Something that comes up time and again while speaking with foreigners that live or traveled in Japan (who speak japanese) is a certain experience.
Let me give you an example.
I was just on my way to the station when a friendly middle-aged japanese Lady stopped me.
“Excuse me, どこの国から来ました？” (Excuse me, what country are you from?)
I answer and we proceed to talk in japanese, with the occasional english vocabulary thrown in by her.
After a short conversation we say goodbye. But the moment she turns around she seems to remember something and asks me:
“少し日本語分かりますか” (Do you understand a little japanese?)
I look at her befuddled and manage a polite “はい、日本語分かっています。” (Yes, I understand japanese).
After that she seemed happy and went her way while I, once again, didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. It’s not the first time that someone asked me if I speak japanese AFTER we spoke actually in japanese for a while.
It’s something many have experienced and somewhere out there is a hilarious video about it (Sitting in the train right now and didn’t find it right away but will post the link later).
EDIT: Found it (^_^) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLt5qSm9U80
I think it’s not a mean thing, though after the first two encounters I was quite depressed because I thought my japanese was so bad no one understood it. The worst was when I asked a question in japanese and got a panicked “I don’t speak english” as answer…
Have you experienced something like this before?