Why do some Japanese TV shows use difficult English phrases instead of Japanese ones?
August 25, 2007 1:16 PM Subscribe
How is the English language regarded in Japanese culture?
posted by ibmcginty to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
So I'm watching Ninja Warrior
. It's a Japanese TV show sort of like American Gladiators, but roughly 45 times awesomer. Many of the obstacles are called by English names. "Spider Walk," "Body Prop," "Pipe Slider," "Jump Hang" and the like.
And that's what they call them in the original show in Japan. They use subtitles for the play-by-play, and you can hear the Japanese announcer calling them "Rumbuling Dice" and whatnot.
Why do they do that?
It's not like these are common English phrases. They go through the effort of making up somewhat clever or descriptive names that require a good amount of English proficiency.
Does everyone in Japan speak English? Why would they not just say "Jump Hang" in Japanese? Is there any larger meaning to this phenomenon? Discussion of English in other Japanese fora is welcome. Compare and contrast the role of English in Japan with its role in Korea and China. Cite specific examples.