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Why do mostly all japanese people know how to speak english in the USA?

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Unlike hispanics,chinese,vietnamese and ect. 

They all know how to speak some sort of english!  Which really sucks for me cause im not much value as a translator at work since mostly people who need translations are hispanics, chinese, vietnamese and other asian countries!  :cry:

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I'd not say it's a rule, but yeah, I have noticed the most affected group is of the Hispanics, who don't seem to be able to learn to speak English no matter what!  I think they're the worst of the group, I mean, I know people who have been living there for decades and still aren't able to speak the language, just a few words, lol.  To me that's unbelievable, but oh well.

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I'm guessing it's probably because most of the Japanese people who go to the U.S. do so by choice rather than necessity unlike some of the other Asians who go there, so they might be more up to the challenge of learning English and they probably even enjoy it more. Most other ethnicities probably are only forced to go there for better wages, whereas Japanese people probably can earn much more at home and are only there for the alternative lifestyle. That's just my guess at least.

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I guess maybe because English is widely spoken in their country? Because over here in my country, the Philippines, English is widely used over here, so most people really know how to speak English. I guess the same goes for Japan.

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The Japanese have a certain affinity for U.S. news, as well as curiosity as to what is going on in the U.S. mainland.  That is why they learn a great deal of English. 

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I'd not say it's a rule, but yeah, I have noticed the most affected group is of the Hispanics, who don't seem to be able to learn to speak English no matter what!  I think they're the worst of the group, I mean, I know people who have been living there for decades and still aren't able to speak the language, just a few words, lol.  To me that's unbelievable, but oh well.

It could be because they take their time to learn Englich and maybe they are also interested in the language.

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I'm not from the US, but we see something kinda similar in Australia where migrants from some countries speak English better than others.

Broadly speaking, it's people from places like Vietnam, China, the Middle East and Africa who seem to struggle the most, where say European, Japanese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Singaporean and so on are generally pretty fluent.

The main reasons I can see for the difference are socio- and geo-political. The first group are predominantly people who chose to migrate to Australia to improve their life or life expectancy. The second group are from mostly safe, comfortable and wealthy countries and there's not so much to gain from moving here.

What I'm getting at is that there's a kind of self-selection bias when it comes to people moving countries - if you're not desperate to move and you don't speak English, you're not so likely to trade your safe life in one country for a safe life in another country where you don't speak the local language. When you're "trading up" from a pretty unsafe place to somewhere you perceive to be a lot better for you, language might not be you biggest concern so long as you know enough that you can kinda get by.

The other factor here though is that there are more people from the first group here than from the second group and there's more of a chance for, say, Chinese or Vietnamese people to form communities of other Chinese or Vietnamese speakers because some 400,000 and 200,000 Australians were born in mainland China and Vietnam respectively. Comparatively, there are only 35,000 Japanese-born Australians (all figures from Wiki).

I think that being able to form a community of other people who speak your native language means that you have less need to use English, since you can always get by with most things without knowing much at all. I wonder if it's the same in the US for Chinese, Vietnamese and Hispanic migrants.

I certainly don't think it's because all Japanese people learn English - the very low rate of English fluency in Japan points more, I think, to a self-selection bias in people who leave Japan to live in an English-speaking country.

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Well, to be fair the English language take a great place in the Japanese education. Its a mandatory subject up until they graduate from High School from what I've heard. Of course not all of them will focus on the language. So while some may be able to understand English, they won't necessarily be able to hold a conversation.

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I think that most Japanese who move to the US by choice, whereas many other Asians would find it more of a necessity. If you choose to go there you'll be more likely to integrate yourself into the culture, speak with the locals etc., because you want to be there and experience that country. On the other hand, if you think of the US as just somewhere you have to be, you'd probably be more likely to stick mostly to speaking with others from your country. You might feel that they understand your situation more.

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It's probably just because the Japanese are taught English from a very young age, even in their home country. Some of the other countries don't really enforce English teaching as much as the Japanese do, so I imagine it's much easier to learn for them since they are surrounded by both languages constantly.

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I agree with gegegeno with regards to reasons for migrating (probably not for a "better life" but more of a career/lifestyle choice so they're better prepared) and also a smaller pool of people with similar ethnicity so the need to assimilate better because of it.

I also think that one of the reasons would be that Japanese people have been migrating to the US since the Victorian Era (if I'm not mistaken). Unlike Chinese, Vietnamese and the Hispanics and Latin Americans, who are probably first or second generation immigrants who fled to North America for more opportunities and a better way of living, there are a lot of third-to-fourth generation Japanese who are most likely already fluent with the language because their family has been in the US a few generations.

A census also showed that Japanese-Americans are very education driven, with a high percentage studying second degrees and being a lot being a part of Ivy Leagues both as students and faculty. So I would assume that they would work harder in general than other to be fluent in the language.

It's not really comparable to English in Japan either. In Japan, English is learned early in life but retention isn't really stellar. Retention depends on constant usage and the language being around you, even outside the classroom and those aren't common. Unless someone has a knack for languages or a love for it, a common Japanese highschool student, for example, wouldn't really be fluent in it.

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Unlike hispanics,chinese,vietnamese and ect. 

 

They all know how to speak some sort of english!  Which really sucks for me cause im not much value as a translator at work since mostly people who need translations are hispanics, chinese, vietnamese and other asian countries!  :cry:

Yes because most Japanese who came to the US are highly educated or may have come because of business and other forms of works. Japanese who make it to America may also be mixes or half breeds and that they may be half Japanese and Half Americans or just a small percentage of being Japanese if any. These I guess are the reasons why they know in speaking in English a lot in the United Stated and perhaps they should adjust to the language and have adjusted very quickly as compared to other Asian groups who also reside or stay in America. What do you think guys? 

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Chances are any "foreigner" who's in the U.S. (which no intentions to immigrate) has done some English study before coming abroad. It's not only true for the Japanese. There are tons of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and other Asians who can speak also English. 

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Chances are any "foreigner" who's in the U.S. (which no intentions to immigrate) has done some English study before coming abroad. It's not only true for the Japanese. There are tons of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and other Asians who can speak also English. 

True. Imo, the op's premise is wrong. With the exception of the large population of temporary illegal aliens, a very high percentage of immigrants speak at least passable english here. 

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True. Imo, the op's premise is wrong. With the exception of the large population of temporary illegal aliens, a very high percentage of immigrants speak at least passable english here. 

I think most immigrants who have been in the country for a while can speak a little bit of English. Those who just immigrated might not be able to speak any English (but they are willing to learn). Those who are studying abroad in the U.S. obviously know some English because otherwise they wouldn't be studying abroad. To study abroad, you need to be interviewed and I doubt they would send someone who doesn't know a little bit of English (or shows an interest in learning English). 

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