From the 1967
movie, Cool Hand Luke, comes a phrase
we hear almost every day, all
over the world...
We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate"
problems are part of life. Parents
fail to communicate with their children; the boss does not communicate
with his/her staff; men and women cannot seem to communicate with each
other. These difficulties
are universal--people everywhere have trouble communicating even in
their own language. What
happens when we add different cultures and languages to the mix?
Japanese is one of the most difficult languages in the
world, and the Japanese seem to delight in the fact that only a few foreigners have mastered the
language. This gives
credence to the popular myth that Japan is unique and
therefore only the Japanese can speak Japanese.
the 16th century, St. Francis Xavier reported to Rome that the Japanese
language had been devised by the Devil to prevent the spread of
Christianity in Japan. Many
who have attempted to learn Japanese might agree with St.
is it really necessary to learn Japanese in order to successfully
conduct business in Japan? After
all, there are hundreds of good interpreters, and, English is the
accepted international language for business, right?
those of you who decide to forego learning Japanese and just stick to
English, here is another popular myth--most Japanese speak
English. When you do
find those who have a good command of the language, you
will begin to realize that there are three types of English spoken in