PDA

View Full Version : Manga/Videogame question



Gusuke
July 23rd, 2009, 22:35
When I'm playing a game or reading manga, how come some words are written in Japanese, but with katakana on top?

A good example is the word shotgun:

http://assets.japanesepod101.com/wwwjdic/lesson2.jpg?word=%E6%95%A3%E5%BC%BE%E9%8A%83 (http://www.japanesepod101.com/wwwjdic/%E6%95%A3%E5%BC%BE%E9%8A%83)
散弾銃, with ショットガン written in katakana above the word.

Is this usually reserved for rarer kanji, or is just for stylistic reasons?

AliDimayev
July 23rd, 2009, 23:00
I am not sure.

I know some songs that do that too.

Like- 楽園、パラダイス

Coollead
July 23rd, 2009, 23:10
When I'm playing a game or reading manga, how come some words are written in Japanese, but with katakana on top?

A good example is the word shotgun:

http://assets.japanesepod101.com/wwwjdic/lesson2.jpg?word=%E6%95%A3%E5%BC%BE%E9%8A%83 (http://www.japanesepod101.com/wwwjdic/%E6%95%A3%E5%BC%BE%E9%8A%83)
散弾銃, with ショットガン written in katakana above the word.

Is this usually reserved for rarer kanji, or is just for stylistic reasons?
Happens a lot in songs too, or so I've noticed in Karaoke. Sometimes, they just wanted to use a word with an identical meaning to the kanji...probably why it's katakana instead of hiragana.

UPGRAYEDD
July 23rd, 2009, 23:12
Style and it happens all the time when loan words and Japanese words meet.

Watch more movies with subtitles and you'll see tons of it.

AliDimayev
July 23rd, 2009, 23:14
.

Watch more movies with subtitles and you'll see tons of it.

But sometimes in movies they do that to show that it is a pun or rhyme in English.

enrique_suave
July 24th, 2009, 10:08
The little words across the top are called furigana, and they indicate how a word is pronounced if there's any ambiguity. Most kids' manga have them for every kanji to help the younger readers.

In your case, it's a stylistic thing. The character is actually saying the English word "shotgun", but since many Japanese readers don't know what that is the kanji "sandanjuu" is written underneath it. Just remember that the furigana is what the character actually SAYS, and the main text is what the character MEANS.

Gusuke
July 24th, 2009, 10:10
The little words across the top are called furigana, and they indicate how a word is pronounced if there's any ambiguity. Most kids' manga have them for every kanji to help the younger readers.

In your case, it's a stylistic thing. The character is actually saying the English word "shotgun", but since many Japanese readers don't know what that is the kanji "sandanjuu" is written underneath it. Just remember that the furigana is what the character actually SAYS, and the main text is what the character MEANS.

I know it's furigana, but I was just wondering if in these cases it's for style reasons. :rolleyes:

AliDimayev
July 24th, 2009, 10:13
I don't even know the Japanes word, maybe something like 王国 and the furigana for it was "キングダム”


And in one movie I watched their was an English song that rhymed the words KENTUCKY and UNLUCKY. Kentucky, of course, was written in katakana, but unlucky was written 不幸 (ORWHATREVER) with アンラッキー as the furigana.

enrique_suave
July 24th, 2009, 10:24
The little words across the top are called furigana, and they indicate how a word is pronounced if there's any ambiguity. Most kids' manga have them for every kanji to help the younger readers.

In your case, it's a stylistic thing. The character is actually saying the English word "shotgun", but since many Japanese readers don't know what that is the kanji "sandanjuu" is written underneath it. Just remember that the furigana is what the character actually SAYS, and the main text is what the character MEANS.


I know it's furigana, but I was just wondering if in these cases it's for style reasons. :rolleyes:

Glad I could help, then.

Gezora
July 24th, 2009, 12:40
I don't even know the Japanes word, maybe something like 王国 and the furigana for it was "キングダム”


And in one movie I watched their was an English song that rhymed the words KENTUCKY and UNLUCKY. Kentucky, of course, was written in katakana, but unlucky was written 不幸 (ORWHATREVER) with アンラッキー as the furigana.
I thought that line was so cool when I was a kid because I'm from Kentucky.

Wakatta
July 25th, 2009, 15:42
I think it's sometimes also used not just for a rhyme but do something similar to how you can make up totally sci-fi or fantasy words in English that the audience has never heard before but which they can pretty readily guess the meaning of by their components.

For example, "lightsaber". You know what light is and you know what a saber is. It's not that hard to put two and two together and figure it's some sort of laser sword.

If I said "aquasaber", you'd probably be able to guess that it's some sort of sword that probably has something to do with water: maybe the blade is somehow made of water or maybe it's a sword meant to be used underwater.

Now, I could say 水刀 and gloss it as a newly minted Japanese word (みずがたな or すいとう, perhaps, though that latter is apparently a homophone for "waterbottle") but I might also be hip and write 水刀 furigana'd with アクアセーバー.

I saw the new Harry Potter movie in English with Japanese subtitles recently. Horcrux was 分霊箱 which was furigana'd not as ぶんれいそう or whatever but as ホークラックス. I figure doing it this way lets them use the special word while also giving the audience a good idea of what it means. (Actually, more so than "horcrux" does for most English-speakers.)

AliDimayev
July 25th, 2009, 22:48
Is the hentai comic book featuring the underage girls illegal in the US?

violetessence
July 27th, 2009, 09:40
There are also cases I've seen in song lyrics, where different furigana is used to give the word a double meaning. For example, the singer says "kimi" - that's what fits the meter or sounds good in the song. But, the lyric writer wants to specify WHO the "kimi" is referring to - so they'll write a more specific kanji with a totally different reading, and then just put furigana over it that says "kimi." It's pretty clever, I think!

AliDimayev
July 27th, 2009, 09:50
They do stuff like that in Enka too all the time. Like the kanji for ONNA, but with the furigana of 'hito'.

Roaming_Gnome
July 27th, 2009, 23:32
weird