I always find this a very frustrating topic.
I don't speak Japanese, beyond what I learn in aikido (with the exception of the names of a few sushi dishes
) and have always said that it must be so much easier for Japanese students who don't have the language barrier to deal with.
Years ago, when I studied taekwon-do, I had an instructor who was a very high ranking Korean. The funny thing was that he used English almost exclusively - boy it made it much easier (we still learned the Korean names over time). Before that, when I studied Japanese karate, the locals used all Japanese, and it confused the heck out of me ... hmm.
I find the language barrier an extra obstacle to overcome. However, it probably won't go away anytime soon, so, we'll just have to accept it.
By the way, have any of you guys been shite