Three Months

Last Saturday marked my three month anniversary in Japan. In other words I have been in Japan for 25% of my scheduled stay. It’s hard to imagine that so much has already passed. Looking back at when I first came I realize how much I have learned not only about the Japanese language but also the Japanese culture. I’ve gone from being the “new guy” to one of the experienced guys. What’s even more intimidating is that after Juan and Mathieu leave, I will be one of the most knowledgeable ones in the Japanese language.

I’ve already been trying to build up my base of Japanese friends. I plan on going to a few international exchange parties to also make some friends. More and more I find myself doing stuff on my own. I’ve become used to everyday life in Japan and I am starting to grow more and more distanced from American culture. I joke around that when I go to a convenience store back in the United States I am going to say “arigatou” and also bow a ton.

Sometimes I do get the ocassional homesickness. Usually it is nothing big though, although I would kill a man for a burito from Freebirds right now. In the end though I am having the time of my life. From the first weekend in Tokyo where I stayed up all night for about 48 hours, to the crazy time I had in Thailand, and even to the relaxing weekends that I spent eating bentos and watching anime in my apartment I have had fun so far. One thing that I have made a point to do is to exercise more. I go running with Levi (American) five days a week. Hopefully before too long I can shed a few of those extra lbs. Also I want to do a lot more outdoors type things. This weekend I am going with a bunch of people from work to Mount Ooyama. It should be pretty fun and I’ll be sure to take pictures. It is going to be nice not having a weekend with a hangover for once.

Haircuts in Japan

Well since I have been in Japan I have only got my haircut twice. I tend to like shorter hair so this is somewhat unusual for me. Anyways the reason I haven’t gone as much as I did in the States is because I simply didn’t know what to do. I have dirty blond hair which isn’t common in Japan. I wasn’t quite sure whether to go to a fancy salon where they may have more experience or just a regular barber. Here are the experiences I had.

My first attempt for a haircut was a bit more pricey and quite honestly not worth it. Talking to Marco (Italian) he said that he went to a place kind of close to the station called “Cover with Earth”. He said that the service was very good and that they spoke broken English pretty well for Japan. The downside was that it cost about 4000 yen. Anyways, I figured to bite the bullet and just go there. When I got there and went in they welcomed me and asked for my name. After the normal gaijin spelling of my name they took me back and started shampooing my hair. They did a damn good job with the shampoo. The girl doing it paid very close attention to detail and they seemed to be using high end shampoo. The seat was typical Japanese size so I had to slouch down in order for my head to line up correctly with the seat.

Anyways after the shampoo was the cut. He asked me what I wanted and I figured I would just say “tekitou ni niau no harustairu wo shite kudasai” (please cut in a fashion that suits me). I didn’t really say much else about length or anything which looking back at it was a mistake. So anyways he started cutting and styling my hair.

In the end, I got a fauxhawk hairstyle. It wasn’t my type of thing and honestly that was the last day that it was actually up and styled. Anyways going into wasn’t really too worried. After another shampoo and 4000 yen less I was done. Looking back I should have said something more, but this place seemed a little out of my league to begin with. I was used to getting $15 haircuts at pro/super clips back in the states so to go to an actual salon was different.

The second time I went for a haircut was last Thursday. Randy told me that the place he goes to is close to the station and is relatively inexpensive. It was called something like “Popeye”. This time I went with Steve. Immediately when walking in I knew that this place was a little bit closer to my standards. It was a little bit more down to earth and more for normal people.

When I got to the seat they must have wrapped my shoulders with at least three layers of towels. He asked me what I wanted. I told him to do a hairstyle that suited me, but I also gave him specifics about the length to cut. finger-length. He asked me also if he could use clippers (mashiinu wo shite mo ii desu ka) which threw me off at first, but after he pointed to the clippers I understood. I’ll have to admit that he did a damn good job. He paid attention to detail and it seemed like he was very experienced even with my different gaijin hair. At the end he told one of the students working there to finish up. This was a bit different. They got shaving cream and actually shaved the parts under the back of my neck and behind my ears. It was pretty neat.

Anyways as I was finishing up with my haircut Steve was about to start his. Steve (who I have linked on the blog friends) spoke very limited Japanese. I explained that to them and they smiled and chuckled a little. I tried to translate for him but something got lost in translation. In the end though Steve said that they cut his hair pretty well.

This haircut only ended up being about 1200 yen, but since he did such a good job I tipped him (which is unheard of in Japan apparently). I will definitely be going back to this place the remainder of my time in Japan.

Japanese Vocab Lesson 02

Now for some vocab out of my language exchange emails.

卓球 – たっきゅう – Ping pong – The second kanji is also used for 野球 (baseball). The first kanji almost looks like a ping pong table with only one leg.

返す – かえす – Verb, to return something – The kanji has the little sgwiggly from 道. The other part vaguely reminds me of someone mooning someone. Think that someone just flipped you off on the road and they are returning it by mooning them (I told you my way of remembering is weird).

飼う – かう – Verb, to raise/domesticate (a pet) – At first I tried to use 持っています but my language exchange corrected me. The kanji has the character for “eat” in it so I can remember this by saying when you raise a pet you give it stuff to eat.

気が立つ – きがたつ – Expression, to be excited – The kanji is pretty easy to remember for this one. 気 as in 元気 and then the kanji for stand up. So in essence, to be excited is to lively stand up.

通う – かよう – Verb, to go back and forth/commute – Has the same sgwiggly for road. You use a road to commute.

お互いに – おたがいに – Expression, together, mutually -The kanji looks like two people shaking hands from an overhead view.

言葉 – ことば・けとば – Noun, language/term/word – The first kanji is “to say” and the second kanji is the kanji for paper. Words are written on paper.

携帯 – けいたい – Noun, Cell Phone – This one is hard, but the second kanji vaguely looks like a cell phone?

洋楽好 – ようがく – Noun, western music – The second two kanji are the characters for music (I remember because the first one looks like a speaker).

I think that is enough for now. For some reason I have been on a Japanese vocab binge for the past couple of days. I have seven language exchanges going simultaneously so I think I overdosed. I am still going to try to keep it up though, although hopefully I can make some real blog posts before too long.

Japanese Vocab Lesson 01

Well I figure one way of studying is to watch anime. While I tend not to like to get an otaku/nerd aura, usually anime is simple enough that I can make out bits and pieces. An idea I have is to watch an episode or parts of an episode and record any vocab that I have to look up. The following is from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu episode two. I must warn everyone though, the way I remember kanji is very unique. I am just going to write down the first thing that comes to mind. It might be something really weird, but if it works for me I don’t care.

安心 – あんしんする - Verb, To be relieved. – First kanji looks like kanji for woman (but is a little different), second kanji is kanji for “worry”, when I am with a woman, I am relieved of my worries.

昔 – むかし – Noun, olden times. – Kanji vaguely looks like an old man’s face squinting.
With this word, you can say something like “昔からTimはへんな女が好きだね” and it will mean something to the effect of “Tim has always liked weird girls, right?”

さて – Well, now, then – There is about three different kanjis for this one. Kind of a good random filler word to know.

驚天動地 – きょうてんどうち – Noun, outstanding, astonishing – A very strong word to describe something that is unbelievable.

偶然 – ぐうぜん – Adjective, unexpected, chance – Apparently it can also be used as “coincidence”

天才 – てんさい – Noun, genius, prodigy – The first kanji is for heaven, and the second looks like a mentally retarded person holding out his hands. Sometimes the mentally diseased are ridiculously genius.

凡人 – ぼんじん - Noun, average/ordinary person – First kanji looks really easy and whoever made it is really lazy, or an ordinary person.

That concludes the first vocab lesson. Hopefully I will do more and more of these as time goes on. I need to study and build my vocab as much as possible. This is only from a small segment of the episode so I will try to post more and more.

Busy Doing Nothing

Ah Saturday. It seems that I haven’t had a Saturday just to relax and do nothing for quite some time. Honestly I need a day of just waking up and relaxing. There is always something going on it seems. Inevitably this time I missed a night of dinner and clubbing in Tokyo. While I’d love to spend 10000 yen for some appetizers, a couple of beers, and to go to a club which I’m not exactly crazy about, I figure I would take a breather.

So yep, nothing. I think I am completely out of my “vacation” phase and into the “I live and work in Japan phase”. Tomorrow I am going to Harajuku to look at shoes (in my size) and Akihbara to get a USB drive. For the hell of it I think I am going to take my camera. I also need to get a haircut. Someone at work suggested this cheap place called “Popeye” which I think I will give a try. If it ends up too bad I can always just resort to a buzzcut.

Now, I need to go back to being lazy and doing nothing.

Trains in Japan

It seems a bit strange that I haven’t really talked about the train system in Japan considering how amazing it is. I am going to try to be a little bit more informative in this post so that I can help anyone who might be reading my blog and plans to come to Japan.

The trains in Japan go everywhere and are also relatively cheap. For me to go from Atsugi to Shinjuku/Tokyo it will only cost me about 480 yen one way.

To better explain it I will just walk through a typical train ride into Tokyo starting from the station in Atsugi.

In Atsugi I normally get to the station at any time. Trains run frequently enough so that you don’t really have to look up a schedule. If I am meeting people I like to get there early so I can just stand outside the station and people watch. This sounds boring but in Japan it never gets old. You see all different types of people from school students in their uniforms to punk goth emo Japanese teens.

Anyways, when I actually want to go into the platform part of the station I normally use my Suica card. The Suica card is pretty much a cash card that you can use in conbinis and transportation places. You can add money on it freely and it is almost like a debit card except for the fact that you can’t take cash out. Anyways, if I need to add money I do so at one of the machines which also conveniently have English buttons. Anyways the suica card has an RFID in it so I just put my wallet on the sensor near the entrance and a green light goes off telling me I can enter and my balance displays on the little lcd screen. If for some reason something went wrong the little doors by my entrance would shut and a red light would go off.

From the entrance I take an escalator to the platform. In Hon-Atsugi station there is only one line (Odakyu) which goes to Shinjuku in one direction and Odawara in the other. There are a few different types of trains. The “local” trains will stop at every single station between Atsugi and its destination. These trains are good for getting to the small towns in between, but take too long if you want to go to Shinjuku. The “rapid express” train is what I normally take to Shinjuku. This train only stops at major stations and takes about 45 minutes. There is also a train called the “Express” train that costs a little more. This train only stops at maybe one station in between Atsugi and Shinjuku. You are also guaranteed a seat on this train, but because it costs more I rarely take it.

Anyways once a train comes everyone scrambles to get on the train for the off chance that there is a free seat. Most of the times I end up standing up for about twenty minutes until someone gets up from their seat at a later station. People are like vultures for seats in Japan. Usually you have to ninja your way into one. Me, being raised in a western culture, will often forfeit my seat/get up if an elderly person gets on the train, but unless you are in a “priority” seat you don’t have to (most Japanese people don’t).

People also sleep on the train. No, they don’t lay down, they sleep sitting up. Often times they will lean on the person next to them. This previous weekend when I went to TGS I sat next to a girl and she was all-out sleeping on my shoulder. Now I am not exactly sure what to do in this situation. As weird/sexist as this sounds, ff it was a guy I would have woken him up no hesitation. But for some reason she just looked too peaceful to wake up. She eventually did wake up right before Shinjuku and seemed to be blushing, but apparently it is a pretty normal thing.

Most Japanese people are silent on the train. The only people who talk are foreigners and rowdy Japanese youth. I usually tend to keep it down because I am just a quiet person by nature. Overall though the train is very clean and the view is usually pretty interesting. I’ve contemplated getting on the train just to sit down and study. This sounds dumb, but sitting on the train is a very good place to study Japanese. You can read a book with no distractions and even practice listening to weird Japanese slang from the kids. The thing is as long as you don’t get off the train you only have to pay for one round trip. See, train fares are based off of where you enter and where you exit, not time. Technically you could ride to Shinjuku and back ten times and only get charged once.

At Shinjuku you really just swipe your card on the sensor at the exit gate and a green light goes off telling you how much money has been deducted from your account. If you have an insufficient balance the red light goes off and tells you to go top-up.

All in all the train system is awesome. I want to take a Shinkansen (bullet train) when I go to Osaka also. They tend to be a little bit more expensive but it seems like something I have to do for the experience.

Learning Japanese… in Japan

One of the main reasons that people (especially students) come to Japan is to, well, learn Japanese. I guess I was a special case in that my official purpose was engineering related, but lately I really have been trying to make an effort to learn the language.

You see at my work everyone speaks English. I program in Java, which is also English, and the only Japanese I get to practice is with the office ladies beside me or the bentou/conbini clerks. As you can imagine it is not the “intense” sort of linguistic training that one would get with a program such as JET.

This leaves a lot of responsibility on me to learn the language. I have decided today that I will dedicate an hour a day to studying by myself. It may not be a lot, but if I can do this I feel that I will not have wasted time in Japan. Right now I am just building vocab and making sure that I am solid on the grammar. I really need to seriously start studying kanji as well.

Coming to Japan I had two years of university level Japanese. As fun as it was, to be honest it wasn’t as useful as one might imagine. Sure, as a tourist the level that one would learn in a college Japanese class would be sufficient, but for anyone actually living in Japan it is only the tip of the iceberg. I am fortunate enough to live close to Tokyo so I don’t have to deal with any off the wall dialects. It is really hard to explain to be honest. I guess the best way to describe it is the Japanese you learn in an American university is “gaijin English”. Yeah, it may be useful in some situations, but any native Japanese speaker will just find it cute.

I guess it would be somewhat productive for me to go into what was useful and what wasn’t useful in my class.

Kanji is my own personal kryptonite when it comes to Japanese. I think one of the reasons that I didn’t learn the kanji so well in my class is because I always crammed right at the last minute. This is my fault entirely, but in my opinion writing the kanji shouldn’t be emphasized as much. Very rarely do I have to write kanji without a computer so I feel that if I just focused more on being able to read the kanji I would be good. I remember in the homework that if we attempted a kanji and messed up even one stroke we would be counted off. On the other hand if we just wrote in katakana/hiragana we would get full credit. This lead to no incentive at all to even attempt the kanji.

One aspect of my class in university that didn’t help at all was the dialogue checks. See, the dialogue checks did wonders for my memorization skills, but nothing for my comprehension. During class we had to go up and recite a conversation with another classmate from the book. The thing is it had to be VERBATIM or else we would be counted off (at least in my first one and a half semesters). This essentially caused everyone just to memorize the words long enough so that we would do fine on the checks. After class we completely forgot about them.

The thing about the dialogue checks also was that they were so mechanical. No one really talks like that in Japan. Let me give you an example. One of our dialogue checks involved us asking about a particular menu item at a restaurant. The conversation went something like this in the dialogue check:

Magical Genki Dialogue Check Land

You: Tonkatsu? Sakana desu ka?
Waiter: iie, sakana ja arimasen. niku desu.
You: Sou desu ka…

You: Pork chops? Is that fish?
Waiter: Not it isn’t fish. It is meat.
You: Is that so?

Real Life Japan

You: Tonkatsu? Sakana desu ka?
Waiter: iie. tonkatsu wa buta niku de gozaimasu
You: ano, nan desu ka? mou ichido itte kudasai.
Waiter: (in english) porky pig is pig animal!

You: Pork chops? Is that fish?
Waiter: No sir, a pork chop is pork.
You: Uhm, can you say that again?
Waiter: (broken english) porky pig is pig animal!

That’s why they never really worked.

One good way to really learn Japanese is to set up a so-called “language exchange”. What a language exchange usually entails is meeting someone online, conversing a while through email, and eventually meeting said person in real life to practice speaking. Ideally you teach them English and they teach you Japanese. The problem is it is very hard to find a legitimate language exchange. For males it seems to be particularly hard as there are a good number of Japanese girls out there just trying to find a gaijin boyfriend. While sometimes this isn’t a bad thing, if you want a legitimate language exchange it doesn’t really do much good. I’ve had two girls try this on me none of which that I particularly fancied.

Another problem I have with language exchanges is that I usually exhaust the conversation after the first time. I ask just about everything that I know how to say in Japanese which leaves the next time we meet pretty hard to hold a legit conversation.

In Atsugi free Japanese lessons are also offered. These are usually pretty helpful, although the level between students differs very greatly. One of the other interns that I work with just started learning Japanese so it is hard for the teacher to come up with material that is both beneficial to both of us. Usually I just end up studying alone and ask questions if anything arises. It still is a good opportunity to ask the teacher if I need any help.

In December I am taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). To be honest I am a little intimidated. I am taking the Kyuu-3, which is the third hardest out of four. Taking a few practice tests it is apparent that the vocabulary is not standard. The kanji is also pretty advanced and not common. Anyways I soon plan on buying a review book and also starting to study hardcore for the test. I spent 6000 yen for registration so I have to make an active effort.

Tokyo Game Show 2008

Warning, the following post is going to be kind of nerdy. This is the first really nerdy thing that I have done since I have come to Japan though. On Saturday and Sunday we went to Tokyo Game Show. For those who don’t know, Tokyo Game Show (or TGS as I will call it) is the biggest video game expo in the world. It is where all the companies showcase their latest games and most even have playable version. New games are announced also and there is a bunch of merchandise that is available for purpose.

Well first off on Saturday we woke up a bit late due to a party the night before. When all was said and done we probably left around 12:30. It wasn’t even planned really. I woke up pretty early and had to run to the conbini to grab some toothpaste. On the way I met Nichola (Bulgarian) and we decided to go to TGS after everyone got ready. In the end the only people that ended up getting ready in time were Steve and Nicola. TGS was held in Makuhari Messe which was on the other side of Tokyo (about 2 hours away). Anyways from Hon-Atsugi station we too the Odakyu line to Shinjuku station and then boarded the Chuou line to Tokyo station.

On the way to Tokyo station the emergency break on the train went on and we came to a stop. It wouldn’t have been that bad, but the AC and main lights went off as well. From what I could understand, there had been some medical emergency of some sort (the PA guy was speaking in keigo/very honorifics so I couldn’t understand much). After about 15 minutes the train started up again and we made our way to Tokyo station.

Tokyo Station is huge… way bigger than Shinjuku. The line that we wanted to take to Makuhari was the Keiyo line. It was very far away from the Chuou line. We had to go about 5 levels underground and probably walk about a mile to get there. Anyways, the Keiyo line was pretty enjoyable and scenic. We passed by Tokyo Disneyland which was neat, and we even got to see the Pacific Ocean. To my suprise we even passed by a Costco… I had no idea these existed in Japan.

Once we got to Makuhari we made our way to the convention center. The convention center wasn’t as packed as I had imagined. We got there pretty late (around 3pm) so it wasn’t too bad. It was really cool though. Outside there was a huge Norton Antivirus statue of a robot that I got a picture with.

Inside the show it was crazy. Truly a promised land for video game fans. All the major companies were there: Square-Enix, Capcom, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, although I could not find Nintendo. Most of the companies had demos of their actual games. It was pretty amazing really. As far as the games go, I will just do a quick summary below.

Star Ocean 4 – The Last Hope (Xbox 360)
I played this one and it was amazing. The line was about an hour and a half long, but it was totally worth it. It seemed very popular and many people wanted to play it. The battle system seemed to flow a lot better compared to the previous games. When I did play it I was on the end station meaning everyone could see me play the game. There were about 30 Japanese people watching me so if I messed up they could all see the stupid gaijin. I kicked some ass though so I was safe 🙂

Perfect Prosecutor / Gyakuten Saiban 5
It’s exactly what you would expect. It is the same as all previous Phoenix Wright games except now you are Edgeworth. There are some added graphics in the courtroom scenes though as it would appear.

The Last Remnant (360/PS3)
Was terrible. The fighting system looked too complicated and just was not fun to play. Talk about a disappointment.

Sonic Unleashed / World Adventure
Was fun although I only played the first city level. Sonic games tend to be very fun for the first level and then suck afterward (Sonic Adventure 2).

Street Fighter 4 (360/PS3)
Was very very good. Fighting mechanics are very fluid and it was overall a very enjoyable game with all the great cast from the previous games.

Those are all the games I really played. the lines were long so I didn’t get into many of them.

There were tons of cosplayers there too (people who dress up as characters from anime/games). Most of them were really good. Japanese people can pull off cosplay. Their uniforms are made very well and most of them have figures to match their characters. Foreigners can not pull off cosplay. I have made the following flowchart for anyone who is confused.

Right, if you are at an American anime/game convention where everyone else is in shitty cosplay it is ok. But in Japan, where all the cosplayers are borderline professionals and they spend half of their lives making their costumes, you are only going to stick out. I saw one Phoenix Wright cosplay with all the characters that looked 100x better than any shitty Phoenix Wright cosplay that I saw in the US (you know who you are, and sorry, but the truth hurts).

That was another thing I didn’t like about TGS. There were a lot of foreigners. Now don’t get me wrong, in Atsugi there are foreigners, but nothing compared to how it was at TGS. I kind of lost a little bit of the limelight. Not only were there foreigners, but they were the foreigners that the other countries are ashamed of. Those whose spend the majority of their lives in their parents’ basements and only shower once every fort night. The only reason they are here is that mommy and daddy could pay for their plane ticket over here… they aren’t actually contributing anything.

Another random thing, if you are a fat, stinky, balding nerd, don’t wear the “I am looking for a Japanese girlfriend” t-shirt. If you can’t get an American girlfriend you won’t be able to get a Japanese girlfriend. The only person I know that could pull off wearing this T-shirt is Marco because, well he is Marco (a handsome Italian man). It doesn’t work if you are an otaku.

Anyways, that is enough of that rant. I went back on Sunday with Steve and Marek. I ran into Juan, Levi, Andre, and Levi’s friend there too. But at this point I was very exhausted. I ended up going back alone early. A few things happened on the train that warrant a blog post which I will make later 🙂

And as always, pictures:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2273730&l=2d781&id=16720765


http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2273731&l=81947&id=16720765

Pedro/Neuman’s Farewell Party / Different Languages

Yesterday we went to a farewell party for Pedro (Portugese) and Neuman (German). Before the farewell party I actually went to language exchange with Marco (Italian) in Shinyurigaoka. The language exchange went pretty well. One problem that I am encountering however with Language exchanges is that I always exhaust every possible subject the first meeting. I talk about everything that can be talked about so the second meeting is quite difficult to find topics to talk about.

Anyways, after the language exchange Marco and I went to Ueno in Tokyo to take a look around the park. Unforuntately I had my camera on the wrong setting so all the pictures came out very blurry and no good. When Marco posts his pictures I will be sure to post them here. The park was really nice though; seemed like the perfect type of place for a date. There were tons of buildings that had traditional Japanese architecture and the weather was perfect. There were also a lot of those gates that mark the entrance of a temple (I forgot their name) everwhere and the entire park was very scenic. There was one lake section with a ton of water lillies in the grass. Some sore of reggae concert was going on with some guy playing the trumpet, but you had to pay to get in.

Afterwards we went to Shibuya. We just really walked around and went to different shops to waste time before the party. At one point we saw a power ranger on the street and even got a picture with him.

After a while we met all the other people in front of the hachikou statute (famous dog statue in Shibuya). There were a ton of people ranging from Rumi (the Japanese professor) to old interns that started with Pedro. Anyways, we went to a Yakitori (barbeque chicken) place. It was the traditional place where you have to take off your shoes before you sit down. Anyways it was nomihoudai (all you can drink) so everyone had more than enough beer. I decided not to drink that much as I was still a little hung over from the night before.

To be honest the food was good but not even near worth the 4000 yen that we paid. It was mainly just the quantity. Now I realize that I am in Japan, and quanities are limited, but this was small even for Japanese standards. It was one of those places where they bring out all these appetisers and you just share with the people around you. For the same price I could have gone to Outback or Yakinuku and recieved 4x more the food.

Anyways after everything was done I decided to catch the last train back to Atsugi. A lot of the guys were going clubbing but I wanted to take it easy that night and conserve my money. I also didn’t really want to drink that much for another night.

Here are the pictures that I did take:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2272099&l=c7ecd&id=16720765

***

In Japan it feels like I speak about four languages:

Japanese
Well I am in Japan so I do speak Japanese. Out of a scale of one through ten, ten being fluent and one not knowing a thing I’d say I am a four or five. I can communicate with most people but when they start speaking too fast or too technically I can’t understand. My vocab is constantly expanding (especially since I am studying for the JLPT), but I tend to speak in Japanese to most Japanese people even if they speak in English. Since I am in Japan I should try to speak as much as I can I figure. Whenever we go drinking with Japanese people my Japanese level tends to go more towards a six. I think this is because when I have alcohol in me I am less afraid to mess up and just speak a little bit more relaxed. Speaking with other interns this seems to be a shared trait.

Broken English
When I encounter a Japanese person who wants to speak in English to me but barely understands it I just use broken English. I suppose there are no real sentences in broken English, just noun, adjectives, and verbs thrown together with nothing in between. It usually get’s the job done but at the same time makes my English skills go down. I try to speak in Japanese before I resort to this.

Regular English
This is just the English that I would speak in the United States. I speak this to the other interns and at work to non-Japanese. Like I said before sometimes the broken English makes this skill go down.

Hyper English
Hyper English is the name I give to the super form of English I speak in when I don’t want any random Japanese person around me to know what I am talking about. It usually involves using overly complicated vocabulary and speaking very very fast. Only native speakers or Europeans would probably understand this. Half of the time you have to decode it and pay attention very keenly, but I treasure Hyper English as my own invention.