Friday, February 22, 2008


How to do it in Japanese

A couple of examples of how I've been employing my recently-certified nihongo competence for the greater good.

First couple of examples are from my Friday night evening class:

#1 Dealing with cultural differences

Sensei: Hawaii de, snorkel o shite, kujira o mita.

Me: Oishisou datta?

Teacher: In Hawaii, I went snorkeling and saw a whale.

Me: Did it look delicious?

#2 Proving that I'm more than just a gaijin tourist at the Sumo

Me: Haru basho wa sugoi tanoshimi na... nan to iu... aitsu... Tokitsukaze no heya no rikishi ga deru to, "TOKITAIZAN!!!" o yondari, aita bin o nagetari suru zo.

Me: I'm really looking forward to the Spring sumo tournament. When wrestlers from the Tokitsukaze stable appear, I'm going to shout "TOKITAIZAN!!!" and throw empty beer bottles (and such activities.)


Note for Tricky: I managed to use the -tari -tari suru form, even though I agree with you that it's usually absolutely useless.

Dealing with gaps in knowledge

Sensei: Kono kanji no hatsuon wa... Okinawa no o-sake.

Me: Hebi no oshiko?

Teacher: The pronunciation for this kanji is... Okinawan alcohol. (meaning "mori")

Me: Snake's pee?


Fortunately, my Japanese teacher is blessed with a sense of humour similar to my own.

Expressing disagreement

This one was a cracker: the very chatty English teacher at one of my elementary schools showed me her cute pencil case, with a picture of an insect on it.

Me: Uwa! Gokiburi!

She: Gokiburi chau! Suzu-mushi ya!

Me: Goki ya!

She: Suzu-mushi!

Me: Suzu-goki!

Me: Argh! A cockroach!

She: It's not a cockroach! It's a bell insect!

Me: Cockroach!

She: Bell insect!

Me: Bell cockroach!

Labels: ,

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on BlogShares