Thursday, September 20, 2018

山手線

Zさん:"Ok, so I understand where the Yokosuka Line goes, and I understand where the Tokaido Line goes, but where does the Yamanote Line go?”
Aさん:「Around Tokyo. Think of it as the “circle line”」
Zさん:”Heh heh...”

Thursday, September 13, 2018

相撲

Aさん:「遠藤!行け!行け!頑張れ!」
Zさん:"Ok, so, let me see if I understand this. Endō is the name of the wrestler. Ikimasu is the verb ‘to go’, and, oh!, the imperative form of ikimasu is ‘ike’. Likewise the verb ganbaremasu means ‘to do one’s best’, and the imperative form of that is ‘ganbare’. So altogether, that would be, Mr. Endō, go and go and do your best!”
Aさん:「... you’re not a sports guy are you?」


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Small Animals

Zさん:”あっ!見て!5枚の子猫!”
Aさん:「The counter for small animals is 匹。」
Zさん:”So is the counter for hickeys ‘small animal’?”
Aさん:「... what?」

Friday, August 31, 2018

帽子

Zさん:“That’s a cool hat. Where did you get it?”
Aさん:「カブール。」
Zさん:“No, I know what to do with a hat, I’m asking where you got it.”
Aさん:「。。。」

Friday, August 24, 2018

タイプ

Zさん:"I read that recently scientists performed an experiment, and they successfully used an enzyme to change type A, B, and AB blood into type O." *
Aさん:「Wow! That's incredible!」
Zさん:"Yeah, and in a related experiment they were able to turn Pisces, Tauri, and Gemini into Leos."


*Seriously! Click here.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Muppets Take Tokyo

Piggy: “Oh, Kermie, that show was so much fun! And it’s still early! Maybe we could get something to eat, or I guess we could go home...”
Kermit : “... um, Piggy, well, ... 帰るよ。”
Fozzie : “... 熊よ。ワカワカ!”

Friday, August 10, 2018

略語

Zさん:"... so, I overhear this conversation two other people are having, and out of the blue, one of them says, '... and by the way, I am LGBT'."
Cさん:「... so... N5?... N4?」

Friday, August 3, 2018

"90"

Zさん:"The kanji in 酔わす makes me smile.  Apparently drinking 89 bottles of sake is ok, but 90 qualifies as drunk.  Well, I guess the line had to be drawn somewhere."

Friday, July 27, 2018

Zさん and Cさん at a Bar

Zさん:"Hey Cさん, I would like you to meet my new friends, um, Mary and Sue."
Maryさん:"Hi, Cutie!"
Cさん:「I am a cucumber?」

Friday, July 20, 2018

Time to Look at the Sky

Zさん:”I have a riddle for you!”
Aさん:「Oh how I love these! ... go on...」
Zさん:“If you see a rainbow in Japan, what time is it?”
Aさん:「I don’t know.」
Zさん:“2:00”
Aさん:「Ha! I see what you did there.... nice...」


Friday, July 13, 2018

Free Snacks

Maureen: "Hey, Z! How are you?"
Zさん:"Maureen, hi! I'm good, what's new?"
Maureen: "Well... I got engaged!  I'd like you to meet my fiance, John Agga.  Of course, I will be taking his name."
Zさん:"... so... can I have some free snacks?"

Friday, July 6, 2018

思い出す

Zさん:"Hey, in this Japanese article, what are the little ひらがな above the 漢字?"
Aさん:「That's what's known as ふりがな。It is a pronunciation guide for difficult 漢字。」
Zさん:"Oh, I get it! Like, hurry up, you're gonna read it."
Aさん:「... a way to remember... a way to remember... Nice!」

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Waiter

給仕:"Hi, welcome to Applebees, are you ready to place your order?"
Cさん:「Yes.  Steak, please.」
給仕:"Excellent choice, that comes with soup or salad."
Cさん:「Salad.  But, please no ... scallion ball.」
給仕:"Of course, sir, no .. wait, what?"

Friday, June 22, 2018

ごはん

Cさん:「ごはん食べたの?」
Aさん:「ううん、ごはんを食べなかった。Cさんは?」
Cさん:「ごはん食べなかった。」
Zさん: “Wait... why are you guys talking about rice?”
Aさん:「No, you misunderstand. The word ごはん means both ‘meal’ and ‘rice’.  It’s because rice has been an important part of Japanese meals for a long time.」
Zさん: “Oh! I get it. So, the American equivalent would be ‘Have you eaten burger yet?’ ‘No. I haven’t eaten burger yet. Have you?’ “

ミスタースパーコル:「Mmm... ubiquitous dietary staples.」

Friday, June 15, 2018

Old Cat

Aさん:「So, yeah, my cat was very old, and she had cancer, and her life was miserable, so we decided to 安楽死 。」
Zさん:"... unlucky she indeed."
Aさん:「... Why is it that the brazenly inconsiderate mnemonic devices are the most effective?」

Friday, June 8, 2018

Two Sides

Zさん:”Being bilingual can be tricky.  For example, take the word カラオケ。If you pronounce it ‘kala-o-k’, Americans will think you are a pompous jerk.  If you pronounce it ‘Carry-Okee’ Japanese people will think you are an inarticulate clod.”
Aさん:「You can’t win, dude, just shut up and sing.」

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Poem

Bさん:「Did you get a chance to read my poem?」
Zさん:"Yes。。。 いいかんじ。"
Bさん:「Really? It gave you good feelings?」
Zさん:"...sure... the thought might have crossed my mind that you have exquisite Chinese character penmanship... but ... sure..."

Friday, May 25, 2018

Have Your Cake

Zさん:"Would you like to hear a riddle?"
Aさん:「You do realize these are bad puns and not riddles... but ok.」
Zさん:"What do you call a Japanese person who makes a mess eating cake?”
Aさん:「I don't know, what?」
Zさん:"クラムジー.  Get it? With an 'r'? "
Aさん:「No, no, yeah, I got it.」


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Officially Bilingual

Zさん:"... so anyway, I was thinking that, as far as US presidents go so far, Barack Obama is the second to last, making him the... the... なんでしょうか。。。"
Aさん:「Congratulations!  You are an English speaker, and you could not remember an English term, and you expressed that fact using a Japanese phrase.  You are officially bilingual! ... and the word you are thinking of, by the way, is 'penultimate'.」
Zさん:"... um... なるほど。"
Aさん:「You did it again!」

Friday, May 11, 2018

Bob Hope

Zさん:"Hey, was Bob Hope a renowned liar?"
Aさん:「Why would you ask that?  Bob Hope was awesome.」
Zさん:"Yeah, but I saw this picture of him in front of a crowd of army guys, and behind him was a huge sign, in capital letters reading: 'USO'"
Aさん:「。。。」

Friday, May 4, 2018

天気予報

Zさん:"Ever notice how the kanji for rain (ame 雨) has 4 rain drops and the kanji for umbrella (kasa 傘) has four people? The hot dog / bun folks could learn a thing or two."

Friday, April 27, 2018

Necco Wafers

Aさん:「I was talking to my dad, and he said that when he was a kid, his favorite candy was something called Necco Wafers.」
Zさん:"Would those be wafers made by, for, or from... 猫...?"
Aさん:「Dude... Ew...」

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Apple Talk

Zさん:"ね、ね、I have a riddle for you."
Aさん:「Sure, why not.」
Zさん:"What language do apples speak?"
Aさん:「I don't know, what language do apples speak?」
Zさん:"りん語"
Aさん:「。。。」

ミスタースパーコル:"Mmm... talking apples."

Friday, April 13, 2018

歌ったことがある

僕 - boku - I
君- kimi - you
男 - otoko - man
女 - onna - woman
心 - kokoro - heart
胸 - mune - chest
ため息 - tame-iki - sigh
夢 - yume - dream
涙 - namida - tears
声 - koe - voice
愛 - ai - love
恋 - koi - also love... but more selfish
花束 - hanataba - bouquet of flowers

Zさん:"Don't be intimidated by the kanji in Japanese karaoke song lyrics.  You'd be surprised how often J-POP lyrics repeat. If you learn these few kanji here, you are 90% of the way there."


Friday, April 6, 2018

NCAA Basketball II

Zさん:"Nova is the NCAA Basketball Champion!"
Aさん:「Nova 勝った!ワーイ!ワーイ!」
Cさん:「... the English language school?」

Friday, March 30, 2018

Niece

Aさん:「Who was that on the phone?」
Zさん:"My niece.  She is going to some new tavern that is only for nieces.  She is going to a 姪子バー。
Aさん:「... Yeah... that's... not... what... that... is...」

Friday, March 23, 2018

A Particular Vegetable

Aさん:「Hey, you must be the new guy.  I'm A, and these are X and Z.」
Tom:"Nice to meet you. My name is Tom Aneggi."
Aさん:「*snicker* So, can I put you in a salad, or maybe in French soup.」
Xさん:「Or, could I deep fry rings of you, or maybe saute you over a steak.」
Tom:"Yeah, yeah, I've heard them all before."
Zさん:"Oh, oh... I got one. If I cut you, will I cry?"
Aさん:「。。。Dude, don't be weird。」
Tom:"... It's actually pretty clever..."

Friday, March 16, 2018

NCAA Basketball

Zさん:"It's that time of year, March Madness!"
Aさん:「You know it!  I have my bracket all set up.  This year I have Villanova to go all the way.」
Zさん:"Hey, me too! Go 'Nova!"

Cさん:「三月?狂気?ブラケット?。。。ナ・ニ・ソ・レ? 」

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Return of the Jedi

トルーパー:"Lord Vader, sorry to interrupt your... fight with your son..., but the shield around the Death Star has been turned off.  It appears that a bunch of furry stone age beings on Endor somehow over-powered our imperial troops."
ダース・ベイダー:"<mechanical respiration> So... 言い訳はEwok, eh?"
トルーパー:"... my lord?"
ダース・ベイダー:"Soon, you will appreciate the humor, of the dark side..."

Friday, March 2, 2018



Aさん:「あっ!だめじゃん!おばあちゃんは薬を飲むのを忘れちゃった!」
Zさん:"You know, I never quite understood why Japanese people use the verb 'to drink' to describe ingesting medicine in pill form.  It doesn't make sense to me."
Aさん:「Is English that much better, i.e. to 'take' medicine.  What, like to prom?」
Zさん:"... ha!... that's a funny mental image... an aspirin in a formal gown."
Aさん:「。。。well, if you'll excuse me, I have to get my grandma to drink a pill.」

Friday, February 23, 2018

億千万

Zさん:"Sometimes in American high schools and colleges, Japanese language instructors say that the measure of the ability to read the Japanese language, is the aptitude for reading 日本の新聞。I respectfully disagree.  In my opinion, a more accurate measure of the ability to read the Japanese language, is the aptitude for reading カラオケ・スクリーン。Seriously.  Especially after a few ビール"

Friday, February 16, 2018

ファン

Zさん:"Hey Bさん, what's new?"
Bさん:「I have big news.  You know how I have always been an artistic person.  Well, I recently started my own company to design and sell traditional Japanese hand fans.」
Zさん:"That makes センス."
Bさん:「Yes! Exactly!」

Saturday, February 10, 2018

メカニック

Cさん:「So... my car... is ok?」
メカニック:"Mostly.  I changed your oil and filter, topped off the other fluids, checked the breaks and transmission, and they are all fine.  The only problem is, you need a new muffler."
Cさん:「My car... needs... a scarf?」

Friday, February 2, 2018

大城 ガクト

Bさん:「J-POP 好きですか?」
Yさん:「勿論」
Bさん:「どちの歌手一番好きですか?」
Yさん:「Gackt!」

ミスタースパーコル:"Mmmm... gackt..."

Lt. Worf: "It's gagh, not gackt. You say such things without honor!"

   

Saturday, January 27, 2018

One Hundred Thousand

Zさん:"ね、ね、I have a riddle for you."
Aさん:「Oh, here we go...」
Zさん:"What do you call a string of 100,000 characters?"
Aさん:「I don't know, what?」
Zさん:"十万字。"
Aさん:「Yeah, I didn't like that movie, but I still liked it better than your puns.」

Friday, January 19, 2018

結婚式

プリースト: "... and so, Xさん、Yさん、by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you, husband and wife, you may kiss the bride!"  
Xさん:「夢 indeed!」
Yさん:「Xさん。。。」

Zさん:" *sniff* Sappy puns at weddings always make me cry!"

Friday, January 12, 2018

Fly, Eagles, Fly!

Aさん:「ゴー・イーグルス!」
Zさん:"So, the Japanese phrase for football, American not soccer, is アメフト, and the Japanese phrase for 'It's raining' is あめふる。Very similar, right? Well, if you think about it, the financial juggernaut that is the National Football League definitely 'Makes it rain' for many wealthy investors.  Is that a coincidence?"
Aさん:「。。。ゴー・イーグルス!」

Friday, January 5, 2018

How about Friday?

Aさん:「来週、会いましょうか?」
Bさん:「月、火、水、木、忙しいです。金は?」

ミスタースパーコル:"Mmm... quinoa..."