I’ve Gone Global

The introduction page describing my website is now translated into 5 languages:  French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese. This intro page has been uploaded onto all those search engines.  I find this exciting, as I love studying languages and other cultures.  The possibility of connecting with people from all over the world, with different life experiences, is something I have always found exciting and one of the main reasons I am listed on the social networks. I love trying to figure out what some posts and tweets are saying using my very limited German or Spanish.

When I was 17, I was chosen by the American Field Service to live with a family in Tokyo, Japan, for the summer.  I thought that if I was picked, it would be for France, as I was studying French in high school.  But Tokyo?  Holy Cow.  It was an amazing experience.  My Japanese father was an architect and one day we went driving and he pointed out all the buildings he had had a hand in designing: “Mine, mine, mine.” His English was a little better than my Japanese but we still communicated mostly through gestures.

The movie “Tom Jones” had just come out and after seeing it in the States, I had a major crush on Albert Finney.  So I talked my Japanese sister and mother into going to see it. This film was considered quite risqué for its time (1964) and I was concerned that my new Asian family would think so, too.

After the film, my Japanese mother, Okasan, looked somewhat shell-shocked, but Shigeko, my sister, loved it. Soon after we saw the film, we read in a  Japanese movie magazine that Albert Finney had put his career on hold to travel around the world and was staying at the Fukudaya Inn in Tokyo.  (Why do I remember the name of the inn yet have forgotten what I ate for dinner last night?). Shigeko and I decided that we would pretend to be reporters and interview him for an article.

Now, Shigeko was 19 and cherubic, I was 17 and still wore my long hair in braids. And because of our limitations in each other’s language, it took us several weeks to write out all the questions we would ask him.  By the time we picked up the phone to call the inn, he had already checked out.  I have to admit that I breathed a sigh of relief, as I was beginning to have doubts that he would believe we were journalists. He would have gotten a good laugh out of it, though.

If reading my intro page appeals to you, please go to the French, German, Spanish, Portuguese or Chinese page.  And let me know if they don’t make any sense!

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