After about 2 weeks of being here I am finally comfortable asking for assistance and ordering food in a combination of Japanese and traveller’s sign language (also known as overly animated gestures and noises that aren’t words). I have continued to go through my book and it has done a really good job of preparing me with helpful phrases and questions. However, I don’t think anyone I am interacting with has read the book, and they are definitely not sticking to any of the scripts.
I am starting to think I should prepare a word bank of all the words I know and hand it to the person I am talking to so they know to stick within these words… and pronounce them slowly.
My other solution wasn’t as useful, but it sure made me feel good. I was reviewing the chapter on time because each time I asked someone the time recently, I have failed to put together exactly what time it is. They say it so fast and of course the conjugations of saying NUMBER + MINUTE for time are mainly irregular.
I needed a win. SO I waited for exactly 5 pm, hid my watch, then asked the first person I saw for the time.
Me: “Nan-ji desu ka?” (what time is it?)
Lady: “go ji” (5 oclock)
Me: “Dōmo arigatōgozaimashita” (thank you very much)