One popular Japanese superstition claims that “Idiots can’t catch colds”. Don’t know where it came from but it provides a great setup for a lot of friendly teasing (Gee Tanaka-san, you’re the only one in the office that hasn’t gotten sick this winter. I wonder why? Ha ha ha).
Although as a beginner you probably shouldn’t try and crack any jokes like that. Telling a joke without offending anyone is really hard in a foreign language and the last thing you want to do is call your boss an “idiot” and have him not laugh back. So for now just stick to boring formal Japanese and leave the jokes to the natives.
あなた = you (formal)
病気 = びょうき = sick
風 = かぜ = wind
風邪 = かぜ = common cold
Anybody Got A Medkit?
Yellow: I don’t feel so good…
Blue: I asked if you were sick.
Yellow: Maybe a little…
Blue: That reminds me! Did you know that the 日本語 words for “wind” and the “common cold” are both pronounced かぜ and share a kanji?
Blue: Remember it this way: If you stay out in the 風 too long you’ll catch a 風邪.
Yellow: Are you saying… words?
Blue: I think you need to go see the nurse.