March 22, 2014

SAY NO!

Where we'd say "Ready Set GO!" the Japanese say sei no. (two beats, not three.)

I've long wondered just what it is that they're saying. The dictionary wasn't of any use. A couple of days ago it occurred to me that it's one word, not two, and now I think I've found it:

性能 seinou "ability, performance"

I suspect at this point its become an idiom and the literal meaning of it no longer matters, but I'm guessing that's what it was. Anyone know if I'm right?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 05:49 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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February 03, 2014

Why the fascination with Nobunaga?

There are two series this season featuring Nobunaga, and there have been a lot of others. Why the fascination with this historical personage?

I think it's the same reason kids get fascinated with dinosaurs. (I'll explain later.)

Nobunaga lived in the 16th Century, and was a very successful warlord. In his day he conquered a third of Japan, and probably would have conquered all the rest if he hadn't been murdered by one of his top aides, Mitsuhide.

Afterwards, his top general Hideyoshi completed conquest of Japan, and then Ieyasu successfully revolted and established the Tokugawa Shogunate.

And that's where the dinosaurs come in. Lots of people ask why little kids are fascinated with dinosaurs. I think I know: the world of the dinosaurs was completely, totally different from ours, but it was real. It was an alternate path the earth could have followed. Our time would be vastly different without that damned asteroid!

And I think the fascination with Nobunaga is much the same. What if he hadn't been murdered? What if it had been Nobunaga who completed the conquest of Japan, and established a unified government instead of Ieyasu? How different would it have been?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 09:06 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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December 11, 2013

Iicchatte!

In Mouretsu Pirates episode 26, at 03:29, Marika calls words of encouragement to Courie as the electronic warfare begins. It sound to me like iicchatte! iicchatte! It's translated as "Go get 'em!"

I can see that it's the imperative form of some verb, but I can't figure out what verb it is. Is it the imperative of iku?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 10:02 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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November 17, 2013

Noddare

Second season of Strike Witches, episode 4, 19:18: Shirley shouts something that sounds to me like noddare. She screams it again at 19:25.

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Coalgirls translates it as "You stupid idiot!" but I don't buy that. I think it probably is the imperative form of a verb that means "Halt!" but I can't find anything in the dictionary that makes any sense. (It isn't tomaru or todaeru because it definitely doesn't start with "t".)

Any idea what it is?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 09:34 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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October 29, 2013

Fine by me

There's a phrase I've now heard in two places which I think is an idiom.

First: Vividred Operation episode 3, 16:41 spoken by Wakaba.

Second, Mouretsu Pirates episode 26, 06:47, spoken by Witherspoon.

It sounds to me like nozomutokoryo. In Vividred Operation Coalgirls translates it as "Fine by me." In Mouretsu Pirates they translate it as "Bring it".

I get that nozomu means "wish" but what's the rest of it?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 07:07 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 11, 2013

Watakushi-tachi

There's an interesting pronunciation drift that I don't really understand.

Watakushi means "I, a ritzy person" approximately. It's used by royalty and by people who fancy themselves to be VIPs. It's pronounced wah-tahk-shee.

Watakushi-tachi means "We, ritzy people". And it's pronounced wah-tah-koosh-tah-chee. Why would it be different like that?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 07:37 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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September 04, 2013

FTL Jump

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I've been trying for a while to figure out just what they say in Mouretsu Pirates that gets translated as "FTL jump", and today I think I got it.

超光速調略
chou kousoku chouryaku

chou means "super, ultra, hyper".

kousoku means "speed of light". So together it means "faster than light".

chouryaku means "plan, scheme, intention, project, design" (probably the latter).

So the phrase overall refers to the hyperdrive engine, with the implication "make it go".

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 06:33 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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August 03, 2013

Pork cutlets

I learned something new today.

Remember episode 10 of Girls und Panzer, which includes a long segment of all the tank crews eating dinner the night before the last match? They're all eating pork cutlets. I had noticed that, but didn't understand why.

Peter says it's a pun that has become a superstition. A fried pork cutlet is katsu. And...

Because katsu also means "to win" in Japanese, it's common for parents to serve this to their kids before a big test or sporting event to show their support.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 06:36 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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June 30, 2013

"Live long and prosper"

Episode 5 of Mouretsu Pirates, at 22:00, Marika has just informed Ririka that she's decided to become captain of the Bentenmaru. Ririka responds with something that Coalgirls translated as "Live long and prosper."

I think what she actually says is na naiki suru no da yo. I think that means "To do so is your tradition!". Is that right?

(Note that it really is Marika's tradition, as Gonzaemon's daughter. It isn't Ririka's tradition; she married into the line, and she herself isn't eligible to hold the Letter of Marque.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 05:03 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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June 20, 2013

"Koi!"

I keep running into this, in battle situations. "Koi!" variously translated as "here!" or "bring it!" or "Go ahead and try!". Problem is, I can't find a definition in the dictionary for this usage that makes sense, for any spelling I can think of.

請い koi "request, entreaty" seems a bit farfetched but it's at least in the ball park.

行為 koui  "act, deed" also seems a bit strange.

So what is it I'm hearing?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 09:21 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 76 words, total size 1 kb.

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