Thursday, January 19, 2023

Kimono Mom: How I study English | Make Video in English

Back in November I sent the following note to Victor Mair, a distinguished sinologist who blogs at Language Log?


You might find this video interesting. It’s by a YouTuber who calls herself “Kimono Mom.” She’s a Japanese woman with a young daughter. She makes videos about Japanese home cooking, but also more generally about her life and family. She’s learning English so she can provide an English language voice over. In this video she talks about how she is learning English.

She begins by telling us, in English, what the video’s about. One thing she does is take an online course in conversational English. Then, starting at 11:31, she explains how she produces the English-language voice over. It’s a painstaking process that involves, among other things, an app called YouGlish.

She’s been on YouTube for about 2 years and has over a million viewers. She says about 80% of them are female, which makes sense given their content. They are generally fascinating.

Note: Since I don’t speak Japanese, much less read it, I watch her videos with closed captions. I assume they are driven by AI for translation and transcription.

Bill B

He then posted the note at Language Log along with a short introduction: A former geisha becomes Kimono Mom and learns English. He added some statistics about her YouTube channel (e.g. an average of 429K views per video) and some links to other posts on English and Japan. There was a short discussion as well.

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