Ever been asked out of nowhere, “how do you say that in English?” or “how do you say that in Japanese?” That unnatural translation request moment. Being pressured, with shaken confidence, and resulting hilarity?
There was an old variety show (からくりテレビ) that had a segment of a fluent Japanese foreigner talent going around asking for interesting mini-stories from Japanese people through on the spot street interviews. And after listening, following it with “now in English please.”
And what happens when you take random people who don’t know English well, and ask them to translate the story they just told into English?
You laugh, but the same thing may happen to you.
Have you ever had that moment where you said something completely strange in Japanese and had people cracking up?
Foreigners speaking Japanese aren’t off the hook though. Here’s the reverse: