Aziz Ansari once mastered some key Japanese phrases only to insult a Korean man at a sushi restaurant.
The actor and comedian is currently promoting the second series of his Netflix comedy-drama Master of None, with the new episodes premiering on Friday (12May17).
After wrapping up the show, Aziz decided to travel to Japan for a break, and hired a teacher to instruct him on the language before he went.
“I tried to learn Japanese – I didn’t have much time to learn it because we were editing the series – so I only had one week. I just sat with my teacher, my sensei, and I would just give him very specific scenarios,” he said during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Thursday night, adding that he has mastered phrases for ordering food at restaurants and cafes. “I’m so good at just a little amount.”
Feeling confident about his new language skills, the 34-year-old decided to test his Japanese out during a visit to a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. However, Aziz was left red-faced when his words weren’t particularly well received.
“I was all excited because I now speak a little Japanese, so the guy sees me and goes, ‘Where have you been, we haven’t seen you for so long.’ I said, ‘I’m mainly in New York now, and (in Japanese) I’ve been in Tokyo and I’ve learnt to speak some Japanese,'” he recalled, only for the waiter to respond with the words, “I’m Korean.'”
While Aziz’s attempts at Japanese fell flat, he has fared better with learning Italian. Part of the new Master of None was filmed in Modena, Italy, and the star boasted about his ability to speak the language.
“I studied for about three weeks and then I lived there for two months, and in the time I lived there I picked up a lot. I’m not fluent, but I’m really good for an Indian guy,” he smiled.