I am not sure I agree. My very first aikido teacher used to complain bitterly about UK railway employees who refused to understand his English. The nearest train station to Sussex University is Falmer, which is VERY difficult for a Japanese to pronounce. In Japanese it would be ファルマ, which is what he said when he asked for a ticket. It always came out as a mispronounced 'Farmer' and it was made worse because he would make a very special effort to pronounce it clearly and distinctly, with all the native interference evident.
I have taught the English language to Japanese over the years and I believe that hearing is just as culture-specific a skill as speaking and reading. The cultural filters for processing supposed information are just as obtrusive. So very often people do not actually hear what I say in Japanese because they do not expect me to say what I actually say.
And the native speakers, of course, are always right.
Best wishes for 2010.
Totally true and real.
I have this theory that American English speakers have a far higher tolerance for mispronunciation than Japanese speakers and have wondered why. It really doesn't make sense to me as so much in Japanese is context driven with lots of aisatsu and inference. Why is it that slight mispronunciation seems so often to be catastrophic?
Or, is it just me being wrong again...