Translation:Japanese is a little hard.
Doesn't "chotto" have a kind of negative connatation? I'm just asking because i sometimes feel like if someone asks me "can you speak Japanese" and i answer chotto, they sort of stop the conversation as in "oh, too bad" and don't even try but if i say "sukoshi" they start speaking really fast as in "let's give it a go then" :) even though i thought i said the same thing. But it could be just an impression, i didn't pay perfect attention to it...
This is something that never gets included when people talk about the differences between American and British / Irish English and it's HUGE! I have had to intercede with so many Americans, one memorable one who kept saying she was "quite good" at things in a job interview, which in Irish English means you're putting yourself down. Or saying they "quite like" something and never being offered it again, lol.
Actually it's not about 'quite' at all but the Americans' seeing everything in terms of absolutes. Quite has both meanings, depending on whether what's being referred to is gradable or non-gradable. To Americans either it's far or it's near, good or bad (actually, I'd agree here), you like it or you don't (好き嫌いがはっきり). Actually the same word exists in Japanese and I've had the same problem with it -- かなり (可也・可成り). In this case though I'm told Japanese see 難しい as an absolute whereas difficult/hard are not seen that way by Americans. かなり難しい is much stronger than quite difficult. かなり遠い on the other hand seems to come out more like 'a bit' or 'fairly' than 'totally' or 'completely' -- like the famous difficulty of explaining just how far Anne of Green Gables' PEI (赤毛のアン) is from Banff, でもあれはかなり遠いですよ! So maybe you can but only in this instance . . .