02 February 2008

Can I borrow a feeling?

So, in a previous post, I mentioned my neighbors' love of Karaoke. They practice(? perform? not sure what you would call it, or what on Earth they'd be practicing for...) at all hours of the day and night. Thankfully, not consecutively, but we have heard them as early as about 8am, and as late as around 2am. I can't confirm whether my dreams of bludgeoning someone with a microphone mean that they push on till morning, or if that's just residual hatred after they've gone to bed next to the ol' Leadsinger LS-3700.

When we first heard them TESTING, TESTING the mike some time last fall, we were at a loss to explain what the sounds were that we were hearing. It sounded like their 10-year-old was babbling into some kind of echo-chamber microphone. After months of listening, I still have no idea who is singing at any given time.

Since the dad is Hispanic (though maybe mixed with something else), and the mom is East Asian of some sort (Filipino, maybe?), I figured maybe they were singing in some other language, and the cadence of that language sounded kinda like off-key English singing. But no, when I poked my head out into the hall, I could clearly hear "looooooooooove! liffffffffffffffft us. uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup! where. weeeeee!! beee-lonnnnnngggg." Except I can't do it justice in print-- those varying fonts and extra punctuation are the closest I can get.

And in case you were wondering, I've spoken with the dad a few times, and he is absolutely not just learning English.

Speaking of karaoke, it's pronounced "ka-ROH-key". This is how I believe the Japanese word is pronounced: karla-oh-kayyyy. I'll admit that I honestly have no memory if I made this up at some point in the last 10 years, or if I actually heard the word pronounced this way, but it sounds right and I'm sticking to it. I also have no idea if "karla" is the appropriate way to represent the combined liquid sound I often hear in Asian languages, but that's the best I've got.

Anyway, I can tell you, with or without my English degree, that "carry-yokey" can not, and should not, be taken from the spelling of that word. It's ludicrous.

This sounds like a job for Wikipedia!

I just went to the page for Karaoke, I encourage you to go as well, if only to listen to the hilarious clip of someone saying the word, though admittedly it's probably only hilarious when played in my version of Winamp with fade-in/fade-out turned on. It's actually kind of frightening at the same time.

Anyway, I submit that my pronunciation is much closer to the original, which interestingly enough, is partially taken from English. What a crazy post-WWII mutual infatuation we've got going on with Japan.

Disclaimer: It may be lame, but I just want to say that I hope all my statements regarding Asian people, culture, and languages make only, or at least mostly, me seem ridiculous, and that they impart my curious fascination and reverence for them. I hope my statements regarding horrible karaoke, however, impart my hatred for horrible karaoke.

5 comments:

LiteralDan said...

Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the name of this post.

SARA said...

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. I could say that you made a good guess with the neighbor mom's nationailty based on that country's absolute LOVE of karaoke. A meeting was not a meeting without breaking out the karaoke machine. A family gathering was not a family gathering until the mic singing got going. And imagine this: a five hour bus ride WITH a karaoke player & a singing conductor who reluctantly passed along the microphone & the video looped to only Tom Jones & Air Supply songs.....

p.s. I love, love, love my Filipino family. Go RP!

LiteralDan said...

Oooh sounds like a fun ride-- did the bus smell as bad as buses do here? I imagine they're more widely used there, so maybe they clean them more often.

nonna said...

Can I borrow a feeling?
Can you lend me a jar of love?
Hurtin' hearts need some healin'
Take my hand with your glove of love
-kirk Van Houten (the simpsons)

ok, so googled it, but you didnt say we couldn't. i'm a little competative-just ask micro ;)

LiteralDan said...

I'll give you one point for initiative. How's that sound?