Eleanor Barker answers your travel questions

I'm running out of time to learn some Japanese before my holiday. Can you help with just enough to show good manners?

Daijobu desu (no worries!) Any Kiwi who has been paying attention to Māori pronunciation will have an advantage in Japan. Japanese and Māori have the same five phonemes, although technically four of them are slightly different. Both languages have phonemic contrasting based upon length, e.g. kēkē (armpit), keke (pie). I find Romaji (the Romanisation of the Japanese written language) to be fairly phonetic. Anime television shows will help with your pronunciation, as