Jul. 10th, 2008

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Why is it that the big things, the events and dinners and formal conventions, never make it into this blog, but the minutiae of life here gets chronicled in loving detail?

The weekend before last, I took the train all the way to the south coast, lost my bag, attended a work meeting, rode horseback and learned to post in an apparently record five minutes, went to the hospital to interpret for a great guy with a broken AND dislocated toe from the sand-sumo tournament, and got my bag back again. Last week, I celebrated the Fourth of July magnificently with the Arima kids, a miniature buffet of "American" food from the Seicomart, and five bags of fireworks. Yesterday I attended a tea ceremony luncheon in yukata. But what I got online to write about was two tiny linguistic exchanges I had today...

Language trades. People ask me what stuff is, or try to explain stuff to me, all the time. I'm trying to get into the habit of making sure the exchange is reciprocal.

So today, when I ended up explaining the phrase "to keep an eye on something" to Mr. Onodera, I asked for the Japanese equivalent: "Mimamoru (見守る)".

And at lunch, when one of my kids used the marvelous phrase, "Goat-say-shuh" (Gochisousama deshita, abbreviated casually), I had him practice it with me a few times to make sure I had the glottal stops down pat, then taught him "Ahdunno" to replace the more formal I don't know.

I'm hoping to keep this up. My Japanese is both growing and shrinking lately, and the main shrinking areas are difficult conversational vocab, and kanji. Time for remedial maneuvers. :D

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