Wednesday, May 17, 2006

my bad engrish

I would like to be the second (Matt was the first) to announce to you the launch of theballadofvickiandjake.com website which is about, well, "the ballad of vicki and jake". If I were to tell you any more than that, it would be defeating the purpose of having the website.

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The other day, my brother in law pointed out my declining English ability. I admit he was not the first one to point this out, either. This July I will have lived outside the US for six years. Granted, a year and a bit of that was in the UK (when I was filming "the ballad", but even that was in international housing). The rest of the time I have been in Japan.

In the beginning, the Japanese I was learning simply replaced the French that I had learned while at school. I wasn't fluent, but I could check my coat, order a beer and request a lapdance at eighteen*. I'll end this story here.

This system of Japanese in, French out failed when the French became exhausted, and then the Japanese began to battle it out with the English. Insert favourite distasteful war joke here.

This English bye-bye trend is hastened by several factors. Among them:

1. Entire days of not speaking English.

2. Becoming accustomed to the mistakes that non-native speakers of English make, so much so that the incorrect grammar begins to make sense and actually sound right.

3. Intentionally using bad grammar with non-native speakers of English because the point will get across easier and the correct grammar is too difficult for the listener. This, of course, has two added disadvantages: a) reinforcing the bad grammar in the listener and b) reinforcing the bad grammar in the alledgedly native speaker.

How do they do it, those people who speak six languages? I start to learn one and all hell breaks loose.

Three posts down.

*This age is significant as it is the legal drinking age in Quebec, compared to the 21 in upstate New York (on the Canadian border) where I lived.

7 comments:

Lisa said...

Hello banana,

I love Engrish, but not as much as my friend who has this book http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1585424528/qid=1148042187/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl/203-1083183-0056716 It does make sense after a while. Have discovered that you can get banana milkshake flavoured koala biscuits here by the way, so good! Strangely the shop on my campus has a lot of Japanese goods as well. Can get pocky sticks whenever I want!

ian said...

lisa,

Your link to the book doesn't work. Don't make me ban you from the blog. I'l add that to my list: links that don't work.

I, too, can always do with an artificially flavoured fruit and "choco" treat- as long as it is in a cute shape and packaged in a box with anime. Throw in some free stickers, and I am all yours.

If you are annoyed by the cute, Japan is not for you. Lisa, you and Japan are a match made in heaven.

Anonymous said...

book linkified!!

Anonymous said...

Ian,

I didn't think the link would work but copying and pasting was always an option. I could really do with a choco treat right now. I'm all for free toys as well. But even better than that are games machines where the prizes are mini choc ices. *Some* people have a special dance for those occasions.

ian said...

I do know how to cut and paste, silly girl. It actually didn't work when I did that. Now the link is "hyper" like you.

Feeling a lovely buzz now on some black sugar seets that I washed down wih a few glasses of umeshu.

I don't know anything about any special dances. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Why are you signed on as anonymous? Is it to make it look like I have more readers? You are a doll.

Lisa said...

Umeshu?! So jealous. Unbelievably I still have a little bit left. Must bust it out for my birthday at the weekend. As for anonymous, I just forgot to put my name in that one time, but yes I am a doll! I don't know who the other anonymous is. Also, I'm having a hard time with the word verification - is it just me or is it actually quite hard to read? Hm. More proof that I need contacts probably.

ian said...

Word verification, yes. It is a bit tricky. I had to resort to that as my blog was only up for a day and I had 11 comments like "I love you fancy design!" and "Hi to webmaster this site so useful". Hey, these comments are actually appropriate for this "my bad engrish" entry.

The people writing that junk could use their time better by studying Engllish perhaps...