Japanese Ranguage

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
In a fit of cosmic ilony, the editol who inselted this footnote was kirred by a holde of loving ninjas the vely next day.
'L's and 'R's: It's a 50/50 bat (sic) and they ALWAYS get it wrong!.
"You must understand, Mr Lucas, that this man is Japanese and he has difficulty getting his tongue round his r's"
Captain Peacock, Are You Being Served

Whele a joke is made about plonouncing "R's" and "L's" incollectry in Japanese, or othel plonunciations.

When this trope is used, the letters are often reversed where the sounds they are making are not ones that would cause that problem—i.e. "R" (when pronounced "are") being replaced with "L", when a long "ah" sound would be more likely.

There is some truth to this: Japanese has neither English R nor English L - it has a sound that might be best described as a combination between an R and L,[1] if not for the incredible variation it sees in various dialects of Japanese. So, a native Japanese speaker who's not fluent in English can have difficulty telling when to use an R or an L, or will simply use their native R/L sound (which quite often sounds like the wrong letter to an English native). If you want to know what this is like, try pronouncing some Welsh or Gaelic words. The same is true of Korean - it has R's and L's, but these are different allophones of the same phoneme, which is pronounced as an L when it's at the end of a syllable (which doesn't happen in Japanese). Sometimes it's an honest mistake, rather than humor.

Also applied to other Asians - even if the accent doesn't fit (though Chinese are prone to r/l mistakes as well), or with exaggerated accents of their own.

The Japanese R can also occasionally sound to English-speakers like a D (specifically, the "tap" that replaces unstressed /t/ and /d/ in North American and Australian English), but not much seems to be made of this in media.

Involved in some cases of Spell My Name with an "S". Often used as part of Asian Speekee Engrish.

There is one more problem like this - "V" is replaced with "B".

Ret's keep the obvious and numelous erectolar jokes to a minimum, sharr we?


Exampres of use fol humol

Adveltising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • An old Jell-O commercial from the 50's shows a Chinese baby trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks while the narrator speaks Japanese Ranguage. This is a good demonstration of the trope applied to Chinese accents: all the R's become L's, but the L's are untouched (it's not Jerr-O).

Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • Luchia and Rina from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch are sometimes called Ruchia and Lina.
    • Madame Butterfly has had her real name transliterated as "Lanuha," "Ranfa," and others.
  • In the Samurai Champloo episode "Baseball Blues", the interpreter Doubleday talks like this. Like everything else in the episode, it's played for comedy.
  • The opening credits of Slayers NEXT feature a map where the city of Seyruun is spelled "Sailoon"
  • Durarara!! subbers often accidentally put "Dulalala" on the title in the opening sequence.
    • That's actually sort of correct. The title refers to Celty, a Dullahan, so spelling it Durarara is itself an example of this.
    • It's also supposed to be the onomatopoeia for the sound of a motorcycle ("Drrrr"), so it's basically an untranslatable pun that would be "incorrect" either way.
  • There's a fair chance that Japanese Ranguage may have been involved in the naming of "Kallen" from Code Geass. When pronounced it sounds more like "Karen", which would make somewhat more sense given her English Brittanian background, and was in fact used by some fansubbers. However, the official transliteration is Kallen, which could possibly be due to someone aware of the problems with Japanese Ranguage and overcompensating. Granted there's no actual evidence for this, but it is at any rate a theory held by a decent enough portion of the fanbase, and there are fans that reject the "Kallen" transliteration outright.
    • At least one fansub of One Piece pronounces the town of Alabasta as Arabasta.
    • It was explicitly used in some fansubs, where she called herself Kallen when referring to her English bloodline, and Karen to Japanese.
  • In one episode of Love Hina, Keitaro and Naru are studying English, and trying to figure out if a particular word is pronounced "correct" or "collect".
  • Done in the Axis Powers Hetalia dub for the voice of Japan as part of the dub taking the National Stereotypes comedic basis of the series Up to Eleven.
  • In Hellsing, the main character is "Arucard", which is "Dracura" spelled backwards. The translators wanted to spell it "Alucard" but were told it was spelled incorrectly.
    • According to Crispin Freeman, Hirano himself confirmed (after the series had concluded) that "Alucard" is the correct spelling. The anime directors simply didn't know what they were talking about.
    • Is a bit more complicated than that: "Alucard" from Castlevania fame predates Hellsing and the author wanted to avoid any legal issues, so in his characteristic Obfuscating Stupidity he let the name spelling be wrong and the fans to figure it out. It is even lampshaded by some antagonist (something about the lines of "I don't care if your name is Alucard or Arucardo")
  • This trope, combined with the Japanese confusion between 'B' and 'V', led to Verthandi becoming Belldandy in Ah! My Goddess.
  • A recurring instance of this comes in many Mecha series, where the giant robots' heads-up displays will read "ROCK ON" instead of "LOCK ON". Banpresto included a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment of this in the Game Boy Advance Super Robot Wars games, where Wing Gundam Zero's targeting display says "ROCK" on the left side...and "N ROLL" on the right.
    • The anime series for the second Super Robot Wars Original Generation game seems to be turning this into a running gag, as the term "ROCK ON" appears twice within the first four episodes. Then again, if "AN ERROR" is any indication, it may be a legitimate mistake.
      • The anime is directed by Masami Obari, who also gave us STATUS CLITICAL, so yeah.
  • Speaking of mecha, an infamous Japanese scan claimed the L-Gaim Mk. II featured a Morvabul Flame, which is a seriously impressive example (for the record, it's supposed to be the much less epic-sounding "movable frame").
  • The late 70s anime Captain Future was adapted from an American pulp science-fiction series. Unfortunately, these American roots were unknown to or ignored by the makers of the German dub, resulting in pseudo-English character names re-translated from Japanese: female sidekick John Randall turns into Joan Landor, Marshall Ezra Gurney becomes Ezella Garnie, and Arch Enemy Ul Quorn goes by the name of Vul Kuolun.
  • No one is quite sure if Ling Yao's bodyguard is Ran Fan or Lan Fan in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, there is a monster called Jerry Beans Man. Because he is a green jeLLy bean, one can only wonder......
  • Vampire Hunter D gives us the term "dunpeal", which is what happens when the word "Dhampyr" is subjected to this trope.
  • The heroine of Gunsmith Cats is named Rally / Larry Vincent.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion: Kaji's attempts to speak to Americans in Rebuild 2.0. Everyone else who speaks English in the film is really quite good, but Kaji is ear-crunchingly awful. If it weren't for the subtitles he'd almost be unintelligible. What makes it worse is that it's smack-dab in the middle of a dramatic scene, and the sheer Narminess of his accent almost completely ruins the tension.
  • Subbers of Inuyasha can't seem to decide between "Kilala" and "Kirara." Actors in the dub say "Kilala."
  • Need we mention Ravi/Labi/Rabi/Lavi from D/Gray-Man? Even the official publishers don't know how to translate this guy's name!
  • On the same note, Maito Guy/Might Guy/Mighty Guy/Maito Gai/Mighty Gay from Naruto.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Tomo and Osaka think that Bruce Lee's name is "Blue Three," causing them to imagine him beating up Blue One and Blue Two.
  • The Funimation dub of Axis Powers Hetalia gives this, naturally, to Japan. And seems to make a point of giving him the opportunity to exclaim "I can't berieve zis!"
  • The B-V version of this trope is probably the reason Black Lagoon's female lead is nicknamed "Revy." "Reby" would be a more natural shortening of "Rebecca," but "Revy" is the official translation for some reason. Possibly because it looks and sounds cooler. "Levy" also crops up in some translations.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE has been using English words for the Mecha Expansion Packs the AGE Gundams use throughout the series: AGE-1 Titus, AGE-2 Double Bullet, AGE-3 Fortress, etc. Most of them have been translated fine, except for the AGE-1's close-combat high-speed form: the AGE-1 "Spallow" (presumably meant to be "Sparrow").


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The Trope Namer is a Silver Age-era Flash comic (seen above) where Barry Allen goes to Japan and is greeted as "Barry Arren-san." The Clue From Ed said that the it came from "Difficurty of pronouncing "L's" in Japanese Ranguage"
  • Used in an even more insane and racist and insanely racist way with Egg Fu and Dr Yes, the Oriental Eggheads who frequently try to capture Wonder Woman in their Diabolical Moustahce Trap.
  • The Donald Duck cartoon "Donald Applecore", after Donald winds up accidentally Digging to China.
  • Voltaire's (not that Voltaire) comic Deady Big in Japan features this, for the most part in lieu of actually speaking Japanese. It even lampshades it, when they refer to a "Escuratuh Attendent" and the bottom says "Escalator Attendant, for those who don't speak Japanese". Of course, he's pretty good about getting the accent right, instead of just replacing Ls and Rs, still.
  • American Born Chinese is a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang that features Chin-Kee, a hollibel Chinese steleotype who tarks rike this.
  • Every Asian in Mortadelo Y Filemon (And most stuff from Spain for that matter) speaks with the "L in place of R" variety, regardless of their country of origin. Then again, they look so racistically caricaturesque it's almost fitting.

Firm[edit | hide]

  • Kim Jong-Il in Team America: World Police talks like this, as emphasized in his song "I'm so ronery".
  • A Christmas Story: "Tis the season to be jorry. Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra, ra, ra"
    • May be a Lampshading, since the old Asian man immediately yells at them, "Not 'ra-ra-ra-ra' -- falalalala!", and gives up when they fail to get it right.
    • They may have been simply jerking their boss's chain for the Parker family's amusement. They do immediately switch to another L-heavy carol, rather than something else.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's movie UHF does the supply-closet gag with an entire karate team leaping out and screaming "SUPPLIES!".
  • Referenced in Lost in Translation (Charlotte asks, "Why do they switch the R's and the L's?"), and briefly used ("Lip my stockings!").
  • Back to The Future Part II: In 2015, Marty McFly is shown to be working for a Mr. Fujitsu, who pronounces his name as "Mock-Fry".
  • Invoked intentionally by the Chinese Uncle Benny in Lethal Weapon 4: "That's fried rice, you plick!"
  • A plot point in Chinatown. "Bad for glass".
  • The Last Samurai has Algren's new hosts struggling to pronounce his surname.


Jokes[edit | hide]

  • Two-part joke:

Q: What do you call a woman with one leg shorter than the other?
A: Eileen.
Q: What do you call a Japanese woman with one leg shorter than the other?
A: Irene.

  • What do you call Lady Gaga's Irish-Japanese stepsister? - Rady O'Gaga.
    • Given the information in that link, does this deserve some sort of Reciprocal Trope trope?
  • A Greek man loves going to a certain Chinese restaurant and asking what the special is. The special is always fried rice, and he loves hearing the waiter say "flied lice" - it makes the Greek laugh and laugh. The waiter HATES this, and is horribly embarrassed by it. When the Greek has to leave town for a month on business the waiter works with a speech therapist and tries hard. When the Greek came back and asked what the special was, the waiter said "The special today is fried rice. How's THAT, you clazy Gleek??"
  • There were three men working for a construction contractor, two Americans and a Japanese man, and the contractor told the first American to dig out a hole to lay a concrete foundation, and the second American to mix the concrete, and the Japanese man to go out and get the necessary supplies to dig the hole. He comes back the next day, and sees that no progress has been made, so he goes to the man who was supposed to lay the concrete and starts yelling at him, but he says "It's not my fault, the other guy never dug the hole, so I couldn't lay the concrete." The contractor goes to the other man and yells at him, but he says "It's not my fault, the Japanese guy never got me the digging equipment." Annoyed, the contractor looks for the Japanese man, but he is nowhere to be found. Frustrated, he sits down, and suddenly the Japanese man pops out and yells "SUPPRISE!"
  • A Japanese woman goes to an eye doctor. The doctor tells her, "I'm sorry, but you have a bad cataract." The woman says, "No, not cataract. Is Rincoln Continental!"

Ritelatule[edit | hide]

  • In Good Omens, Newt Pulsifer has a car called a Wasabi, an early example of Japanese car manufacturing. And it talks, and actually shoehorns Ls and Rs in where neither belongs:

"Prease to frasten sleat-bert."

  • Robert Anton Wilson's Schroedinger's Cat trilogy has a character who gives an impassioned pre-hanging speech with all the Ls and Rs swapped.
  • Remo Williams did this to intentionally anger his master Chiun, even though there's no indication Sinanju shares Japanese linguistic patterns.
  • In the Beverly Cleary book Emily's Runaway Imagination, set in the '20s, a classic episode of Age-Appropriate Angst results when Emily runs into the one Chinese man in town while walking her dog, whom he greets as Plince. She unthinkingly corrects him that it's Prince, and although he's nice about it, all the other adults start asking her how Plince is every time they see her.
  • In one of the Jennings books, Pettigrew makes an Incredibly Lame Joke about a Chinese stamp-collector. The punchline is "Philately will get you nowhere".
  • Henry Beard's Latin for All Occasions is basically a phrasebook for those times when you need to speak classical Latin. For times when you're in a Chinese restaurant, he helpfully translates "Do you have 'flied lice'? Ha ha ha!" as "Habesne olyziam flictam? Hae hae hae!"

Ribe Action Terebision[edit | hide]

  • The Odd Couple: The boys befriend a Chinese wrestler (Jack Soo) who brings Felix and Oscar Jewish takeout- "chopped river", "rox" and "bager and cleam cheese".
  • Seinfeld: Jerry's girlfriend, Donna Chang (who changed her last name from "Changstein" and is from Long Island and very occidental), says "ridicurous".
  • The "Erizabeth L" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    • Monty Python also had a song on their audio recordings which was the old standby Anglican hymn "Jerusalem" with all the L's and R's swapped, thus retitling it "Jelusarem". ("And did those feet, in ancient times, wark upon Engrand's mountains gleen...")
    • Chapman again played an Chinese stereotype in the "Cycling Tour" episode, who had difficulty pronouncing Cornwall. "Colrnlrnwarrll..."
  • Top Gear: Jeremy Clarkson sometimes indulges in this. For example his version (based on prior urban legend) of how the Mitsubishi Starion got its name is that the American advertising agency misheard the Japanese executive saying Mitsubishi Stallion, and ends with a comedy "marverrous". Then again, he switches into an equally daft American accent; "Ok, weeee'll have the BROchures prinned tonight!"
  • Used (subverted?) in Da Kath and Kim Code (movie-length Christmas special of Kath and Kim). As the family is sitting down for dinner one of the characters says "this chicken is bloody rubbery". The others think he's making one of these jokes, but the "chicken" turns out to be the latex fake breast Kath had lost earlier in the episode.
    • In the "China" episode of Giles Wemmbley Hogg Goes Off, Giles attempts the same joke, which the waiter interprets literally and starts apologising for profusely, whilst Giles feebly explains what he was trying to do.
  • Jasper Carrott did a routine referencing this about how if a group of British people go to any far-eastern restaurant somebody in the group will impersonate the waiter too loudly "Flied lice, ha ha ha! As if he's deaf! He gets it every night of his life. He goes straight to the kitchen and pisses in the soup, it's your own fault!"
  • In an episode of Are You Being Served, a Japanese Tourist came into the store with his "Cledit Caa" (Sooooooo!). Captain Peacock's attempts to communicate with him are at least as hilarious as the tourist himself ("You wanty buy?" "Whaty-wanty?")

Captain Peacock: You must understand, Mr. Lucas, that this man is Japanese and he has difficultly getting his tongue round his r's

  • Get Smart had a Chinese villain who called himself "The Claw." Unfortunately, he had trouble getting this across properly. His catchphrase was "It's not 'The Craw,' it's 'The Craw!'"
  • One episode of Have I Got News for You had a joke featuring this, resulting to one of the panellists complaining about "razy lacism".
    • The Dutch version, after an item about an escalator being stolen in China, had a pun featuring this. Sadly, it doesn't work in English.
  • In the pilot of Modern Family, Mitchell and Cam introduce their adopted Vietnamese daughter, who they've named Lily. Dimbulb Phil thinks she'll have trouble saying that name.

Magazines[edit | hide]

  • Official PlayStation Magazine featured a fake Japanese game contest commentator who employed this trope. As a joke, he once denied being one of the writers in a "lacist" persona.
  • In a Cracked Mazagine spoof of Black Sheep Squadron many years ago (#144 probably), Capt. Boyington is disguised as a Japanese person. He gets almost found out at one point, being asked, "Are you sure you're Japanese?" To which he replied, "Of course. Didn't you notice I'm reversing my Rs and Ls?"

Music[edit | hide]

  • The DragonForce Gag Dub video "Herman Li is Cool" exaggerates Herman's accent by making him speak like this.
  • The final gig of X Japan's 2010 North American Tour happened to be located at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Yoshiki Hayashi had to talk about this in a promotional clip. The result? ROWSWAND BAWWROOM, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • Gackt's recent tour is named YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz. Or, as Gackt calls it, "YELLOW FLIED CHICKINZ."
    • Fans have started referring to the concert as "Yellow Fudge Cakes" after Gackt's...interesting pronunciation.
  • Rucka Rucka Ali (pronounced in the song as "Rucka Rucka Ari") is intentionally making fun of the various Asian stereotypes in "Ching Chang Chong".
  • The Kingston Trio's 1958 recording "Coplas" includes the following spoken word passage in a vaguely "Japanese" accent as an alleged translation of one of the original Spanish verses:

Ah so. You are surprise I speak your language. You see, I was educated in your country... at U.C.R.A.

Mythorogy[edit | hide]

  • Japan has a particular fondness for the Dullahan, an Irish legendary spirit who's similar to the Headless Horseman. However, there's a tendency to mistranslate its name back as Durahan. The Dragon Quest series and Monster Rancher are among the series to bear Durahans where they realy should have Dullahans.
    • Vagrant Story uses both spellings inconsistently, depending on whether you're fighting the Dullahan or looking him up in the bestiary.
      • Also, check the Durarara!! example in the Anime/Manga section.

New Media[edit | hide]

  • The NFL blog "Kissing Suzy Kolber" does this with their fictionalized Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (an Korean-African American) character.

Newspapel Comics[edit | hide]

  • There's a The Wizard of Id strip where a stereotypical Asian person gets tossed into the prison, and strikes up a conversation with perennial inmate Spook. He remarks that he's hungry, and would "rike big dish of flied lice". Spook tells him the food's bad enough already, don't go giving them ideas...

Theatel[edit | hide]

  • Christmas Eve speaks like this in Avenue Q, plus idiosyncratic grammar. Her pronunciation of "recyclables" as something along the lines of "lee-psych-er-a-burrs" is incomprehensible to anyone but her husband. One of her songs is "The More You Ruv Someone (The More You Wanna Kirrem)."
    • Steleotypicer, but rike she says, "Evelyone's a ritter bit lacist!"
  • Used for a joke in "Gliding Through My Memoree" from Flower Drum Song, with an obviously Asian girl being passed off as Irish:

Frankie: Say something Irish.
"Irish" Girl: Ellin go blah.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Rin and Len from Vocaloid are sometimes mistaken for Lin and Ren. Luka is also sometimes called Ruka.
    • Miriam's genderbend is called William. In English, the two names don't seem to rhyme (genderbend names are usually supposed to rhyme with their real counterparts), but since the Japanese pronounce Miriam "miriamu" and William "uiriamu", they do actually rhyme.
  • Shadow Hearts has the problem of translator turning all R's into L's, and all B's into V's. There's a character called Halley - didn't it occur to anyone on the translation team that his name might be Harry?
    • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment has the same problem with a spell: Lily's Jail or Release Jail?
  • Truth in Television: The endings to many Japanese-developed video games of the '80s and '90s managed to misspell "congratulations" along these lines. "Congraturation" was probably the most common, perhaps most famously in Stop The Express and Ghosts N Goblins; "conglaturation" showed up in the Ghostbusters NES game; and Ninja Kid II, a.k.a. Rad Action, even managed to misspell it "conglatullations". See also A Winner Is You.
    • Ghostbusters for the Master System, while generally better than the NES game, had Gozer's name transliterated as "Gorza".
    • Similarly, Samurai Shodown 4 conglaturated congraturated congratulated the battle winner with a message of "VICTOLY!"
    • The King of Fighters: "Laund bun! Lady... Goh!"
    • Also crops up in anime sometimes, though a little differently. On more than one occasion screens had announced missile lock with 'Rock On,' unintentionally invoking a different trope at the same time.
      • Video games have done that too: in one of the Mega Man arcade games, Wily telegraphs an attack with a moving crosshair that adds a small "ROCK ON!" label shortly before firing. Unless it turns out to be a pun on the protagonist's Japanese name.
    • An interesting example exists in Guilty Gear, where the special blocking technique that avoids chip damage but uses up the super bar can be transliterated as Faultless Defense or Fortress Defense, both of which describe the technique accurately. Also, a variant of an Animation Cancel move that requires super bar energy can be either False Roman Cancel (False because it resembles the real one but uses half as much energy) or Force Roman Cancel (an FRC can always be used, even if your attack misses, while a regular RC can only be used if you make contact).
      • Arc System Works apparently likes puns based on this trope, considering that BlazBlue can be read as "Blaze Blue" or "Brave Blue" from the kana.
  • The name Gradius was a transriteration of "Gladius". In the arcade version of Wonder Boy in Monster Land, the sword you start the game with is called the "gradius".
    • Some sources call the fourth boss of Gradius IV "Belial", while the manual for the PlayStation 2 Compilation Rerelease calls it "Viral", and the Shadow Gear is called "Club" (Crab) in some Japanese material.
    • And Lord British / Road British in Salamander / Life Force.
  • Cooking Mama
  • The Breath of Fire series is infamous for poor translations, especially the second game. This gives us such items as the "fishing lod".
  • Kirby fans familiar with the early games may know a recurring miniboss character named Mr. Frosty, an ice cube-throwing walrus. The localization staff for Kirby & the Amazing Mirror must not have been so familiar, as the character was dubbed Mr. Flosty.
  • In the NES version of Double Dragon, the name Roper is romanized into "Lopar" in the manual.
  • Didyourikeit?
  • Touhou 12.8: Fairy Wars has one of the more amusing instances of this, as the accompanying English translation for the final battle music with the intended Title Drop is written as "Faily Wars".
  • Air Gallet: "Air Garrett, blows your socks off!"
  • An engrish mistranslation resulted in one of the bosses in Devil May Cry, Nero Angelo (Black Angel in Italian), being referred to as Nelo Angelo.
    • Similarly, the fourth game has a demon named Berial, rather than Belial.
  • Valis, or Varis? This mistake sometimes occurs in the English dubs of Valis 2 and III for the TurboGrafx-16.
  • In the international version of Super Mario Bros. 2, the enemy Clawgrip was mistranslated as Clawglip. This error even remains in the SNES version (Super Mario All-Stars), but was finally fixed in the GBA version (Super Mario Advance).
  • Origami Kid in Comic Jumper.
  • The early The Legend of Zelda games had an enemy named Zola, which was changed to Zora in later games.
  • Vowels are not exempt from this in Japanese, most especially the 'u' as pronounced in words like "bug" or "slug". In every Dragon Quest game prior to VIII, Bubble Slimes were referred to as Babbles. In Mega Man 2, one Robot Master is variably called either Clash Man or Crash Man, and many believe the actual name was intended to be Crush Man.
  • Metroid: Although "Varia" does (depending, of course, on the player) evoke a certain sense of endurance and versatility appropriate to the armor upgrade's effect, if it had been transliterated as "barrier", it might have made a bit more sense ("b" and "v" can be transliterated interchangeably, and as alluded to in the description, an "-er" ending can be approximated by an extended "a" or "ah" sound).
  • There is a Famicom game titled The Triathron.


Web Oliginar[edit | hide]

  • On Nigahiga, Hanate (played by Ryan) from "How to be Ninja" and "Skitzo" speaks with this accent.
  • In Greek Ninja, both Kana and Yamauchi-sensei say "haro" instead of "hello" when they first speak.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Kiyoshi's father from Chugworth Academy. This is the least of his problems, however.
  • Nute Gunray in Darths and Droids.

As you know, our brocade is perfectly regal.

Westeln Animation[edit | hide]

  • In one episode of Frisky Dingo, Grace Ryan goes undercover as a Japanese woman and takes it Up to Eleven with this trope, actually replacing her L's with W's more than R's.
  • There was an extended joke in Drawn Together about this and driving, with a quote going something like:

Ling-Ling: Evelyone shourd realn to accept the way they L.

  • There's also the local Chinese restaurant in South Park, the 'Shitty Wok' (City Wok)
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the episode where the Chinese Mafia is shaking him down... by tipping over the food trays. "Not the shitty beef!"
    • Also done in the appropriately-named episode "The Chinese Probrem", where Cartman and Butters are infiltrating PF Chang's to find out the Chinese invasion plans. Cartman instructs Butters that all he needs to do is squint and say "Herro, prease" to pass off as a Chinaman. Needless to say, the real Chinese people aren't impressed.

Lear Rife[edit | hide]

  • In WW 2, this was also used as a shibboleth. If an American unit spotted someone claiming to be Filipino, they would ask him to say "Lolapalooza"; if they said "roraparooza", they were shot.
  • Used frequently in stand-up acts, particularly that of John Pinette, when talking about a Japanese family wanting to see "Free Willy". Hilarity ensues.
  • A Japanese commercial for Jelly Beans (cell phones, not the candy) was accompanied by a song about... Jerry Beans.
  • Used for humor in the title of this track from OverClocked Remix.
  • When Douglas MacArthur was considering running for President, a sign erected by Japanese citizens in Tokyo read: "We pray for MacArthur's erection."
  • In Bill Bryson's BBC radio series about the English language "Journeys In English", one of his guests, a well-spoken Japanese university lecturer living in England, while speaking about the problems for any Japanese learning English still says "plonunciation" and "my Engrish sometimes causes some probrems".
  1. physiologically this sound does exist in English but for psychological reasons sounds quite different: it's the alevolar tap used to make the quick 't' or 'd' sounds in words like "better" or "rider".