And what they find funny probably isn’t what you think.
You may have heard of the anime Kemono Friends thanks to the zoo penguin who fell in love with the cardboard cutout of one of the anthropomorphized characters. But the anime is so popular that it’s made its way into even more outlets, such as the Japanese-learning magazine Hiragana Times which used phrases from the anime to help teach language points.
It was first posted by Japanese Twitter user @xrtcfyvgbh, and the reactions from Japanese people were great. Here’s the original tweet:
▼ “In the magazine Hiragana Times for foreigners to learn Japanese,
they use phrases from Kemono Friends as examples and it’s hilarious.”
みっちゃん (@xrtcfyvgbh) July 03, 2017
▼ The cover of the magazine.
Everything looks normal until…
▼ …we get to the “Friends Phrases” page! The English paragraph in pink has the
Japanese version below, though the addition of “furry” in English feels odd.
▼ It then claims the language of Kemono Friends is
reflective of the ever-changing Japanese language as a whole.
While nothing may seem out of the ordinary here for learners of Japanese (in fact it’s a fun way of learning some pretty useful phrases), the native-speaker Japanese netizens couldn’t stop giggling at the last example sentence.
Drawing out the sound at the end of a word is certainly a cute way of talking appropriate for animated animals, but claiming that “the number of adults using these phrases is increasing” is a bit of a stretch.
Here’s what they had to say:
“Sugo~i! (I’m a 45-year-old man)”
“‘The number of adults using these phrases is increasing.’ Uh, really?”
“I burst out laughing reading that last sentence.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say ‘sugo~i’ or ‘tano~shi~’ in real life.”
“Oh that last sentence lol, I’m laughing so hard.”
“Why would they teach them that? It’ll make them sound like a baby.”
“If I were a foreigner studying Japanese, this would make me want to stop.”
While there’s nothing technically wrong with drawing out the sound at the end of words in Japanese, it seems pretty evident that rather than sounding like an in-vogue adult using the latest fashionable language, you’ll probably just end up sounding like a child. So if that’s what you’re going for, then by all means extend those vowels as much as you want!
And if you accidentally draw out some sounds when you don’t mean to, no worries. Messing up your extended vowels isn’t nearly as bad as accidentally messing up a “vertical” reading for a “horizontal” reading.