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Chapter Summary

An American friend of the author was constantly assailed by junior and senior high school students wanting to talk to her in English. She found it quite annoying. The students only wanted to try out the English they had learned at school to see if they could really communicate. Even grown-ups going to English conversation schools or following English language courses on TV were not able to resist trying out their English if they happened to come across visitors from overseas. Japanese people have a perceived notion that it is impossible for foreigners to speak Japanese well. It is impossible to expect tourists and those on short business trips to speak Japanese. The author's rule of thumb in communicating with people from overseas is this: try to reply in Japanese if spoken to in Japanese, and in English if spoken to in English.

Keywords: American novelist; English; Japanese; overseas; students



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