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I was playing my Japanese version of animal crossing new leaf and when I caught a Killifish the dialog said:

メダカを 釣{つ}り上{あ}げた! まだ小学生{しょうがくせい}だな

I get the gist of what it says but I think it's some sort of joke as is the custom when you catch something in the English games. Would anyone be able to explain this joke (if it is one)?

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I think it's a reference to a famous children's song めだかの学校, where a school of めだか is...er, a school of めだか.

短い答えでごめんなさい。

  • now that you say that it seems obvious they were making a school of fish pun. I wonder though, how that term would have carried over languages like that. ありがとうございました。 – kantido Apr 23 '16 at 1:18
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    英語に翻訳すると冗談がわかってくる(と思います)けど、日本語でやっぱ魚の集まりって「群れ」って言うんじゃないですか?日本語話者にでも「魚の集まり→『学校』」っていう冗談がわかるんでしょうか? – Sjiveru Apr 23 '16 at 1:21
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    It's a mere coincide :-) The song is only about the elementary school of めたか. No pun intended. – naruto Apr 23 '16 at 1:24
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    @kantido めだかの学校 is written in 1950, and it seems the lyricist didn't intend to pun. – marasai Apr 23 '16 at 1:25
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    あっそーですか、ダジャレはそもそも入ってないってわけですか。面白い偶然ですなw – Sjiveru Apr 23 '16 at 1:26
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This is an interesting question to me.

I actually hadn't known about what this exactly means until you asked.

Now, kindly take a look at this page.

The page says, ( though they are almost at the extinction level )

メダカは、体長4cmほどの日本で最も小さな淡水魚と言われ、かつては田んぼや小川、池などで普通に見かける親しみがある魚だったのですが、環境の変化によって生息数が激減してしまいました。

Translation

メダカ is a freshwater fish as small as 4cm and considered to be the smallest fish among them in Japan. In past times, they were found so often in rice fileds and creesk, ponds and were familiar to ordinary Japanese but the change of the environment reduced their numbers largely.

So, even though I have never heard personally the "joke" in your question for my long wasting lifetime, haha, but I think the implication of the sentence is referring to "small kid".

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