Lost in Translation

I can barely speak Japanese. Andrew can barely speak Japanese. And by barely, I mean a few key words such as: good morning, good afternoon, good evening, yes, no, please and thank you (very much). Oh, and I can also count to 4, thanks to my aerobics class. So when dealing with everyday errands and running around town, sometimes this can prove difficult. But one thing I’ve learned … body language (mainly hand gestures) works wonders. Below is a scene that happened just the other day …

Andrew and Lindsay walk into a small, independent photo printing store. In the middle of the room, a lone man is sitting in a chair waiting for his pictures to be finished. Behind a counter, an employee is waiting patiently for the new customers to enter. Hanging on one wall are various pictures, in varying sizes, and varying frames. On the counter is a cash register and a computer. 

ANDREW: Konnichi wa! (Bows.)

LINDSAY: Konnichi wa! (Bows.)

EMPLOYEE: Irasshaimase! (Bows.)

MAN: (Bows.)

Pause

ANDREW: (Holds up zip drive.) Umm … pictures?

LINDSAY: (Points to pictures on the wall.) Ahh …

Pause

EMPLOYEE: Hai. Hai. Says words in Japanese. (Gestures to ANDREW for the zip drive.)

ANDREW: (Hands zip drive to EMPLOYEE.)

EMPLOYEE: (Walks over to computer and puts in zip drive. Clicks through the screen and selects pictures.) Says more words in Japanese.

ANDREW: Hai. Hai. Six. (Shrugs shoulders.)

LINDSAY: (Holds up six fingers.)

EMPLOYEE: Hai. Hai. Says even more words in Japanese. (Points to pictures on wall.)

LINDSAY: (Points to a picture on wall.)

EMPLOYEE: Hai. (Points to clock. Holds up three fingers.)

ANDREW: Hai.

LINDSAY: Hai. Arigatou gozaimasu. (Bows.)

ANDREW: Arigatou gozaimasu. (Bows.)

EMPLOYEE: Arigatou gozaimashita (Bows.)

MAN: (Bows.)

Andrew and Lindsay exit store.

ANDREW: Wow, that was easy.

AND … IT’S A WRAP! … Not to mention 6 pictures turned out perfectly printed. 🙂

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