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As Japan sees more and more people being exposed to English through making foreign friends, working with colleagues from overseas or even just watching more American films, some Japanese people feel left behind in this English “boom.” They see more and more of their friends picking up certain habits that some may see as cosmopolitan, but they interpret as bragging about a new “international” lifestyle.

Click below to find out 10 things English-speaking Japanese do that make their friends and family roll their eyes!

1. “Oops!” “Ouch!”

Instead of using their native tongue, some of Japan’s more “internationally-minded” residents are saying the English word “oops” when they make a mistake and “ouch” when they hurt themselves. It seems to slip so freely from the mouths of these English-speakers, but those around them see nothing but a pompous person trying to impress everyone with their newly found language skills.

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Image: Wikipedia

2. Bless you!

While it is considered polite practice in the English-speaking world to say “bless you” after hearing someone sneeze, the most polite thing to do in Japan is just to not sneeze at all. In fact, some people think that it is the fault of the “bless you” sayers in Japan for making sneezing in public more acceptable.

3. Insisting on “correct” pronunciation

Japanese pronunciation of English can be a real hurdle for language learners as well as those trying to understand the mispronounced words. But when speaking Japanese, there are words like “hamburger” or “stove” (hanbaagaa and sutoobu, respectively) that have become part of the language’s lexicon and most people in Japan simply cannot understand the original pronunciation of the words. Like that expat in Tokyo who insists that we are butchering the beautiful Japanese language by saying things like “kuh-rah-tee” or “karee-okee,” there are Japanese people who will try to say words closer to their original English pronunciation. This can drive people around them crazy as it just looks like they are bragging about how much they know and putting on airs.

4. Using (and misusing) abbreviations in email

Another thing that irks Japanese people is when they get emails, entirely in Japanese, but with abbreviations in English like “pls” (please) and “ASAP” (as soon as possible). It seems to be quite annoying when these language-lovers can’t even go a full email without putting in a few English letters that some don’t even understand.

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Image: Flickr (fabkk2002)

5. Using their iPhone in English mode

Some Japanese people claim that using their iPhone in English is much easier since that was the language of the country that made it. Also, with the wider keyboard and predictive text, they also like typing in English and find it to be a lot faster in some cases. This, of course, can be a real eye-roller to their friends who might have to borrow the phone to make a call. Hell hath no fury like someone having to hear: “Oh sorry, I just put it in English since it’s a lot easier for me. But I can change the language settings back to Japanese for you…”

6. Drinking straight from a large bottle

Apparently some Japanese workers observe their American colleagues doing this in the office and have tried it out themselves. Since these large bottles of water are usually used to pour into smaller glasses to share, people around the bottle-chuggers just find this a bit boorish.

7. “Casually” reading English novels

While waiting for a friend, the way most Japanese people pass time is to mess around on their phones. Now, it seems like a lot of the “international” crowd will instead bring an English book and read that while waiting. It is almost as if they are wanting their friend to say “Wow! You must be so great at English to be just reading a book so casually!”

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Image: Flickr (Sean MacEntee)

8. Using English all the time on Facebook

With Facebook’s arrival in Japan, all of a sudden Japanese people found themselves using an American website where they could be connected to all of their English-speaking friends. And even though the site has a Japanese language version, people are still sharing a lot of content in English. But some think that their “cosmopolitan” friends are using way too much English considering they have only two or three Facebook friends who are actually native English speakers…

 9. Ending an email in English

Writing “Have a nice weekend” at the end of a completely in Japanese email is apparently getting to be quite the fad in Japan. There isn’t really the habit (or Japanese phrase) for it, so some think it is just another way for people to show off their language skills. But is it really that bad to wish someone a nice weekend?

10. “Japanese people always….”

This is perhaps the most annoying habit of some Japanese people who have experience overseas or hang around a lot of foreigners. Other Japanese people find it very stuck up when their own countrymen blame something on the Japanese mindset, culture or identity, almost as if they themselves are completely removed from it.

Do you think these are real problems with Japanese English-speakers or is this a case of a homogenous society hammering the nail that is sticking out? Let us know what you think in the comments below!