Translation of Apple’s “Network” ad
My friend Sachiko Iwabuchi just wrote this great translation and interpretation of Apple’s “Network” ad, and she gave me permission to post it here. I love these ads, and I’m happy to know what this one means now.
The ad might have been out for a while, but last night I saw Mac’s new TV ad on “Network.”
If you don’t watch TV like me, visit http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/.
In the TV commercial, Mac talks to Japanese Digital Camera in Japanese.
Mac: Hajimemashite. [Nice to meet you]
DC: Hajimemashite. [Nice to meet you, too]
Mac: Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.*
PC/Gates: Wait, wait, wait, do you speak her language?
DC shows a digital photo.
Mac: Ah, arigato.
DC: Ne, ne, ne, [this part is inaudible, even to me, but I am guessing], dare ano hito?
Chotto otakuppoku nai?
[Hey, hey, hey, [inaudible] who is that guy? He looks like a geek a bit , doesn’t he?]
I don’t think I don’t need to translate “Buon giorno.”
*”Yoroshiku (onegai shimasu)” is very difficult to translate.
One one-line Japanese-English translation tool gave me “Please kindly look after (me).”
But it sounds so odd if I translate Mac’s speech literally as “Please kindly look after me.”
One site has a really good explanation about “yoroshiku.”
I suppose every language has a number of expressions that defy translation into another language. One of the Japanese phrases that belong to this category would be “Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.” Let’s look at a few examples first.
Watashi wa Romi desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
My name is Romi. Nice to meet you.
Getsumatsu madeni ohenji o kudasai. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.
Please reply by the end of this month. Thank you in advance.
Douka musume o yoroshiku ongegai shimasu.
Please look after my daughter.
“Yoroshiku” is a word with a number of meanings. Its etymological cousin, “Yoroshii” is an adjective meaning good, approved, desirable, and convenient. “onegai shimasu” consists of “o” ( a prefix of politeness), “negai” (originally, a noun denoting wish, hope, and the like), “shi”, which is an inflectional form of the general verb “suru” (do), and “masu”, an auxiliary verb of politeness. Thus, if I were to be forced to translate the phrase “Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.” into English, I would say, “I hope you will take care of ( someone / something ) in a way that is convenient for both you and me. (I count on your cooperation.)” Again, the group-oriented mentality of our agrarian society seems to be reflected in this expression.
Conclusion: Get a Mac!