Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Japanese for All Occasions

Konnichi wa.

That means "hello" in Japanese, and I learned it from this 1990 book, Japanese for All Occasions by Anne Kaneko:

I don't speak Japanese (nor do I fluently speak Cantonese, even though I'm Chinese), but it's always handy to know new words in new languages.

So here are some practical Japanese-to-English examples (with corresponding page numbers) that are useful for all occasions:

p.71 - Kono chiizu o kinō kattan' desu ga, furukute taberarenain' desu.
"I bought this cheese yesterday but it's so old that we can't eat it."

p.116 - Moshi-moshi. Sanbyaku-san gō-shitsu desu ga, rāmen o motte kite kudasai.
"Hello? This is room 303. Can you bring a bowl of needles." *

I misread "noodles" as "needles". Please do not eat!

p.146 - Piinattsu ga nodo ni tsumatte iru.
"He's got a peanut stuck in his throat."

p.209 - Honjitsu wa, watashi no tsutanai hanashi o o-kiki itadaki, makoto ni arigatō gozaimashita.
"Thank you for listening to my poorly delivered speech."

p.21 - Dewa mata.
"See you./Bye!"


  1. lol, now i can survive japan! success!

  2. It's strange how japanese will inspire us and fascinate us ;)
    Viva Amigurumi!
    Viva your creations!

  3. and here are some new words in a different language for this occasion: einsame spitze! grosse klasse!

  4. Hilarious! I always love how you present your stories, very convincing!
    And I concur with Strickbombe ;-)

  5. Can I put you in my pocket and take you with me? You are just too too funny...

  6. HAHAHAHAHAH. that was really entertaining. a good break from my school work. thankyou! =)
    i love your work. ever since i chanced upon your blog, i was instantly hooked. it's the first bookmark on my toolbar! nice job as always! and thanks for the constant entertainment! YAYY! =)

  7. Ahahahahaha!! I love the moldy cheese! That's awesome! Another hilarious post. :D

  8. Hilarious! I've tried to learn a bit of Japanese because I'm very interested in classic haiku but I know I'm missing a lot from only reading English translations. To this day, the only words I know are kaeru (frog), hototogisu (cuckoo) and--inexplicably--shaneru go ban (Chanel No. 5).

  9. Ha ha ha ha. I LOVED your photo styling on this one Howie. Just GREAT!!!! And the phrases in that book are a riot. Thanks for the lesson!

  10. Fabulous! You need some wine to go with that moldy cheese.

  11. From my daughter after we giggled our way through this post

    "who wakes up one day and decides; 'today, I'm going to crochet some moldy cheese.'?"

    Great post!

  12. Haha.. So funny and nice amigurumi!

  13. Totally hilarious!!! My fav one is the moldy cheese!!!

  14. I LOVE this post!
    You are so CREATIVE!!!
    I have a question: what is the difference between Chinese and Cantonese languages.

  15. pixelhazard: Yes, those four Japanese sentences will ensure survival AND success in Japan! ;)

    Christelle: You're so right about Japanese culture being endlessly fascinating! Thank you for your "Viva" :) Viva You!

    Strickbombe: Thanks for introducing me to some German words! (Google Translate might have mistranslated a bit, much as I did with the "noodles/needles" :) Danke!

    Weird: I'm happy that you find my stories convincing... ありがとうございました ! ;)

    The Litter Box House: You are certainly free to put me in your pocket, but I wouldn't recommend it when I'm holding the bowl of needles! :)

    Anonymous: I'm glad is temporarily distracting you from your school work haha I thought Facebook was the cause of most students' distractions ;)

    I'm honoured (and kinda intimidated) to be first on your bookmark toolbar. Because of you, I'll take more regular photos of my works-in-progress :)

    Shorty: Thank you! If I seem to be funny online, it's only cause I'm rarely funny in-person :) MJ is the real in-person comedian, especially among her co-workers!

    Kimi: Yes, moldy cheese is automatically comedy gold haha

    JenGoPop: That's admirable that you're learning some Japanese. I love the look of Japanese characters too. Thanks for the new words! I'm going to spray shaneru go ban on my kaeru and hotogisu now :)

    Kara: Thank you for attending these language lessons haha

    These wacky photos of me were taken by MJ, even though she had a cold that day. Also, it was her copy of the book we used!

    JelliDonut: Wine + moldy cheese = yum? :) Hmm, I'll may try that combo when I'm feeling bold + brave!

    Anna: haha Your daughter's question is too insightful. Like many, I look forward to a a daily dose of creative&cheesy absurdity ;) Thank you to both of you!

    miji: Arigato gozaimasu!

    PaisleyJade: Everybody loves moldy cheese :D Remember the scene in the "Naked Gun" movie where the moldy cheese is moving along the top of the fridge?

    manchurina: Cantonese is a variety of the Chinese language, like the Mandarin dialect. I can understand simple Cantonese, but I speak it clumsily. My sister, though, speaks it relatively well. Thanks for your good question! :)

  16. Howie, I adore the bowl of "needles." So cute! Will you share the pattern with us?

  17. Hahahahaha. You're funny man.
    Thanks a lot, I laughed too much.

  18. Uh oh... I must be suffering some type of psychic link up!!!! I too am creating crocheted cheese... But mine is in doodle form... and is a foot and a half long (almost a half a meter (or metre) in Canadian (or Canadien) terms).

    I think your first on more bookmark lists than you realize...

    wo ai ni zi shi jing (I love you Amethyst) is the only Chinese I know (probably spelling it completely wrong and don't know any of the little symbols and accents)... an old boyfriend took it in highschool. I know an unfortunate Russian phrase that has yet to come in handy and is completely inappropriate for most board posts but gives me something to admit I know... like now.

    Thanks once again for your humor and insight!

  19. Sugoi desu! Your projects are really cool. I want to learn how to crochet soon. Right now I only know how to knit a little. You are funny and very cute. I love your hair. :)

  20. Now why didn't they teach us useful phrases like these at school?

  21. Amin: Thanks! Yes, there sure are many curious sentences spoken every day in every country! :D

    Amethyst: Wow, a crocheted cheese doodle? I'll be keeping an eye out for that marvel :)

    This first-on-bookmark-list talk gives me stage fright haha

    It's handy that you know a loving expression in Chinese and an inappropriate expression in Russian! Ah, the sweet variety of languages :D

    Alia: You want to learn-to-crochet while I want to learn-to-knit! We should trade skills for awhile :D

    Thanks for your too-kind words!

    Ascasewwen: Yes, it's an outrage that schools don't teach us practical expressions in different languages! I took 3 years of French in school and never learned how to verbally rescue anyone choking on a legume!!

  22. Haha, I think it like it best as "needles!"

  23. so funny!

    and for me the best learn to learn Japanese is watching Hayao Miyazaki's films

  24. Konnichiwa Howie-san! I saw this book at Urban Outfitters too! I couldn't have picked better phrases myself :)

  25. so-yo! Nihongo o oboemashiyou!!! Guenki de né! :0))

  26. You're a legend!


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