Paul Baptist (kaji_sensei) wrote in linguaphiles,
Paul Baptist

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Hooray for Mischief!

Cross-posted to Japanese.

My girlfriend took Japanese 1 last year and got an A in it, but didn't continue with it the following semester. She's now retaking it for a refresher, since the school doesn't offer Japanese 2 in the fall.

Well, in the intervening period we used to banter back and forth a bit in basic Japanese to help keep her in practice. One of the most common phrases she'd use was "今何時ですか?" (Ima nanji desu ka; What time is it?), to which one night I'd flippantly replied "食事!" (Shokuji; Mealtime!). It was mildly amusing, so we stuck with it for a bit as an inside joke, after which I'd usually give the appropriate time.

Today's class happened to be dealing with telling time. When the teacher called on her, she froze up for a moment, and then said the first thing that came to mind, that being...食事. The teacher stared at her blankly, then told her that was wrong, and asked her again, at which point she repeated it before coming up with the right answer.

Naturally, this caused a bit of a furor amongst the other students in the class, who had no idea what transpired, so they wasted no time in asking her what the word meant. From that point on, the rest of the class would continually answer questions about what time it was with "食事!". The teacher then proceeded to try and ding her with questions the rest of the night, such as what her phone number was, etc., but ended up getting little satisfaction from it, as she managed to get those questions right on the first try.

Always amusing when something you never thought too much about goes viral like that, ne? hehehe...

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