‘Ivory Coast = France = Japan’

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  11.06.09 | 10:02 AM ET

That equation comes from a James Fallows post in the Atlantic, and he’s talking about language habits.

That is: in France and Japan, the deep-down assumption is that the language is pure and difficult, that foreigners can’t really learn it, and that one’s attitude toward their attempts is either French hauteur or the elaborately over-polite and therefore inevitably patronizing Japanese response to even a word or two in their language. “Nihongo jouzu! Your Japanese is so good!” 

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