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Thread: Need Help Writing A Japanese Character Learning English

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    Default Need Help Writing A Japanese Character Learning English

    So here's the sitchy in one of my current stories-in-utero, there is a character who is natively Japanese who studies abroad, and I'm trying to understand the nuances of the Japanese language struct particularly when someone raised in Japan with some knowledge of English beforehand comes to a place where English is one of several languages commonly spoken.
    Oh, and this takes place in Europe. Just for the notes.
    So how would I do this, an average conversation per se?
    What would I expect from this person? How would they approach English? Would they ask question about what word means what? Would they accidentally use Japanese in speech? (I'm not talking about totally ignorant to English. Imagine a high school freshman child in the US who's taken Mexican/Latino Spanish courses since 5th grade, but recently moved to Spain [where Latino Spanish isn't spoken].)
    And if you need any examples from me of what I'm trying to ask for, just bring it up.

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    Default Re: Need Help Writing A Japanese Character Learning English

    From what I know and have seen on Youtube...

    They know the very basic sentence structure since they do study English in school. I think they start in middle school, but I have heard that some start in elementary/primary school. I've seen them have a look of slight confusion on their face when they hear a word they don't know. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7A7EB90C46052E97 will probably be a really helpful playlist for you to watch, although they seem to be a bit more fluent than what people learned in school. They learn textbook English in school, which is still used, but it doesn't teach slang words and such.

    What would I expect from this person? - Probably basic English... words that aren't too difficult and probably silly mistakes. i.e. No Problem → No Program Maybe the person is trying to pick up new words and is unsure on how to use them, so they use them incorrectly in a sentence.

    How would they approach English? - As far as I've heard, Japanese people are very nervous and probably a little intimidated when somebody speaks English to them, if they've been out of school for a while. (Their English that they did know isn't all there). However, I think, they would do their best to help the person, if the person talking to them is in search of something. Maybe also over-think on how to speak English, when talking to a cashier or somebody in a store if they are looking for something.

    Would they ask questions about what word means what? - I would think so, as I've been asked that a bit by a few Japanese friends, although going up to a stranger and asking... they would not do. I think they would only ask their friends, if they've been friends for a while... or if they are in a store and a word pops up and they don't understand

    Would they accidentally use Japanese in speech? - As soon as they arrive in Europe, most likely due to the sudden difference. Even after they get used to a difference, they will still use えっと and あの when thinking of words. Just like if you were most likely to speak Japanese, or another langauge, you would probably say umm or hmm when thinking of a word or what to say next.



    I hope this helps a bit, if you still have more questions feel free to ask.

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