Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yet another reason we need to learn more Japanese

A lot of things can happen when you don't know a language. You might be asked up in front of the church to be introduced as the new missionaries, with no foreknowledge (so that's why our name was in the bulletin every week with today's date next to it!). You may spend all afternoon preparing for the Jr high boy who is coming to your English class, and be quite surprised when a 31 year-old woman walks through the doors instead. You might even find your self a member of the Easter Choir, even though you have no prior singing experience.

A few weeks ago, we were hanging out after church, just like every week. When a church member starts rearranging chairs and and states ".....masho," which means let's.... (I didn't catch the rest of the verb, so I had no idea when I was agreeing to.) Just nod and smile and follow their lead.

The church member, M, hands out a song sheet, "Lord I lift your name on High," and has me read the English portion for the group.
I'm more than happy to help out. I figure they are just practicing a song for next week, and want to make sure they are singing the English portion correct. So, I model the words and sing along after we've read through it a couple of times.
Then the weird part came. M started assigning parts. Wow, this seems like a lot of work for an English song in a Japanese church, but whatever. I keep singing and figure that since M is in a choir, he is just having some fun with us. cool.

It wasn't until the next week, when we not only didn't sing the song during service, but then after service, prepared the chairs and handed out the papers, did I realize this wasn't just some song for fun.

We got tricked into singing in the Easter Choir!

Check out Stephen struggling though. He didn't know when we were getting into either.

I must say, after the initial shock, It has been kind of fun. I am still not sure what the Japanese part is saying, or what note I am supposed to be singing. You mean I can't just sing it how I want? I am thankful that Japanese is phonetic. And that there are much better singers on either side of me, who sing much louder that I do.

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