Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Manslater

This is pretty funny, but there's certainly a lot going on it. Some things I found really interesting:

1. Although it capitalizes on the joke that "men don't understand their girlfriends because women are incoherent," the video is not entirely one sided. It does at the end acknowledge that men can be difficult for women to understand, too (although, to be honest, this part of the video does feel a little tacked on, and subtly reinforces the idea that men say what they mean while women do not)

2. The translation voice is completely different (naturally!) for men and women. Note how the translation for men is ungrammatical, terse, and caveman-like, while the one for women is eloquent, refined, and verbose.

3. The video only shows examples of male-female communication problems that deal with relationships; aren't there more general communication breakdowns between men and women?

4. What about male-male and female-female translation devices? Certainly we face communication barriers with members of our own gender identity every day. Why is the prospect of this kind of device not as humorous?

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