A foreigner living in the Kansai region in Japan has revealed that on some occasions an inability to hear will be misconstrued as a lack of Japanese language skills.
“Sometimes people think I don’t understand Japanese, but I just couldn’t hear,” says 11-years-a-gaijin Kevin Drummond.
After I say “eh?” people will start trying to talk to me in English, even though there was just a jackhammer preventing me from hearing what had been said.
“There are roadworks going on everywhere in this country, constantly,” says Drummond.
Drummond will now often pretend to have heard what was being said by nodding his head and saying, “hmmmmmmm”.
This strategy works well because most of the time he is being asked if he has things from where he is from.