The Other Side of Lost in Translation


Japanese teaching Japanese in U.S.

Teaching English is the bread winning job
for most of Gaijins in Japan.
Well, for ones who speak English.
If you are a Gaijin, speak English and got BA degree,
You can be a English teacher right away
even without any teaching Experience or other credibilities.

This is the story I read somewhere a long time.
There was a White guy teaching English
at some English school in Tokyo,
who was not a native English speaker.
After the class, one of his collegue talked to him,
who was an Asian American person.
And he said "Despite of the fact that
I am a native English speaker and you are not,
you are a much more popular teacher here.
You know why? Because you are White and I am not."

I guess most of Gaijins have already realized this fact,
except the ones in public schools,
many of Japanese go to English schools
because they like to see Gaijins,
they are paying not only for learning English
but also for Gaijin viewing.
They are willing to pay to see Gaijins,
mainly White or American Blacks
because of the same reason many Japanese stare at Gaijins,
the fascination with Gaijins,
more precisely Gaijins and the glamorous American
and European culture Japanese see behind Gaijins.

Now I think they are mostly replaced by the
but till '90s, Adult education classes were very popular
in New York like a writing class, painting class, film class,
cooking class, you name it, any kinds of classes.
And one of the reasons of their popularity was that
they provided the place for people to meet and socialize.
English school in Japan is very similar to that
though some schools are very serious ones.
Many Japanese go to English schools
for meeting or socializing with someone
while enjoying to view Gaijin Pandas.

Once my friend in Tokyo told me he had hired
a private English tutor and she was an young American.
He said "She got an easy job because I told her
all she had to do was just chatting with me in English."
I said to him "Which means you bought a Gaijin."

Because Japanse see so many Gaijins teaching English in Japan,
they really misunderstand that
they can also teach Japanese in U.S. as well
which is not true at all.

In New York, most of language school are
for immigrants and foreigners,
and they teach English.
As a matter of fact, very few places have a Japanese class.
Though the interest in Japanese culture is on the rise in U.S.
because of manga and anime,
still majority of Americans are not much interested in Japan.
Therefore there is not much demand
for a Japanese class unfortunately.
People who already have the position
to teach Japanese rarely quit
because they know once they quit,
it is almost impossible to find another
as it seems that there are more Japanese wish to teach Japanese
than Americans like to learn Japanese.

Of course, some colleges with Asian study department
have Japanese class also.
However, they usually hire
their Japanese graduate school students of their school
as instructors for Japanese classes,
which means you do not get a job to teach Japanese
at college either unless you have a strong connection with them.

Well, actually this is the story of New York.
If you go to somewhere far away from the big cities
where you do no find many Japanese,
some college might hire you as a Japanese instructor
as long as you got BA degree.

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