He Said ~ She Said – We Speak Engrish ! ! !

But Mr P ! ! ! I told you the Takushii Driba did not speak Engrish ! ! !

♪   ♫    ♪

Engrish is so lomantic ! ! !

She Says:

Japanese borrows words from everywhere ! ! ! We  have stolen words from Chinese, Portuguese and of course English and made them part of our language.  We also learn English at school, so of course we can not resit showing of our English skills in our songs.   Putting some English into a song can make it sound cool to Asian people but singing in a second language can be dangerous ! ! !  But these tracks all feature English and we really love love them.  We hope you do too !  ! !

Speak Engrish punk!!!

He Says:

Herro Evelyblody ! I found this topic a little traumatic. I’d hate anyone to think that I was being anything other than totally affectionate and supportive towards the musicians here who bravely, nay, courageously, take English words and mangle them into submission in the cause of being totally hip and cool and stuff. I suppose it’s no surprise, really, “rock” is pretty much and American/English invention. Anyway, here’s some tunes we love and hope you do to. Doomu Aligatto for listening

Pairubu:  Kegawa No Maries- Rebel song.

He Says:

I love Kegawa No Maries. They really rock and each of their albums has a different sound whilst still being clearly them ( if you know what I mean), a bit like Bowie in the old days. This is the lead track from their “My name is romance” album and really kicks things off in style ( circa 1972). It’s quite hard to tell what he’s singing in, is it Japanese, English, a combination of the two or Kegawese ? Who can tell, who cares, really, when it’s this good.

She Says:

Kegawa No Maries were formed in 2003 but they did not release an album until 2006 concentrating mainly on playing live until then.  This track is from the second album which was released one year later.  I really like this track as it  drives along with a great rock beat.  They certainly mix up the languages and  put in a lot of “dums” and “bahs” but i do not think it is song that you are going to sit down and listen carfully to – it is for shaking you head to and jumping around ! ! !

Sakura: Beat Crusaders-Japanese Girl

She Says:

Beat Crusaders are great Indie band that have been around for a long time now.  They formed in 1998 as a lo-fi outfit using analogue synthesisers and guitars and were very successful.  These days only one of the original members is still in the band but as thier faces are always hidden in photos a videos we can not really be sure ! ! !  They did have some success in America and this song is one of theirs in English.

He Says:

Hmmm. I’m getting a faint AC/DC vibe from that guitar player. This kicks along nicely,doesn’t it ? Not quite sure what they are singing here “Sailing high with a Japanese girl ?” What does it all mean ?

Pairubu:  Kenzi and the Trips- Bravo Johnny Wa Konya Mo Happy

He Says:

Big in Japan, I undestand, in the 1980s and 90s, Kenzi and the gang are very , very “New wave” here and quite powerfully so too. Only really one “Engrish” words here but it illustrates nicely, I think, one of the features of Japanese singers using our language in that he tries to pronounce every letter so “Bravo” becomes “Berravo”. Whatever. It’s a great track

She Says:

Kenji Ueda is a well known record producer and solo artist and song writer but started in  Kenzi and the Trips and after this he was in The Pillows who released six great albums .  So he is pretty successful guy.   I like this track very much is has a classical Japanese punk feel to it which reminds a a lot of the Blue Hearts.

Sakura: Scandal  – Scandal no Theme  

(there is one minute “history” of Scandal in Enrish at the start of the vid)

She Says:

I really like Scandal.  They are a great live act act and you can really see how much fun they have.  They actually really very rarely use English  in any of their tracks which is quite usual for a trendy band like they are.  This track was a filler for the greatest hits album Scandal Show but is not not on any albums and was not released a single.  I am sure they really wish they had studied English more carefully in school after seeing this.  But it is great fun ! ! !

( I included the video with the “story line”  because if you see it without when you  hear the  words from the actor at the end they sound really strange and a little offensive actually)

He says:

Really like a bit of Scandal. Funny video.Not sure the outfits do them any favours really, likely to encourage the “pervo” crowd ( of which I am, of course, an enthusiastic member). Nice song though, very catchy.What the Hell is “Takoyaki” ?

Pairubu: IN-HI  – Theme of IN-HI

He Says:

One from Sakura’s home islands. IN-HI are one of my favourite Japanese bands, they have a great way with a chorus and very high energy levels, just like me. Only a brief appreance of English in this one but it shows quite clearly where they are coming from “Let’s go”. Hey. Ho!”

She Says:

IN –  HI is the name that Indian Hi used in the last phase of their career.  They are one of the really classic Okinawan core punk bands and had a big  influence in  the development of Asian punk.  They were one of the first bands to stress Ryukyujin (being from the former Ryukyu independent nation)  in their music and were quite political in a laid back Ryukyuan way ! ! !   I really like this style as it is catchy and cheerful and really great to dance to ! ! !  I love IN – HI ! ! !

Sakura  – Miwa – Little Girl

She Says:

Miwa is a new singer songwriter from Tokyo (but her parents have a house in Okinawa also and she spent her school holidays there so she is almost a local girl ! ! ! ) She debuted last year and her first album reached number one in the charts and she has just released a new album which is also really great.  I really like this track as it just so cheerful and  Kawaii ! ! !  Normally Enrish is used to make a band or song sound cool and but in this track she is using to make it sound cute.   I really like Miwa and I think she will establish herself as a great singer songwriter.

He Says:

My favourite of the week, So adorwable ! How can you not love this ? It would be like kicking a puppy. Add to that the undisputable fact that the bass player is totally gorgeous and you have a video that I am going to be watching again and again

Pairubu:  Jun Togawa-Femme Fatale

He Says:

Lovely, delicate take on the old Velvet chestnut (that sounds a bit rude, doesn’t it?) From Jun. No apoligies for having one of her tracks for the second week running. She is an icon of Japanese new-wave/weirdo music (and toilet adverts). This one is here because of the adorable and charming pronounciation of some of the words “flown” “blake” etc. Totally heart melting (to me, anyway). Love it.

She Says:

Sometimes less really is more and in this track it is great to hear her voice with out so much of band to distract.  She really is so varied and during her career she has made so many great tracks.  I really loved this track and her voice is really charming in Enrish ! ! !

♪   ♫   ♪   ~   ♪   ♫   ♪   ~    ♪   ♫   ♪

 She Says: 

We hope you have enjoyed the post ! ! !  As always we had a lot of fun making it.  English is such a universal language and so much music is in English that it is normal to include English words in songs.  Many people have suggested Japanese musicians use English  it is because it fits better to the rhythm of the of pop and rock, but I think it is just because it is fun!!!

He Says:

So there you go. Maximum respect to all the bands here. Their Enrish is certainly a lot better than my Japanese ever could be ! I think Sakura’s right, the overwhelming sense I get here is that they are having fun and that, surely, is what “rock” is all about at heart.

Say Oh Nora….for now….

♪   ♫   ♪   ~   ♪   ♫   ♪   ~    ♪   ♫   ♪

We are having a holiday for the next few weeks - but we will be back when the rainy season is over ! ! !

15 thoughts on “He Said ~ She Said – We Speak Engrish ! ! !

  1. Mr P ! ! !

    I just wanted to say a couple of things I did not have space for in the post ! ! !

    Takoyaki is a Octopus dumpling. It is served often by street vendors as a quick snack and this is what Rina (the Scandal drummer) is doing in the video. These Street vendors often wear scarves on thier heads to keep their hair out of the food and to keep cool and she is wearing one of those also in the clip.

    Scandal do not now wear the school uniforms but they did until late last year as they were still at school when they started in 2006 and Rina was only 15 when they released their first single (the oldest was 17).

    But the Japanese school girl image is really like an international brand somehow for Japanese girls, and so they linked to this and actually they are one of the most known Japanese girl bands internationally because of this I think.

    But they are a really fun band if you have a chance to see them live they are really great. Last year they played in USA, Hong Kong and France and they will probably play overseas again this year. I will let you know ! ! !

    • What part of the octopus is the “dumpling” ?
      Sounds yukky ( but then I am a veggie).

      The schoolgirl thing is a bit troubling for me ( in more ways that I care to go into !), I know it’s a “brand” thing but I’m not sure it gives a healthy image abroad. There are a lot of old perverts around , you know.

      • Ummm . . . . . I know it can be troubling for westerners as of course there is a different cultural thing with it here that is not the same in the west. (of course there are some issues here also)

        Mr P ! ! !

        A dumpling is not part of an Octopus ! ! !

        A dumpling is a type of donut or something like that and the left over pieces of octopus are put in the dough to give it flavour. They are really tasty ! ! !

      • Latest News ! ! !

        A List for Scandal on RR! ! ! !

        I am sure the Scandal girls will be thrilled to see BeauTeen listed on RR

        Here they are live playing it ! ! !

  2. Hi Hoshino.

    “Herro Evelyblody”

    Why do Japanese people struggle with pronouncing the letters R or L? Are they sounds which don’t exist in Japanese language; or is it just a myth?

    • Hi Rich James

      R and L are the same sound in Japanese and it is different from both of the English sounds, so that is why we have some trouble with L and R. Also we almost never have two consonants together so any word like woRD will be a problem for many Japanese people ! ! !

      • What I don’t get is why “Rock” sometimes becomes “Lock” and yet there are plenty of words in Japanese ( “Ronin” for example) with those very letters in the same order.

        I think you do it deliberately to wind us up.

      • Hi Mr P ! ! !

        The problem you are having is that you are thinking in English. And using the English letters to write Japanese sounds is what giving you the problem.

        There are two “liquid consonants” in English – a lateral L and a rhotic R. In Japanese there is only one which is a like the English L but the tongue does not touch the roof of the mouth when you make it so it sounds like half way from a L and R in English.

        When we write foreign words we use a phonetic script called katakana

        In Katakana “r” is written like this

        ラ = ra
        リ = ri
        ル = ru
        レ = re
        ロ = ro

        and “l” is written like this:

        ラ = la
        リ = li
        ル = lu
        レ = le
        ロ = lo

        So rock is written like this


        and lock is written like this


        So do you understand now?

        Easy it is ! ! !

      • I think I understand.
        Sometimes you can hear the “R”-“L” thing in Japanese songs. It’s more of a “LRRR” sound.

        Hawaiian is an interesting language to listen to too ( he said, veering wildly off topic). In fact when they first started to write Hawaiian there were all sorts of ways to write the words.
        Kauai, for example, sometimes was written as “Atooii”. This looks barmy until you actually hear a native speaker say the word.
        The initial “K” is pronounced from the back of the throat, almost a glottal stop. It sounds something like “T’ker-why-ee”
        Thow in the “W” sometimes being sounded as a “v” and you get an interesting palate of sounds.

  3. Recycles ancient joke: “Mmmm. Those octopus dumprings are rubbery!”

    The whole set was fantastic, it’s impossible to pick one that stands out more than the others, so I’ll have to pick the one that I liked least, which was Miwa, which wasn’t bad at all; very nice in fact.

    I have really enjoyed this series Sakura and Pairubu. Thank you very much for all the hard work that you have put into this. It really has been worthwhile – it’s been an invaluable education for me and others.

    Many thanks!
    Your Number One Fan

    • Hi SR ! ! !

      Thank you so much for being our number one fan ! ! ! ! (and number two and three and four . . . . . )

      We are really so pleased you liked the series. We have had a lot of fun making it and it is great to know people had fun also ! ! !

      I am going home for trip for most of May and so we will have a break now for a while, but we already have some nice ideas for more episodes ! ! !

      • Enjoy your trip home for the month of May, Sakura. I hope you won’t be offline? Maybe you can persuade The Old Hipster to brave the shark infested waters of RR and The Spill – we would love to make his acquiantance and get to hear some of his song choices.

    • I’m very glad you’re enjoying the series. It’s an education for me too. A year or so ago all I knew of Asian music was Shonen Knife and a few bits and bobs.
      I’m a quick learner though and have far too much time on my hands, hence my apparent “expertise”.
      In fact I bet Japanther and a couple of others know more than me about these bands.
      I just really, really love the music and want more people to hear these fantastic bands and songs from Asia.
      Stay tuned, hopefully we’ll be back in a few weeks.

    • Hi SR

      I will definitely have a good time and I will definitely try and make the old hippster nominate on RR ! ! !

      I will be online and check mails and stuff but I probably will not have time to make posts (at least I hope I will be too busy to make posts ! ! !)

      I am quite excited actually now as time is going very fast ! ! !

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