Let’s talk about cats for a second. You knew this site would eventually come to this. I’m going to post 20 pictures of cute Japanese kittens and you are going to rate them on a scale of kawaii to chouuu kawaiiiiiiiiiiii… Wait, no. Hold on. I got distracted by the topic of cats. Lets do something (mostly) relevant, that still has cats in it.
There was a YouTube trend for a while of cat videos where it sounds like the cat is speaking to its owner in English. Well, I thought the same thing had to be true of Japanese cats. And it is. Here are the results.
Maybe not, but really the whole point of this post was not to talk about cats. But to show you how once we get good at Japanese we can start to hear Japanese even when it isn’t there.
But on to the more puzzling questions. The following video is a cat soccer (minus the cats) match from another country.
I’m not really sure what language it is in (so for those out there who know, please leave it in the comments). What I do know is that the commentator is not speaking Japanese. Yet the video creator decided it sounded like Japanese and added Japanese subtitles to match up to the language.
This goes on for five minutes, and the more you watch it, the more it sounds like Japanese, and the more this video is hysterical.
This video is clearly not in Japanese. And it shouldn’t sound like it. But it does. Why?
First, two questions for you:
1. If your Japanese is good and you also speak the language of the video, can you still hear the Japanese?
2. If you watch the video, without reading the subtitles, can you still hear the Japanese?
And two questions of reflection:
1. When you read, your brain can translate to as what it just heard?
2. What you read may majorly override what you hear (Which may be yet another reason to bash on English subtitles)?
But there’s more.
Here are some major Holywood movies that have lines that sound like they are in Japanese.
And how about a camel race?
Or cats. We can think of cats. That usually is the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.