My Best Teaching Is One-on-One


Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.


But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.


It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.


Monday, August 4, 2014

"Lose Yourself to Dance" == Date with Dojo-san? -- 「ダンスに奪われるまま」 ≡ 道上さんとデート?

My wife regularly listens to a morning talk show called 「おはようパーソナリティー道上洋三です。」 ("O-hayo Pasonaritei Dojo Yozo Desu." or "It's the Morning Personality Dojo Yozo!").

Sometimes I'd like a little quiet in the morning, but it has been good for my Japanese.

The last couple of weeks, Dojo-san has been running a corner called 「道上さんとデート」("Dojo-san to Deto", or "A Date with Dojo-san").

Some listeners wrote in to say that Pharrell Williams singing the refrain on Daft Punk's "Lose Your Soul to Dance" sounded to them like "Dojo-san to Deto".
リスナーの何人かのメールに、ファレルウィリアムズが歌うダフトパンクの "Lose Yourself to Dance" (「ルーズ・ユアセルフ・トゥ・ダンス」)のリフレインが、「道上さんとデート」に聞こえることを知らせてくれたのです。

And that turned into this corner, where Dojo-san meets up with listeners and their families at places like the Osaka Aquarium, and then talks about it on the radio.

Neither my wife nor I was were listening when they first explained this, but Dojo-san was kind enough to blog about it.

So, how does "Lose yourself to dance." sound like "Doujou-san to deeto."?

The "l" of the "loo" sound in "lose" is a little harder than the soft "d" of the Japanese mora "ru". Moreover, the "l" consonant colors a long "u" vowel towards the long "o" sound. That's where the Japanese ear hears the lengthened "do" mora.
"l" の影響で「ウ」が「オ」に近くなって、「ル」がかたくなって、「ド」に移ると思います。

The final voiced "s" of "lose" combines with the initial "yo" of "your" to produce "zyo" (which happens to be an alternate Latinization of "jo"), and the final "r" disappears. Thus the "jo".
濁った "s" が "yo" にくっ付いて、 "zyo" が発生したら、尾にくる "r"が消えて「ジョ」の「オ」が延びる。

How "se" could sound like "sa", you'll have to ask the French. They know.

Final "l"s often sound to Japanese ears like the Japanese nasal mora. And the "f" sandwiched between the "l" and the "t" disappears, without a vowel to sustain it.
尾にくる "l" の発音は日本人の耳によく「ン」に変わるのがあります。そして「ト」の前の "f" が消えるでしょう。

And that's the pair of mora, "san".

"To" sounding like "toe"? There is no native lingual fricative "t" sustained by a long "u" sound in Japanese, so that gets mapped to either the "te" or "to" mora with a trailing "u" which disappears.

Shifting "da" with short "a" to "da" with long "a"? The short "a" is just a little lower in the front of mouth then the short "e", and the long "a" is a diphthong, the short "e" sliding into the short "i" or long "e" sound. It's close.
どうして「ダ」が「デー」に聞こえるでしょう?ここの "da" は「ア」よりも、「ェア」のような発音です。つまり、短「o」ではなく、短「a」の発音です。あの聞き難い「apple」の「a」です。「エ」から行けば、「エー」まで聞こえるらしい。

Why does the nasal "n" disappear? It gets hidden by the lingual fricative, "s". But how on earth does that "s" turn into a "to". Lingual fricative spoken heard as a lingual stop?

Maybe that disappearing nasal helps. Push the tongue a little hard, and the lingual fricative kind of gets stopped.

But I'll note, in addition, that with certain dialects of Japanese, it can be really hard, sometimes, for the foreign ear to hear the difference between "so" and "to".




And Daft Punk has presented us with a nice small example of the fun stuff that happens at the boundaries between English and Japanese.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Courtesy is courteous.