So it’s a new year, so why not try and revive this blog along with it? I’ll give it a shot, at least.
One thing that has been on my mine recently is internet slang and net culture from Japan and other East Asian countries. When I’m chatting with friends, I’ll liberally through in an “lol” or a “rofl” for good measure from time to time, without even thinking about how a foreign learner of English, regardless of ability, will likely have no idea what I’m talking about.
For example, the equivalent in Japanese is “wwwww[…]” to indicate laughter. Or in Thai they use “555555.” I’ve also seen the Kanji for laughter enclosed in quotation marks used as well. So you’ve got, roughly:
「そうですか！www」＝ Is that so, hahaha.
「本当に？（笑）」＝ Is that true? lol
I always find this sort of thing interesting, and naturally there’s a whole collection of “the word lol in other languages conveniently listed on Wikipedia. That should make it easier to know if your friends are laughing behind your back on Facebook or not.
Or if you’re after Japanese slang specifically, there’s a great collection right here for your browsing pleasure. I noticed they left out one piece of net-slang in Japanese I discovered today—”2828″ which stands for にやにや, which is a kind of perverted or devilish grin.
And although I’m incredibly late to the party, I found this article on the top Japanese buzz-words of 2011 to be awesome. This is the kind of stuff that if you know it, you can at least pretend to be a full-fledged Japanese person. It’s current, it’s cool, and crazy interesting.
My favorites have to be the Po-po-po-pon and Kodama deshoka ads, mainly because of the hilarious spin-offs that resulted because of their popularity. I actually managed to meet (if you can call it that) the female singer from the Po-po-po-pon advertisement while I was working in a camp in Japan. I’ll have to save that story for a little later, however!