Do the Japanese like western TV?

Discuss Japanese drama series here.
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ssih
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Do the Japanese like western TV?

Post by ssih » Feb 22nd, '09, 14:34

Ok, we're all crazy nuts for jdramas on this forum, but what about the reverse? Do any of the Japanese like western (English language) TV? I see that popular American shows like Heroes, Desperate Housewives and 24 are broadcast in Australia and UK. I was just wondering if the same is true for Japan. Or if there is there a small faction of Japanese that download English language TV to watch.

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Post by monkgres » Feb 22nd, '09, 14:42

as far as i know they are not into english drama series cuz in the first place they dont understand english. even most of the company president here in japan doesnt know how to speak english. but in movies they dubbed it into japanese thats why they can watch american movies.

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Post by shiningstarss » Feb 22nd, '09, 15:33

there is.. but not many. in japan, there usually many english shows but it is already japanesed dubbed. most of japanese dont understand english, and there is no japanese subtitled HEROES or desperate housewives. some of us really like english shows though!

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GiGichan
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Post by GiGichan » Feb 22nd, '09, 15:56

well Voice always made me think of csi when I first started watching it and then I noticed they had like a buncha csi posters and it gave me the idea Japanese people probably like csi. You're right though I don't think it's available with Japanese subtitles so I dunno how they would watch it xD

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Post by sumire_chan » Feb 22nd, '09, 16:05

I wouldn't really know about American shows, but in addition to being a drama addict I'm a big fan of the British show Doctor Who, so I happen to know it's shown dubbed on NHK. I doubt it's very popular though, it seems like DW is always a bit of a cult thing everywhere outside the UK/Australia.

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Post by quashlo » Feb 22nd, '09, 16:56

Primetime dramas like Lost, CSI, and 24 are fairly popular in Japan.
See my current DramaWiki editing projects here.
See my current and completed subbing projects here.

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Puppet Princess
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Post by Puppet Princess » Feb 22nd, '09, 18:57

They import American TV to almost any country with cable. They subtitle it themselves too.
If my friends in Korea are gaga over Heroes and 24 and you can find Chinese bootlegs of American shows, it's probably safe to say the same thing happens in Japan.

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groink
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Post by groink » Feb 22nd, '09, 21:59

I don't know where people are getting the idea that the Japanese can't understand English, given that:

1. It is now common for Japanese parents to make their children learn English from age 5 or 6. It is a requirement that all Japanese learn to at least read English by 9th grade (watch Kinpachi-sensei - he's always teaching English in his class.)

2. In 2003 alone, approximately 1.5 million Japanese took the TOEIC test (standardized testing for English.)

3. Many aspects of Japanese popular culture now include English. Sports like baseball use many English loanwords. Many lyrics in Jpop uses English words and phrases. Many Jpop group names are in English.

4. Going back to dramas, Columbo was a huge hit in Japan, which inspired dozens of other police dramas such as Furuhata Ninzaburo. Little House on the Prarie was also very popular. As a matter of fact, the 1970s is when American television started airing on Japanese TV. And, ever since the U.S. has stayed in Japan via Yokosuka and Okinawa, several radio stations are broadcast in English.

5. The Japanese WANT to learn English. Sesame Street is aired in Japan - undubbed. NHK has several TV shows in English, such as Tokyo Eye, J-MELO, etc. I'm flipping through a friend's Japanese TV channel box right now via Slingbox in Nagoya - so far I've found FOX in English, Disney Channel in English, Discovery Channel in English, The Golf Channel in English...
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Post by Kessim » Feb 23rd, '09, 04:21

I really don't know the answer but to some of the other posters

um..why the hell do you think that japanese people don't know English? EVERYONE in the world is trying to learn that language. English is very important and many kids that are not american/some other english speaking land are learning it. In the US most students have the option of learning spainish, french or german. In other countries they don't have a choice what language they'll learn. They' learn english. In some parts of Indian people speak english fluently. I'm pretty sure a 1st world country like Japan would make their students learn English.

I'm not sure if they are into American shows, but I can tell you that there are shows played in English non-dubbed in Asian countries. From what I hear there are a lot of Japanese people that are racist against other asains.

Lol, I guess its true when people say americans don't know that there is a world out there.

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Post by Ladymercury » Feb 23rd, '09, 04:24

I ALWAYS see ads for CSI, Heroes, etc. Western TV is very popular over there.

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AnimeDad
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Post by AnimeDad » Feb 23rd, '09, 04:40

I have a friend in Japan who watches a lot of American TV, broadcast in English. She has perfect English herself, though - written English, anyway.

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Post by TofuQueen » Feb 23rd, '09, 04:56

groink wrote:I don't know where people are getting the idea that the Japanese can't understand English <snipped>
Well, I can tell you where *I* got that idea.

Every time I've seen a Japanese person try to speak English, whether it's in an interview, on a variety show, or in dorama (even in cases where the character was supposed to be "fluent in English"), the person has not sounded anything like fluent (and a fair number on talk/variety shows don't understand even basic questions in English well enough to answer in Japanese). Granted, I haven't seen huge amounts of Japanese tv where people try to speak English, but I have yet to see ONE case where the person seemed fluent.

I have also heard & read, from several unconnected people who have spent a significant amounts of time in Japan, that though Japanese students do take English classes, those classes are not very effective. Most are (or at least were) taught by other Japanese who aren't fluent English speakers, are very "drill focused" rather than looking at patterns & practical conversation, and are also focused on reading English rather than speaking it. The result (from what I have read/heard/been told) is people who take 12 or however many years of English in school, but only understand certain set phrases & can't really have a conversation in English. Of course there are exceptions, but that's what I've heard and read for the general population.

Maybe my idea of the Japanese people's English skills is way off, but it does have some basis; I'm not just "assuming" that they can't understand English well enough to watch US tv shows.

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Post by Puppet Princess » Feb 23rd, '09, 05:16

Understanding a language and speaking it are two very different things. It's hard to form coherent sentences when it's not the way your brain naturally thinks, and when you know you have a heavy accent and that it takes you a while to form proper sentences it makes you nervous and so you will mess up more or just not want to talk.

shijin
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Post by shijin » Feb 23rd, '09, 05:16

Like mentioned before I can confirm that from my experience here in Japan American TV shows are fairly popular. There was quite a hype about Heroes Season 2 and Sarah Connor Chronicles recently in the Tsutaya (popular DVD rental chain).
Still I have to say that while it might be true what groink says about the efforts of Japanese people to learn English, the reality is sadly quite what was often mentioned here. Japanese suffer from a single-sided approach in English learning and a lack of opportunity to actually practice English. This leads to many`s people Japanese poor English communication skills. In addition, many Japanese are afraid of actually using English due to lacking confidence in their skills and thus try to avoid situations where they might use it.
However, many Japanese are very interested in many things outside of Japan and of course also in the huge American TV and Movie industry. While the same might not be true for JDorama (especially young women are fairly addicted to the Doramas) in the case of almost all my friends they are far more interested in foreign movies (obviously mainly Hollywood productions) that in the Japanese movies.
Lastly, quite many of my Japanese friends understand English surprisingly well compared to their ability to speak it themselves. Many of them practice their English hearing by watching English Drama series and movies.
Sorry for drifting a bit away, but the discussion became somewhat the issue of English proficiency in Japan rather than the original topic. The disucssion about the English proficiency is a very difficult one and there will certainly be different opinions.
As for the English Doramas there seems in my experience to be a fair number of Japanese that watch American TV shows. But I can only speak for my impression based on what I see and hear here in Tokyo.

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Post by groink » Feb 23rd, '09, 05:24

Puppet Princess wrote:Understanding a language and speaking it are two very different things. It's hard to form coherent sentences when it's not the way your brain naturally thinks, and when you know you have a heavy accent and that it takes you a while to form proper sentences it makes you nervous and so you will mess up more or just not want to talk.
Exactly! I can understand spoken Japanese to a certain extent. But, when asked to speak, I can't for the life of me form one stupid sentence in my head and speak it aloud! Understanding via the ear and eyes, and speaking by constructing complete sentences use different parts of the brain. My Japanese g/f, for example, has perfect English vocabulary. But, when she speaks English, I can't for the life of me understand half of what she's saying.

It's like saying that all physicians can't write in English because you can't read their handwriting. Completely stupid logic IMO.

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groink
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Post by groink » Feb 23rd, '09, 05:39

shijin wrote:Sorry for drifting a bit away, but the discussion became somewhat the issue of English proficiency in Japan rather than the original topic.
The reason for this is that before the intended discussion can continue, we need to establish whether or not the Japanese can even understand and enjoy English-spoken TV dramas. If people are saying that the Japanese can't even understand English to begin with, then this topic might as well get thrown away because it would be tagged with a solid "NO" for an answer. monkgres was the first person to answer the question, and he said "NO"; if we left it at that, there would be many unanswered questions and countless misunderstandings.

--- groink
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Post by shiningstarss » Feb 23rd, '09, 08:05

groink wrote:
shijin wrote:Sorry for drifting a bit away, but the discussion became somewhat the issue of English proficiency in Japan rather than the original topic.
The reason for this is that before the intended discussion can continue, we need to establish whether or not the Japanese can even understand and enjoy English-spoken TV dramas. If people are saying that the Japanese can't even understand English to begin with, then this topic might as well get thrown away because it would be tagged with a solid "NO" for an answer. monkgres was the first person to answer the question, and he said "NO"; if we left it at that, there would be many unanswered questions and countless misunderstandings.

--- groink
yes you are right. i am victim of saying "NO"also. i'm half japanese and half taiwanese, and i don't understand english very well when it is spoke very fast. and i understand better than other friends because i have lived abroad for many years.

as this topic just said previously, many japanese have proper english education - but nonetheless they don't speak proper english nor can we understand american english to fullest extent. i invite you to stay in japan for 2 weeks and talk to everyone you see in your native english. 90% will not be unable to catch you what u say. :)

also if u have some demographics - many homes are slowly moving to digital tv. so maybe = maybe it is more likely to be widely spreaded (english). last time it was only fujitv, tbs, ntv, tv asahi and a few others. the rest are cable tv. (i have not been back to japan for 3-4 years)

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Post by AnimeDad » Feb 23rd, '09, 09:04

groink wrote:
Puppet Princess wrote:Understanding a language and speaking it are two very different things. It's hard to form coherent sentences when it's not the way your brain naturally thinks, and when you know you have a heavy accent and that it takes you a while to form proper sentences it makes you nervous and so you will mess up more or just not want to talk.
Exactly! I can understand spoken Japanese to a certain extent. But, when asked to speak, I can't for the life of me form one stupid sentence in my head and speak it aloud! Understanding via the ear and eyes, and speaking by constructing complete sentences use different parts of the brain. My Japanese g/f, for example, has perfect English vocabulary. But, when she speaks English, I can't for the life of me understand half of what she's saying.

It's like saying that all physicians can't write in English because you can't read their handwriting. Completely stupid logic IMO.

--- groink
It doesn't help that English and Japanese grammar are totally different. You have to learn to THINK japanese as well as speak Japanese. That's the hard part. :unsure:

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Post by ssih » Feb 23rd, '09, 11:54

groink wrote:My Japanese g/f, for example, has perfect English vocabulary. But, when she speaks English, I can't for the life of me understand half of what she's saying.
Maybe her English is perfect, but yours isn't so great?
:D :D

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Post by theuncontactable » Feb 23rd, '09, 12:29

I saw "The A-Team" and the old version of "The Bionic Woman" dubbed in Japanese while I was there, but some shows come in dual language where you just push a button on the remote for dubbed or original language.

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Post by Saki » Feb 23rd, '09, 23:11

All the western drama/movie that is broad cast on tv in Japan is usually in Japanese so they don't need to understand English to watch all those US drama.
But there is this button on the remote control that changes the language in English if you want to watch it in English and not Japanese.

My sister in law/my brother love watching western tv shows!
She love watching all the US drama more than Japanese drama.
By the way, they live in Japan.
Before I moved to Australia, I used to love watching all the western tv shows in Japan.

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groink
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Post by groink » Feb 24th, '09, 03:06

ssih wrote:
groink wrote:My Japanese g/f, for example, has perfect English vocabulary. But, when she speaks English, I can't for the life of me understand half of what she's saying.
Maybe her English is perfect, but yours isn't so great?
:D :D
And what's that jack ass of a comment supposed to contribute to this topic? Maybe ssih's one of my fans here. :)

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ssih
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Post by ssih » Feb 24th, '09, 11:20

???

Sorry.

It was just supposed to be a joke.

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Erisadesu
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Post by Erisadesu » Feb 24th, '09, 11:41

since when western TV is only about the USA΄S series?
ok i can understand that USA has a popular culture and they do have
a lot of interesting series so its normal.
But what about other countries I mean
is anywhere out there something like D-addicts
for UK's, German's, French's or any other European county
or African tv seriaols where you can find subtitles in japanese?

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