I don't mean to bash anyone or Japan in general but this has been bugging me for quite some time. First I'd like to point out that I don't come from a native English speaking country myself nor do I have very high qualifications in the language.
I've always noticed quite a bit of bad English in Japanese anime & music (usually nonsensible context rather than incorrectly spelled words) and it has always puzzled me how is this possible when they have adopted so many words from English and have such an advanced educational system?
I'm posting this because this came to my attention again recently when I witnessed two Japanese tourists in their 30s struggling ordering coffees, a feat that should come off as relatively simple to a middle schooler. Of course it's possible that they were just terrible at English or maybe just had never used it in real situations before. I just don't want to catch anybody saying that I claimed they all suck at it.
I have a few questions concerning this I'm sure some of you either living or having lived in Japan for a time can answer:
* At what age/educational level are English studies usually started in Japan and on average how many hours per week does it include?
* How much does a Japanese person need or see English in day-to-day situations, for example;
-Do they subtitle or dub foreign TV shows/commercials?
-Do they need to use English internet sites at all?
* What is the nation's attitude towards the English language and is it even considered to be of importance when looking for a job in Japan?
* Is there a lot of underperforming or low standards in these particular studies?
* Is it especially challenging for a native Japanese speaker to learn a foreign language for some reason?
Thanks in advance if some of you can take the time to answer these.