ASIA150McMullen - Chelsea McMullen PID 714818597 Reflective...

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Chelsea McMullen PID: 714818597 10/2/09 Reflective Essay on “Lost in Translation” The movie “Lost in Translation” portrays the experience of two unhappy Americans, Charlotte and Bob, who coincidentally visit Japan in the same period of time. As a result of their unhappiness and confusion by the Japanese culture, they connect, and find comfort with one another. Through their experiences and adventures, viewers are exposed to several common stereotypes that Japanese people embody. The first stereotype being that all Japanese people speak very little English, and when they try, it sounds ridiculous. The next one is the idea that Japan is the very technologically advanced. We see this through both Charlotte and Bob’s eyes as they arrive in the city and see more of it as they travel to various areas of Japan. Contrary to the idea that Japan is advanced in technology, it is also associated with having traditional values such as Geisha and serenity, which is shown by Charlotte’s visits to both a shrine and a Kyoto. In addition to the stereotypes of the country, the film also portrays the physical appearances and customs of Japanese people in a degrading and stereotypical way. The movie, “Lost in Translation,” allows viewers to become familiar with common Japanese stereotypes, and as a result, become familiar with the idea of orientalist thoughts and concepts that Americans have of Japanese people. The idea that Japanese people are incapable of speaking English well is one that is very prominent in this film. The Japanese language is portrayed as very intricate and complicated. It seems as if an excessive amount of Japanese words are said as opposed to a few English words to convey the same sentence. For both Bob and the viewer, this is
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confusing because it does not make sense that Japanese people can speak their very complicated language, but cannot speak proficient English, which seems so much simpler
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2010 for the course ASIA 150 taught by Professor Hewison during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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ASIA150McMullen - Chelsea McMullen PID 714818597 Reflective...

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