Bishop of Homoco

Posted: March 22, 2010 in chinese, japanese, languages
Tags: , , , , ,

(I wanted to something completely different, but lost the book with visual aids. Can you believe it?)

Bishop of Homoco, or, in the correct Japanese transcription Honmoku, is the assumed name of possibly Hoffman Atkinson (at least according to S. Kaiser; different theories, however, do exist), who in 1879 published the second edition of the non-existent first edition of Exercises in the Yokohama Dialect. The whole book might have started out as a joke; however,  it soon took on a life of its own, occasionally popping up on internet forums to this day, mostly when the silly Asians need to be made fun of:

The reason it’s so important is that it contains the earliest examples of the “Chinese” pidgin, written in a crappy English transcription, such as:

“Am buy worry arimas?” (<— Anbai warui arimasu? <– Are you be ill?)

orjapanese

Cocoanuts arimas” (<— Kokonotsu arimasu <— It’s be nine)

What a joker. NUH-HUH.

(As a matter of fact, I strongly dislike the sort of HURR DURR humour where you use “foreign” sounding absurd and/or offensive phrases to make fun of a language they’re supposed to imitate. Pfff.

Is there a name for that sort of thing? There might be, and I prefer to label things I prefer to avoid)

ETA: You can read the entire book here.  The formatting seems to be pretty bizarre, though.

(Scan ganked from Baacharu nihongo. Yakuwarigo no nazo by Satoshi Kinsui)

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