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The Japanese Have A Special Word For Mom

December 14th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

As with every culture, the Japanese have words that are difficult to translate into other languages. Most well-known among them are honne, one’s “true feelings and desires,” and tatemae, “the behavior and opinions one displays in public.” There’s also a Japanese word, yoko meshi, for the “stress induced by speaking a foreign language.”

Then there’s this one from the 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World list:

But, see, here’s where I’m confused. Because I always thought the word for that person was just… “Mom”?

What you can't see in this picture is the invisible gun Mom's holding to her child's head.

[Matador Abroad: 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World]
[NPR: Translating the Untranslatable]

Thanks, Angela!

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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Rinku Singh Keeps His Eye on the Ball Instead of the Ladies, Gets Historic Win

July 14th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Gulf Coast League Pirates pitcher Rinku Singh made history Monday by becoming the first India-born player to record a professional baseball win in the U.S. (The GCL Pirates are the rookie developmental team of the Pittsburgh Pirates.) You may recall that Rinku and his countryman Dinesh Patel made history before when they signed with the Pirates organization last November after placing first and second in an Indian reality-show contest called The Million Dollar Arm, thereby becoming the first India-born players to ink a professional sports contract of any kind in this country.

So how did Rinku get his first win? Did he manage to bring up the velocity of his fastball from the low 90′s? Did he paint the outside corners of the strike zone? Did he introduce something nasty and unhittable to his limited pitching repertoire?

My theory: he started keeping his eye on the ball instead of the ladies.

I kid, I kid! (Rinku, if you’re reading this like you did that other time, where you thought I was calling you a perv when I was really calling you a babe, know that this is what we call in America “giving you shit.”)

Then again, he only had to strike out one batter to get the win, so I’m not going to get my panties too far in a bunch over this “historic” moment. (Yes, Rinku, still “giving you shit.” See also “heckling.”)

[DISGRASIAN: Babewatch: Rinku Singh]
[Rinku's blog: The Good - The Bad & The Ugly]
[Deadspin: Rinku And Dinesh Are Not On The Babewatch!]


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SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Lost in Translasian

December 8th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
Million Dollar Babes: Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh

Uh-oh! Somebody’s jock is in a twist, and it’s all our fault. Two weeks ago, we made Rinku Singh, winner of The Million Dollar Arm contest and one of two Indian pitchers recently signed to the Pittsburgh Pirates, our “babe” of the week. Apparently, Rinku saw this and thought we were accusing him of being a perv (from his blog on

One very, very bad thing about the news is that they say I on the BABEWATCH ( this not true. i not watching girls. i only pitching, training, eat, watch baseball/Movies and sleep. American women very dangerous and very crazy. I like only Indian woman. Dinesh and JB, Sir have been harrassing me about this BABEWATCH. I do not like the BABEWATCH.

Since I can’t leave a comment on his blog, I have to clear the air here.

Rinku. Duuude. First of all, sorry. Second, chillax. We meant this only as a compliment, and it may be the nicest thing you hear said about yourself in the near future since baseball fans are notoriously vicious. In America, the word “babe” can be applied to both women and men. (Don’t bother looking this up in a dictionary; dictionaries don’t teach you anything about slang.) In this case, you are the “babe.” And we are “watching” you. Once a week, we like to feature certain people on our blog simply because they are nice to look at. I guess that makes us the pervs!

But, hey, at least you understand one very important thing about your new home–American women are dangerous and crazazy! Remember that when those groupies come to watch you pitch and ask to, like, stroke your bat and shit.

Thanks, Mark!

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How Now Brown Couch Slur

April 20th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

AP reported this story yesterday about a Toronto woman who was horrified to discover that her new couch bore a label with a racial slur on it:

“TORONTO, Ontario (AP) — Doris Moore was shocked when her new couch was delivered to her Toronto home with a label that used a racial slur to describe the dark brown shade of the upholstery.

The situation waseven more alarming for Moore because it was her 7-year-old daughter who pointed out ‘nigger brown’ on the tag.”

The blame game was played all the way down the line to a Kingsoft, Inc., a Chinese software company, whose translating program exchanges the N-word for the phrase “dark brown.” The spokesperson for Kingsoft claims they got the definition from an outdated Chinese-English dictionary.


My turn to play the blame game:

DISGRASIAN #1: Vanaik Furniture, where Moore bought the sofa, who told AP that the dark brown couches have been a “best seller.”

DISGRASIAN #2: Kingsoft Corp. “I know this is a very bad word,” Huang Luoyi, a product manager for the Beijing-based company’s translation software, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

DISGRASIAN #3: Paul Kumar of Cosmos Furniture in Toronto, who denied responsibility and wouldn’t tell the name of the couch’s Chinese manufacturer. “It’s not my fault. It’s not the manufacturers’ fault,” he said, adding that Kingsoft was to blame.

DISGRASIAN #4: That damn outdated Chinese-English Dictionary. I shouldn’t have to say why, but here’s a hint: “DARK BROWN translates to…”

and lastly,

DISGRASIAN #5: America. The word never had to belong to any lexicon. But it does to ours.


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Helping Anime Suck More, One Day at a Time

April 9th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Two Corporate Giants: Anime Selects and Ziddio (Yeah, I don’t know who they are either) have announced an incredible new contest for hungry Animephiles: Be a Tokyo Reporter! The Lucky Winner will be flown to Tokyo to Cover the 2007 Anime Fair for a video segment.

What do you know, in a most serendipitous turn of events, I happened to come upon the beat sheet for the trailer:

God, I LOVED that movie “Lost In Translation.” Nothing belittling or offensive in that either.

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