my Japanese speaking rites of passage

Since I first arrived here in Japan, I’ve had some experiences in which communication was difficult, or just simply not happening.  As a result of these situations, I would make statements to the other Americans as so:  “You know we’re making progress when we can ________”, and the blank consisted of doing/saying something that we could not at the time.  After a few of these, I started to get really creative, and then I realized that they are quite humorous and/or worth sharing.  So here you go, take a read….I’ve listed the appropriate ones.

  • Be able to ask any question
  • Teach a word in Japanese to someone learning English
  • Understand whole conversations, and be able to ask for and receive an explanation in Japanese for the words misunderstood
  • Translate ridiculous american humor into Japanese.  For example ズボンヘビ
  • Catch someone talking shit about me when they assume I can’t understand
  • Accidentally use a Japanese word in when speaking English
  • Spit game in Japanese
  • Understand a Japanese movie (with no subtitles of course)
  • Convey my vulgar sarcasm in Japanese
  • Have the feeling of using the perfect words of describing something in Japanese
  • Change the preferred language of communicating with a friend from English to Japanese
  • Have a phone conversation in Japanese
  • Speak Japanese in a dream

Some of these I’ve done, and some of them I haven’t.  You can try and guess which ones I’ve completed, because I don’t know how to make this a check list instead of a bulleted list.  Well, actually it’s because it will be fun to see what everyone thinks, but go ahead and leave a comment if you like.  You can also give me some other tasks to aim for…that involve language.



  1. When you forget the English word for something! You’ve already done that a couple times while talking with me :0)

  2. Devin · · Reply

    spit game in japanese. that’s a big 10-4

    also, being vulgar in japanese, that one I am not so sure about. Please let me know how to say funny things so I can use it on people working cashier registers at Target here

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