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Amparo Bertram

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09:07 pm: $5000 if you can tell me how to pronounce this word correctly...
Most Japanese quiz shows are a real trip. For one thing, the contestants aren't usually regular people, they're almost always celebrities. These celebrities compete for cash prizes by answering questions about the most bizarre topics.

In a two-hour special quiz show I watched yesterday, there was a pool of about 30 celebrities from which a panel of 10 was randomly selected. They each had to answer a question in a Final Jeopardy-type setup. 10,000 people had been surveyed with the same question; the celebrities had to have a higher percentage correct than the average population to "clear" that question. So if 48% of the population got it right, then at least 5 of the celebrities on the panel had to answer correctly. If they cleared 5 questions, they won 500,000 yen.

The questions in this particular show were all about language. For example, the contestants would be shown a written character and asked to write its pronunciation. In other cases, they would hear two similar figures of speech and be asked to choose which was correct. It was fascinating to see the percentage for each question...some of them had very low percentages, even though I thought they were quite easy, whereas some with almost perfect scores completely stumped me.

Example: What is the pronunciation of 強か?
Only one out of the ten contestants got this one correct, but I knew it right off the bat: shitataka. (It's used in one of my favorite Meitantei Conan opening theme songs, "Mysterious Eyes.")

Example: What is the pronunciation of 月極?
The percentage correct for this one was 90+% for the general population. I didn't have a clue. I guessed gekkyoku or, failing that, getsugoku. It turned out to be tsukigime. (Darn those kanji compounds that sneakily use the kun reading!)

I did quite well on the questions about pronunciation and okurigana, but I totally wiped out on the figures of speech section.

Aside from that, I spent most of the weekend doing laundry and fiddling with web page layout. Today I had a Loveless marathon and watched the tape that's been sitting on my living room floor since the series ended.

Then I went out and bought the magazine with the first chapter of the manga version of the Yasashii Ryuu no Koroshikata (How to Kill a Nice Dragon) novel series. Ahhhh... This series is SO GOOD.

Dragon King LOVE.

Now, I just need to work on cleaning...

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From:sara_tanaquil
Date:October 10th, 2005 10:23 am (UTC)
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Wow, I would have sucked at that show. I was sitting there going "Uh, tsuyoka?"

I don't know how the Japanese ever master their own language... but then again, I don't know how English speakers ever learn to spell. And yet spelling has been mostly intuitive for me since I was a child. My major problem growing up was mispronouncing/misusing words that I could spell but couldn't use in a sentence.

What magazine is the dragon thing in? It looks good!
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:October 10th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC)
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I was sitting there going "Uh, tsuyoka?"

<g> That's what all the native speakers were doing, so you wouldn't have felt too bad.

I don't know how the Japanese ever master their own language... but then again, I don't know how English speakers ever learn to spell.

...many of them don't...

What magazine is the dragon thing in?

It's called "Beans Ace." Beans is a line of novels, probably most well-known for the series that prompted the anime Kyou kara Ma-ou. They're just starting to put out some new manga versions of novel series.

It looks good!

It is good. It's extremely romantic. It also has a lot of angst thrown in. ...Plus, you know, dragons.
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