Future Monogatari

Image result for naruto episode 216

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Google translate ga yoku nata

It’s true, two years ago it couldn’t handle idioms, now it changes ‘raining cats and dogs’ to ‘heavy rain.’

It speaks too

in a train tannoy voice

but it’s better than nothing.

Okay, I typed too soon. Google translate is still weak. I just tried something more difficult, an idiomatic phrasal verb, and it did not go well.

‘The killer took him out’ became ‘the killer brought him [somewhere].’

A bit harsh as there’s not much context to that phrasal verb. The killer could’ve taken him out somewhere, it’s not impossible and, far as I know, google translate is the sum of its programmed database, not intuitive AI, so I gave it a bit more to work with:

‘The killer took him out with one bullet.’

Again, it translated as:

‘The killer, with one bullet, brought him [somewhere].’

It’s interesting, how would you programme common sense into an online translator that has no experience of our perceived reality? To google translate, it might be completely normal for killers to take people somewhere while carrying a bullet.

Maybe the only answer is AI?

That or the elimination of all idioms from every language?

The next problem: how to understand an episode of Naruto. I tried last week, Episode 216, but the first scene was insanely fast. Even when I slowed the speed down to half, it was difficult to pick anything up. Or you can pick it up, but you don’t know what it means. Do children really understand this? Continue reading

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Hojo family gathering + Yuki Onna [Snow woman]

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‘Realising he was fighting a losing battle, Hojo burnt the monasteries and returned to his castle where, along with 34 family members, and two hundred and twenty retainers, he committed mass suicide.’

I’m used to medieval nobles like Vlad Dracula and Dan the 2nd dying in battle, being unafraid of death as long as their adrenaline was up, but to casually go back to your castle and gut yourself, and force the rest of your family and your servants to do the same, is pure Japan. Maybe pure Ancient Egypt too, I’m not sure.

Actually, it may have been common in many cultures for the servants to die too, but…where’s the sense in killing off your next of kin?

Even in the context of medieval Japan, it doesn’t make sense.

The reputation and continuation of your Clan was considered paramount, but it was also a matter of honour to kill yourself after losing a battle.

Contradiction: killing yourself and your family does not help you to continue your Clan. Unless you’re killing off your cousins?

But then, other warriors would surrender and join the other side in order to preserve their Clan.

I think that happened a lot in the warring period, which I’ve just found out about from a book I picked up in the library.

Most history of most countries is pretty brutal, but 1430’s – 1620’s was the time you couldn’t go anywhere in Japan without being mugged, raped or slaughtered.

Same goes for Romania.

That was all a long time ago now.

I lived in Japan and they’ve definitely mellowed since the 1400’s. And become more creative too. Look at how many weird folktales they’ve got. Look at all that manga.

Have you ever read or seen Yuki Onna [Snow woman]? Continue reading