This website is supposed to give, according to the creator, “an armchair excursion into three fascinating languages of the Orient.” The site focuses on Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese, and discusses at length the three languages in relation to Harry Potter, Le Petit Prince, days of the week, and bird names. The creator endeavors to make the exotic more familiar, to make Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese as accessible as the romance languages.

The concept of Japan as the exotic Other is very clearly illustrated on this website. Even though the site is intended to make Japan more familiar, that very intention implies that there is something so exotic about Japan that it takes a special endeavor to make it more understandable. The language on the front page is exceptionally exoticizing, referring to Asia as the Orient, and to Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese as exotic languages. Further, the journey through these languages will be, according to the creator, a “thrill of discovering the unexpected.” Upon entering the section about days of the week, the language continues to strike me as exoticizing and contrary to the creator’s stated intent to make these languages more familiar. The words “alien,” “strange,” and “primitive” stand out immediately upon looking at the page, and though the creator is trying to disprove these ideas, the fact that he uses them at all immediately puts the viewer in a certain sort of mindset before even reading the actual content. The sense one gets is that, no matter how hard one tries to make Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese more familiar, there will always be something mysterious and unknown about them. Ultimately, by creating this website to try and familiarize these languages, ‘Bathrobe’ makes them more exotic.


jdecker — 更新日 3月 30 2011 8:01 p.m.

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