April 18th, 2005

American-Japanese Accent?

This is a rather odd question, I know, but I'm hoping you guys can help me out here. The situation is thus: I'm writing a parody/humor story about an international team of mech pilots, as told from the perspective of Japanese Pilot #1. One of said pilots is an American who has little talent for speaking Japanese; he constantly mixes up words/screws up grammar/has a rather thick accent, so on and so forth. Except...I have no idea what that would sound like to a Japanese listener.

Basically, I need two things:

1) What does an American accent sound like in Japanese? And for that matter, what does English sound like? I'd imagine that English sounds a bit "rougher" from all the extra consonants we throw about, but I'm not sure. My first-year Japanese knowledge isn't good enough to make any solid guesses on this subject.

2) What are some common vocabulary/grammar mishaps? For example, I know the て-form for "to enter" and "to throw up" sound similar and often get mixed up. (At least, that's how it works in my particular Japanese class. There's a good possibility we're all just stupid, though.) Are there any other humorous screw-ups that tend to occur?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

(crossposted to multilingual because I'm not sure which comm it should be in. Like I said, it's a rather odd question.

ok... 1920's questions

How advanced or well unadvanced were technology in the 1920s? I'm focusing more about hospitals. How was the medical technology? What happened if someone was in a coma? Would they be called dead or left in it for longer?
Anything you guys have please tell me, thanks.

Joe DiMaggio Nitpickery

Does anyone know where I could find a sound-clip of Joe DiMaggio's voice?


There is a CD collection called Great Moments of the 20th Century containing a copy of DiMaggio's announcement upon retiring from baseball. If anyone one knows where to hear this speech online, or if anyone has a copy of this particular clip they'd be willing to send me via YouSendIt.com, I'd be most appreciative--and I promise to use it for research purposes only (because come on, how the heck does one make a Joe DiMaggio techno-remix?).

Decomposing, exposed bodies

How long would it take a person who'd been lynched and left to rot (or, hell, any dead body) to decompose in July/August heat? About what time would their body become too much weight for their neck to bear and separate from the head? I know heat speeds up the decomposing process, but how much I have no idea. I've tried Googling, and all I can come up with are generic 'stages of decomposition' sites.
  • Current Mood: productive

Anybody in Lexington, KY?

This really IS a little detail, but I'm either severely masochistic or OCD, because I HAVE to get it right.

What does the "welcome to Lexington, Kentucky" sign say? And if nobody knows or feels like fussing about going and looking at one and writing it down, then what do "welcome to such-and-such city" signs usually say (*doesn't pay much attention to such signs*)?

Sign Language

Can anyone tell me from a signers point of view how different the standard forms of British and American sign languages are? Could they be considered as different dialects of the same language or are they so different that users of each would need a dictionary to interpret conversations?
  • Current Mood: thoughtful

casinos and locksmiths

1. Is anyone familiar with locksmithing? I've seen signs advertising around my area, so I'm sure the field isn't completely dead. My questions are very general here. What's the common day's work? Income? What's the demand for locksmiths, these days? How does one become a locksmith in the first place- qualifications, training? What are the tools of the trade? Etc, etc....

2. So, um, card dealers in casinos. Basically all of the same questions as above, although I'm also interested in working environment; whether or not people usually work there between other jobs or really enjoy working there, and so on. Anything about riverboat casinos would also be appreciated- I'm thinking of the one on the Ohio River, but anything is good.

Any help on either of these would be appreciated so much, particularly the first, since I'm having more trouble finding information.

taxi cab windows

This is a very odd question but...

well, here's the situation.

I'm beta reading a chapter of a fanfic for someone. In this chapter a male character takes a taxi out to a cafe to pick up his kinda-girlfriend so as to take her back to their apartment. They don't have a car.

In this scene, I need to know if taxi cabs would/could have tinted windows OR a tinted glass partition or whatever. All the taxis I've been in had neither, and i can't find any good pictures by googling stuff.
  • Current Mood: cranky
  • Current Music: Wumpscut - "Witches' Dance"

Question on second language acquisition

Would someone who has spoken only his native tongue (in this case, Portuguese) for all 30 odd years of his life be able to learn and use (American) English without a trace of an accent, and could he possibly even become good enough to be regularly mistaken for a native speaker? How long would it take him to get there?

(Background info: Male character, average level of intelligence, no higher education, not overly fond of books/reading, never been to foreign countries prior to emigrating to the US.)

Thanks!

terminology

Longtime reader, firsttime caller, you know the drill.
I'm looking for a particular term - similar to the phrase 'Sunday Christian'. It's "palms and *somethingthatIcan'trememberhere* Christian" - or it may have been Catholic, I'm not entirely certain - the basic meaning is 'one who only goes to church to get stuff', on special occasions and feast days.
Thanks. :-) This is making me crazy.
  • Current Mood: frustrated
  • Current Music: Until The Morning - Thievery Corporation