Today is mistake day and I’d like to talk about Kato Kunio’s speech that he made at the Oscars and see if we can find any mistakes to learn from.
He’s a Japanese animator and he went to the States to pick up the award – and he even made a speech in English which I thought was pretty cool. I thought it was a brilliant speech too – very short, and funny and to the point. And very cute.
And there weren’t any mistakes at all actually. Just one think I would say if I was giving feedback, is about the pronunciation of the word staff. This is a Japanese word too – and he’s using the Japanese pronunciation, something like sutafu … but in English it’s a longer sound: staaaaaf. Well that’s with my accent of course, but even if you’re going for a different accent – it’s still a longer sound. If you pronounce it the same way as the Japanese word, it ends up sounding like stuff.
He also pronounces thank you Japanese-style. But this is actually a slang word in Japanese – so some people pronounce it like that on purpose. They say the words for three san and nine kyu. San kyu. So, just for fun, sometimes when I’m speaking English in Japan instead of saying thank you, I say: three nine!
It’s an interesting idea – they have a whole lot of videos of people talking about words. You can check them out by going to their site – or on their YouTube channel as well. Anyone can upload videos there too – so if you feel inspired you can go and make a video talking about a word. And some of the videos they’ve made themselves, or interviewed people in the street and asked them to talk about a word.