Monday, September 9, 2013

Japanese Dolls, etc.


Several yeas ago when I was back in Japan, I bought 3 ninja dolls.  I found these neat ninja dolls when I was visiting Asakusa Sensoji (Buddhist) temple.  There is a row of neat souvenir shops on temple grounds.  It's called Nakamise-Dori.  I kept one doll and the other two were given to my sons.  My younger one still has the doll, but I have not seen the other one.  It may have been broken or lost by now.

これらのこけし人形も日本に帰った時に買った。でも、買ったのは成田空港の販売店だった。日本を離れる前に誰かへのお土産として買ったはずだが、結局だれにもあげなかったようだ。お土産を買い忘れたので、英語でいう、"last minute shopping"を 空港でしたわけだった。そんなことはよくある。でも、こけし人形のように、俺のもとに残るものがある。自分の好きな物を誰にというなく買って、後で適当にあげるようにしているからだ。このことは下記の日本人形のところでもう少し説明してある。

I love these wooden dolls called Kokeshi.  I bought these kokeshi dolls at one of the shops at Narita Airport.  It was my last minute shopping at the airport.  I bought them for friends in U.S. as souvenirs.  But obviously, I did not give them away.  Some gift items often end up a part of my collection like these dolls.  The reason is that many times I buy gift items without any particular person or people in mind.  Just in case someone wishes to have unique Japanese cultural things, I have them to give away.  I may be a very generous guy, but I also like people to learn and enjoy Japanese culture.  These gifts are good tools to teach and spread about Japanese culture and customs.

この日本人形も空港で買った。でも、これは自分のために買った。でも、時には気前がいいので、誰かが何かを欲しがると、”いいよ” と言ってすぐにあげてしまうくせがある。でも、この人形はあげたくない。それで、ある日いい考えが浮かんだ。インターネットで今は色々なものが買える。それで、人形を二つ買った。それらの人形は日本製ではなくて中国製か台湾製で日本製よりずっと安かった。そんなに安物にはみえなく、わりとよくできている。それで、誰かが、人形が欲しいと言えばこのニセ物をあげることにしている。二つのうち一つはもう貰い手がある。ただ、その子の家には人形のケースがない。ケースが無いとほこりがつもるので、ケースを買うかガラス戸がある本棚を買ってもらえれば人形を取りに来なさいと云ってある。

I also bought this Japanese doll at the airport.  When I saw it, I had to buy it because it was very pretty.  The beauty of this doll is typical of Japanese dolls having beautiful colors of traditional kimono and ornaments worn by Japanese female persons.  I bought the doll for me to keep, and I did not want to give this one away.  When someone wants a doll like this, I have a couple of inexpensive dolls that I bought from a vendor on the net.  They are usually made in other countries. The ones I have are made in either Chinese or Taiwan.  They seem well-made.

Foreign Words That Have Been Randomly Japanized

無茶に日本語化された外国語:どたキャン、ばかキャラ, etc.



最近、「キャラ」と云う言葉をドラマなんかで耳にする。例えば、あたいは「そんなキャラじゃない」とか、おれの「キャラに合わねぇ」とかだ。キャラは英語のcharacterが省略されてものだが、キャラの意味は性格とか個性だ。そして 合成語として使われた場合「ばかキャラ」や「へたれキャラ」などがある。こんな言葉の「意味は?」と聞かれると説明するのは簡単だが、ちょっとバカバカしい。それは俺が「ばかキャラ」だからか?それとも、「へたれキャラ」か? ハハハ...いや、俺は「がんこキャラ」だからだ(笑)。俺もちょっとおかしくなってきたようだ。時間も無くなってきているので、このブログはここで「どたキャン」にする...この様な言葉の使い方はマンガやアニメなら分かるけど、俺は大人の友人や同僚との会話に使うと恥じを感ずる。"Shame on me!" という感覚だ。

In Japan, more frequently than ever Japanese people are using foreign words in their every day conversations, discussions, and even in writings.  Their pronunciation of foreign words are done in their own way, and often it sounds far from its original word.  For example, a word "trouble" is pronounced as "to-ra-bu-ru".  Each sound must be a syllable.  Since there is no "T" sound by itself in their language, "T" is combined with a vowel to create a syllable.  In this case "trouble" starts with a sound "to-" as in "to ra bu ru".  The last sound in "trouble" ends with "-le".  In Japanese, once again, there is no sound for "L", therefore, l-sound is changed to "r" sounds as in "ru".   Most of the time, these foreign words become a part of the language.   I have written in this blog before that I am not fond of using foreign words and making them as a part of Japanese language.  Here in Texas, there is spoken language called Spanglish, which is also commonly referred as Tex-Mex. It is a language that is a mixture of Hispanic/Latino Spanish and English.  It is neither Spanish or English and, in my opinion, it is totally a corrupted language.  Japanese is becoming similar to Tex-Mex and this is the reason I am opposed to using English words into Japanese as being done so often.

The other day, my colleague at a local college gave me a piece of his teaching materials.  He is an English teacher who specializes in teaching English to international students whose native language is anything but English. The teaching material contained the information about an elderly Japanese who is complaining about use of many foreign words on the public broadcasting company.  He claimed that he does not understanding what is being said because of many foreign words used in news programs.  He stated that while younger generation population are used to use of foreign words, but older generation population has difficulty getting accustomed to this.  He continue to state that he is stressed every time he hears and English loanword on NHK. Therefore, he is bringing this issue to public by taking NHK to court. - This story will continue. Please check back later. -

Keyword: Japanese doll kokeshi ninja loan loaned foreign words TexMex tex-mex language キャラ キャラクター アラフォー キャン どたキャン ばかキャラ へたれキャラ がんこキャラ

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