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February 17, 2015 4:59 PM   Subscribe

What is the word/phrase Ami and Yumi say at the beginning of nearly every episode of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Show? It sounds like "soo-tah-toe," phonetically. DOT Jr. is a huge fan, so in our household, this is a question of some importance. As seen in this clip.
posted by DirtyOldTown to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Start!
posted by tomboko at 5:14 PM on February 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Suta-to is Japanese for start.
posted by cecic at 6:00 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's how the Japanese say the English word "start".
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:02 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Japanese is based on a set of consonant/vowel combination phonemes which is why you get these "Japanese English" pronunciations.

So, like, there is no "st" sound, but there are "su" and "ta" sounds. And there's no hard T ending, so they have to use a consonant+vowel ending. Thus start -> su-taa-to.

(Thus, sometimes speaking Japanese almost feels like you're doing one of those "bad Asian accent" horrible movie stereotype things, since it's full of English words that have been made more pronounceable to Japanese)
posted by thefoxgod at 6:17 PM on February 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I first started learning Japanese, I was fascinated by the phonemic romaji adoption into the language of foreign/English words. My favorite at the time was ハンドバッグ ('handobaggu', handbag/purse). It's surprisingly great language practice to conform words in your own language to the Japaenese syllabary (and it's still something that I feel like I do automatically).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:50 AM on February 18, 2015


It's surprisingly great language practice to conform words in your own language to the Japaenese syllabary

And it's surprising how often it can get you out of a jam when you can't remember the Japanese word for something.
posted by tomboko at 8:24 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


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