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September 09, 2003



In fact,there is a lot of AfAm speech that is exactly like "Yamada-san" described it. Why prtend otherwise? I mean . comeon . . . the whole dbate about "Ebonics" didn't just come out of thin air.

To anyone not born and raised in the US the difference in speech can sound extreme. I think it would be of more use to explain *why* the differences exist, that not all AfAms speak that wya, etc, and not get offended by someone reporting what their ears tell them.


I think you did a great job explaining to them about language differences, and I am happy that you did not become too offended by ignorance in that area and was patient enough to explain. This makes me want to go to Japan even more.

Ke Cleveland

When you go to a different country, it's hard not to be offended. It's fine and dandy that you can say, *Well, maybe you should not become too offended* if someone offends you, but the point is, you are always going to become offended, no matter what. The object here is to not let it show as much, and to take it in stride. When I lived in Czech Republic (mostly all white) it was hard not to get offended by the things people said to me or about me. The trick was to understand, of course they are coming from a different culture and that I just need to understand where they are coming from. The fact that I understood where they were coming from did not mean that my person was any less offended.

Oh, and are you equating African American *speech* to Ebonics, because if you are, that is clearly not the case. Most Southerners speak Ebonics, as do most New Yorkers, reguardless of race. It has more to do with culture and surroundings, not with whatever particular race you are. This is why Takara-san and many other African Americans become upset. What Tanaka-sensei and Yamada-san did was essentially equate African Americans (and Takara-san) to the typical Kokujin image---sexual clothing, good at sports, and strange English. It can be very disheartening to a person who simply wants to fit in and survive cross-cultural situations.

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