March 01, 2016

Mae!

In Gate there's something Itami says a few times that means variously "Move out!" "Fire!" or more generally "carry out your orders!" It sounds to me like mae and I assume it's the imperative form of some verb, but I can't figure out what it is. Anyone have any idea?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 01:14 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 51 words, total size 1 kb.

1 I think it's just the noun "mae" (前), which means "forward".

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at March 01, 2016 02:01 PM (loq+1)

2 That meaning isn't in the Edict, so I didn't find it. But I believe that you are right.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 01, 2016 02:18 PM (+rSRq)

3 Any chance you're hearing "shimae", possibly preceded by something ending in te/de?

-j

Posted by: J Greely at March 01, 2016 05:00 PM (CLiR9)

4

Definitely not, J.

Two examples: Episode 6 10:07. Episode 7 13:25

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 01, 2016 06:51 PM (+rSRq)

5 If the men are pre-authorized to shoot, "mae" will prompt shooting. In my practice, such authorization includes "(koko kara) nerau". Specific shooting is "utE". But basically it's like "panzer vor". Dunno why J doubts that.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at March 02, 2016 12:03 AM (loq+1)

6 You can have instances of "mae" which aren't necessarily military-related; it's the generic "hey, eyes front!" shout as well, the sort of thing you'd shout to a distracted driver who's about to plow into a crosswalk.

Definitely part of the military lexicon, though. (You don't appreciate just how formalized that sort of thing is, under ordinary circumstances... I've got a history of the Civil War with a number of anecdotes about Western officers who under stress reverted to ordering their men with the same language they used for livestock; "gee, dammit!" And it worked, because their men understood; but you don't want to do that sort of thing normally, because when it doesn't work, you're in deep trouble.)

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at March 02, 2016 02:44 AM (v29Tn)

7

Ordinarily addressing someone as kisama is a truly vile insult. But I read somewhere that it's routine for officers in the military to refer to their subordinates collectively this way, and it isn't considered insulting.

It shocked me a bit when in Dog Days 3 episode 7, Godwin makes an announcement to his men and begins it with kisama. And no one seems upset.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 02, 2016 06:56 AM (+rSRq)

8 It wasn't doubt, Pete, just a question.

-j

Posted by: J Greely at March 02, 2016 09:13 AM (ZlYZd)

9 Militaries can have weird etiquette rules.  For example, in the US Army it's considered proper for a superior officer to address a subordinate officer by first name.  However, subordinate enlisted members are always addressed by rank and last name (maybe just last name for junior enlisted).

Posted by: CatCube at March 02, 2016 06:28 PM (fa4fh)

10 "kisama is a truly vile insult. But I read somewhere that it's routine for officers in the military to refer to their subordinates collectively this way"

Possibly an example of the Japanese military's use of Olde Tyme language in general?

"Kisama" used to be a proper way to refer to a person.  Both halves of the term are positive kanji; the "-sama" half is the same character as all the kami-sama's and onee-sama's we hear in anime.

Posted by: Mikeski at March 02, 2016 06:41 PM (LIUK5)

11 Pete, would "don't shoot" be "uttakunai" or "uttanakute"?

Posted by: muon at March 04, 2016 09:46 PM (Mf3kT)

12 "utsu na" (negative imperative), "utanaide" (emphatic request).

-j

Posted by: J Greely at March 04, 2016 11:43 PM (ZlYZd)

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