Sunday, June 29

Japanese for idiots

I’m going to Japan. I’m trying to learn some phrases so I’m not at a complete loss. It is said the best way to understand the Japanese is to learn their language- good luck , it’s considered to be one of the hardest and people who have lived in the country for years claim they still don’t understand it fully.

Uh oh. Ok don’t panic! I just need to get a handle on a few simple phrases. Hai, means yes and iie means no, though you will rarely hear the Japanese say it, preferring a long round about answer rather than anyone losing face. O genki desu ka -How are you? Genki desu- I’m fine, even though I don’t understand 99% of what you’re saying to me as we smile and bow to each other.

Kon’nichi wa- hello. Ohayo-good morning, not the state where Cleveland is. Domo Arigato- thank you and to be really polite add gozaimasu. Do itashimashite-you’re welcome, though it kinda sounds like “don’t touch my mustache”.

At the beginning of a meal say Ita daki masu- roughly , I w ill receive, whatever it is I’m eating because I don’t recognize half the food on my plate. but hey, it’s not just a meal, it’s an adventure. When you finish say go chiso sama deh’ta- it was a feast or was it “goat cheese on my mama desktop”?

The phrases I expect to use a lot are, wakarimasen, I don’t understand. Nihon go ga wakarimasen, I don’t speak Japanese, as if this weren’t abundantly obvious. Anata wa ei-go ga hanase masu ka? Do you speak English? Meaning, do you speak enough English I will comprehend, if you can understand my mangled attempt at your language.

I have been listening and practicing for the last month. I‘m ready for this great cultural experience with the most important phrase of all- toire wa doko desu ka? Where is the toilet.

No comments: