Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nonsensical Emails

What is up with the emails of people here in Japan? To be clear, most people don't text, they use phone emails to correspond with others in place of texting to someone's phone number.  That means that if you want to correspond any other way besides calling, you have to get their phone number AND phone email.  In fact, you can't text from phone number to phone number unless you're on the same carrier.  And maybe that's why it seems like my students don't have computer-based emails, only phone ones. So I don't know many Japanese people's computer emails, and when I've asked students to email me a file or ask a teacher for their email to correspond about work or to send them a file,  95% of the time I get a phone email.  It always seems to take forever to share an email address because there are so many numbers and letters and they always seem to be arranged so haphazardly that it't tough to get right.  Of course, this is added onto the already present differences in native language.  

It shocks me, though, that there aren't more sensible email addresses.  Not unlike at home, when you make an email you can't control what comes after the @ sign, but you always get to choose what comes before the @ sign.  You do this when you sign up for a phone in Japan.  Here are some examples of what I mean (they have been changed somewhat for privacy purposes but retain their original weirdness):


And the list could continue on for a while, but you get the picture. 

I'm doing a short blog on this now because of the last email on the list. This is the email that a teacher gave me so that I can send her some lesson plans ahead of time!  I changed the numbers and most of the letters, but it seriously has a time AND a ".com" before the @ sign! I don't understand.  I realize the difficulty in creating an email address without numbers - trust me, with a common first and a common last name, I know.  But that doesn't seem to be the case.  I would have treated all of these emails as junk if I ever got something like that in the States, and not just because they're of Japanese origin...it's because they look like a  randomly pieced together email done by some sort of computer program.  Though to the credit of most hackers and swindlers today, they could probably create an email address that looks more legitimate than any of the ones I've listed above.  And to the credit of my friends here, many people do have emails that seem to make sense, i.e. including their real names, their hobby, job, or a number of some significance.  But I have never, ever run across legitimate email addresses that look like the ones I've shared with you, until I came to Japan. 

Although these phones are enabled with technology that wasn't matched in the world until the smartphone came out, their general design hasn't changed in ages.  All of my students have this style of phone, called the "clamshell" in phone design terms.  This is where those weird phone emails are sent and viewed.  

1 comment:

  1. I don't understand the point of all the wacky addresses, either, but I think it just goes along with many of the other weird Japanese things...