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Murdering the Language


27 Nov 2003
Very interesting

Murdering the language | The Japan Times

It was shortly after we moved to Japan and I was making a serious effort to learn and communicate in Japanese.

I walked into a department store to buy a fruit knife. A simple task, I thought, until I stood in front of an array of knives with all kinds of edges and shapes. I sensed this was going to be anything but simple.

However, I did have some appropriate Japanese words up my sleeve for the situation and decided to deploy them. Wearing one of my most confident smiles I walked up to the nearest staff and said: "Kodomo wo kiru hocho arimasu ka?" Pandemonium erupted. The lady jumped out of her skin and run to fetch a senior to answer my question. The senior shop assistant seemed a bit more calm and asked me in English, "May I help you?"

I showed him the knives and asked which will cut fruit. He bowed and sold me one of the best fruit knives.

The first thing I did after returning home was check how much damage I had caused myself.

Not bad, this time I was only a child murderer. — Radha in Tokyo
he said "kodomo" instead of "kudamono"
kodomo o kiru houchou arimasu ka? --- Is there a knife for cutting children?

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