Monday, December 6, 2010

The Language Barrier

by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

I get my television through a Japanese satellite system.  I have two remote controls that allow me to turn the television on and off, raise and lower the volume, and change the channels.  I'm certain that the remotes probably have many more functions, but all of their buttons are labeled in Japanese kanji script which is eerily reminiscent of the art work that my chickens used scratch in the barn lot - and I didn't understand the chicken messages either!

Last night my television service was interrupted when I accidentally bumped into the table on which the television resides, and, try as I might by pushing every possible button and combination of buttons on both remotes, I succeeded only is getting the music stations and the "promo" channel - and the promo channel is in complete oral and written Japanese.

When I tried to get one of my regular channels, a text box appeared on the screen that undoubtedly was meant to inform the viewer of what the malfunction was and how to correct it.  But, again, the information was written in kanji.  What is a misplaced hillbilly to do?

I called my housing agents this morning, Die Nasty Housing, and they in turned called Norman, the fellow who installed my satellite dish four months ago.  Norman is Okinawan, but he had several years of English instruction in school and is good for dealing with the Americans who aren't smart enough to learn Japanese.  I am waiting patiently for Norman to make a house call.  Allah knows what that will cost, but at least I will have my noisy distraction once again operational!

Why can't they make remedial remotes with diagrams and English instruction for those of us who mistakenly grew up thinking that the world revolved around America?

1 comment:

  1. those of us who mistakenly grew up thinking that the world revolved around America?