Friday, November 20, 2009

Autocomplete me - Nihongo edition

Last week I posted a few wedding-related autocompletes from Google's wacky suggestions. The Japan Blog had the same idea with their post Japanese Google Suggestions are Suggestive. These are more appropriate for after the wedding than before:

From Japan Probe:
Japanese blogs are abuzz with the funny search suggestions Google gives if you type in the character for husband or wife and press space. The what was different, and what was the same made for humor, but I hope these results aren’t a sign of serous problems in Japanese homes. Let’s break them down (the English glosses are mine, and I took liberties with the subjects and tone):

For husbands (夫):

夫 死んで欲しい I wish my husband would die
夫 嫌い I hate my husband
夫 小遣い 平均 How much spending money should I let him have
夫 言葉の暴力 Hubby’s verbally abusive
夫 小遣い Husband’s allowance
夫 呼び方 What to call husbands
夫 死亡 手続き The process for a husband’s death
夫 うつ Husband is depressed
夫 失業 Hubby’s got no job
夫死亡く年金 Husband’s death pension

On the other hand, searches for wife (妻) brought up:

妻 誕生日プレゼント birthday presents for the missus
妻 誕生日プレゼント ランキング ranking of birthday presents for the missus
妻 プレゼント presents for the missus
妻 ヒステリー My wife be all hysterical
妻 呼び方 What to call wives
妻 うつ wife is depressed
妻 プレゼント ランキングranking of presents for the missus
妻 謙譲語 Humble language for wives
妻 未届 Failure to report wife [related to de facto marriages, I think]
妻 焼酎 wife shouchuu [a brand of alcoholic drink]

I love wacky literal English translations like "My wife be all hysterical", but I feel sad for the husbands of the women who search for "Husband's death pension" In fact, most of the husband autocomplete searches are just mean or sad. Poor husbands! Especially since most of the wife autocompletes are concerns for the wife's happiness.

Something to think about on this glorious, glorious Friday.

Happy Weekend!

Kay Banks

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