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Nantonaku wakarimasu.

Nantonaku wakarimasu. published on

I gave the kids a flying spaghetti monster coloring sheet today. I was a little worried that they might read His noodly appendages as something, you know, bad – being Japanese, and thus immersed in Japanese culture as they are. I showed it to my manager first:

Me: Do you think this coloring sheet’s okay? Is it scary or anything?

Manager: What? – what is that?

Me: The spaghetti monster.

Manager: A spaghetti monster! That’s cute!

Me: It’s big in America.

Manager: Is it a cartoon?

(I know from two past experiences that it can take upwards of twenty minutes to explain the concept of “creationism” to a Japanese person.)

Me: No… uh… it’s an internet joke.

Manager: What do you mean, “internet joke?”

Me: It’s kind of hard to explain…

Manager: No, no, somehow I understand.

Good to know that the essential internet-ness of the internet makes it across cultural barriers. “It’s from the internet” is a perfectly acceptable explanation for the spaghetti monster that is popular in America.

Of course, Jerky Kid looked at it and immediately said, “This looks like porn!”

Here’s that conversation in Japanese, for people who want to practice their mad translation skillz. (This is from memory, so if Manager’s lines sound weird, it’s that I’m misremembering them, not that he doesn’t speak Japanese.)

Me: このプリント、 だいじょうぶですか? 怖いですか?

Manager: へえ? それなんですか?

Me: スパゲティモンスターです。

Manager: へえ! スパゲティモンスターだ! すごいじゃん。

Me: アメリカで人気があります。

Manager: アニメですか?

Me: いいえ。。。 あの~。。。 インターネットの冗談です。

Manager: インターネットの冗談ですか? なんという意味ですか?

Me: 説明がちょっと難しいです。。。

Manager: はい、 はい。 なんとなくわかります。