Ok, I've gotta ask... after years of hearing it: What on earth is up with the tendency to tell someone who might have only said one WORD in Japanese, "Nihongo ga jouzu desu ne!" This issue seems to be of almost legendary proportions, and shows no sign of ending. I've heard many state, and I agree, that your Japanese is only truly good when you are in Japan and people STOP saying this annoying, sickeningly candied expression! I've never run into this behavior in another other country, and it sure doesn't happen with English in the US! So why Japan? The follow is the best reasons I can come up with: 1) There is an arrogance among Japanese that the language is impossible to learn based on the fairly large number of foreigners who can't even speak a word of Japanese; therefore, the language is praised. 2) It is some sort of aisatsu that was taught in a dark room in the bottom of a school when they were a child, told that it is actually taken as a compliment. Along with telling people that they use chopsticks well. 3) It is patronizing those who do not speak good Japanese yet. I've actually heard people murmur behind my back to my Japanese friend that it seems I can't read all kanji, then have the person come up to me while I'm finishing a form and tell me "Nihongo ga jouzu desu ne!" 4) It is some sort of code for alerting other Japanese people nearby to call the secret police. (Unconfirmed! ) But seriously... does anyone have an answer to this behavior? I try to brush it off every time, but it gets REALLY old. I'm very curious if anyone has the answer to the source of this dreaded phrase. Thanks.