Saturday, 26 January 2013

THE KING'S LIP-SYNC SPEECH (AKA 'shuddup and pass the sushi')



Hello,

I'm Our Man. in Abiko, the host of this blog. Far be it from me. To denigrate another's attempts to speak. Another language. It is very tough to do. Especially if your voice coach is an iPhone. And you only do Android. But it was a native app. Ha Ha, but siri arsely, "all the leaders from the assin' nations" (0.26) are happy that "democracy is on the wax among assin' nations" (0.41). Thank. You, and bon appetite.

xxx

Ourmani Q. Nabiko

Vid smuggled out from Davos in a doggie bag by TokyoWoods.

8 comments:

Brian B. said...

What you transcribe as "assin" is his attempt to pronounce ASEAN. Wikipedia gives the pronunciation /ˈɑːsi.ɑːn/, which I would say he got close too. The only features he got wrong were the length of the two /ɑ/s.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Fair enough. I couldn't. Read a five minute speech in Japanese. Without making a few mistakes that's for sure. But I'm sure. He said "Freeze Monkeys" at. Some point.

kamo said...

Who is this aimed at? Genuine question, as I didn't/couldn't watch to the end. If it's aimed at ordinary plebs such as the likes of us, surely he realises it's going to be mocked mercilessly. I give it a week before someone's mashed it up with technoviking or a LOLcat.

If it's aimed at other world leaders, well, they have translators and aren't the kind of people who give out points for effort. Seriously, what was he hoping to achieve with this?

Oh, and I could do better with a JHS students and 30 minutes coaching; it's a damning indictment of English education in Japan that they thought this was suitable for worldwide consumption; etc etc and so on. It's obvious, but that's because it's true.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Who is it aimed at? Good question. I see it as a verbal version of his Abenomics -- not aimed at anyone in particular, but just part of the general "do something" approach. Looks fine on paper or from a distance, but up close and in detail, it reeks.

Craig Scanlan said...

Ah, so it was the Japanese Boaters that put him back in.....

Fucking Boaters....

Armchair Asia said...

Jeez, he is spot on when he says we must be "thick of Japanesse politics."

Interesting that he has a lisp in English as well as in Japanese.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Let's start being kind. This speech was in the past. It is history. We need more forward looking history that makes us proud to be whatever we are. And imperial history is a domestic issue, as well you should know from your new text book.

Carry on.

Ἀντισθένης said...

In Meiji there were leaders who'd actually been abroad to study. Maybe something to do with why modernization was successful, after a fashion. Guess what Japan needs.

I don't begrudge him mispronunciation. I don't even begrudge poor intonation. No, what makes this unlistenable is the length, because the poorer your language skills are, the briefer you'd better keep it (as in, my Japanese...). But more so, the intonation is entirely insincere. He's had about an hour with an accent coach, who did not have the authority to tell him that, 'Sorry, but we don't have time to pull this off. Punch out.' Instead, he's put in an amount of intonational emphasis that is not natural for him, or Japanese English speaker of his ability, so he keeps hitting wrong or random notes, so comes off as an insincere automated text-reading app.