Your Monday coffee for this week is brought to you by AJ with a shotgun; Don’t fuck with ponies w/ guns.

Let’s open our ground coffee beans with THIS!

 

 

Oh MickeyMonster, you know your discord humor so well. Let’s move on and while the coffee is heating up let me give you some news about Japan and the language around that.


What Does It Mean To Be Fluent In Japanese?

Over on Mutantfrog Travelogue, a post went up earlier this week called “My Japanese sucks and always will.” The post talks about how the author, somebody who’s a long-time student of Japanese, passed the JLPT 1, and has worked and lived in Japan for several years, still doesn’t feel like his Japanese is good enough.

As a student of Japanese, this is probably the most discouraging thing in the world to hear. You might think, “if even he doesn’t feel good about his Japanese, how can I?”

But if you go beyond the article and into the discussion, there’s a bit more than meets the eye.

Reading through the comments, there are plenty of people who empathize with the author, saying that they’re in a similar place.

One the other hand, there are lots of people who say that the author is too hard on himself.

 

 

The JLPT And Other Standards Of Japanese Fluency

When you start talking about Japanese fluency, probably the first topic that comes up is the JLPT, or Japanese Language Proficiency Test for the uninitiated.

The JLPT is a test given a couple times a year by the Japanese government to foreigners who want to prove their Japanese language skills. When it comes to Japanese tests, the JLPT is the most widely-recognized and legit test out there.

Unfortunately, the JLPT isn’t a perfect test. It’s a multiple-choice test, so your written and verbal skills (which are important if you ever want to, y’know, talk to people) are never tested.

But if the JLPT isn’t the marker of fluency, then what is? This is where things get a bit hazy, and definitions of fluency become pretty arbitrary.

Everybody seems to have their own standards. Is fluency when you’re able to hold a translation job? Is it when you’re able to have a conversation with a stranger?

The weirdest standard of fluency I saw from the article comments was being able to have an affair with somebody entirely in Japanese. I guess that’s one way to see it.

If there’s disagreement on what it means to be fluent in Japanese, then it might be easier to figure out what it means to be fluent in your native language. How do you know that you’re fluent in your mother tongue?

 

 

Native Fluency

Even in your native language, there will be times when you forget words, stumble to find the right ones, and find words inadequate. Language is a big, complex, and imperfect form of human expression.

It’s scary to think about, but in your mother tongue, you only speak a very, very small piece of the language. Your accent and dialogue isn’t the norm everywhere, you don’t know the slang of every subculture, and you’re definitely not familiar with all technical terms.

“Mmm, quite.”

So when people say things like “you’re only fluent in Japanese if you know the on’yomi and kun’yomi of all the Joyo Kanji,” think about what that means in your own language.

What would the English-language equivalent of this be? The closest I can think of would be learning a slew of SAT vocab words, then breaking them down and identifying their Latin roots.

I’d like to think that my English skills are pretty good, but that seems like a tall order. Would you expect any given fluent English speaker to do that much?

Don’t hold yourself to a higher standard in Japanese than you do in your own language.

 

 

What You Should Aim For

If you study Japanese and were discouraged by “My Japanese sucks and always will,” don’t be. This kind of frustration is normal when you’re learning something new, but you shouldn’t view it as a permanent setback.

Instead, you should see this as an opportunity to learn from people who have been studying Japanese longer than you, people who hit obstacles before you do.

As a Japanese student, set actionable, concrete goals for yourself instead of saying you want to be “fluent.” Fluency is a big, abstract goal that isn’t really helpful to anybody.

But if you instead set a definite goals for yourself, you’ll be able to hit the mark.

To read more of the discussion, check out the article here, take a look at the Gakuranman’s Google+ post, or follow the conversation on Reddit.

 

Our last bit of stuff before moving onto today’s news came from my email regarding a survival horror game that utilizes the 3DS’s camera to create a surreal horror scenario…blah blah blah. You don’t want to hear me babble on about this bullshit. Watch for yourself. BIG WARNING! Do not watch if you are easily scared. Don’t worry, it’s not a screamer or Nintendo would get sued.

 

 

 

So ya, there you have it, scary as fuck shit from a 3DS. Never been a fan of horror games, never will. Anyway, uh here’s the site for the game.

 

Now before anyone gets snippy with me and say I never post decent game news. MLP: Fighting is Magic is in Alpha phase, but MOST BRONIES KNOW THIS ALREADY!

 

 

As for CONSAWL GAMING, if you guys don’t know about ME3, then wtf. As for future releases, I’m sorry Nintendo, but I have no interest in future zelda games unless you do something to your series that adds interesting.

 

 

Oh look our coffee’s done.

Anyway let’s move onto some real world news.

 

 

Heaven’s Memo Pad Alice Figure

Author: Leon

 

Obviously a gallery post, so I’m not going to push it further, just know this thing comes out October 2012.

 

And then there’s this faggot…

 

 

Kiddy Event “Ruined by Creepy Lolicon Otaku”

Author: Artefact

Much criticism has been directed at creepy otaku who swarmed an event for little children in order to get a chance to touch the show’s adolescent presenters, buying up all the goods on offer and leaving none for the little kiddies in the process.

The controversy centres on an “Oha-girl” (referring to the youthful assistants who appear on TV Tokyo’s “Oha-star”) handshaking event, ostensibly held for the benefit of the young children the morning TV programme is aimed at.

Buyers of the “miracle spin baton” sold at the event also got a signed photograph of the girls and the chance for a handshake, and therein the problems arose – creepy lolicon otaku buyers soon bought up all the batons, some buying ten or more, leaving none for the children.

Attendees (admittedly not themselves in much of a position to criticise others) were soon complaining about this and the sheer number of “big friends” in attendance – although as in fairness all this could easily be headed off by only letting children or families attend, it seems odd that the organisers who ultimately profit escape censure:

“All the batons are sold out!”

“You guys bought too many…”

“You mean they didn’t provide enough! They underestimated our numbers!”

“This is troubling the normal visitors…”

“The baton exchange queue was nothing but old guys.”

“Today was a huge gathering of creepy otaku. And not a hot guy among you.”

“The guy in front of me bought 11. I do think he wanted to give them to kids though.”

“This is harsh!”

“11…”

“What are you going to do with 11? Give them to the little kiddies.”

“Don’t cause problems for the children, you guys.”

“This is awful. Restrain yourselves!”

“You want to shake their hands that much?”

“Poor kids.”

“They called this ‘a gathering for sub-elementary schoolers’…”

“We’re just big kids.”

“The organisers really did seem to be expecting more families.”

I’m never going to understand what is wrong with people in Japan? Does this mean that Japanese people prove my theory right? That if you take away a man’s right to bear arms so they can kill people, they start going toward a more primal instinct of sexual attraction and start violating women? Fuck man, if that’s the case Japanese people are even worse than Americans.

Let’s move onto some better news.

Al Qaeda now recruiting wheelchair-bound three-year-olds in body casts

Here’s a video of a Chicago TSA operative searching a three year old boy who is in a wheelchair, wearing a body-cast, on the way to his family trip to Disney World. The boy’s parents were not allowed to hold him or touch him to comfort him during the procedure.

A toddler in a wheelchair is stopped by the TSA at ORD (O’Hare Airport in Chicago) and forced to into a sequestered area. On his way to a family vacation in Disney, this 3 year old boy is in a body cast for a broken leg. Despite assurances from his father that “everything is ok”, he is physically trembling with fear while he watches his two siblings, mother, father, grandfather and grandmother pass through along with everyone else…only to be singled out.

 

 

As usual the video can be seen on the site.


Teen caught with nipple chain down his pants

The man took his time browsing around the shop, which is called Ladyland and located in central Sundsvall, in June last year.

Store employees recalled him as friendly and chatty, according to local paper Sundsvalls Tidning.

However, upon leaving, the 18-year-old set off the store’s anti-shoplifting alarm.

A search of the man revealed he had pocketed a so called nipple chain, worth some 119 kronor ($18).

The bust-adorning piece of jewelry consisted of two hooks to be fastened on the wearer’s nipples, with a chain running in between.

When questioned by police, the 18-year-old said that he had “forgotten to pay for the item”, claiming that the shopkeeper was overreacting, according to the paper.

However, the man had earlier texted the owner of the shop, saying “sorry I tried to steal from you”.

The 18-year-old was caught shoplifting again in February when he nicked three diet bars from a local supermarket.

When asked why he was stealing, the teen said that he had been having a bad time at home recently and that the reason he stole was to feel a sense of achievement, reported the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

Especially that last line, wtf. If you thought that was wtf-worthy, then you’ll get a kick out of this next one.


Chinese artists accuse Apple of piracy, demand compensation

Alexa Olesen
Associated Press

BEIJING—A group of prominent Chinese writers have demanded millions of dollars in compensation from technology giant Apple Inc. for allegedly selling unlicensed versions of their books in its online store, a lawyer said Monday.

The case is a departure from the usual pattern of U.S artists or companies going after Chinese copycats. Trade groups say illegal Chinese copying of music, designer clothing and other goods costs legitimate producers billions of dollars a year in lost sales.

Three separate lawsuits have been filed with the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court on behalf of 12 writers who allege 59 of their titles were sold unlicensed through Apple’s iTunes online store, said Wang Guohua, a Beijing lawyer representing the writers.

The three suits together demand 23 million (US$3.5 million) in compensation from Apple, Wang said. Well-known novelist and race car driver Han Han is among the writers taking the legal action, he said.

Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based Apple spokesman, said that the company respects intellectual property and responds to complaints quickly.

“As an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints we respond promptly and appropriately,” she said. She declined to get into the specifics of the Chinese writers’ claims.

Wang said the Chinese writers’ works was made available via the Apple Store without their permission, violating their copyright, and while Apple deleted some books after the suits were filed in January, some works quickly appeared again, apparently uploaded by developers that sell apps through the Apple Store.

“Some developers, with whom Apple has contracts, put them back online again,” said Wang of the United Zhongwen Law Firm. “It is encouragement in disguise, because they did not punish the developers. The developers could have been kicked out. But nothing happened to them.”

Apple has more than 585,000 apps available through its Apple Store, and according to guidelines posted online, requires the developers themselves secure the rights to any trademarked material within those apps.

Wang said 10 other writers have also gotten involved since January but their suits have yet to be filed. In all, 23 writers have registered their complaints with Wang and claim that Apple sold 95 pirated titles.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported late Sunday that the writers were collectively seeking 50 million yuan ($7.7 million) in compensation from Apple but Wang could not confirm that figure.

Product piracy is a major irritant in China-U.S. relations, but usually involves complaints that Chinese are copying American products.

However, it’s not the first time Chinese have cried foul over copyright infringement by an American company either. In 2009, the government-affiliated China Written Works Copyright Society complained that Google had scanned nearly 20,000 works by 570 Chinese authors without permission as part of its digital library project, drawing an apology from Google.

For Apple, the latest case is just one of several legal battles being fought in China. The company is embroiled in a battle over the iPad trademark with Proview Electronics Co., a Chinese computer monitor and LED light maker that says it registered the trademark more than a decade ago.

Proview wants Apple to stop selling or making the popular tablet computers under that name.

Apple says Proview sold it worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 2009, though in China the registration was never transferred.

 

China suing the US?

 

 

 

and our last story for the night.

 

Police: Karaoke singer knocks out manager after bad review

 

MELBOURNE, Fla. –

A 28-year-old man knocked out a Applebee’s manager inside the Melbourne restaurant after stripping and getting bad reviews about his karaoke performance, police said.

Jeffrey Lee Thompson was charged with battery and disorderly conduct after Melbourne police were called late Sunday to investigate reports of a disturbance at the Applebee’s at 1545 Palm Bay Road.

“He was intoxicated. It was karaoke night and he became very involved with his performance,” said Melbourne police Sgt. Byron Barnes.  “He took his clothes off as he sang to the audience.”

At least one customer complained, and a manager asked Thompson to stop singing, according to patrons.

The manager then turned the music off, and police said Thompson punched the manager, knocking him out.

A Palm Bay police officer who was eating at the restaurant at the time chased Thompson and arrested him after deploying his stun gun, according to witnesses.

During the arrest, Local 6 cameras captured the singer bragging about knocking the manager out.

Thompson was taken to the Brevard County Jail and was being held on $700 bond.

Watch Local 6 for more on this developing story.

 

And with that I’m signing out.