Today I turned on the tv to watch while I ate my delicious nabe, and after a while I turned to a channel with a show about couples planning their weddings–what it takes to plan a wedding here, what it costs and what it entails. They interviewed a young couple getting ready to get married, who had started planning a year in advance, bought a wedding planner book to help them prepare, and spent a lot of their weekends and late nights visiting different venues and preparing for the wedding in general. (This is not a wedding post, btw.)
Two groups in a studio were together discussing what they’d just seen, one of guys and one of girls. One of the girls said she’s thought it was simple, just choose your guests and get married, but she could see that it was a lot more involved than she’d expected–and the girls then mentioned that the guy getting married had seemed pretty tired. Then the guys’ group was all like, “yeah, but did they really have to do all the planning together?” One guy said, “yeah, did they really have to go and pick out something like the flowers together? どうでもいい！” and then when the girls looked like they would say something back, he was like, “I mean, they’re just going to throw them over their shoulder anyway.”
The way he said this was so funny, and everyone in the studio laughed, and I laughed, and then I realized that I’d just laughed and understood something funny spoken at normal speed about a normal topic, and I was suddenly really, really happy! I’d been kind of concerned lately–learning Japanese had felt like such a long, long road, and I was wondering when I’d be able to understand things that were funny. Sometimes I watch variety shows or お笑い番組 like whatever show of his is on during the evenings here, but even when I understand what’s going on, it doesn’t make me laugh that much >< and there’s honestly a lot that I have trouble understanding. In the office at work, I can usually understand dajare (puns), which is fun, but jokes and such are harder for me to understand because they’re told quickly using words that I don’t know. I understand most of what goes on on Sekai Banzuke, but I don’t feel like that counts hahaha.
I feel like average jokes in a language are probably even funnier to second-language-learners who “get” them. Sometimes during a conversation, it’ll be going along in Japanese for a bit, and then suddenly I have this moment where I’m like, “Oh my goodness, I’m speaking in Japanese normally and I wasn’t even thinking about it! This is a normal conversation! Wow!” and while I’m thinking about this, I space out for a couple minutes and totally miss where the conversation was going, and have to make myself tune back in, haha. So when I get a joke, first I get it and laugh, and then there’s the shock of “wow, oh my goodness, I GOT IT!” and then space out for 1-2 mins, and then laugh again, because, heck, I understood the joke! The above example isn’t a joke, and I’m not even sure it’s funny at all to anyone reading this, but I don’t care, I just want to commemorate it (^________^)
Speaking of which…I really enjoy Sekai Banzuke (世界番付, “World Rankings”). I think I’ve watched it to the end every time I’ve turned it on. This show has a Japanese panel and a non-Japanese panel, with members from around the world–non-Japanese members who are all fluent in Japanese, and with one notable exception, sound really good in Japanese. I found a clip that you can watch here, but don’t judge me if it’s weird, because the only example I could find was a special on heavy metal around the world, and I didn’t watch the whole thing^^; But hey…do you know which are the top 3 countries in the world for liking/listening to heavy metal? Do you know where Japan stands on that list? (…it’s really easy to get addicted to this show, haha.)
Also, there were some interesting cms on tv today! Mr. Donut has a Snoopy campaign going, where (I think) you can get a Snoopy plate when you buy a donuts set. I really want the plate minus all the donuts, even though I like the donuts, but I think that’s what this commercial is telling you not to do, hahaha. (Here’s another link if the official video below isn’t viewable in the US…I don’t know but that happens sometimes for licensing reasons)