January 27, 2008

野球で「遊ぶ」日本人選手たち:NOMO 'having fun' with Baseball

「全力であそぶ」野茂 -NOMO (c) unknown

My friend who got a US citizenship recently told us that whenever he talks about baseball with Japanese Americans, they always tell "Ichiro ga yakyu de asobu (ICHIRO having fun with baseball)" or "Matsui ga yakyu de yoku asobnda (MATSUI had tremendous fun with baseball)." Whoever the player is, no matter how bad the score stands, they seem to be having tremendous fun!

I know, I know... just kidding. We can immediately figure out they're actually saying "playing baseball," because asobu is a verb meaning "to play." It's only that in Japan we use asobu only for amusing oneself with, for instance, Wii and gamble.

By the same token, if you go to Italy, when a gorgeous girl at the reception says "go up to the last floor," you can simply guess she means "top floor" because they call it 'l'ultimo piano" in Italian. I'm sure I'm doing the same when I talk in English, but still... asobu for baseball sounds so funny when you just think about the seriousness the men carry when they first arrived here.

Specificity of Japanese Verbs
Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play ... - Google Book Search



最近帰化したAさんから夫が聞いた話。

「アメリカで日本語習った日系の方たちと野球の話をしてると決まって“野球で遊んだ”って言うんですよ。“play baseball”の直訳だってのは分かるんですけど、勝っても負けても“遊んだ”なんです。“やった”ですよね? 野茂も松井も…遊んでませんよね? 遊んでたんですか?」

そんなことうちに聞かれても。笑

イタリア行くとゴージャスな受付けの美女が「last floorへどうぞ」と言ったりする。イタリア語でl'ultimo pianoの直訳なんだなーって分かる、あれと同じで、そんなこと言ったら私の英語なんてそんなのばっかりだけど、この「遊ぶ」は久々のホームランだった。

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