Culture shock

ttog

One of my colleagues moved into the new apartment the other day. She said that she had to read the contract together with the owner for an hour. That’s what Japanese apartment contracts are! I should probably mention this more often, but Japan is an incredibly bureaucratic country. Their mind set on putting everything on paper, that’s why there are a lot of manuals and contracts. The bureaucracy has its plusses, once the deal is made you are fully protected by various papers. But there are also minuses, such as no one dares to set off the right path of a manual, for example. The rent contracts are part of […]

ttog

When you speak Japanese with your Japanese friends you can’t avoid this question: “What Japanese do you like most?” or as they say it 好きな日本語はなんですか? (Suki na nihongo wa nan desu ka?) I am always at a loss. What do they want me to say? There are different dialects in the Japanese language, there are different idioms, different characters, onomatopoeia, polite speech, not very polite speech – it all qualifies as Japanese. So how exactly should I answer this tricky question? I’ve asked my Japanese friends and here is what I found out: The answers may contain but are not limited by a word or phrase with a pleasant meaning […]