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Old 04-19-2014, 10:55 PM
 
Location: singapore
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Comments from a relative, in Japan the percentage of English speakers is higher than in Korea but they speak just very basic and simple English.

In Korea, the percentage is smaller but those who can are really fluent..

Looking at Korean TV station Arirang, the staff seem to be relatively good English

Any comments ?
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:56 AM
 
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I was in Japan last month and I agree that most Japanese, even those in Tokyo, can't conduct conversation in English. However, most people in the transit (airport, train stations, subway) do speak basic English so getting by is not that difficult.

In restaurants, many servers don't speak/understand English either.


I heard Korea is worse but my Korean friends say it is better, not sure it is true.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:11 AM
 
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More Korean study overseas at english-speaking countries than Japanese students.
Many Taiwanese and HK students also study overseas in english speaking countries.

And in much of Asia, people good at english are regarded as elites or bright students.

What is the level of english required for Japanese and Korean to enter a famous university in Japan and Korea or get a good job at the multinational coportations?
Quote:
Originally Posted by monim1 View Post
I think both Japan and Korea much not use English. They like to use their mother language like China.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Queens, NYC
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Korean youth are quite good at speaking English. They study in America and often go to English-taught after-school academies and schools. Japanese people seem a bit more embarrassed to speak English.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:55 AM
 
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English-learning is probably taken more importantly in Korea than Japan. As in other countries like China, Taiwan, HK, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, parents is an important factor. Some parents in Asia want their children to have better english skills while some parents don't care about their children's english ability. A small number of hard-working asian students learn english by their own without parents' pressure too.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:21 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Having traveled to both countries extensively, I would give a slight edge to Japan, more of their business people and public facing people can at least, speak basic English. I found less English speakers in South Korea. (Never been to North Korea, so cannot provide an opinion.)
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:30 PM
JL
 
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While the Japanese and Korean have trouble with conversational English, it isn't a problem with their writing and reading comprehension..... likely better than most young American adults...lol.
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
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I am the natural American in a Japanese/American relationship. We regularly go to Japan to visit family. None of them speak any English and my Japanese is limited to polite phrases and a some random vocabulary....not useful in carrying on a conversation. We get by with body language, good humor, and my DP providing translations.

I have found that almost all Japanese have studied English in elementary and secondary school....but very few have any facility in even basic English and most are embarrassed to try. We have a few friends who seize the opportunity to practice English and they also try to help me with Japanese. (None of us have made much progress over the years.)

We tend to travel in the countryside and find very few people who speak English.....other than the American English teachers we invariably run into. We have found that Americans are very well liked in Japan.....school children on field trips love to interview me...."How do you like Japan?" "Where are you from?" One student asks the questions and they all write down the answers with lots of giggling and chatter. Often a teacher asks if I mind being photographed for a class picture. This occurs frequently enough to seem a ritual.

We have found everyone is friendly and many Japanese people are well traveled. Australia, Washington State and Oregon and Vancouver seem to be popular destinations......our aunt has also traveled pretty extensively in England and Europe.....her daughter lives in London.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Western Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lokeung) View Post

And in much of Asia, people good at english are regarded as elites or bright students.
There's that "Asia" reference again. It does not apply to all of Asia! Do you know all of Asia, including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Russia, etc? In India, almost all people speak English pretty well, with the local accent.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Seoul
59 posts, read 86,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JL View Post
While the Japanese and Korean have trouble with conversational English, it isn't a problem with their writing and reading comprehension..... likely better than most young American adults...lol.
In my experience in both Japan and Korea, given the extreme amounts of money they spend to learn English, they do read and write on a basic level. The benefits are not realized in speaking and listening and there is a general fear of non-Koreans and non-Japanese in both respective areas. I wouldn't ever say that most Japanese and Koreans are better than native English speakers at writing or reading comprehension.
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