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Author Topic: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded  (Read 18407 times)

Offline Tamashii

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« on: January 22, 2006, 06:20:26 PM »
All right, so you guys know Engrish right? A.k.a. the bastardization of English by Japanese fools. Let's first get the concept down before we proceed to the bashing. Engrish was given its name because the Japanese has a very strong tendency to mix the L's and R's (hence, Engrish). A good example is L'arc-en-Ciel in the their song "Round and Round." Instead of singing "Round and Round" they sing "Lound and Lound." This oddity was also expressed by the movie Lost in Translation, where John (Giovanni Ribisi) complains, "And instead of saying Rock and Roll! they say Lock n Loll."

The origins of this issue is probably complex. I don't know it. But how hard is to say "Round and Round!" For god's sake! Think about this: the Japanese have plenty of words they pronounce with R's and with L's. I think the real issue stems from the lack of words that have L's in them, or words with L's starting it.

Music is almost destroyed when we hear Engrish, especially unbearably retarded Engrish. It's tolerable at small doses, but when it's blatant, loud, and repetitive, I start machine-gunning children, e.g. "LOUND AND LOUND!!!" Holy sh*t.

Offline Kurier

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2006, 07:27:50 PM »
*Nod* *Nod*

I was warned by a teacher "When you are in Japan, I wouldn't really worry about speaking Japanese to teenagers and some adults. They will try speaking english to you, but it won't come out too well. Just don't let it get to you. Because you will hear it a lot."

I try to avoid songs like "Round and Round" as much as I can, because it does get to me.

Wait, Why can't L'arc~en~Ciel sing "Round and Round" right? Don't they sing "Ready, Steady, Go" with all their R's and L's?
I fell off the wagon and now I can't stop.

Offline Kuma

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2006, 09:03:42 PM »
I still like how in the Hellsing manga Kouta Hirano has Tlench Coat Mafia written in the background as grafitti in one of his panels.

Off topic, sorry :)

Offline DarkKanti

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2006, 12:24:50 AM »
Ha!  It's not quite off topic Kuma.  Pretty funny though.

I've never really been too bothered by the who Engrish thing.  In fact, I find it to be kind of funny alot of the times.  I mean watch Beck.  Whenever they were speaking English I couldn't help but to laugh.  And Koyuki's singing sounded like a really talented deaf kid was singing.  I still love the soundtrack though.

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Offline Tamashii

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2006, 08:42:55 AM »
LOL, nice Kuma.

Kurier: Their english has improved over time. That's a very recent song while "Round and Round" was written in 1996. They wanted to be taken seriously in the American market (hence their release of Smile), so they had to fix up their accent.

Offline dheu

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2006, 10:47:36 PM »
Quote from: Tamashii
The origins of this issue is probably complex. I don't know it. But how hard is to say "Round and Round!" For god's sake! Think about this: the Japanese have plenty of words they pronounce with R's and with L's. I think the real issue stems from the lack of words that have L's in them, or words with L's starting it.
.... And how hard is it for a non-native speaker to pronounce Mandarin Chinese correctly?
 
The Japanese just don't have a hard "R" sound in their language.  They don't really have an "L" sound either; what they have is a combination of the two, a sort of soft "R".  And when you grow up speaking a certain sound, it's a tad bit hard to change the way you speak overnight in order to be able to pronounce a foreign language correctly.  It takes time and lots of practice.
 
Unless what you really don't like is them using English words instead of Japanese when they can't speak English very well.  Which, of course, is done for the "coolness" factor over in Japan, but doesn't sound so cool for us when we have to look up the lyrics just to find out they're actually speaking English.
 
Most of the time I don't mind it.  Sometimes it does sound silly.  And some bands should never try English again.  But what can you do?

Offline Tamashii

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2006, 03:22:08 AM »
I had no idea that the Japanese had a "soft R." Now that you think about it, that's quite interesting. I still hear a very solid "R" sound in many names, though, so I'm not sold yet.

I've never thought about the Japanese handicap in such a fashion, one does have to consider how the Japanese feel about this situation.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 03:25:23 AM by Tamashii »

Offline dheu

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2006, 07:41:04 AM »
Quote from: Tamashii
I've never thought about the Japanese handicap in such a fashion, one does have to consider how the Japanese feel about this situation.
:D  I wonder if they consider it a handicap.
 
Sorry if my post seemed a bit abrupt.  I've been studying Japanese for so long that sometimes I forget that not everyone knows little factoids like that.

Offline Tamashii

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2006, 11:53:07 AM »
It's a handicap in the fluent English speaker's perspective because it seems so natural to us: how can R's and L's be mixed? Accents are slightly different as they are more complex, so for example, the Chinese might not be so amazed at our inability to speak any of their tongues (on a generalization)...or maybe they are. Being Vietnamese, I am not amazed when I see Americans struggling to pronounce our accents. I see it as an understandable truth, the English language is just so different--it's an obvious observation. But L's and R's? One would have to know the little bits (the factoids ;) ) to know why the L's and R's are hard to separate.

How fluent are you in Japanese? :D
« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 11:55:14 AM by Tamashii »

Offline dheu

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Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2006, 07:56:38 PM »
Nowhere near as fluent as I want to be.  My vocabulary's pretty limited, but I can get the gist of what's being said.  Someday I will be fluent.  I just don't have the time right now to brush up my skills.

Offline sevenzig

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2006, 11:44:52 AM »
I'd say that "engrish" is why Kurier doesn't like "Lithium Flower." But it really doesn't bother me when I'm listening to music. Granted I don't listen to much J-Music [ I limit myself to Kajiura Yuki ] But what I do hear never rubs me the wrong way. I sometimes chuckle when I hear them do the "LOUND AND LOUND" thing because it's humorous.

Rike menz?

Offline Tamashii

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2006, 02:36:41 PM »
Lithium Flower was sung by an American who spoke fluent English. You're nuts.

Offline Sara

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2006, 06:17:54 PM »
Engrish is just one of those things that makes Japan and it's weird ass stuff so much more interesting. It's just one of those things we have to deal with.

 
The factoids do help to understand the casual inablity to speak these words but I could easily say that if an American felt the need to say certain words in Japanese or Chinese we would sound just like them. It's simply a language barrier that unfortunatly is to high to be brought down.

Offline Kuma

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2006, 06:55:08 PM »
The Japanese "R" sounds like about 35% American "L," plus about 65% American "R" and comes out sounding like a very soft "D."  When saying it you move your mouth like you're making a hard "D" sound, only you don't click your tongue off the roof of your mouth.  Instead you push your tongue forward (as if you had clicked it).

That's my non-expert, 4 semesters, 2 cents contribution to the discussion.

Offline Tamashii

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2006, 09:02:56 PM »
Strange...I cannot emulate such motions.

Offline Akira

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2007, 12:53:39 AM »
As a native speaker, I'm gonna just say this straight-up:

It is impossible for Japanese people to pronounce the English "r" sound. I know this may be a difficult concept for you to grasp, but it's a very hard concept for ME to grasp. I swear, my friends, even to this day, can't pronounce the word "rice" perfectly. Why?

The "ra-ri-ru-re-ro" line is actually pronounced exactly like "la-li-lu-le-lo" in English. The Japanese language lacks an "r" sound. Thus, Japanese people are born with "straight tounges." It's a flaw inherent in the language; there's nothing we can do about it.

...I know this topic has been dead for almost a year; bear with me, I'm sorry. >_<
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Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2007, 04:30:08 AM »
Japanese do have the huge disadvantage when they're trying to speak english, but that doesn't mean it's end of the world. From what I know, here's the problem with their Janglish. O yea btw, engrish refers to all asians, and there are janglish, konglish, chinglish, and all are flawed in their own unique style due to the nature of their mother language.
 
Anyway, Japanese can't move their tongue as much as Westerners can. And letters like 'R' tends to use lot of rolling in your tongue. And Japanese naturally use short pronunciations. Now that doesn't mean you can not improve as a japanese speaking english. It just takes a lot more effort for Japanese to train themselves in moving their tongue as effectively.
 
Just an interesting trivia, it is also accepted that an american trying to speak japanese can be equally hilarious and retarded because of how much Americans roll their tongues unnecessarily while speaking japanese that require only short pronounciations.
 
And that's just the first very small reason why Japanese can't speak english very well. The bigger problem is with their own language. And it's bit hard for me to explain in words without the aid of visual communication but I'll try anyway so pardon me if I fail. Every Korean letter is composed of a , a vowel, and a vowel 'second vowel'. Japanese don't have this second vowel. So, when Koreans try to speak 'Mac Donald', they tend to speak Mack_Do_Nal_D, while Japanese tend to speak Ma_Ge_Do_Na_'R'e_D.
 
Although Chinese have the biggest advantage when it comes to asians speaking english, because they have that 4 different accents, varying high tone and low tone. It just sound retarded when Chinese adults try to speak it, because their grammar gets mixed up (as it happens for all of us asians), and say sometihng like 'You give back me now!'
 
So tell your friends too bad, you're japanese, but you're not trying hard enough, because japanese can speak good enligsh.
 
I can't exactly say everything I've said true because it's been a while since I read an article about it. If anyone finds a flaw, my thanks for helping me out. Until then, I hoped this may have answered some of your questions.

Offline Akira

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2007, 10:16:14 AM »
The final reason for these "l"s is simple:

They live in a society where there's no need or nessesity to prounounce English rs correctly. They speak Japanese, not English. I live in America, where I must speak English, which is why my Rs are as good as any other native English speaker's. It is true, they could speak good English, but in the end, there's no need and they don't really care.  

And yes, watching Americans trying to speak Japanese is quite funny. And painful.
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Offline Pachinko

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2007, 01:49:24 PM »
Tomoko Kawase aka Goddess of Japanese music always uses Engrish in every single song.

Except for, like, one.

Offline Akira

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2007, 06:46:12 PM »
"Let's have a tea together~~"

"Get ready~~~~~~"

.....holy crap, you're right. XD
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Offline Pachinko

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2007, 06:57:17 PM »
See what I mean!~

"Wet's have tea togezer." XP

Offline Akira

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2007, 07:06:06 PM »
Her pronounciation is not that bad, though. Compared to some other people's. >_>;;
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Offline Pachinko

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2007, 07:21:54 PM »
^ Yes. It is actually a bit pleasant.

However, I think I heard that only one of her songs was entirely Japanese. "Macaron" I believe.

Offline AC

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2007, 09:10:41 PM »
Here's my thought on this topic:
 
COMPL3X basically has explained it in a detailed manner: it all boils down to the majority of the Japanese community finding it hard to pronounce that extra vowel. However, that shouldn't justify why it's impossible to speak pleasant English. My favorite artistes Maaya Sakamoto and Sowelu can speak proficient English and Japanese just as well, for instance.
 
Times are changing, and nowadays it seems that good English may not be the necessity for communication (even though I don't hope so). Yes, I do find Americans and the Japanese speaking each other's language humorous when not done properly, which is all the more reason why they should continue to hone their linguistic abilities.

Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2007, 11:35:00 PM »
*laughs* I found the image I was looking for...
 

Left is japanese, middle is korean, right is westerner. Basically it's a cross-section of the possible areas in which people can roll their tongues.
 
Maybe this holds true in general but I think it's a retarded diagram drawn up by a Korean, I would be surprised if there is any remarkable difference between average Korean tongue and Japanese tongue. And I haven't seen any concrete statistic proof so please disregard my first point about Japanese sucking at English because of their short tongue *dodges rotten tomatoes*. So it's all about the nature of Japanese language and how well they can speak depends on how much efforts they're putting into producing sounds that was not needed in their lives.

Offline Akira

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2007, 11:44:43 PM »
Like I said, Japanese tongues are straight.

I like Engrish, though. It adds a nice touch.
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Offline DarkKanti

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2007, 11:47:36 PM »
Engrish makes me laugh.  :)

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Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2007, 11:49:34 PM »
I WANT TO DIVE LOST MIND!
I WANT TO DIVE LOST MIND!
I WANT FEELING I WANT FEELING ITSUMO!
I'm just like you, only smarterô.

Offline Tyrdium

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2007, 12:25:17 AM »
I don't care about pronunciation much. Same with minor grammatical weirdness. When the sentence makes zero sense, though... that's entertaining. :)

Quote from: TypicalIdiotFan
I WANT TO DIVE LOST MIND!
I WANT TO DIVE LOST MIND!
I WANT FEELING I WANT FEELING ITSUMO!
Argh! I'm trying to remember where that's from. Hajime no Ippo? I think it was "feeling over", by the way.
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Offline dheu

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2007, 09:50:04 AM »
Quote from: Tyrdium
I don't care about pronunciation much. Same with minor grammatical weirdness. When the sentence makes zero sense, though... that's entertaining. :)
Except when it's so nonsensical that you can't even figure out what it's saying.  
 
The theme song for Hellsing springs instantly to mind.

Offline Akira

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2007, 10:12:36 AM »
I've heard so much of it that whenever I hear Engrish I just view it as Japanese. Then it's just fine. I don't try and find meaning or anything, just enjoy the music XD
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Offline mouse

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2007, 02:06:13 PM »
I like Engrish.  In fact, I think all Japanese music should be in Engrish.  That way I'd get to sing along for more than one or two lines.  \o/

Offline dheu

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2007, 01:21:42 PM »
Lazy mouse.  Learn Japanese already!

:3

Offline Ariani

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2007, 08:16:21 AM »
Engrish can be fun. I laugh at it the same way I laugh at people who wear stuff with Chinese/Japanese characters because they think it's cool. It's all the same.

As far as Engrish in music goes, I'm with mouse. If I listen to a song in Japanese enough I can sing it, but the Engrish makes it easier.

Offline Flash Sword Irene

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2007, 03:21:55 PM »
Engrish is awful when you hear a song like the collaboration between Chinese Artist Luo Zhi Xiang (aka Alan aka "Show Luo") and Koda Kumi for "Twinkle Twinkle."  Although, I have heard quite a bit of that element in many a song.  Whether it is Korean, Japanese, or Chinese, I have heard both good and bad attempts at using English phrases.  Usually, when I hear "Engrish" its rather excruciating for me to hear.  Especially, when you know the phrase was just thrown in for the sake of being there.  Sometimes, I really question the efforts (if any at all) on the artist's behalf when it comes to pronouncing English.

I know it is not easy at all, but there has been too many a time where the artist just does not seem to try to actually pronounce anything right at all.  And, all you hear is garbled crap that makes no sense whatsoever.  But, I guess I will just have to get used to all the "Engrish" that is going to appear in many a song in the future.

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Engrish and Why It Makes Japanese Music Retarded
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2007, 03:41:18 PM »
I'm with Akira on this one... Except, I don't know what the hell the people are saying anyways, so I'm forced to enjoy the music for what it is.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.
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