When I lived in Japan, I always enjoyed hanging out with Doug from Chicago. He was like third generation Japanese American, so he looked the part, but couldn’t speak a word. Every time we went to a restaurant, he would be the one asked to do the order, but one of the white guys who took Japanese in university would actually respond. The double takes were always pretty funny.
Apparently this doesn’t happen as much any more. One of my friends just got back from a year-long stint in Japan, where she was happy to report that she rarely got the condescending “Oh, your japanese is so good!” paean whenever she asked for something as simple as a glass of beer.