Saturday, May 16, 2009

sound so mad now

I knew my Japanese was improving; I was chatting in Japanese, texting in Japanese, putting up custom statuses on Facebook and MSN in Japanese and sometimes thinking in Japanese too.

Since Sam was very proficient in the language, I usually message him in Japanese. As he was one of the first Malaysians I met when I came to Tokyo, and one of the few who took the effort to console me when my granma passed away, he was naturally concerned about my current status.

The other day I happened to use the computer downstairs while cooking. In between idle time, I decided to log in to MSN and saw that he happened to be online too. Not wanting to change the default settings, I decided to just type in English this time.

Sam : wah... finally see u speak in english... how r u?

me : coz not my pc. malas wanna change languae

Sam : haha so... wazzup

me : you mesg me first.. i shud ask u

Sam : just to say hi

me : hehe

Sam : so... hows the food

me : hehe cooking with my housemates. so its kinda fun. and i end up eating a lot haha

Sam : no wonder... anw, good life?

me : so far so good

Sam : good.... glad to hear

me : enjoyig spring weather

Sam : u know... maybe is my japanese not that good. the way u tell me in japanese and the way u tell me in english. i felt so different. u sound so mad in japanese. but in english... it sounds so much like u

me : sound so mad??? really arh hahahaha

Sam : so angry

me : zen zen la (translated : not at all)

Sam : haha maybe i translated wrongly

me : or i need to soften my japanese... wat did i say to give you that impression la

Sam : aha.. everything... from start

me : like what

Sam : i don know. the meaning u try to express thru japanese... hard to tell u. from start... i already like hearing complains... haha japanese should not be use like english... for gals... should use it more softly... use words softly like だよ、おねがいします、かもしれない、のかい、 i don know. try to make ur japanese sounds more softer... don make it like a guy speaking type... eventhough in english it can.. but japanese express it like angry for gals...

me : hahahh i have been watching gokusen recntly. and learning yakuza language

Sam : no wonder eesh.... sounds really rough.... for a gal, as if u r scolding or angry... or just being a man....

me : HAHAHAHAHAHA zen zen la

Yes, like I said, I have improved quite a bit in my Japanese. What I conveniently forgot didn't realise is I've been learning all the masculine speech from that addictive Yakuza drama.

The traditional male-chauvinist society of Japan is such that the women are supposed to conform to certain societal etiquette and this includes the speech pattern too. Words such as "I" and "you" are different for male and female. In addition, sentence ending patterns differ between both gender as well.

Not only is the Japanese language highly contextualised, I have to make sure I sound feminine enough by using the right gender word patterns!

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