View Full Version : Nihongo Bloopers and Practical Jokes (Karakuri's...)

Adam DArcy
15th January 2001, 15:11
Well, Karakuri is slightly different, but what the heck.

I was wondering if anyone would care to share with us some linguistic bloopers that you may have made in the past, or may have "heard someone" make (because we're all perfect at Japanese, right? :-) )

Ok ok, I'll go first. This one sort of got an honorable mention in a Japanese linguistic publication, that I don't care to name at the moment. When I was working in the sales department of an automobile parts manufacturer in Okayama, Japan, I routinely had to make calls to the various production facilities in and around Okayama City. When I think of it now, my Japanese was so bad, I'm suprised they even hired me! Anyway, one day during one of my many calls to the factory, I had no earthly idea what ths guy was saying. I couldn't understand a word. In light of this, I wanted to say "Chotto wakaranai no de, [nani nani] san ni kawarimasu." "I'm having a hard time following you, so I'm going to hand the phone off to my colleague." I ended up saying "Watashi ha....chotto kawatte imasu node...choto mate [sic] kudasai." Essentially, "Please hold a second, I'm a little strange." My comrades were very polite in not breaking out in a big belly laugh right there in front of me. However, I'm sure they're still telling this one (it's been 4 years) at their konpa's and parties after having a few shots of...whatever.

Anyone have interesting stories?


15th January 2001, 21:15
The worst one to date that I've committed (at least to my knowledge ;) ) was when I was at a Japanese Student Association barbeque. I had only had two years of Japanese at the time, and my conversational abilities were pretty poor (now they're just plain poor), especially when trying to keep up with native speakers. This being a barbeque, we got started talking about what foods we liked and disliked. I can't remember what food it was, but it was one of those that nearly all Japanese love, but I thought was just odd. So I meant to say, "It tastes strange to me," but forgot one little 'ni' and ended up with "Watasi ha aji ga chotto hen desu nee," as my explanation for not liking this particular dish.