Senior Moderator/Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, and Talkboard Topics
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA EXP / 5 MM; HH <>; SPG Gold; Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Sounds like the GM has a policy in place of not upgrading to Exec floors,. I can't recall where he was before, but German seems to be the operative word here - a Search will reveal more on the topic of his previous tenure. It also sounds like they are having startup challenges, with staffers not having a good understanding of how the HHonors system works.
If you think like a native speaker, you will think that
"Hilton" is pronounced "HEER-ton" with a clipped rolled r
"Shiodome" is pronounced "she-oh-dough-may"
"Disneyland" is more usually "DEESE-knee-rahnd"
"Salaryman" is "sar-rar-ree-mon"
"Ginza" is actually "GEEN-zuh"
We murrikins have troubles with the proper pronunciation, and they have troubles understanding us and our very funny accent. During World War II, a presumed way of determining a possible exfiltrating (or even infiltrating) Japanese was to ask him/her to pronounce the name of a (then) famous 1930's B film American movie actress, Sally Blane (Loretta Young's sister, but if you are young, you won't know anyway...) Speakers of Chinese dialects / languages had no trouble, Japanese speakers would say "Sarry Brain" and that would be the end of it.
Getting the directions in Japanese for a taxi driver makes it easier also... though as indicated not bulletproof in new areas. Then again, that's why police koban are handy - if someone is looking for someone or a building in a neighborhood, the local police always know.