New answers tagged language-barrier
While saying "No" in Asia is generally different from other countries in western Europe, I made the experience that - depending on how well you know people and in which environment you are - it is much more difficult to find out what the actual situation is in Japan than let's say in China, Singapore etc. I experienced the biggest differences to the Japanese ...
I've found that a 'no' usually comes in a roundabout way - as an alternative plan or delay in answering, or occasionally a rub of the forehead followed by the phrase "ちょっとう..." ("chotto...", colloquially "well..."). In business settings 'yes' is usually used to indicate "I am listening". When you need a clear answer, leave the request open so time is ...
While this phenomenon exists, it's not as big a problem as you think, and it affects primarily relationships with people you already know. If you ask a complete stranger for directions, they will say "no" or direct you somewhere else if they can't help you, and if they go out of their way to help you they're doing it entirely voluntarily. Sure, you might ...
The most useful object I use to communicate with people is a pen and a notebook. This is perfect to sketch what you are trying to say, to write numbers, bus numbers, times and dates, and to draw maps.
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