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Japanese don’t Speak English 

Some guests have complained that Japanese don’t speak English. But most people know some, and some people are fluent. But you need to allow Japanese a few seconds to get ready to speak in English.
Start by asking this:” Eigo ga wakarimasuka?” (Do you speak English?)
If you start with that question, you will have much more success. Japanese fear embarrassment very much. But that question in Japanese gives them a chance to prepare their English. Most people under 60 know some English.

I bet if you ask them most Japanese will answer:

“Sukoshi or a little (in English), then they will help you as best they can in English.

Another way is writing down what you want. They are better at reading English than speaking English in general.

About kintaro63 (101 Articles)
Writer and teacher in Japan

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