16 Dec 2010

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 oh em gee)
(If only there were a way to slow down the audio and still have it comprehensible. I could use that.)

When a Mandarin-speaker answers the phone, the greeting sounds like wei. Okay. (Not that we were taught that, either, but some things I did pick up from friends.) A number of times in the Taiwanese dramas, a character will greet another, or respond, in a way that sounds a lot like the different ways an English-speaker would say, "hey" -- and it has the same sound as the phone-greeting wei. So, someone's down on themselves, and the friend says, wei, to get their attention, and then, a quick-cajoling wei, wei, wei the same way I might say "hey, hey [stop that]" in English. Unfortunately, the subtitles never show this mid-conversation, non-phone-use wei as a character on the screen.

Is this the same hanzi, or just one that sounds a lot like the phone-greeting? (Or alternately, one that only sounds similar if it's a Taiwanese accent?)

many thanks in advance for helping me out of the bafflement.
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
I was watching a Taiwanese pop-idol drama (that is very much NOT the usual fare), called Gloomy Salad Days. I'll post more on it later, but the object of my extreme fury right now is Wikipedia. There's an entry for the drama, with episode summaries, cast listing, etc. The drama deals with some pretty intense topics -- teenage pregnancy, same-sex love (both male-male and female-female), even a transgender character. What's important to me is that the transgender character is not just respected by the script -- his wish for a regular, every-person kind of life as the man he is (on the inside) is treated by the script as right, as a valid and worthwhile desire. That's pretty unusual.

...and then you get to the Wikipedia entry. It's not just that it's a jumble in terms of grammar, spelling, and punctuation -- it's clearly an adaptation/translation from a non-English description -- but the real capper is that some asshat decided to use apostrophes around the transgender character's pronouns. As in, 'he' does this, 'he' does that. Maybe it's just me, but after watching the episodes that give the transgender character such respect, and empathize pretty much entirely with his plight, and give voice to his desire for acceptance, friendship, and love (and then give all of that to him!) -- I found the apostrophes to be absolutely and completely offensive, above and beyond violating the very spirit of the storyline itself. It's not an understatement to say I was livid.

So I edited, as I'm wont to do, here and there, when an entry is particularly egregious in re bad writing. I cleaned up the descriptions, made them clearer grammatically per English, adjusted some of the inconsistent anglicization of some of the names (ie, the surname Ah, which when written as simply A is awkward in English)... and then rewrote the episode summaries to remove the apostrophes. If the character is identifying as male, then per English, use "he"; if the point (which I would disagree with strongly, but still grant) is to say it's a female character from the get-go, then freaking use "she". You don't put freaking apostrophes around someone's pronoun unless you're mocking them or intending to imply that the pronoun is false.

This evening, I'm back by Wiki, and I see an odd note about a message. I'll let it speak for itself.
Although everyone is welcome to contribute to Wikipedia, at least one of your recent edits, such as the one you made to Gloomy Salad Days, did not appear to be constructive and has been reverted or removed. Please use the sandbox for any test edits you would like to make, and read the welcome page to learn more about contributing constructively to this encyclopedia. Thank you. ~ Draksis314 01:39, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Dear Draksis:

Fuck you.


see comments for updates -- haven't gone back to the entry myself yet; still working on that calm-down concept.