Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Tale of how other students of japanese have inadvertently fouled up ;-)

Recycling at its tastiest

I had been learning Japanese for the past few months, mainly for the purpose of communicating with my Japanese neighbor. One evening when he was visiting us, my mother served him a sweet she had prepared. He had never seen anything like it before and looked at it a little apprehensively. I tried to explain to him how the sweet was prepared, intending to say, "Kore wa goma kara tsukurimashita," which means, "This was made from sesame." In my overenthusiasm, however, I said, "Kore wa gomi kara tsukurimashita," which translates to "This was made from garbage."
Geetha Ranganathan
Madras, India

The What is Greener?

The setting was a speech in front of a Japanese PTA group. The speaker wanted to say that the grass at home was a different color from the grass of Japan. Instead of kusa ("grass"), however, the word that came out was kuso, or, politely put, "excrement." The most amusing part was that the mothers only nodded their heads and muttered, "Ah, so desu ka?"
Joseph Tomei
Sendai, Japan


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