Yesterday and this morning, I found myself helplessly struggling to watch a really odd Japanese movie called パコダテ人, when I got distracted by the Japanese video sharing website, Nico Nico Douga (ニコニコ動画) and typed in “My Little Pony” in English. Why did I do such an odd thing? Someone on the Reviewing the Kanji forums (review coming soon) said that the Japanese were fansubbing the show, which has now become an internet phenomenon. I got myself acquainted with the show and the memes associated with it (be careful, as it’s suprisingly addicting) and decided to check it out next time I was bored.
All I can say is that if you’re at least an intermediate learner, you should be using Nico Nico Douga, and if you’re a brony, this is a great way to indulge your love of the ponies while learning Japanese at the same time. Learning is supposed to be fun, and if it’s fun for you, then excellent!
So, how do you learn Japanese from fansubs of My Little Pony? First of all, any sentence you particularly like, you can plug into your Anki deck. You can’t copy and paste these, so it’ll be a time-consuming task. If I may make a recommendation, Rarity’s sentences (I can’t believe I’m typing these names) are particularly interesting, seeing as how the fansubbers decided to sprinkle some keigo (very formal Japanese) into her dialogue. In case you’re wondering, Applejack didn’t fare too well in the translation.
Another fun way that’s not as time-consuming is to copy and paste the comments. In Nico Nico, the comments fly across the video as it plays just at the time the comment was made. You can also see the comments in a sidebar next to the video and they can be copied and pasted. Just right click and choose コーピする to copy it.
I should note that the comments consist of a lot of slang and grammar is pretty much thrown out the window (it’s the Internet), so it might stump you for a while. At the same time, it’ll probably make you laugh a little inside as you see that the Japanese tend to follow the same memes you do, and have even invented a few of their own.
So good luck little bronies who want to learn Japanese and still watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. You’ll find there’s quite a few episodes already up, so watch to your heart’s content.