That’s Why I Think Japanese Langauge Is Negative

I’d like to write about my latest blog’s sequel entry. As I mentioned that I think Japanese language is negative on my last entry, there is another reason.

A couple of days ago, I was chatting with my Jewish friend over Skype. He and I are really good friends. At that time my British friend was staying at our house. Although he didn’t join our conversations, while sitting next to me and working with his PC, he was listening to our conversations. We were speaking in English at the time.

My Jewish friend told me that he finished reviewing 2000 Kanji (Kanji is one of our characters in Japanese language). When I heard his story, I thought it was great! However, instead of saying congratulations, and it was great I said that there were more than 2000 kanji. It isn’t enough for you to read something in Japanese. Your Kanji level is the same as Japanese middle school kids. You have to study more Kanji, and your next goal was 3000. I knew that he already has memorized 2000 Kanji. He reviewed all of them. So, I would like to encouraged him.

When my British friend listened to that, he told me, “Yumi!!! It’s really rude to David! I know it’s a Japanese way, and not a Western way. However, you should say, “Congratulations!” first to him.” Until I heard it from Martyn (My British friend’s name is Martyn), I never ever thought my comment sounded rude to David. I was shocked. Of course, David is my good friend, and he knows Japanese culture very well. So, he didn’t say that I offended him at all. Although I just wanted to encouraged him, my encouraging comment sounded negative to both my British friend and Jewish friend.

Thinking about this, I think Japanese language is negative. I think all languages relate to their own culture tightly. So, if you have been learning other languages, I really want you to learn the culture at the same time.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Matthew
    Nov 27, 2011 @ 20:18:55

    After I read this I thought about it a lot. I don’t really think Japanese is a negative language. I think it more about the Japanese culture, like you said.
    I think politeness in Japanese culture isn’t completely about the spoken language.
    Politeness is Japanese culture is more about the individual’s actions instead of the language (Ex. the bow).

    I think for Western culture, language is more important to show politeness and our feelings. I think we (Western culture) put to much focus on politeness in language. If a child receives a gift or compliment from another person, the child’s mother will say “Say thank you”, and the child will say thank you.

    I think showing politeness in language is easy. I say “thank you” many times during a day because it’s quick and easy, and the other person doesn’t think I’m a rude person, but showing politeness with action is much greater.

    Anyone can say “thank you”, but a really nice person will go further and show how thankful they are by their actions.


    • yumi
      Dec 05, 2011 @ 00:14:46

      Hi, Matt. Thanks for the comment. I think tones are very important for us to communicate with people in another language. I think at that time, my voice tone didn’t sound negative to both Martyn and David. That’s why they didn’t think seriously. They laughed. However, most of Japanese people speak English with no tones like robots. I also can’t tell you that my voice tones are better than theirs. So, I have to improve many things to communicate with people from other seas smoothly. We have to learn a lot of things each other to communicate with our friends in another language. Anyway, I’m very sorry to response to you late.


  2. niasunset
    Dec 09, 2011 @ 11:44:09

    This is really nice point about languages… But I agree with Matt, (I don’t really think Japanese is a negative language. I think it more about the Japanese culture, like you said.) The differences between the cultures can be seen in their languages too… And this is why makes to learn difficult other languages… Thank you, and also Thank you for visiting my blog. I am glad to meet with you. With my love, nia


    • yumi
      Dec 16, 2011 @ 10:58:24

      Hi, Nia. Thanks for the comment! How have you been? Thanks for the comment. Yeah, learning languages is also to learn the culture. That’s why learning languages is fun! I’m also glad to meet you.


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