Akita Sushi (Living in Akita, Pt. 10)

I recently had another opportunity to explore around Akita, and was again pleasantly surprised. We started by going shopping around second hand stores; in Japan, there's a company called Hardoff which operates stores similar to goodwill, with donated secondhand goods (many of which were still unopened) for lower prices. Although I didn’t buy much there, [...]

Cultural Differences (Living in Akita Pt. 8)

Recently, I’ve been working on a paper for a class on Sociolinguistics pertaining to intercultural ideas of politeness and cultural norms, and it got me thinking about the subtle differences between cultures that don’t always come up. Having been in Japan for over two months now, I’ve had plenty of time to adjust to many [...]

Monoligualism in a Multilingual Environment (Living in Akita Pt.7)

Since I’ve come to Japan and began speaking to various non-native English speakers, I’ve thought a lot about the status of English in the linguistic food chain. I think a lot of English speakers, especially in America, consider English to be an international language. Often considered a lingua franca in the modern linguistic climate, the [...]