Monday, November 23, 2009

Nihongo ga hanasemasen.

Or, I don't speak Japanese.

On Saturday night, my friends and I went to a bar, and I ended up sitting with a group of young Japanese people. It was a lot of fun, but they knew as much English as I know Japanese. All I could blurt out were the following:

-Ostukaresamadesu (Thanks for your hard work)
-Oazukarishimasu (I will take care of your child)
-Kono densha wa Nagoya eki ni tomarimasu ka? (Does this train stop at Nagoya station?)
-Oy shi (Tasty)

That's the extent of Japanese I know, mostly things I learned in training. The situation was comical, but at the same time kind of frustrating and sad. Not knowing Japanese creates a huge barrier- it makes it difficult to meet friends, makes it difficult to even order food.

I've been doing great at learning Katakana (some characters that spell out English words, like 'coffee' and 'latte'), so at least I can now read menus!


Saara said...

But you will be so proud of yourself, when you read this text after a while and u notice that you've learned again a lot more!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Haha! That is a random assortment of phrases, but I have to say "I will take care of your child" is my favorite! You need to start a weekly Japanese lesson for us. Find one weird word to teach me every week!

Anonymous said...

I tried commenting earlier this morning before work but it didn't go through. Japanese food is easy! I dont speak any japanese, but I've worked at tons of traditional restaurants.

As long as you know the base words, you're good to go!

For example:

shio means lightly salted or cook by adding light salt (rough translation)
saba- means mackerel

so sabashioyaki means grilled mackerel with light salt. (which is delissshhh by the way). Japanese food is sooo much easier than Korean. I think of the 2 years in Korea, I know about 6 korean dishes.

Nicole Marie said...

congrats on learning those sentences!! sheesh! you are amazing.

Kelly said...

the outing sounds fun (minus the language barrier)!! and you've learned GREAT + latte..KEY words :)

seasonal lust said...

hiragana was the hardest for me to learn! good luck with it tho!

{lovely little things} said...

I took Japanese for 8 years in school...but sadly now all I have are random fragments of conversation. Good luck! It'll get easier.


Never stop learning. you'll get there.. :D