Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Is THAT what I sound like?

K. T.   Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:32 pm GMT
On another thread beneficii (I think) offered a clip from Chibi Maruko Chan, a comic and cartoon for kids in Japan. It's a good cartoon to watch if you want to hear a little bit of how kids sound (or used to sound) in Japan.

In the clip, one of the kids imitates English. You have to wait a couple of seconds. At first, there are girls (including the heroine, Chibi Maruko encouraging their friend to do his imitation or maybe impression), then the "mane"... It sounds extremely sing-song and a lot like the intervals used in teasing rhymes like:

Billy and Sally sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G...

What do you think? How does English or another language sound to you when it is "Fake English" or "Fake French"...

I saw a show on Spanish Television where the comic tried to pass himself off as a rich Saudi (I guess) by using words like "Alfombra" "almohada" and other "al" words. By the way, is there any way in Spanish to describe using words of Arabic origin?

This isn't to make fun of others, mind you, it's a reminder that people everywhere find other sounds funny and sometimes beautiful (think of that old TV show where the husband (Gomez/Gomes) goes wild when his wife speaks "French"...Ah, oui, the Addams Familie...

This could be fun. Please choose examples that won't offend people easily.

BTW, this is a good way to realize what you may be doing "wrong" when you speak another language. Are you listening to intonation or just singing your old melody with the words of another language?
furrykef   Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:42 pm GMT
Hmm, it might help to have a link to that video clip. Not sure I want to try hunting it down; a search for "maruko" didn't turn it up.
Guest   Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:15 pm GMT
beneficii Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:19 am GMT
Here's an example of a great failing:

Guest   Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:19 pm GMT
"Wakarimashay" LOL!
furrykef   Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:39 am GMT
I guess the other side of that coin is people who think that Japanese sounds like "ching chong", or like "mwa yeow mum gwa" (like chewing imaginary food loudly). It's not terribly surprising that they would have the same kinds of stereotypes about us.

The "wakarimashay" thing is obviously Japanese, not part of the imitation... my guess is the word is "wakarimasen" (which basically means "is not understood", often used to say "I don't understand ____"), but I don't know why it was pronounced with a "sh" sound. Maybe because it's funny.

- Kef
K. T.   Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:38 am GMT
I think "ching chong" is something like what RO said. It doesn't sound Japanese to me at all. That's an imitation of a Chinese language.

A Greek lady told my French teacher that English sounded like Chinese.
"Downtown" sounded very sing-song to her.
beneficii   Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:59 am GMT
Wow, people have commented on this! Anyway, in the last part what I think Hamaji-kun was saying was:

(You guys, what are you laughing about? I'm from Charleston, so I don't know.)

Migiwa-san (the first girl) was saying, ??????????????????????(Hey, Hamazaki-kun, do something interesting). Then Maru-chan (the second girl) said, ????????????(Do an imitation of a foreigner.) He then repeats random English phrases like "What you do?" At the end he seems to say the word "Charleston" over and over again. LOL.

Anyway, sorry about the sound lagging the video; I guess it was the format in which I uploaded the video. Anyway, though I translated here, I usually don't prefer to translate in language learning and I prefer to get as much listening practice in interesting subjects as much as I can. I'm watching an NHK DVD math special called, ?????????I think this would help me with learning math terms. I'm also reading math books in Japanese.
beneficii   Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:01 am GMT
Ugh, the board broke my Japanese.
K. T.   Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:37 am GMT
NHK has great stuff!

Was Hamazaki saying "Charleston" over and over? I didn't catch the "n"...

It's a good idea to get vocabulary for your area or interests, not just school or tourist words. That's a great technique.

While I can do math, Math would almost be a foreign language for me, lol.
I was reading the Japanese equivalent of "Economics for dummies", though and I really enjoyed it.

Btw, Dekigotology stories are interesting too. Power Japanese has a book with some of them. They are sold in collections in Japan.

If you aren't familiar with them, they come from a column in a magazine and are (reportedly) true stories, weird true stories.

One funny one is "The Son-in-Law of the Mob"...
beneficii   Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:44 am GMT

Yes I think so, because the Japanese pronounce that standalone 'n' not quite like we do. It's more like they're taking the previous vowel and shutting it up in their noses. He seems to be knocking on someone with a southern accent. Though my Japanese got botched by the forum software it seems here's what each of it would be:

Hamazaki-kun (very end): anatatachi, nani waratteimasu ka? watashi, Charusuton kara kitanode, wakarimasen!
Migiwa-san (at beginning): nee, Hamazaki-kun, nanika omoshiroi koto yatte!
Maruko: gaijin no mane yatte yo!

The DVD I'm watching is called "Sore-ike Sansuu!"
K. T.   Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:25 pm GMT
Do you buy NHK DVDs in the US?
beneficii   Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:18 am GMT

I order them off amazon.co.jp. If amazon.co.jp won't ship a certain product internationally, then I ship it to dankedanke.com and have them reship it to me.
K. T.   Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:24 am GMT