Jan. 12th, 2014

sechan19: (morisot)
My roommate K. and I recently started watching Game of Thrones. (She's seen it before, but I'm a newbie.) Our mutual propensity for devouring media at a hyper-fast pace means that we're burning through season one pretty damn quickly. Even our tendency to repeatedly pause episodes to discuss the subtexts of gender, race, and social hierarchy that are revealed in various scenes hasn't slowed us down much. So it's not particularly surprising that we've come up with yet another way to drag each episode out ad infinitum.

This afternoon at lunch (AKA: planning meeting for the spoof of Ancient Aliens that we're going to produce), K. brought up an idea she'd had to reduce the amount of guilt we might be feeling over blowing hours and hours on watching Game of Thrones. She suggested that we practice Japanese keigo (respectful speech) while watching episodes by attempting to translate various phrases according to their individual requirements of humbles and honorifics, casual and formal tenses. The permutations are endless: Lannister to Lannister about the Lannisters (parent/sibling/child)/the Starks/the king (the nuances would have to change depending on whether they were speaking of Robert or Joffrey Baratheon, for instance); Lannister to Stark about the Lannisters/another house/a commoner; Night's Watch Guard to Night's Watch Guard about another Night's Watch Guard/a member of a Great House/a commoner; etc. The list goes on and on.

Tell you what. We are going to become keigo ninjas. That's what.

And for those who are interested, here's a taste of what awaits us. We just finished the season one episode "A Golden Crown" last night. If Khal Drogo had been speaking Japanese to Viserys Targaryen during their final confrontation, his statement, "You shall have a golden crown that men will tremble to behold," would have sounded something like this:

他人が拝見すると震える金色の王冠を差し上げます。
Tanin ga haiken suru to furueru kin'iro no ōkan wo sashiagemasu.

The polite-tense sentence is chock-full of deferential constructions (haiken suru, humble form of miru [to see]; sashiageru, humble form of ageru [to give]), which I think would have served to convey the extreme irony of Khal Drogo's statement to everyone in the room who knew what was coming while still preserving the illusion of deference for the doomed man.

May 2014

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