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Lisps!

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Re: Lisps!

Postby NileCat » Fri 10.23.2009 3:38 pm

keatonatron wrote:One similarity, I think, to what I'm trying to explain is the "R" and "L" problem. I have often heard it said that the Japanese "R" sound is more like a mixture of "R" and "L", and where it falls between the two depends on the speaker. Some people pronounce it just like the English "R", and some people even pronounce it very close to the English "L", but either way, Japanese speakers don't distinguish between the two and don't differentiate (that doesn't mean they can't hear the difference; it simply means nothing to them so they ignore it).

Now, does anyone agree with me this far?

I agree.

So, if Japanese people can use both "R" and "L" for the same thing without noticing the difference (because it doesn't affect meaning one bit), what's to say they couldn't use both "s" and "th" without noticing a difference?

Still in agreement?

No, I'm afraid not.
However, if you are talking about "s" and "th" sounds in English words, I agree with you.
But you are talking about "s" and "th" sounds in Japanese words, right? I should say your thesis is wrong. Don't you know that it's usually considered to be difficult to produce "th" sound by English learners in Japan? Unlike "R", Japanese "S" is not a mixture of "S" and "th".
If you'd like to talk about "s"(sea) and "sh"(shore) in Japanese, it depends on the words. In some words, we accept the difference. But in some words, they are not interchangeable.

If you go that far, then it's logical to say that a lisp, which is just using "th" instead of "s", would not be noticed by Japanese people, even though it is noticed by us. I never said Japanese people can't hear a lisp, I said they don't notice it without some prodding.

If you go that far, then it's logical to say that a lisp, which is just using "th" instead of "s", would be noticed by Japanese people, even if they are not prodded.
The reason why they can't make out "th" sound in English words is that they automatically translate it into Japanese sound in their brains, which is "s". The "th" sounds in unfamiliar English words are unanticipated for their brains. But there is no reason for them to translate Japanese sound into Japanese sound. They always anticipate the proper sound in the word. Therefore, it's easy to catch the difference.

この論理はいかがでしょうか? 8)
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Re: Lisps!

Postby AJBryant » Sat 10.24.2009 4:22 pm

I recall seeing some actors in rather prominent roles (some guy in lead Jidai Geki roles -- can't recall who offhand) about a year or so ago, and he had a REALLY prominent lisp. I was amazed that he had a career as an actor.

When I was a kid here in the States, all our elementary schools had speech therapists who worked with kids with speech impediments (lisps being the most obvious ones) to fix the problem. It amazes me to see people who still lisp as an adult -- it has always struck me as something that one either outgrows or learns to not do via speech therapy.

That's why I was so stunned to see such obvious lisping in someone whose job entailed, essentially, speaking.


Tony
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Re: Lisps!

Postby NileCat » Sat 10.24.2009 4:31 pm

Tony, please, please recall the names of the actors for me!! :(




Spoiler:
(田村正和?)
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Re: Lisps!

Postby two_heads_talking » Wed 11.04.2009 3:59 pm

Would a kind of lisp be similar to the comedic chan instead of san? such as obachan vs obasan etc.. Tanakachan vs Tanakasan etc..
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Re: Lisps!

Postby NileCat » Wed 11.04.2009 5:40 pm

I have no idea how it sounds to English speakers though, to me, it seems standard -chan doesn't contain th sound. However, the most characteristic pattern in Japanese pronunciation that sounds English lisp would be 江戸弁. Like 「お父っつthぁん」(お父さん)(お父ちゃん). It's a dialect of 下町 in Tokyo. I personaly think it's like Cockney in London. Even today, there exist quite a few people who have strong 江戸弁. In that respect, keatonatron's observation seems accurate to me. And I kind of agree we are "tolerant" of those "different pronunciations". And it seems likely that Tony has come across them in Jidai Geki, because many characters use 江戸弁 there.
Nevertheless, I still remain unconvinced that we don't notice the differences. :evil:


Assume that I'm living next to Covent Garden in London. One day, I meet a girl called Eliza Doolittle. And I notice that there are a bunch of people in the town who can't properly say "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain"... Well, I don't think I would conclude that "British people don't notice the difference".... :roll:

Or in Japan, people who say ボドル(bodoru) instead of ボトル(botoru) can't be taken seriously as actors or politicians or whatever. It's a kind of hopeless lisp in Japan. They would be considered not smart. Because they can't distingish the palpable fact that the letter is "t" not "d". But I wouldn't be surprised to see many American actors have their wonderful carrer even if they pronounce the word like "boddle" insted of "boTTle". ...I know, I know...I would sound ridiculous to you. But that is the exactly same feeling I had when I read the keatonatron's theory at first. :)
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Re: Lisps!

Postby keatonatron » Wed 11.04.2009 7:34 pm

NileCat wrote:Or in Japan, people who say ボドル(bodoru) instead of ボトル(botoru) can't be taken seriously as actors or politicians or whatever. It's a kind of hopeless lisp in Japan. They would be considered not smart. Because they can't distingish the palpable fact that the letter is "t" not "d". But I wouldn't be surprised to see many American actors have their wonderful carrer even if they pronounce the word like "boddle" insted of "boTTle". ...I know, I know...I would sound ridiculous to you. But that is the exactly same feeling I had when I read the keatonatron's theory at first. :)


Actually, that might be just my point :wink:

I think most all Americans would not notice the difference between Bottle and Boddle.

We can hear the difference, but it is so trivial we would never notice it (i.e. we would never say "Wait a second. Did you hear that? He said "boddle" instead of "bottle". Do you think he has a speech impediment?"). Which is what I was trying to say about lisps in Japan. People can hear them but don't take notice because of it's unimportance, whereas in America we constantly take note of them.



As a side note...
Assume that I'm living next to Covent Garden in London. One day, I meet a girl called Eliza Doolittle. And I notice that there are a bunch of people in the town who can't properly say "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain"... Well, I don't think I would conclude that "British people don't notice the difference".... :roll:


Of course you wouldn't conclude that, because whenever one of those people left an upscale store, you'd see the employees roll their eyes and say "Oh geez, another one of THOSE people... If they can't afford to speak properly, how can they afford to shop here??". :lol:

Of course, that would only happen in the time period of "My Fair Lady" :wink:

But in Japan no one reacts to lisps, which makes people (me) think they go largely unnoticed.
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Re: Lisps!

Postby NileCat » Wed 11.04.2009 8:02 pm

Very interesting. Now I think I'm getting to understand what you mean at last. :D

But I recommend you to be careful when it comes to getting by in a Japanese society!
In some societies even in Japan, even only slightest differences in pronunciation can never be accepted. In so-called high-society or clannish closed-off village society and so forth.

And one of the reasons that we don't react to lisps in public is only our twisted superficial "politeness". You'd know how many people say a lot of things behind their backs... :mrgreen: I personally believe it is much nastier than that in your home country.
Last edited by NileCat on Wed 11.04.2009 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lisps!

Postby chikara » Wed 11.04.2009 8:15 pm

keatonatron wrote:..... Of course, that would only happen in the time period of "My Fair Lady" :wink: .....

1956 :shock:

Are you Shaw ;)
Don't complain to me that people kick you when you're down. It's your own fault for lying there
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