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  • One phrase I'm looking for but can't find

    Hi there. I've been teaching myself enough Japanese to hopefully get by when visiting Japan, I'm trying to find a local teacher who can help me but for some reason they are few and far between, maybe I'll find one.

    However, one phrase or even a few phrases I'm looking for I just can't find. I'm a vegan, don't eat meat, don't eat mayo, milk, eggs or anything that comes from an animal and so on.

    Is there a way of politely asking if there is something to eat that I can eat. Also is there a way of politely refusing food that I can't eat?

    Maybe I'll find this out sooner or later from a teacher but just in case I can't find one, I don't suppose anyone has an answer?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    My Japanese grammar is non-existent so surely others - Dillon, perhaps, or...? - will answer in correct detail. Meanwhile, my old standby is (again, apologies, likely needs correcting), "Ya-sai shoku kudasai" (vegetable food please); then addressing the quizzical/incredulous/huh? look with, "O-niku, [watashi] tabemasen desu; cheezu, tamago, gyu nyu mo, dame. Sumimasen" (meat [I] do not eat; cheeze, egg, milk, also, no good. 'Sorry) If that seems to go down OK, I may add: "Daizu, tofu, daijobu, sarada, daisuki" (soy beans, bean curd, no problem, salad, love).
    Aren't there on-line Japanese courses? Anyway, if you come out my way, and I'm good to go, will take you to Kendo in Tokyo and then to a nearby nook that's kinda organic and makes an effort to know the diff. between meat and vegetables.
    Last edited by Tort-Speed; 7th August 2013, 10:04 AM.

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    • #3
      Aside from the language issues I think you'll have a lot of difficulty staying completely vegan in Japan.
      Bonito flakes are used extensively as seasoning especially in Dashi which is used as stock in all sorts of Japanese foods.

      Having stayed in a Buddhist temple in Koya san a couple of times, where they feed you only vegetarian food, included with this is miso, which contains, dashi, which contains, bonito flakes.

      I did find this link, hope its of help

      http://www.vegietokyo.com/

      Fuzzy

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      • #4
        AMMENDMENT :

        To my last post, I've just been informed by my GF that in the Buddhist temple the food was "Shojin Ryori" = Monk cooking.

        Which means the dashi they used didn't contain bonito flakes.

        Shojin ryori wo tabemasu - I eat monk cooking
        Shojin no tabemono wo tabemasu - monk food things I eat

        Fuzzy

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Fuzzy View Post
          AMMENDMENT :

          To my last post, I've just been informed by my GF that in the Buddhist temple the food was "Shojin Ryori" = Monk cooking.

          Which means the dashi they used didn't contain bonito flakes.

          Shojin ryori wo tabemasu - I eat monk cooking
          Shojin no tabemono wo tabemasu - monk food things I eat

          Fuzzy
          Thanks to everyone, I guess I could try a few things. There are online courses but they don't exactly cover this.

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          • #6
            yummmm,

            Miso soup is from a stock called "dashi" into which softened miso paste is mixed. The most common dashi soup stocks for miso soup are made of niboshi (dried baby sardines), kombu (dried kelp), katsuobushi (thin shavings of dried and smoked bonito, aka skipjack tuna), or hoshi-shiitake (dried shiitake). The kombu can also be used in combination with katsuobushi or hoshi-shiitake. The kelp and/or shiitake dashi serve as a vegetarian soup stock.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mythil View Post
              Hi there. I've been teaching myself enough Japanese to hopefully get by when visiting Japan, I'm trying to find a local teacher who can help me but for some reason they are few and far between, maybe I'll find one.

              However, one phrase or even a few phrases I'm looking for I just can't find. I'm a vegan, don't eat meat, don't eat mayo, milk, eggs or anything that comes from an animal and so on.

              Is there a way of politely asking if there is something to eat that I can eat. Also is there a way of politely refusing food that I can't eat?

              Maybe I'll find this out sooner or later from a teacher but just in case I can't find one, I don't suppose anyone has an answer?

              Thanks!
              mayonaezu (mayonaise) hairanaide kudasai. Please don't put on mayo, you could say the same for milk (gyuu nyuu), eggs (tamago) etc. You're out of luck for a lot fo japanese cuisine as many noodle dishes have pork or fish stock rather than vegitable stock. On the otherhand if you eat out a lot there are many restuarants with plastic food displays so you can point to what you want.
              Last edited by hl1978; 8th August 2013, 04:38 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by hl1978 View Post
                mayonaezu (mayonaise) hairanaide kudasai. Please don't put on mayo,
                While your meaning might get across, "hairu" is not the verb you want here. I am guessing you might have confused hairu (入る) with ireru (入れる). Both use the same kanji, but hairu is an intransitive verb meaning "to enter", which would imply that mayonnaise is somehow acting on its own accord, while ireru is a transitive verb meaning "to put it" and has someone else doing the action involving mayonnaise. There are numerous ways to ask "hold the...." but after switching the verb, this would probably work well enough at a basic level.

                For advice on living in a meat free environment in Japan I might suggest talking to George at http://kenshi247.net as he is vegan had has been living here for about 10 years now and is well versed in a mountain of problems involved in maintaining that lifestyle here in Japan.

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                • #9
                  mayonezu(ni) hairanaide kudasai means don't dip yourself in mayo please. but sometimes you may see it anyway on Japanese TV.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dillon View Post
                    mayonezu(ni) hairanaide kudasai means don't dip yourself in mayo please. but sometimes you may see it anyway on Japanese TV.
                    I'm sorry, I can't help but laugh at that. I'm not making fun of the language, just how one wrong word can change the whole sentence. I don't want to go to Japan, say "please don't dip me in mayo" and have them look at me funny.

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                    • #11
                      Mixing up tadoshi (transitive verbs) with jidoshi (intransitive verbs) as Rennis pointed out is pretty tame compared to mistakes one can make in tonal language like the various forms of Chinese or Thai. For example in Mandarin, if you get the tone wrong for "I have a cold" it could come out as "I have sexual relations with (a) cat(s)" (to put it politely). Both would be rendered "Wo gan mao" in Latin alphabet.

                      If you want to run through a list of things you want to avoid eating just say

                      Watashi-wa A, B, C to D-ga taberarenai.

                      Where A, B, C, D are things you want to avoid. Taberarenai literally means "can't eat" (sort of but I won't go into the grammatical nuances) but it can also mean "don't like to eat" in this case. Be warned though, if you express a disinterest in something the Japanese make a point to get you to eat it just to annoy you. One of my kendo sensei kept trying to get me to eat natto, which is ok once in the mouth but I can't get it past my nose.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mythil View Post
                        Hi there. I've been teaching myself enough Japanese to hopefully get by when visiting Japan, I'm trying to find a local teacher who can help me but for some reason they are few and far between, maybe I'll find one.

                        However, one phrase or even a few phrases I'm looking for I just can't find. I'm a vegan, don't eat meat, don't eat mayo, milk, eggs or anything that comes from an animal and so on.

                        Is there a way of politely asking if there is something to eat that I can eat. Also is there a way of politely refusing food that I can't eat?

                        Maybe I'll find this out sooner or later from a teacher but just in case I can't find one, I don't suppose anyone has an answer?

                        Thanks!
                        Not very useful for the next month (as they have gone to Japan for the summer), but Havant College's Japanese teacher has been training with us for a year....

                        Roger

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mythil View Post
                          I'm sorry, I can't help but laugh at that. I'm not making fun of the language, just how one wrong word can change the whole sentence. I don't want to go to Japan, say "please don't dip me in mayo" and have them look at me funny.
                          Happens in English, too. Cf. "I'm bored" vs. "I'm boring."

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                          • #14
                            Or "I am interested in..." always becomes "I am interesting..."

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                            • #15
                              Really? I didn't know that

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