Tuesday, 1 December 2009

PostHeaderIcon My name is Craig. I come from Britain.

Greetings everyone. I was doing a cheeky bit of studying on the toilet today (as one does) and found myself revising some polite forms of Japanese... as can be seen above. The example sentence is イギリスから参りました。クレイグと申します。 There's not much to say about the Japanese itself but it's the first time I've ever seen my name クレイグ written in any kind of example. I got excited about this until I remembered that the example country was IGIRISU.

Igirisu is the collective name given to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and all those numerous titles to mean Britain BUT.... BUT... it is also used when just referring to England. It's even worse than having all those ignorant Americans talking about "You guys over there in England" when they refer to Britain. The amount of times I have been forced to explain that "Yes, I am British but I'm also Scottish" to various nationalities can get infuriating. At least I can explain in English to the moronic masses but Japanese is actually designed to completely hinder all hope. It's bad enough that Japanese people are oblivious to the outside world never mind Scotland being so tiny it never stands against a chance against the Europa heavyweights of Furansu, Itaria and Doitsu in their tiny rice brains. Indeed, they barely have enough room in their mental world maps to include anywhere after Pari and Rondon. The only link I had with Japan/Scotland was when Shunsuke Nakamura played for Celtic. He's left and I'm stuck in Japan with only bloody "Sukotochi" whisky as a link to home. Basically, the insulting and infuriating reality is that Britain is England and England is Britain in Japanese.

Actually... I blame Japan for all of this. Do you know why Scotland doesn't have it's own kanji? Because all those centuries when we were an independent country, Japan was trying to figure out how to make bamboo appetising whilst they shut up their borders... stuck their fingers in their ears and went LA LA LA LA LA. When they finally opened their eyes and had a look at the rest of the world, Scotland were best buddies with England and reaping the benefits of empire (even though Scots nationalists don't like to admit it).

" Oh harro Amerika. Who is that biggu country over there? "
" Oh heya guys. Man I really love your guy's sushi. Those guys? That's a limey country called England "
" Oh sank you. See you Pearl Harbour bai bai "

The amount of times I need to repeat my name/country to Japanese people is ridiucolous. Sometimes I don't even bother with either and just sit in the corner sulking at all the independent nations in the room. If ever there was a reason to celebrate the proposed Scottish independence referendum (announced yesterday on St Andrew's Day) then it is surely to stop this disgusting use of Igirisu in Japan. Help me change the nationality on all my documents from Igirisu jin to Sukottorando jin. I might send this information to Alex Salmond... I'm sure he could use the help.


Alba gu bràth!


Martin said...

Here is the kanji for Scotland.
My guess is that no-one you show it to will be able to pronounce it nor will they be able to identify it is being those characters for "Alba". It is a great place with the best anti-flu medicine!
Keep up the fight! And keep up the posts. Always a good read.

p.s. Here is the link to the site where I check my "Japanese" country names:

Sha 'Ayie' said...

but you look like a japanese...^^

nevaH said...

This blog is fucking amazing.

Ahoy hoy said...

Martin: I'd be surprised if Japan ever used that but it's cool nevertheless. I used my computer dictionary and the kanji mean: be revived, status and orhid. Incidently the last means the Netherlands too. Interesting in that it sounds like the ran in oranda and it mentions orchid.

I look Japanese? Argh. Good a Japanese grow anywhere near as good (and patchy) beard as mine?

nevaH: Arigatoes

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.