Can those of you who speak Japanese provide accurate, colloquial, and pithy versions of the following sentences? I could guess at how to say some of it, but I think the combination of "learned from a textbook" and "grammatically mangled" tends to confuse people.

1. "We create manga/comic books. She draws, I write."

2. "I am a writer." (I don't know why this was so hard to convey, but I've tried various words that supposedly mean "professional writer" in Japanese, and nine times out of ten people had no idea what I meant.)

3. "I did not vote for George Bush."

4. "We work for/at the Jim Henson Company. I am a writer. She is a puppeteer. She is in charge of/President of children's TV."

5. "She is a college/university librarian."

6. Hmm. What else should I be able to say that's not in the usual tourist lexicon, but is likely to come up in conversation? (2 and 3 actually have come up, repeatedly.)
I just discovered, via comments in my last post, why everyone was so confused in Japan when they asked what I did for a living, and I said I was a writer. Due to a pronunciation subtlety, I probably was actually saying, "I am a hill." (Sakka vs. saka.)

On other trips, I told people that my Japan rail pass allowed me to ride anything but a rat ("Nozomi," the super-fast train, vs. "nezumi," rodent) and that I was terrified of a lady's tiny, fluffy, pink-ribboned Pomeranian puppy ("kawaii," cute, vs. "kowai," scared.)

My college Japanese teacher told the class that she had worked as a waitress when she'd first come to America, and was baffled for quite some time by her customers' reactions when she asked them if they'd like a side order of lice.

Have any of you had similarly comical misadventures in language?

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