The Gauntlet Guarantee

20121009-155931.jpg I got the call to sub for a Japanese class last weekend. Do I speak Japanese?

Um, no.

I knew the lesson plans would be in English but still, I wanted to learn some Japanese.

So I looked for apps on my iPad. I found a couple free apps for learning Japanese but they weren’t working. Frustrated, I turned to YouTube.

I found this channel and practiced a bit after the kids went to bed. I wrote down some basic phrases like “Good morning!” and “My name is…” After I memorized “good night”, I went upstairs to tuck in the kids and practice the phrase. But they were fast asleep.

I began the first class in Spanish: My name is ___. I don’t speak Japanese but I have YouTube.

Then I tried out a few of my new phrases. The students appreciated my effort and clapped.

“Better than the last sub,” said one kid.

“Really? How was his pronounciation?”

“He didn’t even try.”

Bummer. Not everyone is excited to sub as I am. Perhaps I would not have been as excited had there been little notice. Still, I told the kids I would learn more Japanese if I had the chance to sub for them again.

The gauntlet has been thrown.

Japanese phrases, Adventures of a Sarcastic Sub style
(If you speak Japanese and I wrote these wrong, please let me know so I can correct them. Thanks!)


The vowels are like vowels in Spanish. (Duh, and if you don’t speak Spanish?)
a = when you go to the doctor and say AHHH
e = long /a/ sound, hAte
i = long /e/ sound, like fEEt
o = oh
u = sometimes it’s silent, otherwise it’s OOH like in ballOOn


Hijimemashite = Nice to meet you
Watashi wa-_____ des = I am _____
Yoroshiku onegai shimasu = Please be good to me

Wakarimaska = Do you understand me?
Wakarimasen = I don’t understand

Ohayou gozaimas = Good morning
Konnichiwa = Good afternoon
Sayounara = Good bye

Duomo arigatou gozaimas = Thank you very much
Douitashimashite = You’re welcome

Chotto matte kudasai = Please wait
(when I was having technical difficulties with the CD player)

Ganbatte kudasai = Good luck
(before a quiz in third period)

Itterasshai = Go and come back
(to a kid who left to go to the bathroom)


One thought on “The Gauntlet Guarantee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s