Monday, March 19, 2012

Lost in Translation

Basically the only problem that I've run into after living in Japan for 20 days has been the language. This would be a real issue, while my bike riding and sense of direction are just misdemeanors. This is not exactly a shocking problem, although I do keep feeling like I'm just going to wake up one day and somehow know the language (hey, it could happen!). The language barrier hasn't been that much of a hinderance since our translator literally goes everywhere we do - other than our adventurous times. She even runs out on to the field with the coach and trainer for us. I have yet to get frustrated in the least bit - mostly because it takes a lot to get me frustrated and because the girls are all extremely helpful and would definitely win a game of charades. They should enter a National competition; and if there isn't one, there should be. 
While the language does provide some roadblocks and miscommunications, it also has provided much of my entertainment thus far. Hearing the girls pronounce words has provided some of my daily giggling sessions. If you haven't ever heard a Japanese person speak, you should know that they have a huge difficulty in pronouncing the letters R and L. Any word with both those letters, especially back to back, renders the word so completely different that it cannot be understood. My name, for instance is no longer Jordan Taylor, but rather "Jo-dan Tayro." The girls are all extremely eager to learn anything American and are seemingly fascinated by the language. We had a teaching session a couple days back where we literally sat at the table for an hour trying to teach them how to pronounce words. After awhile I got tired (teaching is not my forte), and pulled out the word Supercalifragilisticexpealialadocious. And of course, they love Disney in Japan and I forget that little fact. One of the girls immediately yelled "Mary Poppins!"
These are some of my favorite words for them to pronounce:

Ritz.....pronounced Witz
Allergies.....algaes/cannot understand at all

Clearly, I laugh at anything, so other people might not find this funny. But I find it hilarious. Every time.

The use of English is very popular here. It's kind of like the use of French in the U.S. It's all over clothing. And it's always the weirdest words/phrases/grouping of words. I was at a thrift store that we found and could not stop laughing at some of the shirts. I'll have to go back and take some pictures so I'll remember them.

One of the most entertaining of translation issues - or at least I hope it is - was the restaurant we ate at yesterday. BOOBY'S ENGLISH PUB. I can only assume that it was supposed to be named Bobby's since I can't recall the last time I ever saw a restaurant named Booby's where the food was the only thing that was half-off. 

Obviously, I took several pictures. The restaurant was a little slice of home. Typical sports bar that was still decorated from St. Patrick's Day. Was a little depressed that we didn't go on the holiday, though. Probably could've been a good time. P.s. the Japanese have no idea what St. Patrick's Day is. And when I tried to explain it, I couldn't really do it justice/didn't really know at all what the holiday was actually meant for. So I just told them people get really drunk throughout the day dressed like leprechauns. Needless to say, my teammates think y'all are really weird.....

All-American meal of Hamburger, fries, and a beer. Heavenly. 
Thanking my luck of my not wearing a low-cut shirt and becoming a cliche.....
 The runner-up in my opinion of translation issues has to do with our uniforms...
On the first day we had to try on the uniforms to make sure they fit correctly, blah, blah, blah. 
So, they were excited about these new uniforms that they just ordered because they were kind of girly and had pink on them. It was day 2 and they already knew I would love these newbies. We tried them on, weren't really paying attention to the details of the uniform but just to the cut and how they fit, etc. 
It wasn't until we took them off and handed them over that we noticed a slight misspelling...

Again, the Japanese have an issue with the letters R and L. And they seemed to have switched them on the giant print. Our mascot is Bright Pegasus. On our new BLIGHT Pegasus. The girls who understood us immediately went pale. The manager is still swearing up and down that it's not a misprint, but that's just how the font is. You can decide for yourself....
Off to some games for the week! Only 3 more weeks til season!!

xoxo Jordan 

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