I am married to a Japanese man who thinks I’m the cutest thing in the world. I’m not upset with him for thinking that. I happen to think that I’m pretty cute myself. But there is just one area that it has an affect on… my ability to learn Japanese. Many people would think that being married to a Japaneses person would greatly improve my Japanese skills. Generally that is true but as I’ve come to learn results can depend greatly on the personality of the your partner. I’ll give you an example. Over a year ago I learned a new word “Guchagucha”, which means that things are a mess. Since I worked at a kindergarten at the time I found this word to be very useful but apparently I misheard the word and was saying “Buchabucha”. I had been saying this word for over a year both at school and at home. Finally I came to my new job and used “Buchabacha”. My co-worker was kind enough to correct me which I am thankful for. However, the conversation quickly turned towards my husband. Why hadn’t he corrected me within the whole year that I was using it? I confronted him about it. And do you know what his answer was? “You were just too cute saying it. I didn’t want to correct you.” …..How is that helping me? I have to speak to other Japanese people besides my husband. I have to go to work and speak to my colleagues . Cute but wrong Japanese doesn’t get me the respect that I need to be taken seriously. The whole idea of “It doesn’t matter if its correct as long as they understand you” doesn’t work outside the house or family. Even though my co-worked did say it was adorable that I said “Buchabucha” instead of “Guchagucha”. And plus I hate to say it….I’m getting older. So moral of the story is, don’t be a lazy ass like me. Actually study and make some Japanese friends that don’t care if you are cute and will correct your Japanese. Or better yet, get yourself a foreigner friend who has great Japanese and doesn’t mind knocking yourself esteem down a peg. I have one of those. I need to hang out with her more often.