One of my pet peeves is when staff people feel obligated to speak English to me because I’m not Japanese. Whether or not I’m using Japanese is irrelevant. My native language is irrelevant. Whether or not they can even speak English is irrelevant. Foreigner equals English. English is the language of foreigners.
So, occasionally, when I feel impatient with this presumptuousness, the following occurs:
Conversation 2/25/09 (at an Izakaya)
Me: Sumimasen… (Excuse me…)
Staff: Hai! (turns and upon realizing I’m not Japanese) anooo! Please your order!
Me: Toriaezu, nama biiru wo kudasai (well, first of all, a regular draft beer please)
Staff: would you like beer, yes. I…
Me: Eee! Dou iu imi ka? Nama biiru wo wakarimasen? (What does that mean? Don’t you understand what a beer is?)
Staff: Eeeto ne. (in a stage whisper) sukoshi Eigo mo syaberemasu kedo… (then louder) English also I speak in English a little…
Me: Eigo? Kankei arimasen! Eigo ga zenzen wakarimasen…Nihongo wo hanashite iru yo ne. Nihon-go ga wakarannai no? (English? That’s not my concern! I don’t understand English at all…I’m speaking Japanese aren’t I. Don’t you understand me?)
Staff: Wakarimashita! Moshi wake gozaimasen! (Yes, I understand! Bowing deeply. I apologize. There’s no excuse for my behavior.)
Me: Mashi ni natta! Ja, biiru motte kite! (That’s better! Now, bring me my beer!)
Staff: kashikomarimashita, sho sho omachi kudasai (Certainly! please wait for a moment)
Interesting video related to this topic below:
This guy is a naturalized Japanese citizen, formally American, and fights for the rights of non-Japanese Japanese citizens.
He shares my idea about this subject only he’s a little politer than me (-;
Quick shout out to my boy Justin at English Banditry! Thanks a lot for the info!!