Now that the TV is capable of something more than movies and games, I’ve been leaving TV Japan on in the background to improve my ear. This works well enough that I occasionally have the urge to walk into the family room to see the images associated with something I think I just understood (such as the interview with Donald Richie, the continuing news about Fukushima, or the gradually-lengthening promos for Deka Wanko).
[Best so far was hearing a young woman walk in and tell her mother she had something serious to discuss, and then saying “I’m pregnant and he doesn’t want to marry me”; I understood the whole scene, and followed along fairly well when the mother tracked down the offending boyfriend and he confessed that while he loved her, he was an orphan with no family to offer her. Mom said, “just like me”]
But sometimes it’s just goofy. The kid’s shows are painful, most of the daytime stuff is aimed at housewives, and I swear that almost all female announcers and narrators drink the same kool-aid that powers Nina on The Good Night Show.
And then, Sunday afternoon, I heard a hoarse, heavily-accented voice shout, in English:
"I.... Can.... Speak.... Dutch!"