Japan Rail Is More Gaijin

I noticed something interesting. The JR East Japan announcements about the next station are done in a female voice, and she used to say the station names with proper Japanese pronunciation. Like this:

The next station is, SHIMbashi.

They’ve re-recorded some of the announcements though, seemingly with the same “voice talent”, and there’s a subtle difference. She now says the station names with a “gaijin” accent.

The next station is, shimBOSSshi.

What’s up with that? Were people not getting the names right? Did some consultant trying to justify their existence tell JR that they needed to say it more like “gaijin” say it? I’d say that would be gaijin of the American English speaking variety, though. How curious.

I noticed it the other day, and today it was the original way, so I am not sure what the pattern is yet. Maybe different lines have different patterns. Japanese are pretty obsessed with regional language differences, though. There’s a comedy duo called “Yuji Koji” who hysterically make fun of the difference between the regions and Tokyo. Even my car Navi has a setting to make it talk with an Osaka accent.

300m saki, hidari yade.