For example, an exterminator came by to spray for ants today. I was doing pretty well (I think, maybe, hopefully) explaining that there isn't a lot ants now but there was two weeks ago. I wanted to show him that the ant's nest seemed to be in a planter/wall of our driveway. I remembered "niwa" means garden, so close enough there. But I don't know the word for "nest". I went with "ari no uchi", which I think means "the ant's house" - but maybe it means "my house of ants" :S
A couple weeks ago, the boys and I were in the front. I was working on the garden (aka the weed patch) and Owen was running amok (aka same toddler shizz, different day). The Okinawan neighbor came over to introduce herself in Japanese. I was getting the gist of what she saying until she offered Owen some sort of cookie/bread thing and asked if "reizun" were okay. Looking like an utter dumbass, I asked 「レーズンは何ですか」(what is reizun?)
The second the words came out of my mouth I realized - duh! raisins!! The one English word in the entire conversation and I don't know what raisins are - d'oh!!
She hasn't tried to speak to me again lol
I recently came across the Japanese phrase 横飯 - yoko meshi. Meaning "a meal eaten sideways", it's used to describe the stress of speaking a foreign language. Perfectly fitting because it reminds me of the English phrase "fuck me sideways" - usually what I'm thinking while trying to figure out how to ask the handyman if the water filtration system can be repaired.
btw, I also came across the phrase 上げ劣り - age-otori, which supposedly means to look worse after a haircut. I've been hesitant to post pics of Isaac's awful haircut, but in honor of learning new phrases, here it is:
|Before: sweet baby shaggy goodness|
|After: uneven buzz attack|