Friday, Feb 03, 2012, 08:21:20

Question to lifelines@japantimes

Dear Japan Times.

Do you do a basic IQ-test before you hire people or publish their writings?

Reading Ashley Thompson's ( articles it does not seems so. Publishing her rather imbecile observations about "facing up to alcoholism in Japan" seems to contradict that the editor at J.T. does have command of the english language.

In her writings (Japan Times Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012) Ashley-kun takes a whole page to establish the fact that it is more difficult to be non japanese speaking alcoholic in japan than in e.g. New York. We suppose she is talking about an english speaking alcoholic, since it is elementary that it is just as, or more difficult to be a spanish speaking alcoholic in Dallas or a farsi speaking Iranian cocaine addict in New York not to mention an only hebrew speaking alcoholic seeking remedy in Isfahan. The conclusion is that english teacher turned J.T. reporters, like Ashley, can not grasp that we live in a colurfull world where there still are other languages than english especially outside America.

We have a humble suggestion for Japan Times and Ashley Thompson "writing survival tips and unique how-tos about living in Japan". If you want to live in Japan, f****+ing learn japanese, just like if you live in Paris learn f****+ing french. Myself, being of extremely consequent nature, think that even if you live in Switzerland you should learn the official languages.

All four of them.

As for living in America you just keep speaking your mother tongue, whether it is Navaho, Swahili, Inuit or Uzbek since the US does not have an official language.

By Gabor Fabricius



I do not want to give offense, but Ashley seems to be the visionless advising the blind. In todays world where everybody travels and many live in another country than than their own, any person who only speaks one language seems to me to be a mumbling moron. Chauvinistic governments that only promote the home language, brainwashing their population NOT TO learn other languages should be labeled criminal. (E.G. Korea for decades forbidding Japanese). Just imagine where India would be today if they would have forbidden learning english.

Personally I am grateful that destiny rewarded me withe fluency in five languages plus a fair command of french and italian.

Never the less I still feel a bit guilty when I am in Beijing not being able to speak chinese or in Lhasa trying to get along in english.

So my goal for 2012 is to learn chinese and tibetan and my advice to Japan Times and Ashley's gaijin/gringo readers is:
Learn the language of the country or go home.


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