Foreigners in Tobira

Those gaijins in Tobira dialouge, are they really foreigners? Their accents are really good. I can’t tell the different between them and native-Japanese in Tobira’s conversational dialouge at all. Unlike Minna no Nihongo, foreigners in MnN have perfect conversational grammar but still have non-native accent.

Or I’m just not good enough in Japanese to be able to distinguish between native and non-native Japanese accent?


Uh I don’t know about everyone else but I personally avoid using the word gaijin. 外国人 is a bit more polite.

There’s a lot of foreigners who have minimal to no Japanese accent. I’m not one. I haven’t listened to the Tobira conversational dialogue, but it’s totally possible to sound near-native if that’s one’s focus.


I was afraid to type in the word gaijin as well, but I did anyway to see the feedback from this community. Since I’m not sure if it’s an appropriate word or not.

Eh, gaijin is fine with me. I don’t really understand why others get upset about it.

Anyway, I noticed the same thing when I listened to dialogue from other sources. The foreign characters are played by Japanese actors, so they don’t have accents. It’s probably just a practical thing. I’m sure that it’s easier to find low-budget Japanese voice actors in Japan than foreign ones.


Would be funny if the foreign characters are voiced by really old Japanese farmer with thick inaka accent :rofl: I’d pay lots of money to buy that textbook


It’s not that different from when some character in the English textbooks for Japanese students will say “Hi, I’m Mark. I’m from Australia.” in an American accent. They just hire whoever with a clear voice for stuff.


Personally, I prefer it that way; I’d like as much of my listening material as possible to be in a native speaker’s voice, so that I can model my speech based on it.

Granted, there could probably be some value into listening to and contrasting native and non-native speech, in order to pick up on subtle differences, but I think that’s a bit too advanced for my level.


Once I I watched a documentary on sake brewing, when I heard some of those sake masters from 石川県 能登半島 talking, right then, I abandoned all hope I had to understand spoken Japanese…


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