I apologize for the paucity of posts lately, I’ve been trying to kick up my Japanese language studies up a notch and this and work and some good ol’ offline reading has put the blog on the temporary back-burner.
In the meantime, you could do a lot worse for yourself than to check out the gaijin stylings of a Scot in Kanazawa who publishes Gaijinworld. Some great, humorous writing here. E.g., this dandy from his archives (scroll down to April 20th) on one of the banes of my existence, the levels of politeness in the Japanese language (called keigo):
[…] finally they are teaching us about “futsu-kei” or “ordinary form.” Which is the manner in which 96% of conversations here are conducted. For the first year or two, they teach us how to say things whose English equivalent would be something like “forsooth, my fine gentleman, sorry as I am to have to trouble your peace, wouldn’t you be so kind as to assist me in my travails as I attempt to run aground an ordinary mercantile in which one may purchase books?”