Luxurious Worries, Or: So Effing What If You Sound Like An Anime?!

This entry is part of 13 in the series Secrets of Speaking

People, I am sick and phequing tired of hearing it.

Whether on the Internets or in RL, if Japanese is the topic of discussion, there always seems to be a kind, intelligent, well-meaning buck futter waiting in the wings to tell you: “Don’t learn Japanese from anime yada yada yada 1“. It’s like Towelie from South Park, but pretentious and lame and unanimated.

  • “Anime is bad for your Japanese” = “Futsal is bad for your soccer”
  • A non-native-level user of Japanese worried about sounding like anime = a person in the desert, about to die of thirst, insisting on Evian.

“The Japanese” have a word 2 for this foolishness: 贅沢な悩み 3. Luxurious worries. High-quality problems.

You are not in a position to be worrying about this kind of thing. You are literally covered in ignorance. You are in the ignorance toilet and need to wipe. Who cares what color the toilet paper is: wipe your behind first.

I mean, this is madness. Thus us Sparta. This is like getting a on baby’s case because she puts the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle when she says her first word. I mean, for the love of milk and cereal, man.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. Let go. Let it go. Let it all go. Watch anime and talk like an anime character. It’s fine. ‘Coz guess what? Anime is Japanese! By Japanese people, for Japanese people. So saying you “sound like an anime” is just saying you sound Japanese, which is kinda sorta generally considered a good thing when you’re (get this…wait for it…hold…hold…) speaking Japanese.

Plus, you’re just a kid 4, Japanesewise. Talk like an anime. It’s a phase you need to go through 😉 . You’ll outgrow it and be able to talk proper — just like a stuck-up jerk on the Internet — later. So let’s review:

  1. Childhood now.
  2. Soul-deadening gayness 5 later.

End of rant. Now go back to your Ergo Proxy.

“I would rather learn from and speak like an anime character than spend so much time worrying about my source of learning that I don’t learn anything at all!”
May

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Notes:

  1. Not only is this hate speech, there’s also a pun in here somewhere
  2. Well, phrase
  3. (ぜいたくななやみ)
  4. Have you ever heard Japanese toddlers talk? Japanese toddlers do not use keigo, and the ones that do are going to have absolutely epic mommy issues in a couple thousand days: don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true 😛 .
  5. and by “gay”, I mean blacks and Jews

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  30 comments for “Luxurious Worries, Or: So Effing What If You Sound Like An Anime?!

  1. November 22, 2011 at 00:49

    Where did you run into this garbage this time Khatz? Something in particular?

    I’m so sick of hearing this crap.  I literally cut my linguistic teeth on American cartoons back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and yet, I sound nothing like Elmer Effing Fudd, or Voltron either one. Well, maybe a little bit like Voltron, sometimes, in bed, but that’s just because i’m a geek sometimes and its fun to shout out “Ignition thrusters are go!” in the heat of the moment. But regardless, I agree completely, any Japanese is good for my Japanese.

  2. アンソニー
    November 22, 2011 at 03:32

    あれ?ってかオラの言葉、アニメの影響全然ねえしww

  3. November 22, 2011 at 07:33

    That was a surprisingly not too cheesy pun. But, I’m never going to look at “yada, yada, yada” the same ever again. 🙁

  4. Caren
    November 22, 2011 at 10:30

    I guess by their logic, I should talk like Spongebob Squarepants because that is the show I watched the most when I was learning English.

    Today, I have better English skills (both written and verbal) than most Americans I meet. I’ve had many classmates become jealous of my abilities and ask me for help.

    Play now, perfect later. 

  5. Agent J
    November 22, 2011 at 10:41

    “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” sounds so….. cool.
    I love you Khatz. Like sorry… but… I really do.
     
    Yeah.

    • Stephen
      April 5, 2015 at 11:26

      Yeah, but that’s a computer science phrase. He makes stuff up all the time, but that’s not one.

  6. November 22, 2011 at 13:39

    Are you going to let 2% of the world’s population speak nearly all the Japanese, just because you might sound silly using a little animu Japanese at first?
    ゼッタイだめっ!日本語を占拠せよ!我々は98%だ!

  7. ライトニング
    November 22, 2011 at 14:52

    I watch so much pokemon I usually end up saying ・・・ゲットだぜ!more than something like ・・・をもらった
    Seriously, probably 5/6  of my media is pokemon.

  8. Apple Head
    November 22, 2011 at 17:15

    I really liked this post until you mentioned Ergo Proxy.  Then I liked it even better.

  9. anon
    November 22, 2011 at 20:11

    It’s called respect. There is a time and place for everything. Do you talk animeish with your superiors?

    And the Spongebob analogy fails. English =/=Japanese

    please keep your rude western behavior to yourselves.

    • ライトニング
      November 23, 2011 at 09:14

      What’s better, Fluent and sounding animeish or not fluent and not sounding animeish. I think fluency with animeish is a lot easier to fix than incompetence in a language.

    • The Better Anonymous
      November 23, 2011 at 09:14

      And, then there is this faggot. Hurry back to the classroom, the lesson over “The ha line” is starting.

    • Jack
      November 23, 2011 at 16:51

      1.  You are so right.  There IS a time and a place for everything, but respect follows knowledge.  I’ll restate that.  Respect comes after knowledge.  At the start of a language we know nothing.  We all start off in the same manner as children so…please…be patient with us…

      2.  You’re missing the point.  It’s not about (dis)similarities in language.  It’s about how the human mind works; how we ALL learn.  Unless you’re saying Japanese minds work differently (which could be the case considering your last statement).

      3.  No.  I’m going to continue to speak my mind, as will most of us.  You, on the other hand, are perfectly welcome to continue stereotyping and tossing around generalities.  You are, of course, also welcome to continue walking around with a stick up your ass.

      Look, we just want to learn the language as fast and as well as we can.  It seems the best way to do that is by using the tools we enjoy.  If that means we start off crude and later learn politeness then so be it.  I’d rather begin in rudeness and finish in courtesy after only 2 years of study than reverse that and take 6-10 years like most of the people I know.

      Ask yourself why the irritants in your life are what they are.  Ask yourself why you’re letting things like impolite language bother you.  Is it really something that hurts you, or anyone other than the speaker for that matter?  Hopefully that level of self-reflection is within your power.

    • Nagoya Blue
      November 24, 2011 at 10:01

      I’d like to see things from your point of view, but there dosen’t seem to be room in your a#sehole for my head too.

  10. Freddy V
    November 23, 2011 at 06:51

    I’ll be damned if this wasn’t one of the best posts I’ve ever read regarding learning Japanese. Very nicely put. Very nice.

    It is true, some people get to that intermediate stage and think “Oh, yeah… I’m pretty much the sh#t!” But, yeah… you’re not! Not so much.

    Again, very good post!

    ~ fv 

  11. Han
    November 23, 2011 at 07:03

    What’s with the homophobic jokes today? 

  12. November 24, 2011 at 04:28

    Very nice post.
    I agree.
    In the begining you gotta start somewhere.
    Being able to imitate anime characters and able to speak like them is a powerful skill that will get your
    japanese up to spead in no time.
    I started like that.
    First anime, then grew to drama, then just normal people speaking.
    In the end it’s a natural progression that people go through and it becomes a part of your personality.
    I think that the natural progression is also kind of done by the environment to you.
    When japanese friends start teasing you a lot about sounding like an anime character and then you see them
    talk , you start learning the difference in voice tones between real life and over-exagerated
    anime speech.
    Learning from anime is cool and is a great first step. Just accept the consequences that come with it.
    If that’s all your committed to learning from, don’t be surprised if that cute girl you are trying to seduce
    runs away or rolls her eyes over because of your weirdness in speech patterns.
    Accept it and either move on or evolve into the next level.
     

  13. November 24, 2011 at 11:47

    I agree with part of the premise but not the whole thing, because you ignore that most crucial thing in language: CONTEXT. Yes, you want input, input and more input. Anime is as good or bad as any other tool with getting words and phrases. In fact, a lot of famous dialogue comes from anime. お前はもう死んでいる from Fist of the North Star, 二度もぶった!おやじにもぶたれたことないのに from Gundam, or, my personal favorite 逃げちゃダメだ!!! from Evangelion. They can make great social references and create a connection point. However, I would never say any of that stuff in a conversation (except maybe the last one) or even remotely encourage anyone to do so.

    An ancedote about context. My Japanese teacher (a feminine native lady in her early 30s) often said ええとうね when thinking. It sounded very natural and as such I used it in my own speech when in the US. However, when I went to go abroad, many people would laugh when I said it. I was very frustrated but the people around being polite and encouraging, didn’t say anything that would help my situation. It was only later when I listened to JapanesePod101 that I found out it was a rather feminine form and not befitting of me being a mid-20s college student male. Nowadays I say あのさ as it is more natural and expected.

    So it is with anime. Your article has this DAMN PROPER CONDUCT JUST DO IT which is fine to an extent. Until I see (and I have) Western guys trying too hard to sound like shonen manga “tough guys” with their superiors who are fortunately tolerant enough to understand but too polite to say that’s Not How To Do It. Better they speak some than not at all? Sure. It would be even better if they don’t come off like jerks when they’re not.

    Remind your readers that Japanese especially is a context-sensitive language and be always cognizant of it. If you want to quote Shinji Ikari, remember that Shinji is a 14 year old kid. You want to quote (one of my favorite characters) Rintarou Okabe from Steins;Gate? Just remember that his words are often more pompous and pretentious than philosophical? You want to speak like Digiko from Digi-Charat? God help us all.

    • Jason
      November 27, 2011 at 03:59

      If a person cannot differentiate the forms of usage between えっとね and あのさ, it just means that he has not heard/read enough Japanese.
      Once you get to a certain level, these are things you should understand automatically, regardless if you watch anime or whatever.
      There are many things that when I got to a certain point, I just know due to my increasing connection to the Japanese language, and I never had to look it up in a book or anything. 
       

    • This
      August 19, 2015 at 07:10

      ええとね isn’t exclusively feminine, you know (but the image it projects might not be the one you want).

  14. November 24, 2011 at 14:36

    こんにちわ!

    時々 こちらの記事を読ませていただいています^^。
    AJJAT さんの語学学習に対する考え方に、感心したり、共感したりしています。^^
    Twitterも、フォローさせていただいてます^^

    アニメにあわせてしゃべってみる、とてもいいと思います。
    とくに、アニメの声優さんたちは、ドラマよりもはっきりと発音しているので
    聞き取りやすいし、普通に私たちが話す日本語で語られています^^。

    もちろん、キャラクターによっては、変な口癖があったり、
    あまり上品ではないしゃべり方をするキャラクターもいますが、
    標準の言葉で話していることの方がとても多いです。
    十分学べる物があると思います。

    それに、なんといっても、楽しいですからね^^

    汚い表現やふさわしくない言葉が使われるとこともある
    と、言うことを念頭においていてほしいですね^^。

     人は、楽しいことから、たくさんたくさん学べると思います^^。

    アニメ好きの方にはもってこいの練習だと思います^^ 

    • Jacob
      July 3, 2012 at 14:45

      Not trying to be a grammar nazi but i was under the impression that even though it sounds like こんにちわ it was written こんにちは but please correct me if im wrong

      • Tsubasa
        July 3, 2012 at 15:32

        Hi, Jacob-san Thanks for the message^^. Yes, こんにちは is the proper way to say, “Hello”. However,  for some Japanese people, こんにちわ looks  more friendly or casual, and I prefer the way of it. So I often use こんにちわ when I write about something which I don’t want it to sound too serious,  on twitter or BBS. I use こんにちは in  some kind of business or more serious mails、  or when I send the letters to older people. (Actually, you must be careful using such non-proper words.  There are always someone who don’t like them^^;)
        (Sorry, there might be many mistakes even in this short message.  I’m still on the journey of learning English, but of course, with lots of fun^^!)    

        • Jacob
          July 4, 2012 at 03:49

          oh, i didnt know that. Thank you for explaining, im trying to learn japanese so im sure that will be helpful in the future. Btw i didnt catch any mistake so you’re doing great, i hope to someday be able to write in japanese as well as you do in english(:

  15. November 24, 2011 at 14:41

    Oh, so sorry, I made a mistake.

    I wanted to say,

    ”ただ、やってみる時には、

     
    汚い表現やふさわしくない言葉が使われるとこともある
    と、言うことを念頭においていてほしいですね^^。”

    I hope you understand what I mean^^ 

  16. Jason
    November 27, 2011 at 03:37

    It’s nearly impossible for a Japanese learner to sound/speak like an anime character.
     
    You know why? Because in order to sound like an anime seiyuu, you actually need to be fluent in the language. So they should just stop worrying.

  17. Jay
    February 12, 2012 at 14:05

    Maybe I’m just delirious from lack of sleep, but footnote 5…. LMFAO! I wept.

  18. August 15, 2013 at 10:27

    I love it when people whine about others sounding like cartoon characters (or anime characters). I find it highly amusing, especially when the other person has better grammar and more easily understood speech patterns than the complainer.

    Yeah, there’s stuff you’re only going to pick up from real life, but who cares? You’re not going to pick it up quickly enough to use it if you don’t already have a base. Why do you think speech courses that actually kind of work teach you neutral speech patterns in Japanese before they go worrying with formal/familiar? All that verb conjugation can wear on a person’s brain, so they just teach you the stuff you need to know to not tick someone off first.

    Funny thing, though, I’ve noticed that these courses work best when I study them in conjunction with a zillion other things I’m doing. The textbook grammar is a nice tool that helps me put into different contexts stuff I already know. (I’m sure I’ll get lampooned for saying that here, but it’s true.) Let me rephrase that: my textbook knowledge is helping me get more out of what I’m -learning- from anime, drama, and toku. Read that how you will.

    Furthermore, and I really hope my arguments are making sense, I started learning English not just from my parents, but from stuff like -Ninja Turtles-, which I was more or less weaned on and still love to this day, and I was reading sight words before I knew the alphabet. I sounded like a mishmash of my parents, said Turtles, and the Power Rangers by the time I started kindergarten, and still got better grades in grammar and writing, and then on impromptu speeches/storytelling once I got the hang of it, than almost anybody else right up through high school.

    It’s not what you learn from, it’s how much you pay attention and what you put into it. And who pays attention to or puts effort into boring things they’re not getting something out of?

    Oh, and for the record, I still say “Cowabunga.”

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