Masi Oka of Heroes Writes his own Japanese Dialogue

The LA Times has a fun piece called 10 thing you may not know about Masi Oka, the guy who plays Hiro in Heroes—one of my favorite shows. Oka plays a Japanese otaku who can time travel in the series, but he’s actually Japanese-American. Did you know he translates all his own dialogue in Heroes? He says:

It’s important to me to translate the English dialogue in a way that I
think Hiro would say it. A formal translator would make it too rigid
and not colloquial. I’ve been tempted (to sneak in a Japanese curse word) but I’d
never get away with it. I have sometimes mis-translated things on
purpose when we’re shooting and then there’s one person laughing — the
Japanese language coach we work with. So yeah, I’d get caught.

I think that’s so great! Hiro is best known for putting both arms in the air and saying: "Yattaaa!!" When he does something cool, like saving the world from mass destruction. It’s nice to know that it’s genuine.


4 thoughts on “Masi Oka of Heroes Writes his own Japanese Dialogue

  1. i watched that show..altho i dont get why they had to sub everything he said.. he scored an awesome IQ as a kid. GEEK may some think but he’s also got human beatbox skills. ok i take it back. he IS a geek 😉
    やったー is btw the worst catchphrase ever. hope my non-japanese friends will realise how stupid it sounds at some point and stop saying it (they’re geeks too btw)

  2. oups. thought the article was a transcript of a japanese variety/talkshow programme…
    to add to the list he did a cg sequence in terminator 3 too working for ILM (i think)