Sunday, March 1, 2009


Here's a funny little story from Zhao...

He was in the professor's office one day and a Japanese student was pouring drinks around.
When it was Zhao's turn, he said "いいです"
(which literally means "yes")
But the guy didn't give him anything to drink and left

Okay, here's some explanation
You know how it is the norm to be indirect in Japanese?
Well, this is the perfect example
When people say "いいです" (iidesu)
it can either mean yes or no depending on the context, the intonation, and I don't know what else

Quite tricky, huh?

Whenever I offer Shinobu something and he replies with an "いいです" (iidesu) or an "いいよ" (iiyo)
I recheck to make sure he's saying no
and that's usually the case

When he's saying yes, he says "いいの?" (iino)
which literally translates to "Oh, can I really?"

Japanese sure is a difficult language to master.


Donican said...

Haha, that story about Zhao is so funny, because I can so imagine the look on his face! XDD Poor Zhao. ^^

Booyah! said...

Zhao could be so hilarious at times, eh? :P