Monday, January 12, 2009

"Black" Obama

Just thought I'd share an interesting spin on things that I feel more than a few of you will get a laugh out of.

So the other day I was watching the news with my girlfriend, and she asks me a funny question. "Isn't it sort of offensive to keep calling him 'Black Obama'? Isn't that racist?" Utterly confused, I tell her that that is in fact his name. You see, our new President's name is Barack Obama. However, Japanese makes no distinction between 'l' and 'r' and also doesn't really do compound consonant sounds like 'bl' very well, meaning that vowel sounds always get put in the middle. Thus "Barack" and "Black" sound pretty much the same when transferred into Japanese. I had to say the name in English so she could get the difference.

I can just see now that this is going to lead to a bunch of hilarity over the next 4-8 years.

No comments: