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I used to work a job in Japan that involved a bunch of foreigners fluent in Japanese from different countries (so Japanese was the only common language, but none of us were Japanese) gathering for regular meetings. If there weren't any Japanese bosses present, we'd just drop all the cultural/social restrictions on the language and use it as a tool with our international frame of mind.

Of course we all operated in Japanese in a professional setting daily, so knew the "correct" way to speak, but also had the ability to just drop all that when we wanted (which Japanese people basically never do). Totally different way to use the language, and if any Japanese people happened to overhear, it kind of blew their minds.

I found it very interesting to unpick all the different levels of linguistic, cultural, and social meanings and conventions in the language.




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