I don’t complain about Japan too often.  I try to keep it light and positive.

But this advice is not only a “Japan” thing.  This is advice for dealing with immigrants.

1.) The immigrant is smarter than you think.  You may feel the immigrant does not understand your language, and that may be true.  However….

2.) The immigrant possesses secret powers of understanding what is going on around him or her.  Like a blind person can hear the faintest sounds, the immigrant can understand the slightest nuances in meaning.

3.)  How?  Well, why you are blabbering on, the immigrant is observing subtle differences in facial expressions, voice tone, and body language.   This gives him or her clues into the meaning.

4.)  Thus, do not assume the immigrant is a knucklehead.    Quite possibly, the immigrant is smarter than you are.  Or dumber.  Who knows.

5.)  The point is that just because the immigrant speaks worse than a two year old does not mean he or she is dimwitted.  He or she may be thinking in lyrical poetry about the change of seasons, but only can manage to say, “It’s raining.”

6.)  So be nice to the immigrant.

I think members of almost any country think they are a special breed, a little separate from everyone else and at a higher level.  In America,  some Americans tend to think this way.  In France, some French people tended to think this way.   And now that I live in Japan, some Japanese people tend to think this way.

So remember!  Immigrants are (usually) not knuckleheads!