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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Canned Yakitori

March 24th, 2010

Say whaaat? That’s right. Yakitori, in a can. (It was put there by a man in a factory downtown.) I guess I’m still working the whole yakitori thing out of my system. I saw this next to the canned tuna and crab at the store, and had to try it. Surprise, surprise. Tastes just like you’d imagine.

……assuming that you imagine it’d taste pretty bad. It’s just wrong.

Culinary, Customary Drivel, Humor

Colorful ESL: Bowling

March 11th, 2010

Oh the juvenile joys of living in a country where English is widely used…poorly… By poorly, I mean simply that you wouldn’t find that particular bit of English on an electronic scoring system screen in the US. It is, you must admit, a pretty natural usage, though. Just one you more often hear than read. :-D Super short post!

Customary Drivel, Humor, Media, Video

Soramimi on Know Your Meme

March 5th, 2010

Here’s a quick note to let you know that Know Your Meme talks about Soramimi (空耳; literally “empty ear”) in the Phonetic Translations video they put up. It’s the term for facetiously attempting to comprehend something said in a foreign language by reinterpreting it phonetically in your own language. (The post also covers misheard lyrics, which are kinda-sorta related.) You can check out the Japanese Wikipedia article here (or English here). Be aware that the post is not safe for work, please. That’s why I’ve not embedded it. Also know that I seriously object to some of the forced humor in some of the examples given. As one of my favorite former teachers would have sarcastically put it, “lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable.” Ha ha, man I wonder how she feels about 90% of the Internet. Anyway, go check out the Know Your Meme post on Phonetic Translations, and make sure you hit up Harvey’s post at Japan Newbie with probably the funniest Japanese soramimi effort I’ve seen to date at the bottom. It leaves me winded from laughing every time. If you’ve got better examples, please, share!

Customary Drivel, Humor, Unsolicited Commentary, 日本語

Creative Comic Conversations

February 17th, 2010

I recently had several classes re-caption several webcomics. I did this for a few reasons. Using comics in class to have students develop dialogue is far more interesting / engaging than asking them to roleplay what has already been written in the textbook. It’s also far more challenging due to its unfamiliarity. These students do not know the characters from the comic, have a mere 3 frames to grasp the context of the situation, and are often pressed to be super creative when faced with these issues. I love that. I thrive on that. I like to hear the gears in their heads whir as they do something out of the ordinary. Plus, it benefited me in a way, too – I also happened to use this activity as an example in a cruddy mediocre talk I gave at our prefectural midyear seminar to other high school ALTs.

I first got the idea for this project when I saw it pop up on the blog of a former CIR here in Ehime. His Japanese examples are pretty funny, by the way, though you can tell they’re a bit dated from the jokes (not just the URL)! Anyhoo, I then traced it over to this site, which is where I saw the potential for high school kids to pull it off.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Penny Arcade, you really should be. It’s a hugely popular webcomic built around gamer interests that’s updated thrice weekly. The guys who make it, Mike & Jerry, rock out with their socks out, so go hit them up. Having said that, I feel like it’s important to offer up a note here. Note: Penny Arcade is NOT appropriate for class. The subject matter is super niche and the language alters between course, archaic, and highly sarcastic. The art, however, is perfect – highly emotive and often curious.

You can visit the source comics via the following links: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5. That’s right. 5 comics. Examples follow. Please feel free to read them. Sorry about the poor legibility – the ditto machines are ancient at school. Ask questions and make comments if you’re so inclined! But above all else, enjoy. Read more…

Customary Drivel, Humor, Media, Photos

Student Chain Stories

February 3rd, 2010

Sometimes when I’m grading, I think “I should probably share this.” My students have active imaginations – sometimes they choose to use them, and sometimes they don’t. Let’s take a quick look at an example of each situation.

Situation 1: this is a common occurrence with chain stories written by indifferent students who just want a laugh. They pick an idea and they snowball it. I was happy that it paid off a bit, at least. The “crazy” part turned into a polar bear club type of outing, and the story did have a good conclusion. Also, I’m a sucker for maniacal laughs. Nicely done!

Situation 2: this is a great way to cause your ALT to have a heart attack when he’s grading, and then wonder how much he needs to defend himself against any forthcoming outrageous accusations. Ha ha ha. Holy crap. For the record, no way, Jose. No chance. Also, I don’t live in London – clearly, it’s some other dude.

I’ll be sharing some more student work soon – I did the Penny Arcade Remix activity that I spotted on several other websites, where you erase the dialogue from any webcomic (I used PA for the great contextual clues it contains) and have your students create the conversation in each frame. I hope you look forward to it!

Customary Drivel, Humor

Japanese on Human Target

September 17th, 2009

Let me first start out by saying that this preview for Fox’s Human Target came to my attention back in May, but I figured I should wait a bit since the actual show won’t start until fall. Upcoming disappointment? I’m not sure. I know it’s based on a comic book, but I’ve no idea how good the comic is, or if this show will even come close to replicating it anyway. If Mark Valley’s supposed to be fluent in any number of other languages, we could feel the giddy excitement that comes from watching him maul them too. If it’s just Japanese, I’ve got to say that the actors in Heroes have totally whooped his behonkus. You can watch the actual full trailer from Fox Broadcasting below.

The show looks kind of fun, sure. I’m going to watch it, if for no other reason than to listen for any other horrendous Japanese lines. Gotta love the possible connotation of the elderly Japanese dude’s words to him, though, right? 「あなたの日本語はどこで習いましたか?」and「日本語上手ですね。」OUCH. The classic response. I’m kind of thrilled a bit that it was included in a realistic way. Ha ha.

Was I justified in using katakana in the banner image?

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If anyone out there is a better listener than I am, please feel free to take a crack at the word that he said that I’ve got down as 《ふしょうねん?》in the captions. I have no clue what that was supposed to be. Admittedly, my vocabulary needs work, so if you can parse what he’s saying please leave a comment and I’ll correct the captions. I’d appreciate it. It’s gnawing away at me…and I’ve watched that clip more times than necessary…

Customary Drivel, Humor, Media, Unsolicited Commentary, Video, 日本語