Time to explain a bit of crazy Japanese Internet humor…
Go ahead, watch the entire video. I’ll wait.
There’s an entire category of Japanese humor that is based on adding Japanese subtitles to videos in foreign languages to show that the foreign language actually sounds like ridiculous Japanese. Hilarity ensues.
The Japanese call this 空耳 (そらみみ/soramimi) and there is even an entire 空耳 Wikipedia page explaining the phenomenon.
See, this is funny because the
French Romanian word “Salut” sounds like “猿ー” (さる/saru/monkey) in Japanese. Watch it again, this comes up at 0:50 in the video.
If I knew any
French Romanian I’d point more out for you… but I can’t spell anything in Romanian.
Funny thing, now whenever you hear this song, you’ll be unable to hear Salut and you’ll only hear 猿。I’m serious. Try it. You’ll see.
Here’s a basic one, the whole “numa numa” thing sounds sort of like “noma” which would be like 飲ま, a weird form of 飲む (のむ/nomu/drink) in Japanese, so the video shows the cats chugging wine or something at that point of the song.
Personally, I find the ペン チラ at 2:01 when he flashes a pen hilarious. (チラッ！ is a kinda “sound” that is made when you flash something into sight real quick…)
The キープ だ 牛 at 1:26 is funny too because it really does sound like he’s singing, “keep da ushi…” I’ll never be able to listen to this song again without thinking キープ だ 牛 when I hear that part. I have no idea what it means in French… and I probably never will. It’s over I tell ya.
Anyhow, the more you listen to this song with your ears turned to Japanese input mode, the more the video and the subtitles will start to make sense, and the more crazy you’ll become.
Here’s a pretty advanced 空耳 you can practice your new skills with. A friend in Japan emailed this to me with the warning, don’t die of laughter…
At 0:37 灰皿替えて〜! (haizara kaete!) Change the Ashtray!!!
If you’ve got a favorite soramimi video you’d like to share, tell us in the comments!