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Spoken Japanese Verbatim Text: Transcript of a TV Interview with ANNO Hideaki

As many of you know, it’s one’s duty as a geek to love Neon Genesis Evangelion. Recently, I was rewatching the show, and then reading about in on Wikipedia. Anyway, there’s a link there to the text of a 2004-ish TV interview with the creator/director, ANNO Hideaki (庵野秀明[あん-の-ひで-あき]). It’s a good example of very natural, semi-formal spoken Japanese.

In my time in Japan, I’ve found that when you first meet someone, it’s normal to start out very formal and distant, but as you get to know them better (even within the course of a single conversation), there’s this natural relaxation of the stiffness; of course, unless you’re the same age and rank, the tone remains polite — you’re not likely to be dissing each other’s mommas — but you’re certainly not talking to them as if they were Emperor Palpatine, either. In a sense, that’s exactly how it is in much of the rest of the world, too. Anyway, it’s that typical semi-formal tone that you’ll find in the interview.

  2 comments for “Spoken Japanese Verbatim Text: Transcript of a TV Interview with ANNO Hideaki

  1. mantixen
    May 11, 2007 at 13:26

    i wonder if 庵野さん realized the irony in his explanation of 衒学的 (「こういう言葉を使っていれば賢そうに見えると云う・・・」), a word that is esoteric enough to warrant a hiragana rendering after its first transcription in the text. Perhaps that was the whole idea, and he appreciated the audience’s laughter following his joke. Was he smiling as he explained the word? Perhaps it’s just one of those words that in it’s very use backhands the one who uses it.

  2. khatzumoto
    May 11, 2007 at 15:27

    >Was he smiling as he explained the word?
    Never saw the actual video so I don’t know, but like you said, it seems like deliberate irony. I laughed.

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