I watched Lost in Translation last night for the first time. The movie came out in 2003 and is filmed completely in Japan. Given that I am an American living in Japan, you'd think I would have seen it, but somehow I totally missed the boat on this one.
If you haven't seen it, the movie is excellent. In my opinion, it creates a rather accurate portrayal of what foreigners in Japan, who don't speak Japanese, go through. The lovely Japanese people will smile at you and speak to you in Japanese, all while you continue to stare blankly.
This particular scene, for multiple reasons, had my friend and I in hysterics last night. We re-watched the clip no less than 5 times. We have been there, and at times still are, the foreigner with the blank stare trying to create a `conversation` out of what you think the other person is saying. We have also been the two women in the background, laughing hysterically at the non-conversation that is happening in front of us. And lastly, we were laughing last night at the fact that we could understand both languages and cultures during this clearly parallel conversation. This clip absolutely made my night.
If you want a taste of what it's like to live in Japan, watch these 2 minutes, they'll place you right in the heart of Tokyo. I've translated what the man says at the bottom of the post, but watch it without reading first. Then watch it again once you know.
I promise you'll chuckle.
Bob (Bill Murray) is in a hospital waiting room, waiting for his friend Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson).
A Chuckle From Both Sides,
Here is the general gist of the conversation.
After Bob nudges him, the Japanese man first asks Bob...
Japanese Man: Finished? are you finished? you're finished aren't you?
Bob: 8. My friend is in 8. Are you going in here? Sick? Feeling down? Not good?
Japanese Man: You came to Japan, right? How many years?
Bob: My name? My name.
Japanese Man: Japan...
Bob: Bob. My name is Bob.
Japanese Man: How is everything? (in Japan) How long have you been in Japan? How. long. have. you. been. in. Japan? (as he counts with his fingers)
Maybeeee you don't understand...
Bob: You're messing with me.
Were you asking me my name? My name is Bob. What is your name?
Japanese Man: How. long. have. you. been. in. Japan?