One Lame American’s Small Ego Stunt, One Giant Leap for Negative Stereotyping
This man takes all that is wrong with the Lady Gagaism, internet celebrity fuelled era and makes the rest of us suffer for the promulation of the dumbass gaijin cliche. There’s no problem with being at different levels of profiency and trying; it’s when an obvious lack of sustained effort is combined with inflated self-importance that it gets more than a little jarring. It’s also a little bit funny that he doesn’t quite know what they are saying.
I guess a jackass is a jackass in any language.
Frequently, I am assumed to be American. I don’t have anything against “Americans” – that would be pointless, only irratation paired with grim acceptance that as a large land mass of English speaking people, in the game of numbers, gaijin are more likely to be American. However, my encounters post-nationality clarification often delve into a further frustrating scenario: Ignorance About Scotland.
Now I don’t claim to know much about Japanese geography, politics..nada. I am not good with maps on any level, seeming always somehow to get lost anyway. And yet, I am amazed by the level of general ignorance surrounding the UK. Point in case – almost every single Japanese person with whom I have divulged my Scottishness is under the assumption that Scotland “is England”.
Don’t ever let a Glaswegian hear you say that.
In class, when waxing lyrical about Edinburgh in an essay class (in Japanese), I mentioned my nationality as Scottish and used the word 国籍. The teacher picked me up on this, and probed as to whether “Scottish” was even a valid nationality, presuming that I had misunderstood the compound. To which I attempted to explain despite sharing in certain realms, England and Scotland are indeed seperate countries. We have our own parliament, laws seperate from the English system, our own education system, a National Health Service, even our own bank notes (which alas, are not “legal tender” in England if you want to be pedantic about it, though I am loathe to admit such).
For the sake of balance, another clip from TV showing 外国人 in a positive light;
I love that more “gaijin” got the quiz answers right than the young’uns they picked on!
Ah, to get the Level 2 on the JLPT…