Ordered a whole meal in Japanese for the first time ❤️

So I come from Northern Ontario, Canada and for those of you who know how remote a place like that can be… It came to my pleasant surprise to hear that an Artisanal Japanese Cuisine place opened up in my city.

As you might know, most Japanese restaurants in North America, let alone the Great White North, are not managed by actual Japanese families… But when this restaurant’s automatic replies sent back flawless Japanese, my jaw dropped.

So needless to say, I took the opportunity to have a night out tonight and attempted to order my meal in Japanese. I was very nervous to say the least. But I totally did it. I ordered my food in Japanese and the staff was surprised to say the least. It was awesome! :slight_smile:

Have you had any similar experiences in your own country? Outside of Japan, of course.

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That’s a great experience! Good for you for applying what you learned in a real life situation. I’m sure the accomplishment feels great. :slight_smile:

I’ve been living in Japan for a while now, but I remember a few of those やった! experiences when I was still studying in the states. When I was still living in Southern California, our Japanese professor often encouraged us to try language exchange with some Japanese exchange students who would come temporarily to experience anywhere between a month or a semester in an American school.

I remember feeling shy, but the organizers of the event held icebreakers to help us get started without the initial awkwardness. I ended up exchanging Facebook info with some of them, but I never really interacted with them except for the occasional birthday post now and then. I somewhat regret it because it might have been nice to have more contacts in Japan, but honestly our interests didn’t really line up so that was the big thing.

At least I learned that from living in Japan, a lot of students are super nervous about going overseas and really have trouble communicating in English and need someone to lead the conversation for them. They expect foreigners to be really outgoing and talk to them, and I don’t really fit the description (especially at that time) so it felt like a waste of an opportunity.

But when I moved to Kansas for graduate school, I had another chance to reach out to a Japanese exchange student. They looked loss, like they were looking for which building they needed to be in. I had a feeling they were an exchange student (there were many at that particular university because that’s who was paying tuition), and they were wearing something that made me think “this person is probably Japanese.”

I kind of hesitated because I hadn’t studied Japanese since I had moved to graduate school, and that area has practically no diversity compared to where I grew up in (so there was no real chance for me to use Japanese to keep from getting rusty). So I took a moment to recall some simple phrases and then called out to the person. Thankfully I wasn’t mistaken and they needed help and luckily they needed to find a building that was next to mine. In that situation, it just felt nice that my 3 years of studying didn’t completely go to waste, haha.

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That’s pretty cool (both stories). I’m in Michigan in the US. I found out not too long ago about a Japanese book store and supermarket about an hour drive from me. One day my job had me working near that area so I checked it out. The bookstore seemed to have closed indefinitely, perhaps a Covid thing, but the supermarket was open and had lots of Japanese people shopping. Signage and some ambient conversations were in Japanese. I could read some things, but am still pretty bad at listening comprehension and not at all confident about speaking.

I wasn’t confident enough to speak Japanese to anyone but I was able to find some things with only Japanese signage and labels on both the shelf and the product. I picked up some 麦茶, which was something I wanted to try and one of these days I’ll probably go back and try out the various kinds of Japanese alcoholic drinks they had there

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Wow, amazing! Did the staff also respond in Japanese and everything? Must have been an amazing feeling :star_struck:

So nice that you reached out to them! I bet they were eternally grateful :blush:

Of all things, haha :grin: Did you like it? I also bought it … once :sweat_smile:

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Good job, friend!!! You are awesome!

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They did reply in Japanese! :blush:

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I had a similar experience, except for me, the roles were reversed:

Not too long ago I used to have a part-time job as a waiter in a hotel gastronomy. Because the hotel is located in a rather remote village in Germany, most of the guests that check-in come for work-related reasons. Mostly Germans, but we’ve had quite a few foreigners from nearby countries like Poland, Austria and England.

To my surprise, one of the customers checking-in was anything but. A middle-aged Asian-looking man came to check in, speaking English with a very recognizable accent. I didn’t even give myself time to question whether or not I should do this, or let the nervosity build up, I just did it: I answered his questions with no hesitation in Japanese. And his reaction was glorious. Freezing for like a good three seconds, then immediately changing his posture, smiling and going はい、はい、while listening to my instructions. After he left I just remember turning around, going “fuck yeah” and my boss wondering what the hell was going on.

I seriously do not regret a second I spent learning this language and I’ll keep learning it, always striving to get even better and better.

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That is just awesome.

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I’m still pretty bad at output, but I could probably make something work. The less I think about how to say something, the more natural it comes out.

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