Have you ever found that it is not straightforward to understand what Japanese people really are saying? It sometimes is true what Japanese people say is not what they exactly mean.
I read somebody’s tweet, saying “there are the differences between what Japanese are thinking in their minds and what they are talking. I cannot trust even when they say ‘no problem’. Japanese often tell a ‘little lie’ like that. It is very difficult for foreigners to understand it.”
— 日伊逐次通訳者 | マッシ (@massi3112) 2019年3月4日
And then, there was a comment from a Japanese lady who may be living in England.
— Spica (@Kelangdbn) 2019年3月5日
“That is not only Japan, everywhere in the world…, to me, but a whole of England also seem like Kyoto.”
Kyoto is one of the most historical cities in Japan, which used to be the capital. A few years ago, there was a TV show joking about how difficult to understand precisely what they are saying.
For example, when they say to a visitor, “would you like to have another cup of tea?” It actually means, “we had enough, it is the time you should getaway, right now.”
If your neighbour talks to you, “your boy plays the piano very well”, it possibly means, “could you stop him playing the bloody noisy piano?”
When Kyoto people say, “oh no, you came from Nara? I feel embarrassed, comparing with Nara’s Buddha and beautiful dears, Kyoto is nothing, isn’t it?” What they really meaning is, “what the hell are you doing here, you came to the wrong place. Go back to your village, now.”
Nation-wide, the Japanese know that Kyoto people are the most difficult people to understand. For foreigners, you may think all of the Japanese is not easy to understand. However, worldwide, that complexity doesn’t seem to be only for Japanese.