October 19, 2008

the language barrier

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
I love languages, and learning languages, but when you're not fluent in one and you want to understand what is being said, it's so.damn.frustrating! T___T I guess my problem is that I'm too impatient. It took me years of reading, writing, and listening practice to become fluent in English, but of course when you achieve your goal you never think of the long way you had to walk to get there. So in short I'm jealous of all the people who are fluent in Japanese.

Last week I finally decided to take up my Japanese again. For real, I mean. I started learning Japanese by myself several years ago, just for fun, and then decided to take a test at the Official School of Languages here in Madrid, passed it without a problem and entered 2nd grade of Japanese directly. I completed 2nd year as well, but then, because of work, I didn't start 3rd grade, and even though I always promised myself I'd take it up again... I never seemed to find the right moment.

I guess it would be easier if I took classes again, instead of learning by myself, but it annoys me to think that I might have to go through 2nd grade again. I've forgotten part of what I learned, but I'm convinced that that knowledge is just lying dormant in my brain, that as soon as I start brushing off the cobwebs I'll recover it. However I find myself wanting to speed up the process. I watch old Ya-Ya-yah shows, or Shounen Club, or Hyakushiki, or read an article, and I want to understand what I'm listening to or reading. I feel as frustrated as Tom Hanks in The Terminal.

I feel somewhat impaired as a blogger and as the moderator of the Shoon LiveJournal community not being fluent in Japanese. I could have so much better an understanding of Shoon, Hikaru, Taiyô, and Yabu if my Japanese wasn't so poor. Also, I scan all these old articles, but I'm fazed by the task of translating them and sometimes feel like I'm just throwing them at you like a copy machine and that what I offer here is of little value.

I try to keep up with the Shoon-related news reading Japanese blogs, but half of the time I'm not sure if I'm understanding correctly what I'm reading. Back in February it took a great deal of courage for me to post the news about Shoon's play. I couldn't stop thinking I might have misunderstood something and somebody was going to point it out and I'd feel horribly embarrassed.

For all these reasons I feel immensely thankful to people like Yui, Enshinge and others who have translated so many Ya-Ya-yah and Shoon-related articles, to 33_snowfish and arigatou313, who have started subbing bits of Hyakushiki, and to NEWSHFAN, who must be the most prolific subber I've ever known and to whom we owe so many subbed episodes of the Ya-Ya-yah show. You all have my most sincere admiration and gratitude. =)

All this came about because a couple of days ago NEWSHFAN posted 2 more Ya-Ya-yah episodes subbed by her: 2003.08.17 Comedy contest pt.1 & 2003.08.24 Comedy contest part 2. These two are among my favourite 2003 episodes, but it was so much more enjoyable to rewatch it this time, being able to understand what they were saying and to laugh, knowing why I was laughing.

Before, Hikaru's skit seemed cute to me, but after watching it subbed I understood why somebody decided he HAD to be part of Ya-Ya-yah. He's as adorable as my 3 year-old niece; I want to hug him and kidnap him. Plus he had a good voice and the ability to always come up with a wisecrack. I don't share nor understand some of the decisions JE makes, but Hikaru definitely brought something good to Ya-Ya-yah and to the Ya-Ya-yah show.

But maybe the biggest surprise when I rewatched these episodes in this subbed version was to realize how funny Taiyô and Hoshino's skit was. It made me laugh so much! It was the best of all in my opinion. Kudos to whoever scripted it and drew those pictures. =) And Taiyô was so cute, stumbling upon the words, and so cheeky when he said he had drawn those pictures! XD And Hoshino sure made a great job not cracking up at any moment. LOL

Subaru was utterly unfair with the skit Shoon, Akama, Inoo and Koyama did, in my opinion. It WAS funny. Well, maybe not all the time, like Taiyô and Hoshino's was, but it had some very funny moments, like Koyama and Akama harassing poor Inoo-chan, and Shoon and Akama's fighting coreography was pretty cool and so well coordinated with the swoosh and whack sounds! XD

Yabu's skit with Shige was... well, it was okay, but Yabu was far funnier in the karate episode of 2005. ^^

[subbed by NEWSHFAN]

And speaking of these episodes, I just remembered I had a HQ clip of Shoon's skit. It was posted long ago at the Ya-Ya-yah LJ community by a Japanese girl I never heard of again after that, but I thought some of you might not have it, so I've reuploaded it: 2003.08.24 [Ya3 show] Shoon skit.avi [73MB] Click here or here to see a couple of screencaps. She also posted a HQ clip of Hikaru's skit, but I don't know why I don't have it anymore! ;__; If anybody has it... would you reupload it for me? ^^

I've scanned a couple of 2002 articles, or rather, the same article, only one is from the Japanese edition and the other one from the Taiwanese edition, plus the photographs are different. =)

I myself hadn't seen scans of the Taiwanese edition before I bought the clippings from a Singapore fan.

The Japanese article is one of my favourites because it has one of Shoon's coolest photographs. How could he be so cool at 13? >^-^<

But my very, very favourite is the photograph on the contents page, the one I've used for the new header.

Shoon looks so, so, so lovely with his short, shiny, puppet hair, his arm around Hoshino's shoulders and his head tipped towards Yabu. X3 And the red-soled runners make him stand out too~

2002.08 Wink Up (Japanese and Taiwanese editions)

PS: Almost forgot... I'm organizing a little fan project for Shoon's 20th birthday (December 20th), so if you're interested and would like to take part in it, please go here for more information.

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yahPOST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTS