Doitsu Dinner

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Ate dinner with a real burgermeister today. Three Germans came to Japan for a 50km cross country skiing race in Hokkaido. A Japanese journalist who has been living in Germany for 12 years also came along to help guide them. I’m not sure, but I think the journalist is an acquaintance of a soybean supplier who lives in Yokkaichi. The soybean supplier referred to the Nose family (owners of Ureshino Tofu) as his best/most important customer. Through these connections the Germans came to spend their first days here doing ‘homestay’ with Mrs. Nose’s mother and grandmother.

We had a fun dinner party. Fortunately, I was doing a bit of translating which kept me from eating too much. Half of the time the journalist would translate Japanese to German and half of the time I would translate Japanese to English. This way neither of us was overworked and two of the Germans spoke English very well, so they understood easily.

In Japanese ‘Germany’ or the adjective ‘German’ is doitsu (ドイツ) which is not far from the German word deutsch. I often find that Japanese people have difficulty with English names for places because the Japanese name is abstracted from the name the locals would use.

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