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Americans Learn Cartoon Japanese

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发表于 3-24-2022 13:54:58 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 3-28-2022 15:30 编辑

Stephanie Lai, Americans Learn Cartoon Japanese; Anime fans sprinkle Nihongo into their speech; How Kawaii. Wall Street Journal, Mar 23, 2022, at page A1.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/jap ... -comics-11647959639

Excerpt in the window of print: Some Japanese from cartoons isn't always appropriate for polite conversation.

Note:  
(a) Japanese-English dictionary:
* okāsan お母さん(P); 御母さん (n): "mother"
* urusa-i うるさい (adjective, not verb): "noisy  <隣の部屋がうるさいのです。 It's noisy next door.>"
* ya-i-ba 刃 【やいば】 (n): "blade; sword"
* tama 玉(P); 球; 珠; 弾 【たま】 (n): "(1) ball; sphere; globe; orb; (n) (2) bead (of sweat, dew, etc.); drop; droplet; (3) (esp. 球) ball (in sports); * * * (5) (esp. 弾; also written as 弾丸) bullet; (6) (esp. 球) bulb (i.e. a light bulb) * * * (10) (esp. 玉, 珠; also written as 璧) gem; jewel (esp. spherical)"
* kanojo 彼女 【かのじょ】; "(1) (pronoun) (See 彼 かれ [he, him]) she; her; (2) (n) girlfriend"
* dokidoki ドキドキ(P) [katakana] ; どきどき(P) [hiragana] (adv): "(1) (onomatopoeic) thump-thump; bang-bang; pit-a-pat; pitapat; pitter-patter; (2) (onomatopoeic) to beat fast (of one's heart); to throb; to pound; to palpitate  <彼は心臓がどきどき打っているのを感じた。 He felt his heart beating fast.>"
* shinpaku 心拍 【しんぱく】 (n): "(See 心拍数・しんぱくすう[heart rate]) heartbeat"
   ^ The Chinese pronunciation of kanji 拍 is "haku," whose h is softened to p because 拍 is the second character (ie, not the first).
   ^ The heartbeat, besides 心拍, can also be ハートビート (katakana of "heartbeat") in Japanese.
   ^ Kanji for pulse and pulse rate are 脈拍 (pronunciation: myaku-haku) and 脈拍数, respectively. Here as in 心拍, 拍 is short for 拍動.
* nagisa 渚(P); 汀 【なぎさ】 (n): "water's edge; beach; shore"
* kuso くそ《糞》: "(1) (interjection) damn, damn it; shit; crap; (2) (colloquial) feces; excrement"


(b) "Kristin Hart was surprised when her daughter started calling her Okaa-san.  That's 'Mother' in Japanese * * * 'My Hero Academia,' a TV series about superheroes in training * * * sumimasen ('excuse me') and musume [娘] ('daughter') * * * Nihongo [日本語] * * * urusai, roughly 'shut up.' * * * 'Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,' an anime TV show about teenagers who fight demons with swords * * * watching * * * tonkotsu, or pork bone * * * range from kawaii or 'cute,' to baka, which means 'idiot.' "
(i) The okaasan and okāsan are from two romanization systems of Japanese, both aa and ā means the same: a long vowel of a. One says okāsan in formal speech, either addressing the mother in person or referring to her as a third person.
(ii) My Hero Academia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Hero_Academia   
, whose Japanese title 僕のヒーローアカデミア (katakana for My Hero Academia) gave rise to the English title directly.
(iii) Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Slayer:_Kimetsu_no_Yaiba

The Japanese title was 鬼滅の刃 (pronunciation: kimetsu no yaiba). The ki and metsu are both Chinese pronunciations of kanji 鬼 and 滅, respectively. The yaiba is Japanese pronunciation of kanji 刃 (defined in (a) above).
(iv) The adjective kawaii is represented by kanji 可愛い.
(v) The tonkotsu 豚骨 (ton and kotsu are respective Chinese pronunciations) is different from tonkatsu 豚カツ (made up kanji 豚 and katsu derived from cutlet; meaning: breaded pork cutlet).


(c) "Characters in the anime series 'Dragon Ball Z' -- about a young monkey-tailed boy and a teenage girl who are in search of mythical dragon balls that grant any wish when brought together -- yell 'genki-dama!' "
(i) Dragon Ball Z
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Ball_Z   
(Japanese: ドラゴンボールZ [which is katakana for "Dragon Ball Z"])

Dragon Ball Z is part of 漫画 Dragon Ball Series, some of which are adapted into anime. Dragon Ball Z was the title of one anime, but not of manga.  
(ii) That "monkey-tailed boy" was 孫悟空 (pronunciationm in Japan: SON gokū). The teenage girl was made up, not found in Chinese stories.
(iii) The kanji for genki and tama are 元気 and 玉, respectively. The latter is defined in (a).


(d) "Japanese animated TV comedy, 'Girlfriend, Girlfriend.' "
(i) Girlfriend, Girlfriend
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girlfriend,_Girlfriend
(Japanese: カノジョも彼女 Kanojo mo Kanojo, "She is the Girlfriend too"/ by Hiroyuki; section 1 Plot: "The series follows Naoya MUKAI 向井 直也, who had recently begun a relationship with his childhood friend Saki SAKI 佐木 咲. Nagisa MINASE 水瀬 渚, his classmate, decides to confess her feelings to him as well")
(ii) Hiroyuki (ヒロユキ in Japanese, which is katakana for Hiroyuki) is the pen name of 漫画家 衛藤 浩幸  Hiroyuki ETŌ (year born unknown).  

Kanji 幸 has one Chinese pronunciation kō and several Japanese pronunciations, none of which is yuki; rather pronunciation yuki for 幸 appears in names only.  浩 = 広.
(iii) The Japanese title "Kanojo mo Kanojo" takes advantages of the dual meanings of kanojo: The first kanojo means she, and the second kanojo, girlfriend. The "mo" means "too, also."  

There is no verb in this term. You see, Japanese does have verbs, but not a "be" verb. Hence, the sentence (私は学生です watashi wa gakusei desu) has no "be" verb, where the wa は was a topic marker
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic_marker
(section 4 Classical Chinese)
, equivalent to "as for," "as to" or "about" (as in film title "About Last Night") in English.

In Japanese, the subject is followed by ga が (and in appropriate situation (as here in the WSJ article), mo も (meaning also). The topic marker wa は as well as ga が and mo もare called particles in linguistics, as opposed to verbs. There is no difference between は wa and ga が as particles.

The wa and ga per se has no meaning -- and certainly are not be verbs. Literally 私は学生で means "I, student."
(iv) In Japanese, he or him (like Chinese, there is no subject or object form of a pronoun) is 彼, whose hiragana is かれ and pronunciation is "kare."  She or her is 彼女 kanojo (ka is taken from kare and jo is Chinese pronunciation of kanji 女.  
(v) 彼女
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/彼女
("明治以降、1人の女性を指して用いられるようになった三人称代名詞。明治までは、男女の区別なく両方に対して「彼」を用いていた"

my translation: used to refer to a woman as a third person 三人称 since Meiji. Prior to Meiji, there is no difference between man and woman, both of which was 彼 (as in Chinese, where both man and woman WAS the same 他, while 她 was created quite recently).
(vi) Japanese names:
(A) 向井 直也
• I am surprised the surname 向井 is pronounced mukai, because in Japanese "mukai" 向い is the noun meaning "the other side." One example in Jim Breen's online Japanese-English dictionary is: "その店は通りの向かいにあります。 The store is across the street."  
• On second thought, mukai is 向井 as a surname does make sense in that 向 alone can hardly be a surname, so Japanese converts the "i" (an integral part of 向い) to the noun 井, which shares the same pronunciation.
• Supposedly (and that was the rule in earlier times), katakana is for loan words (borrowed from foreign languages). But more and more hiragana and katakana are used in any way one desires. So the 漫画家 elects to have his pen name in katakana, not hiragana or kanji.
(B) 佐木 咲
• The verb saku 咲く means blossom, bloom. Its corresponding noun is saki 咲き.
• An ancient Chinese treatise 集韻 stated: "笑古作咲." Therefore 咲 in Chinese is pronounced the same as 笑.
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 楼主| 发表于 3-24-2022 13:55:22 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 choi 于 3-24-2022 14:12 编辑

—--------------------------------
Kristin Hart was surprised when her daughter started calling her Okaa-san.

That’s “Mother” in Japanese, and it’s among the words Aimee, 12, has been increasingly using at home since she started watching anime—Japanese cartoon shows—including “My Hero Academia,” a TV series about superheroes in training.

Aimee says she got hooked on the series and used YouTube to learn more about anime and Japanese culture and language. “I would remember the sounds and the subtitles and I’d start speaking it to my friends,” she says. “They wouldn’t understand, but I thought it was really funny.”

Then Okaa-san got hooked, too. Mrs. Hart, a 39-year-old New York office manager, says she finds herself exchanging words with Aimee such as sumimasen (“excuse me”) and musume (“daughter”). Aimee says she enjoys bantering with her mother using Japanese words.

Aimee says she got hooked on the series and used YouTube to learn more about anime and Japanese culture and language. “I would remember the sounds and the subtitles and I’d start speaking it to my friends,” she says. “They wouldn’t understand, but I thought it was really funny.”

A growing fringe of Americans like Aimee and her mother are sprinkling Nihongo into conversations, inspired in part by the popularity of anime and manga, Japanese comics. Many are finding the language more difficult to learn than they expected, and some of the slang they pick up in cartoons isn’t always appropriate for polite conversation.

One incentive for Mrs. Hart to keep up on her Japanese is knowing when Aimee is trying to pull a fast one. Mother now understands when daughter says things like urusai—roughly, “shut up.”

Japanese was the fastest-growing language in the US and UK last year among Duolingo‘s users, according to the language-learning company’s 2021 Language Report, beating out Italian as the fifth-most-popular globally.

Duolingo credits younger generations’ interest in anime and, more broadly, in Japanese pop culture through fashion, food, music and travel.

Cindy Blanco, a senior learning scientist at the company, says many of the new Japanese-language learners are age 13 to 17, she says. For the 18-to-29 group, Japanese trails Spanish, English and French.

Andrew Li, a Georgia Institute of Technology senior studying chemical engineering, started learning Japanese after watching “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba,” an anime TV show about teenagers who fight demons with swords, during the pandemic. “I thought it would be great to know what they’re saying,” he says.

The 22-year-old found learning the language helped him to understand Japanese pop music better and to find more-authentic recipes for ramen using a broth based on tonkotsu, or pork bone. A Japanese-language recipe put his skills to the test when it appeared to instruct him to grind pork bones with a blender.

Worried his fledgling Japanese might be leading him astray, he checked a ramen channel on the Discord messaging platform. The noodle-dish recipe did, indeed, call for grinding softened bones.

The enthusiasm is particularly strong among young people, says Ramona Handel-Bajema, chief program officer at the Japan Society, which aims to connect American and Japanese people through culture. When Ms. Handel-Bajema was learning Japanese in the 1980s, she was mostly surrounded by students with a connection to Japan or learning for business purposes, she says.

She attributes her students’ Japanese pronunciation to their knowing the names of the cartoon characters and their catchphrases. “All of these kids love anime and manga,” she says. “We don’t need to convince them to learn. They’re already hungry to learn.”

Colloquial Japanese words making their way from cartoons into American adolescent usage range from kawaii or “cute,” to baka which means “idiot.”

Eddie Stemkowski, a 42-year-old stepfather of two who says he began watching anime at age 13, started studying the language in college. He says he realized that some words he often heard protagonists shouting in action anime were largely meaningless outside the show.

Characters in the anime series “Dragon Ball Z”—about a young monkey-tailed boy and a teenage girl who are in search of mystical dragon balls that grant any wish when brought together—yell ”genki-dama!” when using a technique to generate a powerful sphere of energy.

Outside the show, genki-dama means, roughly, “energy ball,” a phrase not often used in real-life Japan. That hasn’t stopped Mr. Stemkowski, a digital marketing manager in New York, from shouting it to his Japanese friends while raising his hands upright like the main character Goku does in the show.

One challenge for anime-obsessed students is navigating real-life Japanese with words from their beloved cartoons, as 17-year-old Andy Puebla of New Jersey found. He thought doki-doki meant simply “heartbeat” when he heard it in a Japanese animated romantic TV comedy, “Girlfriend, Girlfriend.”  

He was close. Doki-doki is onomatopoeia for a heart pounding—with anticipation, say, or fear. The technical term for heartbeat, he found, was the less-fun shinpaku.

Julian Murray, 24, started learning Japanese two years ago hoping to understand what happened in an anime show, “Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-,” even if he missed a subtitle. Mr. Murray says he thinks the jokes and puns in the subtitles of the show—in which an autonomous artificial intelligence singing tries to save the world—and anime in general make more sense if one understands the language.

Mr. Murray, a package handler in Maryland, says he uses his language skills on apps to practice with Japanese friends. He found Japanese harder than anticipated because some phrases he picked up watching anime weren’t appropriate in polite conversation. Kuso was a word he heard anime characters using often. He looked it up before using it and found it translated as “crap” and an expletive of the same meaning. He then saw in YouTube videos that the word was rude if directed at others and that characters often muttered it under their breaths in frustration. He decided not to use kuso with other people.
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