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  1. #1

    • white and nerdy
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    Can't speak Japanese

    So, my wife and my brother are dead set on a trip to Tokyo, specifically for the TDR.

    None of us speak Japanese, so I'm wondering how well someone like me can make their way around the town and the parks?
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

    "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert





  2. #2

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    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.
    You don't need me or my ham, cheese, cheese, cheese, tomato, cheese, ham and tomato sandwiches. And cheese.




  3. #3

    • Minion
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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    I don't speak any Japanese and got around the city and resort just fine. Most people know speak a bit of English. And even if they don't, they'll find someone who does if you need help.
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


  4. #4

    • WDW Fant! Premiere Cast
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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    I can understand much more Japanese than I can speak. I have found that almost every person I encountered was so friendly and willing to help. Outside TDR people didn't really answer in English but they knew what I was talking about. My first time there I was supposed to call a friend when I got my lugggage to say I was in and had no idea where the phone was or how to use it. Someone saw me walking around with the phone number and with pantomime helped me greatly. If you need to use the subway, go to an information booth and get a map with romanized Japanese on it. That became my 'Bible' for my first trip.

    Inside TDR you will find many cast members that can help you and are usually more than willing. I was waiting for a show to start and a CM came over several times to talk. She ended up giving me character stickers and was very pleasant. If you know the general layout of Disney parks you will have no problem getting around in Tokyo. Plus they have English maps and a lot of English signage. Don't worry about attractions being in Japanese, they're still fun. Country Bears singing in Japanese is worth the trip alone!

  5. #5

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    You do not need to speak japanese to enjoy japan. getting around it's easy since most signage is electronic and bilingual. Only outside of the city, things get a bit rough. But you should be fine. I have been flying in and out of japan for over 20 yrs and am yet to have any disastrous problems in regards to not being a japanese speaker. Trust me, unlike the Americans.. the japanese people do their best to help out, even when they do not know much english. They don't have to go out of their way to help, but somehow, they do.

    My suggestion is for you to bring a japanese/english phrase book with you for those moments when you might need to ask someone something.... Also get a decent travel book about japan (or tokyo if that is where you plan to visit) and you should be just fine.

  6. #6

    • Nutty about Disney parks
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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    I assume that the Disney park itself will provide English guidemaps and service for English speaking visitors. And the announcements they make on rides probably speak in English after Japanese right? My guess (though I have never been to a Disney resort other than WDW) is that English is the secondary language in all the non English speaking Disney parks. It's like how Spanish is the secondary language at Disney World.

    And it is true that some Americans do work inside the park, I have a friend who auditioned to be a performer specifically for Tokyo Disney.
    Toonaspie: I have Asperger's. I like cartoons. Toonaspie!

  7. #7

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by toonaspie View Post
    And it is true that some Americans do work inside the park, I have a friend who auditioned to be a performer specifically for Tokyo Disney.
    Yes, there are American, Canadian, Australian performers along with performers from other English speaking countries. They are cast as face characters, singers and dancers so they cannot give out information to guests. They aren't in guest areas in that capacity. I know when I was there in '03 there was an American working in attractions, I believe. He had grown up in Japan and chose to work there when he was old enough.

  8. #8

    • white and nerdy
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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Now if only we can get the money.....
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

    "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert





  9. #9

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by toonaspie View Post
    I assume that the Disney park itself will provide English guidemaps and service for English speaking visitors.
    Correct.
    And the announcements they make on rides probably speak in English after Japanese right?
    Correct again.
    My guess (though I have never been to a Disney resort other than WDW)
    Poor poor person you! Then you have only experienced the least magical Disneyland-type park on Earth. Go to CA, Tokyo and Paris for a lesson on how badly outdated WDW's MK really is. You poor dear you...

    English is the secondary language in all the non English speaking Disney parks. It's like how Spanish is the secondary language at Disney World.
    Correction, spanish is the official language at WDW. English is only used on rides and PAs. (Sarcastic post of course since 99.7% of CMs at WDW appear to be from Latin American countries)

    And it is true that some Americans do work inside the park, I have a friend who auditioned to be a performer specifically for Tokyo Disney.
    Yes but many (probably more than the Americans there) come from Australia, So. America and even many performers hail from Russian areas.

  10. #10

    • Sock Puppet
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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    It's like any other tourist destination. Grab a Japanese/English travel dictionary and go for it. It's not a huge deal.

  11. #11

    • Koubu Pilot
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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    You are lucky to go to Japan.
    (日本へ行きたい)

  12. #12

    • The Darkness to Light
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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN View Post
    Yes but many (probably more than the Americans there) come from Australia, So. America and even many performers hail from Russian areas.
    So that's where the "good looking" genes come from....
    WARNING: Any opinions expressed by this user are wrong.

  13. #13

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Acetone View Post
    It's like any other tourist destination. Grab a Japanese/English travel dictionary and go for it. It's not a huge deal.
    I tried that, but my Japanese pronounciation was so bad that the poor Japanese didn't understand that I was trying to speak Japanese. I was far better off to speak slowly in English as many younger Japanese have studied English at school.

  14. #14

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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    Quote Originally Posted by Koutesu View Post
    ?????????
    ????????????

    My feeling on this is that although, yes, you can get around very well without knowing any Japanese, you should still learn some basic words and phrases.

    It's polite, it helps you communicate, and it makes Japanese people very, very happy to know that you took the trouble to learn a little Japanese.

    A good place to start is at http://www.japanesepod101.com

    You can get their basic podcasts here or from the iTunes store. They're free. Look for the "Survival Phrases" series.

  15. #15

    • Mousketeer
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    Re: Can't speak Japanese

    you can take me, and I'll translate for you.

    Actually, all Japanese students study english. If you need help ask anyone, of course the older people will say they don't speak english, and most peoples english pronuciation is terrible.

    If you write something in english and show it to almost any Japanese person, they will be able to translate it, so your going to be fine.

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