There’s a guy who I met in a Discord server who loved all things Japan.
Sometimes he’d talk about the Japanese language, or about its puns, or about its artists. Perhaps he’d share his favourite anime and manga. He’s the type to announce his entrance with a friendly “Konnichiwa”, and the type to teach others about Japanese culture when he gets the opportunity to. He always shares his knowledge in English and in a simple manner so everyone in the chat could understand; I appreciate and respect him for that.
On a particularly boring day when this guy wasn’t online, I proposed that we play a game similar to Shiritori, but in English. Person 1 starts with a word, then Person 2 continues with a word that starts with the last two letters of Person 1’s word.
Pancake -> Kettle-> Leather, and it continues.
We played for twenty minutes or so. It was pretty darn fun and intense.
A few hours later, the Japanese-loving guy comes online. I told him that we played a game similar to Shiritori but in English, and he seemed interested. We played the same game together for a while.
“Hey, how about we actually play Shiritori in Japanese? I know a bot that has a Shiritori command. We could use that to regulate our game.” I suggested. He said he has never actually played Shiritori in Japanese before, so I figured it was a good opportunity for him to try it out.
So we did. We brought in the bot to a private server, and we started up a Shiritori game. My friend was to go first and say a word that starts with ち, after the bot said でぐち.
Me: Read what the bot says. “Next word starts with: …”
Friend: THIS IS IN WEEABOO
And then I realized that he can’t read Kana.
Friend: I DONT SPEAK NIHONGO
Me: AHHHHHHH I’M SORRY
Friend: NEITHER OF US DO
And at this point, this was me.
He went and kicked the bot out of the server.
I ended up not telling him that I could read Kana because I didn’t want him to feel embarrassed, so I apologized and we started playing Shiritori in Romaji. He didn’t understand the rule where if you end with an n then you lose, and he made minor mistakes like continuing a word that ended with “tsu” with “su”, but it was pretty fun anyway. When I lost by saying “riron (理論)”, I accepted my defeat, but he said:
“Whatever, I’d continue. Idrc about winning as much as just learning new words”
So we continued like that, playing Shiritori in Romaji, and teaching each other new words.
P.S. A while later, I told him that Kana is pretty easy to learn compared to Kanji (which he said was a nightmare) and that he should go try it out. Perhaps we’d be playing Shiritori again in a week or so. :]