An event that happened in the car-ride on the way to Yamadera with Mike, Disa, and Suzuki-san:

I was working away as interpreter for the two parties, and trying to help the foreigners with their listening skills at the same time, pointing out "did you hear such-and-such a word in that sentence?" whenever there was a word scattered in they might know.

After translating one sentence I found myself staring at two glowering sets of eyes.  "We know," said Disa, looking at me as if I had insulted them for translating something they obviously should understand.

That's a feeling I can empathize with, but I was somewhat taken aback just the same.  "You guys understood that?"

"Yeah," Mike replied.

"Way to go!" I said. I was actually quite proud of them for picking it up; as far as I was concerned, it hadn't been that simple of a sentence.

However, my honest enthusiasm and praise for their success in Japanese was greeted with only skepticism and, frankly, rather negative looks.  I was mystified as to whether I was reading the situation correctly, or if I had really insulted the two so deeply.

Looking at Suzuki-san, whose sentence I had just repeated in what I felt was a very accurate, if not verbatim, translation, I noticed that he was also looking at me strangely.  Yep, I'm definitely missing something here, I thought. Fortunately, it wasn't a terribly foreign sensation.

"He said it in English, Matt."


Matt Enlow

Matt has a camera, a home on wheels, and this website
Down by the river