double vowels translation



  • The Japanese words have frequent double vowels, but they are translated inconsistently and occasionally the story or word does not work properly.

    In "Hyouka", the title was 'ou' double vowel correctly, but the main character's name, Houtarou with strong A sound, turns to Hotaro sounding like Hotoro. Kanya -sai (Kan-ya festival) come from the main character's uncle's last name pronounced differently (intentional in the story and it is discussed). It is translated and pronounced Ka-ni-ya, It sound to Japanese come from very different words.

    Similally, names in multiple animes, character's name, Hiiragi (Holly tree) is translated Hiragi (flat leaf tree) and double vowel is ignored. You should correct discrepancy.



  • @hskito
    By the way, the difference between Hiragi and Hiiragi is important in the story even though it is not discussed in the animes. Hiiragi branches are used to fight and chase away 'oni' or 'demon' in Mamemaki events in February. They can not be Hiragi. Japanese know that but the foreigners.



  • In general romanizing Japanese typically drops the double vowels, it's not just a Funimation thing. We write it as "Tokyo" not "Toukyou" for example. I'm not really sure why this happens but it does. You talk about "Hii" being important due to the meaning but how many people watching that don't know Japanese would ever catch on to that?



  • @hskito Welcome to the wonderful world of translated/dubbed anime. These things are often problems for those that can speak Japanese, and even more so for fluent speakers. Although it can be annoying at times, it's a matter of accepting that the story will never be the same as the original and some cultural aspects become buried in obscurity to anyone that is not familiar enough to just pick them out by sight.

    I personally tend to watch most of my shows recently in Japanese with subtitles turned off to avoid the confusion that can be caused by conflicting information. This is a relatively new option on the US sites, and the change apparently took place while I was recently in Japan. I have to say I'm thankful for it though, and think it may be something of interest if these conflicts in translation are too much of a problem for you.

    When watching as a group, I have no choice but to watch dubs because I'm the only fluent speaker I know locally, and have learned to accept that the story is adapted to suit the American audience. Most people here don't really care so much about the pronunciation of these words because they'll never have a reason to use them.

    Once you've heard kawaii pronounce kowai a couple hundred times, you'll understand my reasoning. (For those that don't speak Japanese, kawaii means cute, and kowai means terrifying/scary. The words can sound very similar when said by someone not properly enunciating.)



  • I didn't think about Toukyou, Oosaka, and Kyouto. Then the inconsistency is Japanese government's fault.

    My name is also supposed to be Kitou and I spell it on the paper like that, but Japanese bureaucrats always ignore 'u' on my passport. I had to drop u from my credit cards and other documents to make them consistent.



  • @hskito If on the topic of Japanese changes to city names, can't forget my favorite change. Even the romaji printed in the stations spells it Nihombashi.



  • The most notorious instances I can think of come from the Rurouni Kenshin franchise. Some dubs pronounced Aoshi as "Ay-Oh-Shee" instead of "Ow-Shee". Same goes for Saori from Girls Und Panzer. It irks me a tiny bit how Sentai sometimes pronounced her name as "Sorry" or "Say-Or-Eee" instead of "Sow-Ree".



  • @MyOnlyFarph said in double vowels translation:

    The most notorious instances I can think of come from the Rurouni Kenshin franchise. Some dubs pronounced Aoshi as "Ay-Oh-Shee" instead of "Ow-Shee". Same goes for Saori from Girls Und Panzer. It irks me a tiny bit how Sentai sometimes pronounced her name as "Sorry" or "Say-Or-Eee" instead of "Sow-Ree".

    Aoshi = Ah-oh-shee (no double vowel, but best way to show proper pronunciation of the long e)
    Saori = Sa-oh-ree (again with the double vowel being for pronunciation only)

    Japanese doesn't really have an ow, like "Owe, I stubbed my toe". This sound is usually made by people that aren't pronouncing double vowels properly, either because they never learned how to enunciate the vowel sounds or (in some cases) aren't able to hear the distinction. Unlike in English language, where we tend to throw two letters together to make a different sound, the Japanese alphabet is more of a ordered set of syllables.

    There are only three examples I can think of which the sound of a character changes, and only then in specific circumstances. は is read as ha unless it is being used to denote the subject of a sentence, and is then read as wa. へ is read as he unless being used as an interjection or a particle inferring a direction. In those instances it reads the same as a short e sound. A small つ will be read as the consonant sound of the character following it. In that way, けっこ will read as kekko when printed in romaji.


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