Soooo ka na…

Jill’s posting on how to speak French is both amusing and helpful. It reminds me of Jamie and my attempts to save our interlocutors from embarassment in Japan. I became expert in changing inflections on:

mmm, so da ne…
taihen, korya…

Not to mention perfecting the teeth sucking hiss or click that could get you through anything. And no, none of these mean anything, really, so you can use them at any juncture (or, given the language, without a juncture). You can also pop in an “itsumo dori” (same as it ever was) once a conversation, and you are golden. Just have to wait for them to compliment your Japanese, roll off a “tondemonai” (don’t fly me!), and you’ll have them convinced. Oh, and if you know a regionalism (e.g., “so da pe!”, “bochibochi denna”), this is usually good for a laugh.

In the past, I’ve thought it an important task to be able to ask where the bathroom is, along with some other key tourist phrases, in as many languages as possible. Now I wonder whether you could create a “fake it in 12 languages” (or somthing like it) course.

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