February 12th, 2009 by Steph

One of the fun things about being friends with a reporter is receiving that 3 a.m. phone call, and doubly so in Japan. It’s always exciting to hear “Help! I need a foreigner’s opinion, ASAP!” on the line and realize that you are about to single-handedly represent everyone in your entire country to a sleepy little Japanese town of 50,000 in the middle of nowhere.

I got this phone call a few weeks ago, just after Obama’s inauguration. Reporter Friend asked me for my opinions on Obama vs. Bush and the current political climate in the U.S. (a place I haven’t lived for 2+ years, may I remind you). While Reporter Friend has a commendable working knowledge of the English language, there is still an appreciable communication gap between my faulty Japanese and her decent 英語, especially when it comes to topics like anti-intellectualism, wire-tapping, and fear-mongering. When it comes down to it, anything with a hyphen is probably kind of off-limits.

Nevertheless, Reporter Friend made valiant efforts to break through the 言葉の壁 and was able to produce her article. I know this for a fact because one of my spastically-endearing 15 year-old students texted me the morning the article was published to tell me how famous and amazing I was for having opinions (?_?). This all made me a little self-conscious… who knows if anything vital was lost in translation. For all I know, the article says that I’m a hard-core supporter of Gitmo and that I hate babies.

The finished product is below, peruse if you like. If any of you Japanese-speaking superstars out there would like to translate, I’d love to know what I “said”.

Until then, I can neither confirm nor deny that I may or may not have opinions about stuff… and things.

5 Responses to “Opinionated”

  1. mom Says:

    This is very funny, Steph. Why don’t you ask one of your friends to give you a literal translation of the article. Then you would know what you “said.” or had opinions about. If I were you, I would be curious.

  2. Michael Says:

    I disagree with Mom (my wife). I think it’s better not to know what the article says. Then you can make up anything you like. Michael

  3. Papa Says:

    I agree with everything except lines 4 and 5.


  4. Suzanne Says:

    darn, I can’t access the article through your Flickr link! After I login to Yahoo, it says that I don’t have permission to see the file (?). I’d love to try this out on my native Japanese-speaking co-worker and give you the down-low :) Maybe you could email it to me?

  5. Steph Says:

    Suz> Done, and done! Let me know if you have any problems accessing the pic that I’ve inserted at the bottom of the article. :)

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