【World Life】とは?


World Lifeな生活

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In a recent episode of the popular TV show Britain’s Got Talent (BGT), Yasumura, a Japanese comedian, achieved tremendous success with his unique act. Yasumura’s performance involved posing naked in various poses, all while keeping his pants on.

What particularly intrigued me about his act was the contrasting punch lines in Japanese and English. In Japanese, the punch line ends with “HAITEMASU” (literally meaning “I wear”).  in English, however, it takes on an interactive element, with Yasumura saying, “I wear,” and the audience responding by shouting, “Pants!”

For Japanese viewers, it becomes fascinating to ponder why the audience couldn’t resist shouting out in response. It vividly highlights the linguistic differences between the two languages.
The Japanese language heavily relies on context. A lot can be implied without explicitly stating it. Even in this case, you don’t need to mention “pantsu” (pants) explicitly, as the Japanese audience would understand the intended meaning perfectly. On the other hand, English is less context-dependent, requiring stricter adherence to grammatical rules. In this case, using “wear” as a transitive verb necessitates a direct object. When a sentence is left incomplete, as Yasumura did in his performance, the audience naturally feels compelled to provide the missing object in some way or another.

Yasumura may have unintentionally and fortunately tapped into the linguistic inclination of English-speaking people, which contributed to the success of his show.

To help Japanese readers who may be less familiar with the concept of obligatory objects in English grammar, I attempted to illustrate it using the image of a special arm and hand attached to a transitive verb in English. This unique arm “MUST” grab hold of a direct object, just like Yasumura’s performance grabbed the attention of the audience.

By exploring the differences in punch lines between the Japanese and English versions, Yasumura’s act highlights the intriguing nuances of language and serves as a delightful cross-cultural experience.