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This is a question Faking it

Rakky writes, "We've all done it. From qualifications to orgasms, everyone likes to play 'let's pretend' once in a while."

So when have you faked it? Did you get away with it? Or were your mendacious ways exposed?

(, Thu 10 Jul 2008, 15:16)
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eins zwei drei
I've been living and working in Japan for the past year. My attempts at learning the language have been pretty woeful. The extent of my ability stretches to ordering a few pints and being able to read the kanji (Chinese symbols) for 'fire extinguisher'.

A lot of my foreign friends here speak the language almost fluently. This makes me feel like an idiot when I'm stuck in a long conversation with them and some Japanese people.

However, last week I given an opportunity to claim back some linguistic pride. Somebody asked me what other languages I spoke. I might add that this question wasn't asking me IF I could speak another language but instead asking me which one. That's right native English speakers... everyone else in the world learns a second language.

Anyway, I was armed with my Standard Grade (GCSE) in German and declared that I was fluent in the harsh, barbarian tongue. I got a few impressed nods and was asked to say something. I went with "Der hund ist leer" which means "The dog is empty". After a minute or so of basking in the limelight I went back to drinking in my quiet corner.

I'm not exaggerating when I say everything came crashing down around me about 5 minutes later. My friend from the next town turned up at the bar with someone I didn't recognise. He then introduced himself to everyone at our table.

His name was Stephan and he was from Frankfurt.

" Oooh really? Hanta just told us he spoke German! "
" Ahh ja? Very gut. "
" Stop staring and make some room Hanta! "

There's very few times in my life where I have experienced that level of shock. I very rarely boast about things I am good at nevermind making stuff up. I thought I was safe with my little white lie considering I live in the most rural prefecture in Japan. I know every foreigner out of the 300,000 people that live here and they are all from English speaking nations.

It turns out he was couch surfing (sleeping for free on stranger's couches) around Japan. He just so happened to turn up five minutes after I decided to tell everyone I spoke his language fluently.

Everyone stared and waited for me to say something in German. My brain was flashing back in time trying to think of something... anything to say.

" Wie gehts? "

Yes... fucking yes. How are you? Let's see you deal with that Stephan you random, couch surfing bastard.

That was enough for everyone at the table and they went back to talking Japanese. It turns out old Stephan spoke perfect English and I explained what had happened. He pissed himself laughing and I ordered him a beer in Japanese.
(, Tue 15 Jul 2008, 9:27, 3 replies)
Thats good
but surely kanji are Japanese characters if you're in Japan?
(, Tue 15 Jul 2008, 9:35, closed)
They originated in China and Japan 'borrowed' them centuries ago. They use the same kanji but have different readings/pronunciations for them.

Also, Japanese uses its own hiragana for words, verbs and grammar. Also, it has katakana which is the alaphabet for foreign words. For example:

Television = テレビ = te-re-bi

Bloody Japanese
(, Tue 15 Jul 2008, 9:48, closed)
I stand well and truly corrected there then :)
(, Tue 15 Jul 2008, 9:53, closed)

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