Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 1 decade ago

How many people in Japan have some understanding of English?

I'm don't mean perfect English but can speak some amount of English.

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Many people touched upon this, but your best bet is to go for high schoolers, university students, or businessmen. They should all have an elementary, if not rudimentary, understanding of the language.

    I really can't help you if you are talking about rural areas, but Tokyo is pretty easy to get by for tourists and non-Japanese. Many of the "info" spots and travel bureau agents should have a good grasp of the language, and there is a noticeable population of foreign residents in Tokyo. A healthy number of youth in Japan go to international schools along with students of other nations, so thats another group.

    Source(s): I lived in Tokyo for 12 years.
  • 1 decade ago

    when i came here (tokyo), i knew some japanese, but not enough to really speak sentences, and i got by fine.

    Like eveyrone else on here has said, the big stores and touristy areas all know english. I know you might think that you want to "really experience japan" and all that and not go to the touristy areas, but when people say that they really just mean the cool and popular places. These are the places you go to experience japan. For instance if you go to a shinjuku or akhiabara (which you will a lot if you're spending any time in tokyo) many stores will have at least one person who speaks english.

    Also like many other people have already answered, almost all highschool students know quite a bit of english b/c they have to study it. College students, not as many speak english, but those that do speak it very very well because they're studying it most likely. I've met some businessmen too who speak quite good english.

    Also, like somebody else already said many of them can understand english very well but feel a lot more uncomfortable speaking it. so just encourage them and see what happens.

    Source(s): I've been studying here for like 3 1/2 months
  • 1 decade ago


  • Madame
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Keep in mind that all Japanese students are now required to take English in school. For that reason, most Japanese under 30 will be able to speak a little English. Overall, about 30% of the population can.

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  • milak
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    each and each of the needed information you may desire to write on the envelop/postcard a million) Yamapi's 7-digit zip code 2) Yamapi's authentic call or place of work call that Yamapi belongs to 3) JAPAN 4) AIRMAIL

  • 1 decade ago

    I think the younger generation speaks English unlike the older ones. I was once in Sydney and even in Toronto, the younger ones speak English. I worked for a Japanese Company before and most of the Managers don't speak English. That is why we learned Japanese.

    Domo Arigato Gozaimashita.

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on where you are. Smaller, more rural cities, people will speak less. Large cities like Tokyo, people speak more English, especially in tourist-friendly areas or in the service industry.

    I lived in a smaller town and spoke only basic Japanese and was able to get by. Lots of people still understood some English and there are lots of Japanese slang words that translate into English (ie. "orenji" for orange, "Milku" for milk) Most places have pictures an menus and signs to get by and you/they can get the general idea of what's going on.

  • Adam
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If you are in a big city or tourist area, most people will be able to understand at least some English. If they can't, then they'll find someone who does understand English.

    Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    60-70% of the population 55% very minimum as they focus more on english more then Japanese at School.

    Some schools in extreme romote areas cant get english teachers so they cant do english.

    Tourisum jobs in Japan pay a lot of money so lots of Japanese are taking english lessons so they can aplly for a job!

  • 1 decade ago

    They know English, but they do not feel comfortable talking English

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