My lunatic friends! Glad to see you again!
I’m no English expert. English is my secondary language. While I am very literate with it, I do make some mistakes, especially when it comes to grammar. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you could see grammatical patterns of mine that may be non-standard, and essentially, erratic. I think that even in this paragraph alone a linguist would argue that some of the sentences have wrong grammar. At the very least, you would understand what I’m talking about, right?
Along with my life-long learning of the English language is my fascination with Engrish. Engrish is an oh-so familiar term among us anime fans, because of the hilarious way the Japanese attempt to speak the language. The Japanese language is quite different from the English language (most of which is because of the R and L sounds), that is why some Japanese have some difficulty in speaking, translating, and even writing in English. The end result is sometimes funny. That is why this certain series of English language study aids made in Japan struck a note. It is a study aid like no other, and seems to be intended to punch more Engrish in rather than making people learn the language the right way. Plus, it’s a sure-fire hit for otakus!
Moetan is a set of books (and now even an audio CD) that tries to be a quick English-Japanese dictionary of sorts. It actually has a story part, consisting of short stories written in English, with matching moe~ drawings of characters. Then a summary of some English words used is listed along with its Japanese translation and a sample sentence. Those sample sentences create the hilarity of the entire book. Some sentences are really funny because it either has bizarre use of words, reference some kind of Japanese otaku culture, or just plain Engrish. (click here for a sample)
The main character in the CD (Pastel Ink) is voiced by well known anime seiyuu Tamura Yukari.
sounds like a popular anime seiyuu I know, I just can’t pinpoint who. Her English is quite, well, Engrish. Sometimes I don’t even understand the English words she’s saying!
Aside from moetan, moetan II and the moetan listening CD, I see many other moetan stuff in the website. One is a rather amusing iPod nano spoof advertisement of the small book version of moetan, aptly called moetan nano. There also seems to be a towel on sale, apparently with a rather provocative drawing of a moetan character. There also seems to be a online mobile game, still teaching English words. A figure also seems to be on sale, as well as other books related to moetan. Hmm… that’s a lot of moetan for you.
With all those cute little things, plus a chance (no matter how little) to make a person’s ‘Engrish’ a little better, moetan seems to be a very weird mix that somehow works out rather well. So try your best in it, my lunatic friends!
Here are some more examples I picked up from the moetan listening CD:
Age – This is an ‘age’ in which even young witches use brute force. (Raging Haato! – Nanoha)
Generally – Be careful, the prettiest character is ‘generally’ a man. (‘usually’ should be a better word)
Grow – It embarrassed everyone involved, that the child actor keeps on ‘growing’, while the character he plays doesn’t. (LOL Harry Potter)
Illusion – Foreigners who come to Akihabara usually have the ‘illusion’ that most Japanese people have special hobbies. (everything is an illusion)
Judge – Never judge a book by its cover, it will only bring you grief. (yea right)
Release – For God`s sake! They ‘released’ a remade version of the game without an additional heroine! (happens in some console versions of bishoujo games)
Reservation – I heard that sales were to be by ‘reservation’ only, but boxes were lined up in the store window on sale. (ooh that reminded me of XBOX 360, hehe)
Sergeant – The rank of the frog seems to be ‘sergeant’. (Keroro Gunsou!)