Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Cross-lingual Miscommunication

I'm putting on my make-up this morning as U is shaving, bot of squeezing into the small space in front of the mirror. He looks at me with an adoring smile and says,

"I look at you sometimes and want to put you into business!" (shobai - a word which is often used for a certain type of... ah... business!)


He repeats himself, mumbling around the razor, "invitation!" (shokai)

"Huh?!" Now I'm just confused, and pretty sure I'm just not hearing him properly.

Finally he puts down the razor and starts poking my cheek, "chokai!" He says, with a smile.

My Japanese lesson for the day: "chokai," which apparently means to annoy the hell out of your partner and dawdle over morning preparations while half asleep but be adorable about it all so your partner can't get angry (or at least stay angry) with you. Either that or it means to poke somebody repeatedly. Yes, there is a word for that.

At least he wasn't trying to say that the sight of me in the morning made him want to sell me off into a life of prostitution, eh?!


  1. Cute! :)

    Denshi Jisho tells me chōkai 懲戒 also means discipline, punishment, reprimand. Same word?

    Us Africans aren't very good at discipline, but we love poking sleeping lions with sticks.

    PS: I thought we were going to put you in business anyway, in a guest house kitchen in/near Nikko?

    1. Perhaps, although I thought U was saying cho-kai (short cho not long). Who knows with him, however! He'll often agree to something only to say something completely different a few minutes later!

      He enjoys poking my cheek, which for some reason I don't enjoy quite as much...

      PS - Yeah yeah yeah...

  2. Of course there's a word for taking too long to get ready, it grew from necessity! So much grooming here!

    1. Seriously! (Although, U is normally very good, really doesn't take long at all)

  3. That's quite a dangerous miscommunication!

    I always say "fuzoku" school wrong and people think that I am talking about prostitution school.

    1. Heh! That is some school! Not where you are sending your daughter, I hope? ;)