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Lost in Translation - Unfriendly director

Posted: March 20th, 2007 4:20 pm
by erawanet
I have searched the forums and tried to find a post on this topic but without success so apologies if this has been covered before!

I am a big fan of Lost in Translation. I like the seen where Bob Harris is doing the video shoot for Suntory and the Director speaks Japanese and seems to be quite agressive towards Bob. I am trying to follow what he says but can't quite pick all of it up. Does anyone have a translation?


Posted: March 21st, 2007 9:32 pm
by Airth
That's a pretty funny scene, but I saw it so long ago that unfortunately I can't remember what he said any more. I did a search but Coppola's script, unsurprisingly, only describes the Japanese. Sometimes the content of the speaking is written in English, but not for that scene: PDF -

If you're desperate to find out what he's saying, why not record the soundtrack to that scene and get it up on the Internet for us to take a listen to?

Posted: March 22nd, 2007 10:36 am
by erawanet
Thanks for helping me out!

I am going to try and go as you suggest and record that segment (suggestions welcome, I go have a MacBook Pro so it has an internal microphone but what package to record) and post it here. Hope it is not illegal to do so!


Posted: April 2nd, 2007 8:49 pm
by Yoshiko
I saw Lost in Translation twice. The second time I watched together with a Japanese friend. She gave me some translations (and explanations).
But we should have stopped the film for an entire translation of the Suntory scene. And we did't. :roll:

Posted: April 3rd, 2007 4:11 pm
by erawanet
Do you remember any gist of what happened?
I am still trying to get the audio recorded and posted to the forum, I am not such a hot shot with this kind of thing!

Posted: April 3rd, 2007 5:37 pm
by Yoshiko
I think I can record it, but how can I post it to the forum?

Posted: April 4th, 2007 9:38 am
by erawanet
That is a very good point!

I guess the only way is to post it to your mySpace site or own website etc and post a link on the forum. Shame we cannot upload attachments to the forum tho!

Posted: April 4th, 2007 12:38 pm
by Airth
YouTube is your friend. You can find the scene here:

I don't have time to go through it at the moment. The gist of what the director says at the beginning is - put your feeling into it; take your time; be friendly; speak as if you are talking to a friend; and say Suntory Time like you're Bogart in Casablanca. Or something like that. Which is of course translated into - He wants you to look into the camera.

Posted: April 4th, 2007 10:08 pm
by Yoshiko
Very good! I thought you'd already tried YouTube, arawanet-san. I just watched the scene again and ripped the DVD/chapter 2. But now there's no need of it.
This director-guy is so funny! Catto, Catto!
I can only understand some words, like 'anata wa', 'yappari', and 'yoi'. (and 'kanpai' of course...)

There is also a scene whith a Japanese photographer. He wants Bill (er... Bob) to put his hand on his face. Does this mean something or is it considered artistic? Because I saw it also at this blog: :roll:

Posted: April 5th, 2007 10:24 am
by erawanet
great stuff, thanks for that!

I was wondering about the bit where he berates Bill after he asks about, should he turn from the right or lest (to look in camera).

So it seems that Kawasaki-san loses much in the translation for Bill??

Posted: April 6th, 2007 9:02 pm
by sarahg
I love Lost in Translation! It's very atmospheric :)

Thanks for letting us know what the director was saying!

Posted: April 6th, 2007 10:36 pm
by Airth
I watched through it and here is my interpretation, i.e. a rough translation:

Director: Bob, you are relaxing in your study with a bottle of Suntory whiskey on the table. You understand, right? Put your feelings into it, go slowly, look into the camera and gently say as if you are meeting an old friend, as if you were Bogart in Casablanca - "Suntory Time"

Translator: He's ready. At the beginning should he turn to the camera from the left or the right?

Director: Ahh, either way! We don't have time to care about that. Come on Bob, hurry up and build some tension. Look right into the camera, slowly, give it some passion, with your eyes. You got it?

- You're not just talking about whiskey. Understand? Like you're meeting an old friend, gently, let it come up from your heart, with tension. Don't forget it!

- You understand? You're in love with whiskey. It's Suntory Time! OK?

- Alright, "take, ready, action"

- Cut! Don't you understand? This is the 'resonance' of Suntory.* The most expensive they make. Give it a higher class feeling. This isn't everyday booze, you know. Give it your absolute best feeling. Suntory time!

* I can't catch the word after 'Don't you understand?' and obviously 'resonance' doesn't fit - I'm sure he's saying ひびき, which would translate as 'echo/resonant' but probably has some other meaning in this situation.

Posted: April 7th, 2007 4:50 am
by Ulver_684
sarahg wrote:I love Lost in Translation! It's very atmospheric :)

Thanks for letting us know what the director was saying!

Yes, I agree with you! :wink:

It's the first time I heard about it! 8) :wink:

Posted: April 8th, 2007 10:34 pm
by erawanet
Thanks very much for working on that translation. I love that Director, and would love to drink some Suntory as a result of seeing the movie.


Re: Lost in Translation - Unfriendly director

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 10:16 pm
by andycarmenjapanese8100
This scene is even better:

Bill Murray's impression of Roger Moore is spot on. I don't know why it bothered him so much though, Moore was totally the best Bond.