Friday, July 30, 2004

lost in translation

and speaking of evolutions and cooking shows, ever notice how translators have progressed from unemotional bland robots to spirited, inflection-heavy actors?

my only exposure to translators on tv involved international beauty pageants. the translators of yore wore formal outfits and were as inconspicuous as they were useful (much like subtitles, come to think of it). "the essence of being a woman is being myself." not much emotion there.

today, translators speak with so much passion, you'd think there were an award-giving body for translators (is there?).

of course i am referring to the translators of iron chef, the cooking show.

i think most of the appeal of this show comes not from the masterful chefs or their impossibly intricate dishes, but from the energy of the translators.

on any given episode you will hear them exclaim:

(actress-judge tasting a dish) "oh!!! i was surprised by the use of eel in this dish! how LUXURIOUS (her favorite word)! i'm really enjoying this! it's exploding in my mouth!"

(judge who looks like he could train the karate kid) "uhhh ... i think this could use a bit more cooking, but it's excellent. well done! you have combined the french and japanese styles perfectly. good! good!"

(hosts overseeing the cooking) "what do you think the iron chef is cooking?" "my guess is that he's going to ... no! what is this!? this is truly a surprise to me! i would never have guessed he was going to fry the bamboo shoots!" "oh my, this is such a surprise." "it's so luxurious!"

needless to say, i'm addicted to that show.


Pasig Raver said...

iron chef.

sounds like a badly written comedy starring SNL's Chris Kattan (Corky Romano, A Night at the Roxbury).

gusto ko yung mukha ng general manager nila (why do japanese shows have them? think takeshi's castle, the guy with the saber shouting "Igeh!" - signaling the start of the game. hindi naman siya host. insert jeopardy think theme.) in their commercial where he swallowed a dimsum whole, savored it pensively for a second, then smirked for the camera. it's the funniest thing on tv, second funniest if we include Bembol Roco dancing to the tune of the 'Bulaklak' song. he reminded me of a beefed up version of Robin Padilla's sidekick in BKK (Basta't Kasama Kita).

pendrifter said...

As your bona fide soon-to-be officially-a-translator friend, I would like to point out a teeny weeny detail: translators work with the written word (alliteration not intended). The dudes who talk are interpreters (cf Nicole Kidman's new film.) The folks who do the infomercials and movies are dubbers, and they usually aren't the ones who did the actual translation of the script.
End of nice-to-know nitpicking of the day.