My newest phrase...Nihongo o amari hanashimasen
We still haven't started our official Japanese lessons as I am at the mercy of Jack who needs to set them up through work. We have officially been here 6 months and my Japanese repertoire probably doesn't reflect that, but I add a few phrases or words from time to time out of necessity.
I love the phrase in my book following the one above:
Koko ni dareka eigo o hanasu hito ga imasu ka - translation: Does anyone in here speak English? Cracks me up because the image it brings to my mind is of me throwing my hands up in the air yelling these words.
I still have my ongoing argument for learning the language. The minute you rattle off a phrase in Japanese they begin their lengthy reply and wait for your answer - and then I have nothing to say and simply stand there and smile. The other day all I said to a woman at the train station was 'sumimasen' (excuse me) and she starts chatting up a storm. I just looked at her and said,
"iie nihongo," (no Japanese) but that was not the correct way to respond. Then she starts apologizing to me 'gomennasai.' What is she apologizing for? I'm the one who can't communicate. That's when I learned my new phrase of the week - Nihongo o amari hanashimasen.
*btw this woman then snuck in behind me on my pass through the turn style into the station - so unexpected!?!?! My mom and I figured she was gabbing about losing her pass card and wanted to get by on mine.