…but Saturday Night Live’s skit this past weekend could change that. My friend Christine Chen asked, “Are they actually saying anything?” And the answer is: absolutely, if you think the characters in the American version are saying anything. But, yes, it all translates—down to the corporate sign (Dandaa Mifurin), the name plate (Maikeru Sukotto) and series title (Sono Jimusho, or That Office).
The office workers answer their phones correctly, if not appropriately; using “moshi moshi” in an office setting is like saying “hellooo?” stedda something more corporate-y sounding, like, “Lisa Cullen, TIME Magazine.” Steve Carrell opens the segment by looking into the camera and announcing he’s the funniest boss in Japan. Then he holds up a mug that reads, “Funniest Boss in Japan.”
Put it this way: they’re saying exactly what you think they’re saying. And it’s as pitch perfect as the U.S. and—moreover—the original U.K. version: office life really is this idiotic.