English as it is broken in Japan

English as it is broken in Japan

When you move to a new country, there are certain milestones you have to hit before you can feel like a bona fide resident.

Like the first time you sign your rent contract and part with two months' deposit in cash. The first time you refer to your adopted country as "home". The first time you recommend a new restaurant to the locals.

And, of course, the first time you receive a telemarketing call.

It was a busy Thursday morning and I was expecting to hear from a newsmaker, so when the phone rang with an unfamiliar number on the caller ID, I didn't hesitate before picking it up.

"Hello?" I said, and was rewarded with a flow of professional-sounding Japanese.

I waited for a lull in the soliloquy. "Sorry," I said in my broken Japanese. "A bit not understand. Japanese no very good. English, can speak?"

"Ah," the person replied. More Japanese followed.

"Sorry," I said again, interrupting this time. "Really no understand. Where from?"

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