Non-Japanese: Where is the alcohol? (gaikokujinn: doko, alcohol?) Japanese: Walk, hole, manhole? (nihonnjinn: aruku, ho-ru, manho-ru?) Non-Japanese: I’d like to buy this. (gaikokujinn: kore, kaitai.) Japanese: Oh! Is it alcohol? (nihonnjinn: aa, aruko-ru desu ka.) Japanese: You pronounce English with an accent. (nihonnjinn: anata no eigo ha namatte imasu. ) But, I understood what you mean. (demo, dou iu imi ka wakarimashita. ) Come with me. (tsuite kite kudasai.) Japanese: Here, you are. (nihonnjinn: koko desu.) Non-Japanese: I’m not hungover. (gaikokujinn: (watashi, futsukayoi deha nai desu.)) Manga Explanation: Scene 1. A non-Japanese man wanting alcohol inquires where he can purchase some. In Japanese, the sound of the word “alcohol” is not commonly heard. Scene 2. Alcohol is used in Japanese, but is pronounced as “aruko-ru.” So this is why most Japanese can’t understand “alcohol.” Scene 3. Many English words have been integrated into the Japanese language. So that they are easier to pronounce, difficult sounds are replaced with a similar Japanese sound. This makes it difficult for Japanese to understand the correct pronunciation of English words. Scene 4. Alcohol generally refers to intoxicating beverages such as beer or wine in English. However, Japanese people often use the word to refer to the kind of alcohol that is sold as an antiseptic. Therefore, she has taken him to a pharmacy.
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