Making Mistakes

Japanese is a syllabic language and there are only 52 syllables. And there are only five vowels. Only five. Yes, English only has five, but there are a gazillion combinations and possible pronunciations of them. In Japanese there are only five. Such a limited number of sounds makes learning pronunciation easy, but making mistakes equally easy since so many of the words  sound alike.

Classic examples include trying to say, “May I sit here?” but instead saying, “May I touch you?” or trying to be the hip foreigner who shops at the veggie stand instead of the supermarket, but asks for pregnant instead of carrots, or being in a restaurant and asking for pee instead of pickles. I once asked for a sunflower instead of the daily special.

Don’t even get me started on idioms, the bane of any second language learner.

So this guy really has my sympathy.

Poor Jennifer.


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