One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Monday, January 16, 2006

Linguistic Insensitivity

Yuki and Ryo have come to church with us both Sundays now. Ryo, in particular, has enjoyed it, and not only stayed for all three hours yesterday, but even went to choir practice with Annie.

This has been fun for us because we have a couple of ward members who served their missions in Japan, and are therefore able to communicate well with our students. The downside is that their conversations leave me on the sidelines, trying to jump in, and making a fool of myself. Take this conversation that happened between Ryo and one of our ward members, John, yesterday after Sunday School.

John: "I used to visit a small town on the coast in Japan where all of the kids would fly kites."
Ryo: "Um, what?"
John: "You know, kites - tako."
Ryo: "Oh, yes, tako."
John: "Of course, not to be confused with (at this point I thought he was going to say 'taco'- but no) tako."
Ryo: "Oh, yes, tako [laughs]."
Justin: (I couldn't help myself) "What is the second tako?"
John: "It means octopus. Octopus and kite share the same word in Japanese."
Justin: (Now making a fool of myself) [Laughing and turning to Ryo] "So, do you ever eat a tako taco while flying a tako? (I thought that was worth a laugh at least)."
Ryo: [Confused look on his face].
John: "He means a Mexican taco. An octopus taco."
Ryo: "Oh. No." [Awkward silence that ends in me having to walk away]

But, of course, I didn't stop there, no. This next conversation happened about an hour and a half later over lunch. Annie, Ryo, and I were sitting at that table.

Justin: "Hey, Annie. Guess how you say 'kite' in Japanese."
Annie: "How?"

Justin: "Tako."
Annie: "What - like 'taco'?"
Justin: "No, T-A-K-O - tako. Now guess how you say 'octopus'."
Annie: "Hmmm ... burrito?" [We both laugh - after all, great minds think alike. Ryo gives a courtesy laugh and leaves].

Are we being culturally - or at least linguistically - insensitive here? Do we need some sort of training or seminar?

3 comments:

Chris said...

Okay. I think I just peed my pants a little bit I was cracking up so hard. That's so freakin' hilarious because I can totally picture that happening at church and at home.

You guys are dorks. That's why Bri and I love you both so much!

Smoke said...

Drugs are just bad, you should try to use Herbal Alternatives as a temporary replacement to loose the dependance!

Guitar Master said...

I wish I could blog as good as you, but what I can do is give you a nice Guitar Lesson!