国際交流ボランティア エコー 佐藤 工祐さんからの投書
Suffering from Japlish
When I was 18 year old, right after graduating from high school, I went to the United States to study at a university. Because of my poor English skills and my unfamiliarity with western customs, I made numerous embarrassing mistakes in the U.S.. One such incident happened when I went to a restaurant by myself for the first time. I now know that I just needed to leave money (about 15% of the check) on the table for a tip. That is of course, unless a service charge is included in a check. At that time, I was not aware of how to tip in a restaurant. After I finished eating, I called the waitress over and tried to give her some money. I kept on saying, “This is for tip（CHIPPU）”. I expected her to take the money with a big smile and that my first tipping experience would be a successful one. However, instead of a big smile she gave me a look which expressed that she didn’t understand what I was trying to do. She said something to me but I could not understand it at all because I was not used to listening to native English. With my finger pointing at the money in my hand, I kept on repeating, “This is for tip（CHIPPU）….for tip（CHIPPU）….tip（CHIPPU）….tip（CHIPPU）”. She then took it and asked me something. I answered “yes” though I did not understand what her question was. She went back to the kitchen and a minute later came back with a bowl of POTATO CHIPS. I felt discouraged and gave up trying to make her understand that I wanted to give her a tip. I ate the potato chips and left no tip. Later, I looked in a dictionary and learned that “CHIPPU” was not an English word, although I thought it was. I found out that the correct pronunciation was “TIP”. On that day, I learned a very important lesson. I learned that words that are written in Japanese katakana are not English, but Japlish (English words coined in Japanese) and that they usually don’t make sense to native English speaker.