“Ganbarimasu!” (I’ll do my best!)
When one flies into Japan, the first thing they notice is that it’s different. When my wife and I flew to America for our honeymoon, our initial thought was that it wasn’t much different from Australia, in that people spoke English, ate and drank the same kinds of food and beverages, dressed in a similar fashion, watched the same TV programs, lived in houses that were identical to those in Australia, and apart from the controversial gun laws, had a culture that resembled our own.
In Japan, things were different from day one. Firstly, the language is different. No, scratch that; the language is extremely different. European languages are ‘different’. Japanese language is radically different. Apart from the fact that the Japanese people use not one, not two, but three different alphabets, grammatically their word order in sentences is opposite to ours, with the verb coming at the end. You don’t know what Mr. Tanaka is going to do with that pen until you hear the last word spoken!