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. Super short post!
Well, folks, my tourism project with ICIEA has finally come to a close. It was a lot of fun, and I’m thankful for the experience. I created a video to precede my talk to the crowd gathered at the international fair we held on Sunday last weekend. It was a pretty fun time. I enjoyed looking over the posters and photography from other monitor tourists before showing my DVDs and then getting up to speak. Those videos have been arranged in a playlist and embedded above. The first 2 in the playlist are available in full 1080p HD, so don’t miss out. The remaining 4 have been previously featured on this site.
Anyhoo – I was asked to deliver a bilingual speech, so I frequently repeated myself, I’m afraid. I’m fairly sure that both the Japanese people and the English speaking foreigners in the crowd were able to follow me reasonably well. My take: Imabari should play up its unique food heritage in a play to put itself on foreigners’ radar. I explained the concept of food tourism, and how most foreign people who go to Hiroshima go there in order to take in the history, the museums, and the sights. But they’d be foolish to miss out on some okonomiyaki while they’re there. (Am I right?)
Imabari is the crosspoint of 3 major arteries of transportation, yet people no longer stop here on their way elsewhere on Shikoku. I urged them to think about the slogan thought up by my friend Harry; “Shikoku Starts Here.” Great slogan! If only we could get some people to take a break from their travels, spend a night here, and eat some yakitori. That’s right, yakitori. Imabari is currently the #2 city in all of Japan for yakitori, and it has a unique take on it, at that. In Imabari, shops make yakitori on sheet metal griddles and handheld steel plates instead of on skewers over charcoal. It’s said that this type of yakitori started because Imabari people are impatient and they want their food lickety-split. (It’s also likely that the ship building industry’s presence meant that loads of scrap steel plates were readily available…) DELICIOUS, by the way.
Anyway, my other recommendations were for people to get online and add information to the English language Wikipedia and Wikitravel entries. (I also told them they could pay me to do it….semi-facetiously. Got some laughs. The offer still stands, if you’re reading this, guys. Ha ha. ) All in all, I think my suggestions were well received, and I think the event went well. I want to say kudos to the other foreigners who volunteered their time and to all of the Japanese staff who worked so tirelessly on this project. お疲れ様でした！
I may or may not bring this topic up once more on this blog. It seems there may be some newspaper articles coming up out of this. And it’s also possible that I’ll post a song about Imabari’s yakitori. (No joke. It was made when we were the #1 city for yakitori. Perhaps with the aid of foreign tourism, we can reclaim the title?)
The video basically explains itself. But here’s the company that I did this for – Ikeda & Co. You can even see me in the background of a few gallery photos now. I’ll see if I can get my hands on some sharper shots. Great time! I’ll see everyone after Silver Week.
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.
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…
The video I’ve embedded here, which subscribers may have already seen, is a segment from the NHK Matsuyama Branch about one of the summer camps I went to. I had commenters asking me what was being said. I knew that real subtitles (not hard subtitles, where the text is actually part of the video itself) were doable through the Closed Captioning options on YouTube. I’d seen it done bilingually lots of times by one of my favorite Japan-related YouTubers, Hikosaemon. (Go subscribe if you’re curious!) I set out to try and do so myself, but felt discouraged after watching several tutorials – all of which used Windows software. Until I could find a Mac-viable option, it looked like creating a text file with the proper format by hand was my only option… Read more…