Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Tree House Diner going towards Naha Airport (pic. by google)

After paying for my grocery, I saw a counter with coffee machine and some cups. On the counter was written "Service Counter". It has been a while I haven't been to this shop. I feel some things have changed.
I asked a shop assistant walking passed, "kofi wa legi de harau desuka" (do I pay at the cashier for the coffee?)"
She said, "sa-bisu deshou"!
Sa-bisu to mean "service".
When you send you car for service, that means you are doing a service for your car. So when the Japanese says sa-bisu to you it means they are doing you a service. Basically, service means free. No payment.
If you want something free, you don't say, "Give me free!"
You say, "sa-bisu kudasai!"
This is English Japanese. A kind of English only the Japanese understand.

At the counter, two elderly couple were sipping the sa-bisu kofi. As I approached I asked the lady, "tsumetai desuka" meaning is it cold?
I got from her, "hotto kohi!"
Hah, hot coffee! I should have used English in the first place, I told myself, feeling small.

See? Who says the Japanese cannot speak English. They speak English very well.

Buraku Hotto kofi sa-bisu beri naisu! (Strange but true, this is English!)



  1. Mcm Korean jugak lah kan Kak Lela.Kalau complimentary items, they call it "service" jugak. Same as mintak freebies. :)

  2. I teringat ada satu kali, tengah nak try baju kat kedai, the staff mintak "hanggar". Ingat apa bendalah tu... rupanya hanger. Tu satu lagi perkataan omputeh diaorg guna tu. hihi

  3. lina,

    Betul tu, mereka guna BI yang orang asal BI sendiri tak faham hehe.