Friday, June 16, 2006

Karakuri Funniest English: Where One Crazy Westerner Solicits Mistranslations

This is how you teach English. Through verbal slight-of-hand. And awesome miscommunication. On TV. In Japan.

First: "Please tell me your 'ya cha ta'!

Then: "Please tell me your 'saikin oo nandesu'!

Thanks to Pawel Szymczykowski for the clips!

NOTE: Pawel uploaded these clips to YouTube himself from old video tapes he made himself in Japan. If you have old video tapes, please do the same.

People like Pawel are why YouTube rocks so much. If you don't have the time (or the desire) to upload them, send them to me! Seriously. I'll even pay shipping for some cool stuff.

Drop me an email if you've got something cool!

these are kind of funny, and I have seen these in the past, but personally I don't like the format of making a Japanese person speak on camera in english, and then making fun of him, or berating him. OK so "BAITO" (German derived word for "part-time job" sounds like "BITE" in english. how does a japanese kid know that? I see these guys going home after doing their damndest and saying "no one can understand my english". if that is the goal of this show, that is crappy.
Well taken Judge. I think you might be overreacting a little bit. About half of Japanese comedy programs are about embarassing or humilating others. The other half are the kind where people humiliate themselves.

I don't think anyone has ever gone home heartbroken after being on this particular program. You can bet they had a great time, laughed about it with their friends, and learned something from their mistakes. What's the problem there?

Besides all of that, keep in mind that Thane Camus owns (or owned?) a successful chain of English schools in Japan, so if he makes you feel bad about your language skills, it's all the better for him.
makenai, if I sounded like I was really steamed about this then that is my fault. I love the self-humiliation of japanese "talent" on tv. comedians like 99 and downtown are incredibly talented at making their underlings do embarrassing stunts (and 99 get in on the fun, too). it is just that I so know japanese are very self-concious about their accents in english and making mistakes. I certainly hope he went home and laughed about's just japanese comedians are paid to get humiliated. this poor shlub was just walking down the street.
Videos are not available anymore. Too bad :(
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