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  1. #16

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    We had no language problems when we went - especially at the TDR. I'm sure you'll be fine when you go.


  2. #17

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    I went to Japan (including TDS) with some family members a couple of years ago. None of us spoke Japanese.

    There was NEVER a time when we just had to stand around wondering what to do because of the language barrier. Important signs (at train stations, e.g.) use Roman characters, and if you're really in a bind, many people there, especially in hospitality and transportation, will know enough English to point you in the right direction.

    Now that I think about it, there were 2 awkward moments: When I unsuccessfully tried to ask the girl at an anime shop about a particular obscure CD I was looking for, and when I tried to run my rail pass ticket through the regular turnstile with everyone else (turns out rail pass holders just walk by the booth and display your pass).

    Anyway, learn the basic numbers, plus "please", "thank you" and "excuse me", and you'll be fine.

    And as for the Resort... well, it's a huge resort drawing an international crowd. It's pretty much built from the ground up to be language-neutral. Japanese dominates, of course, and not everyone speaks English, but you should have zero significant language problems while at the Resort.

  3. #18

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Basically what everyone's said already...

    my two other suggestions:
    1. keep a pad & pen handy so that you can use it to write english.
    2. get a card from your hotel (w/ its address) and have the hotel staff write in japanese where you are going

    As for TDR, there should be very little problem.

  4. #19

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    We just returned from Tokyo Disneyland. I wouldn't worry too much about the language barrier. Although I made every attempt to learn as much Japanese as possible before we took our trip, I felt like I could have snuck by with just a few basic phrases: "Please," "Thank you very much." "Excuse me, I only understand a little Japanese," and "Yes."

    While I would encourage you to learn as much Japanese as possible (there are lots of resouces on the Web), everyone I met in Japan was super nice, very helpful and many spoke quite understandable English. Knowing at least some Japanese shows you are making an effort and shows respect.

    Also, to clarify a point made earlier, some of the ride announcements are made in English and some of the stage shows also feature some English. You will be handed an English guide map, but also ask for a Japanese map. It makes a wonderful souvenir and it is more colorful that the English version.

    Enjoy!
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  5. #20

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by PleaseRemainSeated View Post
    Considering that TDR employs Americans for character roles and has bilingual signage, I'd imagine the resort is pretty english-speaker friendly... and Japan as a country teaches english in school, so it doesn't seem like it would be a huge problem.
    I got along just fine at the park without knowing anything in Japanese except yes, no, please, thank you, excuse me, and "where can I find?"

    As an added bonus, at the Tokyo Tower, I literally bumped into a friend from high school I hadn't seen in 10 years. He was working in Tokyo as an English teacher.
    Fight On! Beat the Huskers!

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  6. #21

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    I traveled for 2 weeks in Japan knowing about 5 Japanese words and phrases and got around fine. At TDL, most of the CMs do know English in varying degrees of competency. CMs in Guest Relations knew the best English. It is good to know basic Japanese, like "Thank you," "Excuse me," etc. When the CM asks you how many people is in your group, holding up fingers worked fine. The CM would hold up the number of fingers for your row or point you in the right direction. When you order food, pointing was good too.

    As a side note, pointing in Japan is not with one finger, but your entire hand.

    Nearly all of the shows have the introductions and warnings in Japanese and English (I think I heard a few in Chinese too), so you know whether or not to use flash photos, videotaping, etc. On rides that you can't videotape or photograph, the CM usually points at your camera and makes a "X" symbol with their arms. Also, some of the shows are in English. I remember the Big Band Beat at TDS was entirely in English.

  7. #22

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Wolf
    I remember the Big Band Beat at TDS was entirely in English.
    It IS entirely in English which baffled the heck out of me. What was even more baffling was that the audience, the majority of which I'd assume were Japanese speakers, didn't really seem to notice or care. It was really weird. Halfway into the show I had to remind myself that I was in Japan still and not back home again.

    -- PMM

    "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom." -- James 3:13

  8. #23

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    After just coming back I've noticed a massive improvement on Cast Members speaking English. I even had a couple of guest aprouch me wanting to talk a bit of English.

    Also talking of Big Band Beat Mickey has been given a brief talking cameo at the end of the show which is also in English. And the new Haunted Rockin' Street show is also in full English, and it never stopped the Japanese fans from getting into it.

  9. #24

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Yet it bothered the French in Paris. Never did understand that when you look at those two markets. I guess the Japanese are more accepting of the English because they subconciously know they are in an American product that franchised into their area of the world?
    WARNING: Any opinions expressed by this user are wrong.

  10. #25

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Sadly the French have no choice but to acept English inside DLRP now days. As so many people who visit now days are more likely to speak and understand English rather than French.

    English is becoming a second languege to the Japanese, and they being made to learn it a lot younger now days. Which is a good thing as it benefits tourist visiting and will help them if they ever decide to leave Japan and visit United States, United Kingdom, Australia etc.

  11. #26

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Don't have to tell me that. My parents came from a post-WWII Asian country where English was being taught as a second language since they were in kindergarden.

    Yet, for some reason, they still can't speak it as well as you would think with 20 - 30 years of experiance and practice. Then again, the same can be said about us Americans when compared to the proper British English.
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  12. #27

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    That is one reason why Americans are so far behind... they feel the rest of the World has to cater to them in english and that is wrong! Bilingual education must be implemented in this country, and I don't mean spanish, which is becoming the official language of the USA.

  13. #28

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Sadly the British are just as bad when it comes to this. I'm actually considering learning a bit of Japanese to make an efort on future trips to Japan in order to show then the same respect each of them have shown me on both my trips now. Any recomendations for cd's and books would be apreciated.

  14. #29

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    A combination of classes, watching Japanese films both with and without subtitles, and actual casual converstation is what I would suggest. That's what my sister did, and she's fluent in Spanish now. Took her only 2 years too.
    WARNING: Any opinions expressed by this user are wrong.

  15. #30

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    The few things I know in japanese I have learned "on the street". I have never taken one language class ever.

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