Trying to trace source of linguistic anecdote relating to Japanese

asked 2015-11-29 23:51:09 -0500


A number of years ago I remember reading an anecdote somewhere that went roughly as follows:

A western linguist or anthropologist was travelling or undertaking fieldwork in rural Japan. As a Japanese speaker himself, he addressed a local woman in Japanese who naturally spoken back in Japanese. However, just by speaking with this foreign man, the woman actually believed she had been speaking English.

I would very much like to trace the source of this anecdote to which I have not done justice in my summary there. Any help in tracking it down would be most appreciated.

Many thanks, Jon Orman University of Hong Kong


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