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Old 2004-07-26, 11:04   Link #1
Kizo
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Question O and U after English words?

Hi.
This might be a stupid question, but it's been on my mind for I don't know how long.
Why do the Japanese people say "o" or "u" after English words?
For example:

Shaman King"u" (Shaman King)
Key of Twilight"o" (.hack SIGN)
Fight"o" (several)

etc etc.

Why do they do that?
It's not necessarly "bad"... It's kinda characteristic if you ask me.
But I ask you, why?
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Old 2004-07-26, 11:35   Link #2
wao
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This is due to their language phonetics where there are no single consonants except "n". All other consonants "g", "s", "t", "b" etc. have a vowel after them, "gu" "go" "gi" "ga" "ge" etc.

Therefore for an example like "Cossette", there is no simple "t" sound in Japanese so in the anime Eiri always says "Cossetto" which sounds kind of funny

Most english words where a single consonant is needed they use the "u" form (i.e. "king" -> "kingu", "goose" -> "guusu", "howl" -> "hauru"), EXCEPT for 't" because strictly speaking there is no "tu" sound in japanese. There's "tsu" but it usually doens't fit the bill, therefore when a "t" sound is needed "to" is used rather than "t(s)u". Which gives rise to "cossetto", "faito" etc.
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Old 2004-07-26, 11:43   Link #3
TangentZ
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It's no mystery at all.

You just need to know a little bit about "katakana spelling" that is used in Japanese for English (and other foreign) words.

wao already gave some examples of it.
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Old 2004-07-26, 13:12   Link #4
mantidor
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and remember that the sound of "u" in japanese sometimes is non-existant, like in the "desu" particle, as you can hear in most animes, its simple pronounced "des" (well if you really really pay a lot of atention you can almost hear the "u" like a distant voice, but you need an exceptional ear for that )
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Old 2004-07-26, 14:28   Link #5
kj1980
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More simply:

English language/alphabet: accent-centric
Japanese language/"alphabet": syllable-centric

Example: "bread"
English - "bread" (five letters, one syllable)
Japanese - "bu-re-ddo" (four letters, three syllables)
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Old 2004-07-26, 14:57   Link #6
wsheit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizo
Hi.
This might be a stupid question, but it's been on my mind for I don't know how long.
Why do the Japanese people say "o" or "u" after English words?
For example:

Shaman King"u" (Shaman King)
Key of Twilight"o" (.hack SIGN)
Fight"o" (several)

etc etc.

Why do they do that?
It's not necessarly "bad"... It's kinda characteristic if you ask me.
But I ask you, why?
Thanks for asking that- I've been wondering about that for ages
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Old 2004-07-26, 15:18   Link #7
Uesugi-sama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
More simply:

English language/alphabet: accent-centric
Japanese language/"alphabet": syllable-centric

Example: "bread"
English - "bread" (five letters, one syllable)
Japanese - "bu-re-ddo" (four letters, three syllables)
Bread in Japanese is Pan パン
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Old 2004-07-26, 15:49   Link #8
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uesugi-sama
Bread in Japanese is Pan パン
1さんの質問を理解して読んでから突っ込め ( ゚Д゚ )ヴォケ

「英単語をそのまま日本語のカタカナにしたら」って質問だろうが!
だったら1さんが言うに「king」は日本語だとそのまま「王様」やないか!
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Old 2004-07-26, 15:55   Link #9
Lord Raiden
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Hey, that's cheating kj1980! No kanji in here! hehe.

(*whips out google translator*)
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Old 2004-07-26, 16:00   Link #10
MikoKikyo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uesugi-sama
Bread in Japanese is Pan パン
By "bureddo", kj1980 meant the pronunciation of 'bread' in japanese, not the translation of it

So logically, that's what kj1980 explained in his post above (this is just me guessing, I don't speak japanese)

Last edited by MikoKikyo; 2004-07-26 at 16:52.
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Old 2004-07-26, 16:37   Link #11
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
1さんの質問を理解して読んでから突っ込め ( ゚Д゚ )ヴォケ

「英単語をそのまま日本語のカタカナにしたら」って質問だろうが!
だったら1さんが言うに「king」は日本語だとそのまま「王様」やないか!
Is 一さん an alternative to 一晩 ? Never seen that before
Well my comprehension of the language is not very high as you can see ^^' sry.
Ah let me ask another question, the example king describes it pretty good. How do you learn i.e. english spoken language in schools? With the use of カタカナ only, or is there a special phonetic writing, so japanese students will have a chance to figure out how to speak it i.e. king or kingu?
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Old 2004-07-26, 22:25   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto Lin
Is 一さん an alternative to 一晩 ? Never seen that before
Well my comprehension of the language is not very high as you can see ^^' sry.
Ah let me ask another question, the example king describes it pretty good. How do you learn i.e. english spoken language in schools? With the use of カタカナ only, or is there a special phonetic writing, so japanese students will have a chance to figure out how to speak it i.e. king or kingu?
No... It's typical Japanese message board habit to refer to a specific poster by the post number--because most Japanese BBSs do not require registration and a vast majority of people post as "Anonymous." To better direct responses, if one wish to refer to the Anonymous-san whose post number is number 1, you call that person 1-san and post number 1234 as 1234-san and so on.
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Old 2004-07-27, 01:05   Link #13
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto Lin
Is 一さん an alternative to 一晩 ? Never seen that before
Well my comprehension of the language is not very high as you can see ^^' sry.
Ah let me ask another question, the example king describes it pretty good. How do you learn i.e. english spoken language in schools? With the use of カタカナ only, or is there a special phonetic writing, so japanese students will have a chance to figure out how to speak it i.e. king or kingu?
「1さん」 means I am referring to the first poster above.

Basically what I said was:

1さんの質問を理解して読んでから突っ込め ( ゚Д゚ )ヴォケ
I suggest you go back to comprehend the first poster was asking before making shrewed comments ( ゚Д゚ )ヴォケ


「英単語をそのまま日本語のカタカナにしたら」って質問だろうが!
The question at hand is "phoneticizing English words in Japanese Katakana"

だったら1さんが言うに「king」は日本語だとそのまま「王様」やないか!
[Before you correct me], you should've then made the comment of saying "King in Japanese is 'ousama' "



Now to answer your question...I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. So forgive me if the following answer may differ from what you had in mind but:

Japan has three different writing styles: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and Katakana are learned in pre-school and kindergarten.

Our language system is based on syllable phonetics. This is exemplified by our alphabet which is officially called the gojuu-onzu (the fifty phonetic chart), which is misleading because there are less than fifty of them. These characters were derived from Heian women who simplified kanjis into easier to memorize letters.

I won't list them all since these are readily available on the internet, and if you have interest in the Japanese language, you should have memorized them all by now.

Hence, our "alphabet" is based on phonetics, with each word being one syllable.

Flash foward to mid-19th Century when Cmdr. Matthew C. Perry brought his gunships and opened up Japan into the Western world. Influx of Western words suddenly came in. Words such as "democracy," "capitalism," "economy" were all Western words that did not exist in Japan - but were essential to bring Japan up to speed with the rest of the world to resist foreign colonialization.

The English word "Democracy" phoneticized into Japanese is pronounced "De-mo-ku-ra-shi-i."
The English word "Capitalism" phoneticized into Japanese is pronounced "Kya-pi-ta-ri-zu-mu"

...and so on. These foreign words and ideas were new to Japanese that did not exist in their language. Hence, they pronounce it as similar to how they heard foreigners saying such words, and replace them with their existing katakana - which was the norm for all gairai (foreign-born) words. Hence:

"Democracy" = "Demokurashii" = デモクラシー
"Capitalism" = "Kyapitarizumu" = キャピタリズム

As such words became more prevalent as Japan caught up with the West, Japanese scholars then decided to create a Japanese alternative for such words. Hence:

"Democracy" in English was originally spelled デモクラシー in katakana, was then altered into Japanese by using four kanji letters: 民 (people) 主 (centered) 主義 (policy) to be read "minshu-shugi."
"Capitalism" in English was originally called キャピタリズム was then altered into Japanese by using four kanji letters: 資本 (what you own) 主義 (policy), pronounced as "shihon-shugi."

These Japanese invented kanji words were then re-imported back to China.

And as time progresses, so does new technologies and new ideas evolve. The Japanese government annually gives out alternative kanjis that best suits for those words, but it is left open to the public whether they want to use that or not.

For example, "the airplane" may have succeeded in being called "hikouki" which is made up with kanji representing 飛行 (flying) and 機 (machine). On the other hand, they have flubbed in "the television" in being called the "juzouki," which is made up of the kanji representing 受 (receiving) 像 (video) 機 (machine). People opted to use a shortened katakana テレビ (terebi) for the original extended word of テレビジョン (terebijon).

So will common business words such as "mutual funds" and "stock options" (which are currently known in Japan in their katakana phonetics "myuchuaru fando" and "sutokku opushon") be changed over to the government's alternative 投資信託 (toushi shintaku) and 自社株購入権制度 (jisha kabu kounyuu-ken seido)? Perhaps people might be willing to use 投資信託 for "mutual funds," but I doubt anyone wants to remember and write 自社株購入権制度 for "stock options." But thanks to ideals of a foreign word called 民主主義 (democracy), people can decide which to choose, and it's their choice.
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Old 2004-07-27, 07:40   Link #14
wao
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Heh, the Chinese have it quite a bit harder because they don't have a comprehensive phonetic system to convert foreign ideas directly into a phonetic representation.

My Chinese is too poor to know what "stock options" and "mutual fund" is in Chinese but here's an example, albeit not that good a one. I think in Japanese they probably have an official kanji word for "Computer", right?

Am I right in saying that most of the time they use the katakana "conpyuutaa (コンピューター)" or "PC (using those letters)"? The Chinese don't have that; they can't say "computer" using Chinese phonetics (I don't think there's a close equivalent of "pyu"... maybe "pu"?) so they have to use the word "dian nao (电脑 literally meaning electric brain)". Sometimes they use PC, I suppose. Anyway, that wasn't very relevant but I hope someone found it interesting <_<

Sometimes the Chinese do... er.. transliterate (is that the word? or is it transcribe? bah) the words too. Like "gypsy" is "吉普塞" (I think I got the hanzi correct), that's pronounced "ji pu sai". It's... supposed to sound like "gypsy"

If anyone from Japan happens to be reading I'd like to ask how do you handle Chinese names? For example politicians, film directors, etc. Do you use the on readings for the chinese characters, do you use their proper pronounciations and put furigana at the top or...?
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Old 2004-07-27, 14:19   Link #15
Jinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
「1さん」 means I am referring to the first poster above.

Basically what I said was:

1さんの質問を理解して読んでから突っ込め ( ゚Д゚ )ヴォケ
I suggest you go back to comprehend the first poster was asking before making shrewed comments ( ゚Д゚ )ヴォケ


「英単語をそのまま日本語のカタカナにしたら」って質問だろうが!
The question at hand is "phoneticizing English words in Japanese Katakana"

だったら1さんが言うに「king」は日本語だとそのまま「王様」やないか!
[Before you correct me], you should've then made the comment of saying "King in Japanese is 'ousama' "



Now to answer your question...I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. So forgive me if the following answer may differ from what you had in mind but:

Japan has three different writing styles: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and Katakana are learned in pre-school and kindergarten.

Our language system is based on syllable phonetics. This is exemplified by our alphabet which is officially called the gojuu-onzu (the fifty phonetic chart), which is misleading because there are less than fifty of them. These characters were derived from Heian women who simplified kanjis into easier to memorize letters.

I won't list them all since these are readily available on the internet, and if you have interest in the Japanese language, you should have memorized them all by now.

Hence, our "alphabet" is based on phonetics, with each word being one syllable.

Flash foward to mid-19th Century when Cmdr. Matthew C. Perry brought his gunships and opened up Japan into the Western world. Influx of Western words suddenly came in. Words such as "democracy," "capitalism," "economy" were all Western words that did not exist in Japan - but were essential to bring Japan up to speed with the rest of the world to resist foreign colonialization.

The English word "Democracy" phoneticized into Japanese is pronounced "De-mo-ku-ra-shi-i."
The English word "Capitalism" phoneticized into Japanese is pronounced "Kya-pi-ta-ri-zu-mu"

...and so on. These foreign words and ideas were new to Japanese that did not exist in their language. Hence, they pronounce it as similar to how they heard foreigners saying such words, and replace them with their existing katakana - which was the norm for all gairai (foreign-born) words. Hence:

"Democracy" = "Demokurashii" = デモクラシー
"Capitalism" = "Kyapitarizumu" = キャピタリズム

As such words became more prevalent as Japan caught up with the West, Japanese scholars then decided to create a Japanese alternative for such words. Hence:

"Democracy" in English was originally spelled デモクラシー in katakana, was then altered into Japanese by using four kanji letters: 民 (people) 主 (centered) 主義 (policy) to be read "minshu-shugi."
"Capitalism" in English was originally called キャピタリズム was then altered into Japanese by using four kanji letters: 資本 (what you own) 主義 (policy), pronounced as "shihon-shugi."

These Japanese invented kanji words were then re-imported back to China.

And as time progresses, so does new technologies and new ideas evolve. The Japanese government annually gives out alternative kanjis that best suits for those words, but it is left open to the public whether they want to use that or not.

For example, "the airplane" may have succeeded in being called "hikouki" which is made up with kanji representing 飛行 (flying) and 機 (machine). On the other hand, they have flubbed in "the television" in being called the "juzouki," which is made up of the kanji representing 受 (receiving) 像 (video) 機 (machine). People opted to use a shortened katakana テレビ (terebi) for the original extended word of テレビジョン (terebijon).

So will common business words such as "mutual funds" and "stock options" (which are currently known in Japan in their katakana phonetics "myuchuaru fando" and "sutokku opushon") be changed over to the government's alternative 投資信託 (toushi shintaku) and 自社株購入権制度 (jisha kabu kounyuu-ken seido)? Perhaps people might be willing to use 投資信託 for "mutual funds," but I doubt anyone wants to remember and write 自社株購入権制度 for "stock options." But thanks to ideals of a foreign word called 民主主義 (democracy), people can decide which to choose, and it's their choice.
有り難う御座います。

To identify the first poster with "number"さん makes sense. I thought something similar, but I was not sure. Because to replace a (nick)name with a number seems a little bit impolite in my oppinion. So I suggested that this would be very unlikely used in the japanese language.
But maybe I should reformulate my second question. With ロマ字 it is possible to describe every 片仮名 syllable. But it is hard to describe every ロマンス語 syllable with the 片仮名 syllable system. Thatswhy I wanted to know how i.e. english phonetic is teached in japanese english school books. Is the 片仮名 used or ロマ字 or just plain english or maybe something totally different like a phonetic script?
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