Iron Chef - "squeeze-on!" ??

So in the show Iron Chef, when the off-camera guy wants to say something, he interjects with something which I can only assume is Japanese for “hey bub!” but it just sounds like “squeeze on!”.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

He’s saying “Fukui-san.” Because the guy who’s attention he’s getting is Fukui Kenji.

And when Chairman Kaga yells something like “Arrrr-kizeeeeen!” at the start of the hour, he’s actually supposed to be saying “Allez ala cuisine!”, which is something like “Let’s get to cooking” in bad French.

Okay, here’s one that’s been bugging me: when he reveals the theme ingredient the last word he exclaims as he tosses back the cover is something that sounds like:


I’m guessing “ingredient”, or “theme”, but I’ve got no clue.

Nope. I’ve never seen the show, but it’s undoubtebly:
Kore desu!

Kore = this. Desu = (more or less) is. Alone it thus means “this is it”, but you might be getting just the end of the sentence, in which case it would be more like: “(…) is this!”

And, allez à la cuisine! means, literally, “go to the kitchen!”

Yep, that’s right. The full Kaga quote is “Kyo no tema wa… kore desu!” or “Today’s theme… is THIS!” with the “is THIS!” coming as he whips the cover off the ingredient. (Apologies if the transliteration is bad. Never learned to write Japanese in the Roman alphabet, as Sensei couldn’t STAND people who did that.)

Maybe it’s a convention with Japanese names, but I thought his name was Kenji Fukui. Are first and last names interchangable?

FYI: “Off-camera guy” is Shinichiro Ohta (so which is his first name?)

And maybe Kaga’s pronunciation is really bad, but I hear him saying, “Allez Cuisine,” which is really bastardized French. If he’s supposed to be saying, “kore desu,” all I hear is, “kore des.” I’ve seen the show countless times, but I unfortunately don’t speak any Japanese.

The order in Japanese is family name - given name. Fukui is his family name. In English the order is usually reversed to match European order. Shinichiro is a male given name, his family name is Ohta.

Allez, cuisine! isn’t so basterdised to my ears.

In spoken Japanese, the -u at the end of words is usually dropped. So, yes, you should be hearing kore dess, though the correct romanisation is *kore desu.

No, they’re not. In Japan and many other Asian countries, family name comes before personal name. When used in a western context, sometimes they’re switched to conform to western naming conventions. Sometimes they’re not. In the case of Iron Chef, they are. (with one exception, see below.) Fukui-san’s personal (first) name is Kenji. His family (last) name is Fukui.


The only person whose name isn’t switched is Iron Chef Chinese, Chen Kenichi. His personal name is Kenichi, family name is Chen. Why? I don’t really know.

Cite on name things: is for sale | - they explain why the use the convention they do and which names are the personal/family names. Then you can look on the rest of the site to find out the names themselves.

[QUOTE=av8rmkieIf he’s supposed to be saying, “kore desu,” all I hear is, “kore des.”[/QUOTE]

The u at the end of “desu” doesn’t really get pronounced.

Wow, messed up coding AND simulposting second. B’oh.

He’s saying them at 2 different times. When he reveals the secret theme ingredient, he says “kore desu”, the ingredient is revealed, then he says the name of the ingredient. After Ohta describes the ingredient, Kaga yells, “Allez cuisine”, then the IC and challenger run up to collect the ingredient.

Thanks for the link, elfbabe, lots of interesting information there. And for the 3-way simulpost.

Your question has been answered, but I wanted to give another familiar example of the use of desu.

Do you remember those Sylvania television commercials from the 1980s? They would have a Japanese executive complaining how Sylvania keeps beating Sony in consumer tests. The guy would say what sounded like:

"Nun deskah! Sylvania beat Sony again?!?"

Well, that first part is actually the Japanese expression nan desu ka, which IIRC means something like “what’s this?!?”. I don’t think it’s as strong as “what the ****?!?”, but it’s in the neighborhood.

There also, IIRC, a Japanese character in the Keanu Reeves football movie The Replacements who also repeats this same phrase a few times in the movie.

My WAG would be that it’s to emphasize his “Chineseness”. Why rearrange his name to the Western format if he’s Iron Chef Chinese?

Of course, one might wonder why they’d then rearrange the name of the Iron Chef Japanese. But it’s been my experience that when speaking English or dealing with Westerners the Japanese always switch their names around to match the Western format. I’ve never heard a Japanese person introduce themself in English with their family name first. I have less experience with the Chinese, but those I have known didn’t switch their names around the same way. Either they used their real Chinese name with family name first, or they adopted an Anglicized nickname to use as a “first name”.

Agreed. I work with vendors/customers from Japan and China, and also have/had friends from both countries. The Japanese view it as very polite and respectful to switch to the Western order of names when dealing with the west. In general (broad sweeping generalization alert!) the Japanese seem to be far more accomodating of foreign cultures and adapt to others that they deal with with great enthusiasm. Chinese are much more rooted in not “selling out” their traditions at the convenience of non-Chinese, so will tend to either adopt an anglicized name, or just keep their traditional order of name and expect others to just accept the Chinese way of doing things.

Funny, even now it still sounds to me like he’s saying “Iron Cuisine.” (which is what I thought “Iron Chefs” made) :slight_smile:

Only when the special ingredient is spinach or liver!

(Former) Iron Chef Chinese Rokusaburo Michiba’s name was ordinarily pronounced on the show (to my ears) as if the first “u” in his name wasn’t there at all.

I guess this is another “silent U”? Or was I hearing things…?