The Raglan Road of Tokyo

On Gaien Higashi Dori

Life from the Raglan Road of Tokyo

Monday, October 6

The Middle Language

An email arrived today:

"I have your translator. Could you let me know how to do."

Kidnapping? No. Much more mundane than that. After a long spell in Japan, you begin to understand the middle language--the one between Japanese and English, the one where the majority of cross cultural communication here is done--quite adeptly. Translation:

"I took home your electronic dictionary by mistake. Do you need it back urgently or will next week do?"

Ignorance is when you presume the person speaking the middle language is actually speaking one of the other two.

posted by setsunai 9:34 PM Comments
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Gaien Higashi Dori means Outer Gardens (of the Meiji Shrine) Ave. East. It is one of the beautiful big leafy avenues that winds through the center of Tokyo.

Raglan Road is a poem and song about love and loss by one of the finest Irish poets of the twentieth century, Patrick Kavanagh.