I have a lovely Japanese student staying with me at the moment. It is such fun learning from someone from a different culture. It had me thinking I have never written a novel with a setting in an Asian country. New Zealand, Australia, USA, Spain, Cyprus and Italy, are as far as I have gone. Odd too that when we watched some tv the words my guest recognised were those of cars and hi-fi's, like Nissen and Mitabushi! Anyway, I am having a really good time showing my guest around Fleetwood. I have to confess she is settling in far better than I would ever settle in a country so different from mine.
Of course it is so easy in the Antipodes and the USA because we have a common language (you notice I don't say we speak the same language, ha ha, sometimes it is possible to cause offence with different meanings for some English words!). France and Italy are different of course, but with enough familiar things for me to feel at home. I can manage a wee bit of French and Italian, although it is impossible for me to have a conversation in either language. Yet here is my guest, knowing some English, managing to make herself understood and with a little change of words here and there understanding me. What can I say? Vive la difference? Or should that be le?