Take the Package

Your author, a well-traveled man in the 609 area code, isn’t quite as worldly in other situations. This evening, I managed to work The Bill Show into a conversation with a Japanese man. (You’re absolutely right; I had no reason to inflict this on him.) I asked him if my translation, as published, of Matsuda’s line “Take the Package!” was correct.

“People will understand what you mean,” he said, which means I was incorrect. I had the proper verb, but the wrong modifier. And he told me what to use, though I now forget it.

Remember, this comes after assuring the Rand Brothers (on more than one occasion) that my translation was correct. And indeed, if you tell a Japanese person “Pakkeji o ukette!” they will know you are talking about packages, and the taking of them. But that’s not how they’d request that you take them.

So the moral of this story is that I’m a fraud and a loser. And I ask Japanese men weird questions when I first meet them.

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