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Old 2010-10-27, 03:14   Link #1
edson1314
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In Japanese, there are only 80 some-sounds

In Japanese, there are only 80 some-sounds, give or take a couple of rare Katakana phonetics. Also, the syllables are for the most part the same length (any "shorter syllables" that you might hear are just personal speech patterns. Sure, some are more prolific, but that doesn't make "Des" any more right than "Desu"). Their grammar structure is also extraordinarily flexible; you can drop most particles freely and the placement of many clauses doesn't matter.

So, it's quite obvious that the Japanese language would contain many, many more puns than the English language, which has over 80 unique sounds with the most random syllable structure ever (stressed vs unstressed, chinese is similar), as well as one of the most messed up grammar rules full of pronouns; you just can't mix and match sounds and expect them to make sense.

However, it isn't only about the number of puns, even the most clever puns in English I rarely laugh at. Most English puns are lame, like those "name" puns

If English had more puns that were more ridiculous like パン作った/パンツ食った, (these are pronounced the exact same way, and the first one means "I made bread" and the second one means "I ate underwear") then I think I might be able to understand why the Japanese are so fond of their puns. The closest thing I can find would be "who's on first base", but those kind of puns are very rare.

What is your take on Japanese puns? The main thing is that I don't find most puns literally "LOL" worthy, while it doesn't seem to be the case in Japan.
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Old 2010-10-27, 09:24   Link #2
Quarkboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edson1314 View Post
In Japanese, there are only 80 some-sounds, give or take a couple of rare Katakana phonetics. Also, the syllables are for the most part the same length (any "shorter syllables" that you might hear are just personal speech patterns. Sure, some are more prolific, but that doesn't make "Des" any more right than "Desu"). Their grammar structure is also extraordinarily flexible; you can drop most particles freely and the placement of many clauses doesn't matter.

So, it's quite obvious that the Japanese language would contain many, many more puns than the English language, which has over 80 unique sounds with the most random syllable structure ever (stressed vs unstressed, chinese is similar), as well as one of the most messed up grammar rules full of pronouns; you just can't mix and match sounds and expect them to make sense.

However, it isn't only about the number of puns, even the most clever puns in English I rarely laugh at. Most English puns are lame, like those "name" puns

If English had more puns that were more ridiculous like パン作った/パンツ食った, (these are pronounced the exact same way, and the first one means "I made bread" and the second one means "I ate underwear") then I think I might be able to understand why the Japanese are so fond of their puns. The closest thing I can find would be "who's on first base", but those kind of puns are very rare.

What is your take on Japanese puns? The main thing is that I don't find most puns literally "LOL" worthy, while it doesn't seem to be the case in Japan.
My name is Sam, and whenever someone asks me if I am cold, I reply:

相手:寒くないですか? (samukunai desu ka?) [Aren't you cold?]
私:いいえ。元々サムだからさ。(iie. motomoto samu dakara sa.) [No. Because I am "sam" from the beginning]

It kills with oyaji.
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Old 2010-10-27, 09:27   Link #3
Midonin
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Originally Posted by edson1314 View Post
What is your take on Japanese puns?
A deep amount of respect. Humor and wordplay are things I can appreciate no matter what the language.
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Old 2010-10-27, 18:38   Link #4
Vexx
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Love puns... and japanese wordplay can be godly, particularly when they go "Cockney" with 2nd or 3rd level indirect puns.
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Old 2010-10-27, 22:45   Link #5
bloppyblue
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I'm a Cantonese speaker so I'm pretty used to watching Chinese shows where 90% of the jokes are on wordplay. So although Japanese word puns aren't amazingly genius or unique to me, I still find it absolutely hilarious. I think wordplay is one of my favourite kinds of humour.
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Old 2010-10-27, 23:04   Link #6
FateAnomaly
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I would probably find it fun too if i could understand the language.
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Old 2010-10-28, 02:35   Link #7
Raiga
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Wordplay always amuses me, though I feel guilty afterwards for laughing at the lamer puns (some are genuinely very clever, though, combining multiple puns or working in kanji wordplay as well, etc.).

It can also be put to great non-comedic use in mystery stories (cliche, but hey, it's a classic).
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Old 2010-10-29, 03:53   Link #8
edson1314
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I like wordplay .
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Old 2010-10-29, 04:59   Link #9
larethian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edson1314 View Post
In Japanese, there are only 80 some-sounds, give or take a couple of rare Katakana phonetics. Also, the syllables are for the most part the same length (any "shorter syllables" that you might hear are just personal speech patterns. Sure, some are more prolific, but that doesn't make "Des" any more right than "Desu"). Their grammar structure is also extraordinarily flexible; you can drop most particles freely and the placement of many clauses doesn't matter.

So, it's quite obvious that the Japanese language would contain many, many more puns than the English language, which has over 80 unique sounds with the most random syllable structure ever (stressed vs unstressed, chinese is similar), as well as one of the most messed up grammar rules full of pronouns; you just can't mix and match sounds and expect them to make sense.

However, it isn't only about the number of puns, even the most clever puns in English I rarely laugh at. Most English puns are lame, like those "name" puns

If English had more puns that were more ridiculous like ”パン作った/パンツ食った”, (these are pronounced the exact same way, and the first one means "I made bread" and the second one means "I ate underwear") then I think I might be able to understand why the Japanese are so fond of their puns. The closest thing I can find would be "who's on first base", but those kind of puns are very rare.

What is your take on Japanese puns? The main thing is that I don't find most puns literally "LOL" worthy, while it doesn't seem to be the case in Japan.
well, if you leave out particles, like the way you did with bread, the possibilities of dajare gotta be more humongous. for me it really depends on situation, an accidental one is more funny than a planned one, which just give me 'a drop of sweat' duh kind of feeling.

here's one accidental one which I encountered when a friend is trying to fling, or flail his hand at an annoying bug, which was distracting to me, so I said without thinking:
虫を無視して

maybe we should make a list of Japanese puns.

EDIT:
made me recall an otaku pun I read in this book called (something like): Japanese that the Japanese don't know.

A French student was in Japanese class.
Sensei: The kanji of 輪 can be read as 'wa'(わ) (meaning loop). Anyone knows how else it can be read?
Student: 'rin'(りん) in sharin (しゃりん).
Sensei wrote on the board -> 車輪 ('sharin' for wheel)
Student: wrong sensei, the 'sha' as in 'shashin' (写真) (meaning photograph)
Sensei: Huh? 写輪??
Student: Yes. As in 写輪眼 ('sharingan').

this really cracked me up LOL!

Last edited by larethian; 2010-10-29 at 05:12.
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