Japan is a very interesting nation with an amazing culture. It is also known the world over for its toys and technology, and of course, the super cute Japanese girls. Now for a person who plans on immersing themselves in the culture by coming to Japan for a long term job assignment, or maybe for a change of pace, or even coming to Japan for an adventure, learning the language is very important. And there is a notion that having a Japanese girlfriend helps in this area. Well, it’s a yes and a no.
Men and women speak differently.
In Japan, there is a distinct difference with how men communicate from women. There some terms that are exclusively used by the male populace and vice versa. It’s like two different subsets of the same language. So being with your Japanese girlfriend may indeed improve your speaking skills although please make it a point to ask her how to say it like a man. Or else you’d end up being made fun of by people given that you will most definitely have an accent (initially), and you speak like a girl. But no worries, Japanese women are very devoted, and they will make sure that you are not embarrassed in public with your wrong grammar.
Men tend to rely too much on their girlfriend.
Having a Japanese girlfriend would most probably mean having your personal translator with built in reader. She will translate what the signs in the train station mean, or what the man in the fish market was yelling about and she will even do the ordering in a local restaurant describing the menu to you in full detail in her cute English. With this, the tendency is dependence on your Japanese girlfriend for your language needs. But seriously, shouldn’t you, as the man, exert effort to learn her language and culture?
Japanese girls want to learn to speak English too.
Since you and your beloved will be spending much time talking to each other, she will also want to learn how to speak proper English. And with this, she will most likely try to practice with you. So, you two end up conversing in English so as for her to hone her skills in the English language. This is all well and good since you should be able to communicate better using your native tongue, but then again it will be a tad bit detrimental to your learning curve for the Japanese language.
You will end up speaking in mixed Japanese and English.
The best way to practice a language is to speak it straight without mixing it with other languages. But, for the sake of convenience, you and your Japanese girlfriend will most probably mix the two languages in a confusing hotpot of conversation. Remember, the Japanese language grammatical structure is nearly the exact opposite of the grammatical structure of the English language. So this becomes one crazy little sublanguage you and your girlfriend develop especially for just the two of you. One point for relationship goals, minus one for Japanese language proficiency.
But of course, the good will always outweigh the bad. Having a Japanese girlfriend means having a study buddy and a quick reference to the language. But be considerate if she would like to improve her English speaking skills. Yes, it can be bad for your Japanese language proficiency, but as with all good things, working for it makes the victory all the sweeter.