华盛顿邮报:OMG!美语,一炮而红的网络节目,教中国人说地道美语

WASHINGTON POST - A young Chinese woman wanted to know: What is the English word for that gunky yellowish stuff in the corner of her eyes when she wakes up in the morning?

华盛顿邮报 - 有个中国女生想知道:每天早上醒来的时候,自己眼角上的那个黄黄的污秽物用英语怎么说?

She turned to Jessica Beinecke, the 24-year-old host of an online travel video program aimed at young Chinese viewers, and Beinecke responded with a humorous segment for her show, explaining in fluent Mandarin and exaggerated gestures all the icky stuff that comes from the face.

于是她向白洁(Jessica Beinecke)求助。24岁的白洁主持一档面向中国青年观众的在线旅行视频节目。白洁用一段自己录制的有趣的视频来答复她,并用流利的中文、夸张的动作讲解脸上的“各种屎”。

The segment, called "Yucky Gunk," went viral, garnering nearly 1.5 million hits. And all of a sudden a petite blond Midwesterner, who is not Chinese and only began studying the language five years ago, became an iconic translator of American slang for pop-culture-hungry Chinese fans.

这段名为“Yucky Gunk”的视频,在网上走红,获得将近150万的点击率。这个娇小玲珑,满头金发的女孩出乎意料地成为追求流行文化的中国粉丝心目中的美国俚语标志性的翻译员。而她并不是中国人,她来自美国中西部,5年前才开始学习中文。

 

爱思OMG美语专栏:http://v.24en.com/omg-meiyu/

 

"We are so lighthearted. I dance to Lady Gaga and .?.?. talk about boogers," Beinecke said of the low-tech show, taped in front of a MacBook in her Capitol Hill apartment. "It's a one-on-one conversation with an American."

白洁在谈到自己在国会山公寓里,用MacBook电脑录制的这档低技术含量的节目时说:“我们十分轻松。我伴着Lady Gaga的音乐跳舞……谈论鼻屎,就像是和美国人一对一谈话。”

The popularity of the show, called "OMG! Meiyu" and produced by Voice of America, has not escaped the notice of the agency's executives, who recognize that hip and eccentric programming is vital to connecting with youths, many of whom prefer to go online than follow the stiffer, more traditional news and cultural programs the agency transmits through satellite TV and short-wave radio.

这个大受欢迎的节目叫做“OMG美语”,由美国之音(VOA)制作。这个节目一直受到美国之音高层的重视,他们认识到嬉嬉哈哈的另类节目对吸引青年至关重要。许多青年更喜欢上网,而不是收听收看美国之音通过卫星电视以及无线短波推送的形式死板的传统新闻与文化节目。

"We still do the straight-up news, and we're going to keep doing that," said David Ensor, the agency's director. "But part of our mandate is to explain America to the rest of the world, and part of America is the way people speak."

美国之音台长大卫·恩索尔说,“我们仍然会做严肃的新闻,我们将继续这样做。但我们有一部分使命是向世界其它各地介绍美国,人们说话的方式是美国的一部分。”

More youth-oriented programming is in the works, Ensor said, and so far the ideas have come from young people within the organization. For example, Parazit, an irreverent weekly comedy news show in Farsi, which has been likened to Jon Stewart's "Daily Show," was started in 2009 by two young Iranian employees and quickly became a hit in Iran.

恩索尔说,更多面向青年的节目正在筹划中,到目前为止,这些节目的创意都来自组织内部的年轻人。例如,2009年开播的由两位年轻的伊朗籍员工主持的Parazit节目,这是一档每周播出的嘲讽性喜剧新闻节目,被比作是乔恩·斯图尔特的“每日秀”,这个节目在伊朗迅速走红。

Beinecke's two- to three-minute shows appear online only. She posts on Weibo, a Chinese social media site, where she has more than 100,000 followers. For each episode, she sifts through American lingo, introducing expressions and explaining their meanings in Chinese in her signature peppy, comical style.

白洁主持的这档2-3分钟的节目只在网上播出。她在中国社会媒体网站——新浪微博上发布内容,拥有粉丝超过10万。她在每个视频中都会探讨美语俚语,介绍各种表达,并以她标志性的活泼、俏皮的方式用中文解释它们的含义。

"You can look up the word 'cow' in the dictionary, but knowing what that means, knowing that you can call someone that? In a dictionary, it's really hard to find," Beinecke said. The same may be said for "rocking a dress," "sweating bullets" or having a "muffin top," expressions familiar to "OMG!" watchers.

白洁说到,“你可以在字典里查查cow这个单词,但知道它的意思,你就能知道可以那样称呼别人吗?这个在字典里真的很难找到。”对OMG!观众来说,rocking a dress,sweating bullets或muffin top等类似的表达也一样令人难以理解。

Beinecke's fans, particularly teens and 20-somethings, post adoring messages on Beinecke's page and eagerly await each installment from the woman they know as Bai Jie, the Chinese name given to her by a friend when she began learning Mandarin in 2006. Only later did she learn there is also a Chinese porn novel called "Bai Jie," which means white and pure; she kept her name, regardless.

白洁的粉丝一般都是20岁左右年轻人,他们在白洁的主页上留言表达崇拜之情,并热切期待白洁发布的每一期最新视频。白洁这个中文名字是她在2006年开始学中文时朋友给她取的。白洁意即洁白、纯洁。只不过,她后来才知道,中国有部色情小说书名也叫《白洁》。但不管怎么样,她依然保留了这个名字。

Most of the show's themes come from viewer suggestions. "These videos serve as a spark for dialogue," Beinecke said. "Working out and breaking up and eating chips, we all do that. Sometimes we don't always realize how similar we are."

OMG美语节目的大多数主题来自观者提议。白洁说,“这些视频可以作为对话的火花。锻炼、分手、吃薯条等,我们也都会这样做。有些时候,我们并没意识到大家是多么相似。”