Sunday, April 4, 2010


When K and I were in Prague, we decided to venture forth to Kutná Hora to see the Sedlec Ossuary. It was quite the trip, involving several bus legs and a couple hours of travel. As we made our way, we saw some Japanese tourists who seemed to have a great idea, probably born of necessity on their part. When they were trying to find the correct bus, one tourist would point questioningly to a picture of the destination (in this case, the bone church). The driver seemed to get the point: the girls wanted to get to that destination and would answer in the negative or affirmative if he was going there. Since they had to rely on their second (or third!) language and the bus driver did, too, the picture was a good shortcut and offered very little in the way of misunderstanding.

K and I decided that such a method would work great in the future, especially if we travel to locales with little English.

As an aside, I thought that one of the girl's accent was really interesting (it must be the Sociolinguist in me). When she spoke English, you could tell obviously that she had a Japanese accent, but it was also blended with a British and American sound, too. I bet she had classes with both Brits and Americans. It was an interesting combination.

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