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The Japlish Podcast

Please call an ambulance. My toe is stuck in a bowling ball.

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速く救急車を呼んでください。ボーリングの玉にあしがはまってしまいました。

hayaku kyuukyuusha wo yonde kudasai. booringu no tama ni ashi ga hamatte shimaimashita.

*The reason why languages like Japanese and Spanish sound staccato is because every syllable is evenly timed. When you see vowels repeated as in “kyuukyuusha”, it means that the syllables take two beats. You might be able to notice how it sounds as if Tony says the word a bit slower. The same goes with “booringu;” it’s not “oo” as in “boot,” but rather an “o” as in “bowl” that is elongated.

Back on track

Well, I’ve finished the last two books in the Harry Potter series after spending an entire week reading at every possible free moment. I was glad to find that all the spoilers I had heard weren’t true, and wasn’t so surprised at the revelation by the author yesterday that Dumbledore is gay. Now that I’ve finished all the books, I’ll go back to re-reading the Japanese translations, which are very good.

I got up early this morning and put a few more episodes into the queue. For the time being, I’ll be releasing a new podcast every other day. I’m not sure when Tony and I will have time to record another one; my wife makes the kids do homework every night starting right after dinner until bedtime, so it might not be until next weekend. It’s a good idea have time to replay the older ones anyway so you learn them, right?

Running late: It’s Harry Potter’s fault.

I went home early last night to work on the next batch of episodes but instead got started reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and could. not. stop. In fact, I can’t wait to get on the train home tonight and continue reading it.

I also bought Tony a little globe for him to learn where all the countries are that listen to us. Is anyone out there aware of how expensive globes are? Little ones about the size of a small melon cost US $30-50! It made me realize what an incredible bargain Google Earth is. I bought a wee little blow-up one for US $3. He now knows where Vietnam and Kuwait are. 39 more to go.

The reason Andy did one of the podcasts last week was because he had an all-out, no-holds-barred, poo-flinging temper tantrum when he thought we were excluding him. We recorded it after he calmed down, and I guess he decided it wasn’t for him. He hasn’t asked to do another one. If wants to do another one in the future, I’ll have Tony write down the translation beforehand and Andy will just read it. He’s never been as bilingual as Tony. Gotta get back into the habit of reading bedtime stories with him.

My wife listened to all the episodes. I could tell by the look on her face that she’s wasn’t thrilled with the content. That’s OK. It’s 10 year old boy humor, not mommy humor. But still, she’s very proud of Tony for being able to come up with dead-on translations. They’re not word-for-word exact translations, but rather he’s able to convey the tone and feeling of the original English better than anyone I know. It’s an amazing talent and he does it without even thinking.