cds I had to listen to the first 8 cds about 10 times each before my brain started catching on.

Get the Japanese Pimsleur cd's (my library has them in the library and on line for check out) and start working on them. It may take a little time but your brain will begin making new synapsis (sp?) and it will become easier. Good for your memory, too.

They speak a lot of English in Japan but just like in France, more so in the big cities than the countryside.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 07:58 AM
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In Tokyo my worry is Taxis as, well you know waht taxis are like. I got the hotel to write dwon where I was going to and let them read it. On the other hand "ohio" seems to work well in the morning.

What is funny is that the Japanese assume that europeans cannot speak Japanese and therefore cannot understand it if you speak it as my Bro-law says( he speaks it but they not understand!)

In Paris something else is happening. Unless you can speak French perfectly the serving staff like to appear perfectly confused. However, a simple smile and an effort is appreciated if nothing else because it gives them the opportunity to put the boot in and pint it out.

Vive la france
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Francophile-

Well, now that the daughter is taken care of time to get down to the fun stuff

Yes, I think it's part of the experience to learn some phrases. Even a few such as please, thank you, good morning, I'd like a table for 2, can make a difference to how comfortable you feel.

I love languages anyway. Wish I had time to study them all!

gruezi
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