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Amparo Bertram

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03:08 pm: It's the little things...
I pitched a little fit at work yesterday when I found that not only had someone wanting to use the microwave unplugged the refrigerator (instead of the pot of hot water--because we simply MUST have tea available at all times), the person left it unplugged when finished.

Unseemly of me, perhaps. But when comparing a pot of hot water with the perishables of the entire faculty, use a little common sense, people.

Today the microwave was moved to a new location with its own outlet. Much better.

My "American Culture" workshop using Supernatural went pretty well yesterday. I started by spending about 30 minutes going over the vocabulary in the first ~7 minutes of the episode. (Imagine explaining the Bradys and the Huxtables to Japanese high school girls.) Then we watched those few minutes (another teacher got the key for me, yay!).

The thing that surprised them the most was that Baby!Sam had his own bedroom. That is completely unheard of here. Japanese babies always sleep with their parents. The students were amazed when I pointed out the little microphone device the parents used to hear the baby in the baby room during the night. An American watching the show would probably know right away what it was, but my students had never heard of such a thing; they thought it was a radio.

It really is interesting how much more is involved in watching a TV show than being able to understand the vocabulary (and even that is hard enough).

I think next time I should give the students copies of a US map so they have a better idea of where these things are taking place. Setting the location in Kansas (like the opening scene) has certain associations that are hard to pick up on if the only places in America you know are New York, California, and Hawaii.

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[User Picture]
From:nitasee
Date:April 26th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
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It really is interesting how much more is involved in watching a TV show than being able to understand the vocabulary (and even that is hard enough).

That would be especially true if you had picked something like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The pop culural references would be fast and furious.

Now me, coming from the American reading about Japanese poin of view, I want to know what the cultural references are. I really, really, really hate it when translators of anime or novels or manga decide to change the Japanese cultural references to something Western. I remember an egregious example were they changed the name of a Japanese pop idol to Brittany Spears. I'd much rather they just use endnotes to explain things like that, rather than insult my intelligence.
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From:mangaroo
Date:April 26th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
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I really, really, really hate it when translators of anime or novels or manga decide to change the Japanese cultural references to something Western.

I couldn't agree more. The American dub of Crayon Shin-chan, for instance, should just advertise itself as "all original English dialogue" rather than a translation. Nothing undermines my viewing/reading pleasure more than the doubts these choices raise. If I can't trust the English version to use the native references, then how can I trust the integrity of the translation as a whole?
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From:gnine
Date:April 26th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it's fun doing video classes, interesting experience, ne? Have to pay attention to tons of little things, like the baby monitor or simple hand gestures, locations, all these things that you just immediately process if it's your own culture.

So, how far have you yourself got in watching SPN? Wait till Sam and Dean start both busting out the jello eyes and long straight-out-of-a-fic heart to hearts! Mmm, oh SPN, you truly are a gift to fan girls ^_^
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 27th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
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So, how far have you yourself got in watching SPN?

I've only watched the first disc, which is three episodes. The rest of the season comes as a box set, and I didn't want to shell out the money for it before I saw what it was like.
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From:mangaroo
Date:April 26th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
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The mother is on fire on the ceiling, and your students are distracted by the baby monitor?

I love the reverse cultural insight you provide. When do Japanese children leave their parents' room? As a toddler? When they enter nursery school?
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From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 27th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)
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The mother is on fire on the ceiling, and your students are distracted by the baby monitor?

The monitor shows up first...

The mother on fire on the ceiling was pretty freaky, but in the "oh, is this a horror show?" way, rather than the "wow, I didn't know that about America" way.

When do Japanese children leave their parents' room? As a toddler? When they enter nursery school?

It depends on the family. When watching the home renovation show, it illustrated a family where the kids were still sleeping with their parents well into high school because the family just didn't have any more sleeping space. That's a rather extreme example, though. I believe most kids get their own room in elementary school, the same time that they get their own study desk. EVERY child has his or her own study desk once school starts.
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