Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

Part 1 here.

Space ALC: my favorite general online dictionary, that treasure-trove of excellent example sentences and entirely bizarre translation possibilities, that bright spot in the depths of translation despair. (Some are a little NSFW for language.)

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’m featured in a Tofugu article about the usage of the word gaijin, which I have used in the past but now reject. There’s a lot of interesting responses by other bloggers and commenters, too.

Hashi writes,

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Space ALC is one of my favorite online dictionaries, especially since it uses a lot of example sentences and words in context. The dictionary also has a huge database of English-language slang terms, both historical and modern, and as the dictionary is more directed at English-to-Japanese translation (read: Japanese speakers inputing English terms, including slang), sometimes the results I get are nothing short of hilarious. My other translator friends and I like to swap screenshots of some of the weirder terms we get, and so I wanted to share some of my favorites with you all.

Just a note: none of these entries is wrong; this is not Engrish. If I had to deal with the sheer amount of slang that English has as a non-native speaker, I would be glad to have a place that could explain what buck wild means. However, going from Japanese to English turns up a lot of results that have odd slang terms listed as the first entries, which is why I find it so funny.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

An update on the petition for Cibu to stop using Orientalist names for their products from (the one and only) Bitch Media:

Image via Bitch Magazine.

Image via Bitch Magazine.

Wash that Racism Out of Your Hair! After Protest, Cibu Brand Promises to Nix Racist Hair Product Marketing.

Using racial stereotypes for laughs in marketing is nothing new. Even these days, many people don’t seem to notice the casual racism of some marketing campaigns—especially when their culture isn’t the one being used as a punchline.

Case in point: Cibu International’s line of hair products with names like “Miso Knotty Detangler” and “Geishalicious Shampoo.” Many of Cibu’s product names lump together food and martial arts references from different Asian cultures. But the worst are those that play on creepy, fetishizing stereotypes about Asian women, such as “Miso Knotty Detangler” and “Geishalicious Shampoo.” In one image originally posted on Cibu’s Facebook page, a naked Asian woman is pictured on her knees, hands behind her back, eyes downcast with the words “Seduced by Geishalicious” written underneath.

Read more on Bitch.

Read Full Post »

Image via EthnoConnect. Quote: Helen Kim, “Asianized Asians”

Image via Are Women Human, via EthnoConnect. Quote: Helen Kim, “Asianized Asians.”

Last month, the excellent blog Are Women Human? called out the beauty company Cibu International over their “Asian-inspired” line of products–not the typical “cherry blossom perfume” and “seaweed face mask” but products with names like

“Miso Knotty Detangler,” “Geishalicious Shampoo,” “Take Out Clarifying Shampoo,” “Shang High Mousse,” “Spring Roll Hydrating Cleanser,” “Ancient Veil Oil Mist,” “Hi-Ya! Keratin Reconstructive Conditioner,” “Washabi 3-in-1 Conditioning Shampoo,” and “Dry Kwon Do Dry Shampoo”– are based on the cultural misappropriation and reduction of Asian culture to a handful of puns, food references, and simplistic and Orientalist stereotypes. (from the petition)

"Miso Knotty Detangler." Via Cibu International.

“Miso Knotty Detangler.” Via Cibu International.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Mameshiba (豆しば)is one of my favorite short video series. In each 30-second episode, a bean of some sort–lentil, azuki, edamame–pops out of a diner’s food to convey a bit of trivia, the Japanese word for which is mame chishiki (豆知識), lit. bean knowledge. The facts are usually a bit awkward for the situation, like, “Female mantises eat male mantises.” Or, as the commenter lovelylexolicious writes for the prior video,

Storyline of mamashiba.
Random person is hungry, goes for a snack.
This random dog-like piece of food is found.
Mamashiba tells a random fact of trivia.
Person loses hunger and sets down mamashiba.
Mamashiba walks out like a BOSS!

You can watch all of the Mameshiba videos at the official site here or with English subtitles on the official site or on youtube.

Now, how does a Mameshiba celebrate Christmas?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The Kyoto Transportation Bureau is casting a wide net with their efforts to increase the usage of the subway. According to their website, the Transportation Bureau is trying to increase the number of city subway passengers to 50,000 people.(1) For example, by producing pocket-sized city bus and subway time schedules, which you can download here (pdfs are at the bottom of the page) and pocket walking maps of the city, the Bureau can help students and people intimidated by the transit system by giving them a convenient guide to getting around.

I covered another campaign in my last post: stairway calorie-counter setsuden ads in the Kyoto subway, which, along with the maps and guides, are brought to you by the Kyoto City “Team to Increase the Number of Young Professional Customers” (若手職員増客チーム) Moé Moé Challenge Section (燃え燃えチャレンジ班).

The Moé Moé Challenge Section’s job is “to create public advertisements to get people fired up about the subway.”(2) As I dug deeper in researching this article, I discovered the calorie counter I had discussed in my last post is also the product of the Moé Moé Challenge Section. In a 18 May proposal, the section writes,

In response to the perceived notion that “the subway platforms are far away” and “it takes too much time,” we will attempt to improve the image of using the stairs as something you can do for your health. In encouraging people to use the stairs, we will attempt to  lessen the congestion on the elevators and escalators as well as promoting a more eco-friendly subway.(3)

If burning calories isn’t inspiring you to be more eco-friendly, the Section has also created an “original character” who adorns a poster at the bottom of the stairs.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »