After I came to Japan my experiences with talking to Japanese people obviously got a lot more and even though in general the conversations were (and are) really pleasant, I did find myself occasionally in odd situations.
Last year, in the summer, I wrote about those strange encounters and shared a link to the YouTube video “But we’re speaking Japanese! 日本語喋ってるんだけど“, which shows an exaggerated sketch about just this type of conversations. Currently the video has over 1.300.000 views. I can easily see why, because the video manages to showcase an important point and is absolutely hilarious while doing so. For all of you, who might not have seen it, watch below:
But just now I found a video from a Japanese YouTuber, who went out on the streets of Tokyo, showed the video to several (young) Japanese and filmed the reaction to it. Let’s have a look at that, as well.
Of course showing only such a small and limited amount of people does not reflect the country in its totality, but I was really confused by it. Did they really not understand the point of the video? I mean, I could understand, that they just don’t think it’s such big of a deal, or don’t think it’s funny, but missing the point completely?
Maybe the following statement is just as bad, but when I’m in Germany, I actually expect that any person I meet will speak German, not matter what they look like. It might be confusing at first, if you were completely immersed in a daydream and someone asks you for the way in English, which you in turn answer in German. But as soon as someone has my full attention, I think I would recognize, if he spoke my language and react accordingly.
Are those just two extremes? Thinking that no one speaks your language unless he looks like you vs. everyone speaks my language, no matter how they look?
Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to bash the people seen in this video. I am honestly curious about the fact, that people see the same thing and understand something completely different.
What do you think about this/these video(s)?