What is said in a particular part of Lost in Translation?
October 31, 2006 6:35 AM   Subscribe

In Lost in Translation, when Bob Harris meets the woman in the hospital waiting room, what (in English) does she say to him, and what if anything does it sound to her like he's saying? I would also love to hear any other spot-translations from the movie if you happen to know them!
posted by lorimer to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
As I recall (though it's been a few years since I saw this film), she just keeps asking "where are you from?" or "where did you come from?"...

(I remember this because I was asked the same question by a friend when we saw it).
posted by modernnomad at 6:43 AM on October 31, 2006

This thread provides a translation of what the photographing is saying.
posted by JanetLand at 6:51 AM on October 31, 2006

Well, crap. The link in the thread doesn't seem to work anymore. Sorry.
posted by JanetLand at 6:51 AM on October 31, 2006

Here is the NYTimes article.
posted by The Michael The at 7:09 AM on October 31, 2006

If I remember, the hospital guy asks him "How long have you been in Japan?", then goes through various motions to simulate a clock.
posted by ontic at 8:25 AM on October 31, 2006

Guy? I always thought that androgenous character was a woman. Anyway, I'm excited because we just got to donogurai in my class so I can verify that yes, he/she/it asks "How long have you been in Japan?"

And I loved the film reviewer who thought that perhaps, in "Spirited Away" fashion, this character had morphed into the stuffed animal Bob subsequently presented to Charlotte.
posted by Rash at 9:17 AM on October 31, 2006

Damn -- my memory fails me again!
posted by modernnomad at 11:11 AM on October 31, 2006

Best answer: "Nihon ni nanen iru no desuka?" - How many years have you been in Japan? Mutters to himself "Ore, eigo wakaranai kara na." - I don't know English. He makes an attempt at English with the words - "Nihon ni' - "Japan up", "nanen" (making a counting hand gesture) and "aaso" gestures drawing a circle and pointing in the center (illustrating "you are here") and then laughs and nods when Bob Harris faithfully mimics the gesture.

In the end credits the actor is listed as "Old Man" and his name is Akira Motomura.

That's pretty much what I can come up with watching the scene on DVD. As a miltary brat, I lived in Japan and Okinawa for twelve years.
posted by plokent at 11:13 AM on October 31, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, plokent!! For people without access to the DVD (or the file), I think the reason people have diff. opinions on the gender is that the actor's voice may sound more female than male range, and he is old enough to inhabit that less-gendered space where we rely on cues like voice and dress more than obvious body shape.
posted by lorimer at 6:22 PM on October 31, 2006

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