Literally Lost in Translation
Sachi had a very well-traveled instructor in grad school that told her that he feels confident in getting around in any country in the world- except
I feel so illiterate when looking at a menu. I know nothing- not one word, number or letter. I just have to depend on Sachi to do her best to read and talk to the server about what they have. I just look around at plates, point and make little utterances like “hai”, which means “yes”.
Our situation here differs from what we’ve experienced so far in the trip. Except for
For now, I just smile and say my konnichi wa’s and onegaishimasu’s and look to Sachi when they come back to me with a litany of words that seem completely incomprehensible. I know that when the sentence ends in “desuka”, it is a question and I am supposed to answer. Usually though, I have to look back at them and Sachi blankly, sending the not-too-secret message to Sachi that I’m helpless. Thankfully, she can usually get us (me) through with flying colors and I can answer with something like "America" or "hai". Good and gracious translator, that Sachi.