Friday, July 30, 2010

The Japanese-Speaking Miriam

Would you like to get to know the Miriam Cho who speaks Japanese?

-       The one whose pitch is three notches higher than her English?
-       Who cries out すみません! after even the slightest accidental brush against someone’s foot?
-       Whose number one phrases are 〜てもいいですか? “Is it all right if I do this? And this? And THIS?”
-       Who uses あのう to preface every sentence …
-       And adds けど after every sentence to avoid sounding too direct?
-       A person who, when asking a favor, will take at least 3 lines to get to the point:
あのう,質問があるんですが。。 “Uh, the fact is that I have a question…”
〜についてなんですけど。。 “The fact is, that it has something to do with it…”
実はね。。。 “The truth is … (and finally the question pops out here)”
-        And if she REALLY wants to be polite, will drop phrases like 〜せていただけないでしょうか? “Could I not receive the favor of your letting me do …?”

Or do you want to know the American Miriam Cho, the one who has no qualms about complaining if she’s annoyed, who ignores the signals at every crosswalk and eats when she walks, and who’s a little irked as to why her personality changes so much in Japanese?

Which one would you rather know?

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sparks said...

Yo, Korean also does that to so many women. Have you ever noticed that when Korean women pick up the phone, all of a sudden their voice goes up about an octave? And they speak more prettily?

Miriam Cho said...

true, but i also feel like korean women can sound pretty menacing if they really want to (my mom, for instance :) ).

Kelly McLaughlin said...

Or my wife! (...hope she doesn't read this...)

jglc said...

yo when I speak in Chinese I become a taxi cab driver. (true story)

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