お願いします has five or six syllables depending on how hard you hit the final す, but, as uttered by Toshiro Mifune in this movie, it had about three syllables. Seeing the subtitles, I realized what he must have said and went back and listened to it again. That time I heard it. Whew! This is often a problem in movies where the guys are supposed to be really tough. They sort of spit their words out as rapidly as possible.
Since I am working on the plain form (or casual form), that’s what I used here.
昨日また野良犬をみた。Yesterday, I watched Stray Dog again. (Okay, it really says “Yesterday again Stray Dog I watched.” That’s Japanese for you.
男は「お願いします」と言った．A man said Onegai shimasu. (Just as an aside, I really like Japanese quotation marks.)
分からなかったけど字幕を読んだ。I didn’t understand it, but I read the subtitles. (Now, I’ll be honest about this – I looked up the work subtitles and found 字幕, but what I hear people say is something like スバタイテル – that’s my best guess at to spell it. It is just a Japanization (is that a word?) of the word.) Also, for but instead of が or でも I tossed in the casual けど.
とても速く話した！ He spoke really quickly! Here I tossed in an adverb: はやい is either fast (速い）or early (早い) – same reading, different kanji. If you stick く on the end, fast becomes quickly (or, I suppose, technically, fastly).
Now that I am done with 野良犬, I am going to watch my two favorite Japanese movies (both of which, oddly, have been remade as westerns).
用心棒 Yojimbo, which was remade as A Fistful of Dollars starring Clint Eastwood and七人の侍 The Seven Samurai which was remade as The Magnificent Seven with a whole host of famous actors – Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and more.
Yojimbo, in particular, obviously had a big effect on how Americans film westerns, so it’s worth a look if you are a fan of westerns, a movie buff, someone who like Japanese, someone who likes action movies, or, well, just about anyone, really.
Got any favorite Japanese films or anime that the rest of us should check out? Even if you don’t understand it, it’s a good way to get the sound of the language in your ears.