Thank trout!

I’ve been learning Japanese for only six months. Doing it by myself is slow-going, (sometimes disappointingly so) but I am learning, and I’m having fun at it. I have no-one to practice with, so lately, I’ve been working more on reading and writing.

Google Translate is a dual-edged sword. On the one side my vocabulary is still quite limited. It helps me to learn new words from real world usage. (And I still can’t read kanji at all. Well, I can read three, year 年 month 月 day 日 but can write only the two, 月 日.)

On the other side, it’s a bit of a crutch, so I’m careful to use it as a last resort rather than first crack. And it makes mistakes. Lots of them.

The other day, it translated plain-Jane hiragana ありがとうございます (arigatou gozaimasu) [the polite and formal way of saying thank you] as “Thank trout”. Several times on the same page.

In between gales of laughter, I realized that I knew exactly how it made the mistake. It looked at ありがとう and got that part right (arigatou, thanks) then skipped right over ござい before translating ます (masu) as trout. I knew just by looking at it, which amazed me. I still checked in my dictionary to be sure, and trout it was. (One of two definitions.)

So it’s all sinking in better than I thought.

And now I have an all-purpose, highly entertaining, and non-denominational replacement for Thank God and Thank heavens.

Thank trout!