Americanizing Japanese words

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Thread: Americanizing Japanese words

  1. #1
    I want to rp! Te-em's Avatar
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    Default Americanizing Japanese words

    What do you think when NoA (I think it was NoA) americanize (spelling?) the Japanese words in Pokemon? I don't like it.

    Examples of this is the Kai (ocean) in Kaiouga (or Kaiorga if you prefer), they spelled it Ky (pronounces the same, but anyway.)
    Or Kurai (dark) in Daakurai (or Darkurai if you prefer), they spelled it Krai. So I didn't quiet understand Darkrai with the "u" missing, even if the pronounciation is much the same. But it was more like Dark+Rai (since Rai is also a word), which was very confusing.
    And most stupid of all, the Kuu (sky) in Rekkuuza they spelled it Qua (in Rayquaza). Is this really the romanization of Rekkuuza? Kuu and qua does not even pronounce the same way, do they?
    I'm glad they didn't do this to all the names. Who wants to see the name Raichuu, spellt Raichew or Ryechuu? If one doesn't know how to spell the Japanese words with English letters, one looks at a Katakana chart. Or did they do this to make it easier for english speakers to pronounce the names? But they are the romanization of the Japanese names after all, not the English names.
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  2. #2
    1st Generation Velveteen's Avatar
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    It's actually understandable though! It's due to English having too many damn vowels. I'm not sure what the NoA is, but it should be pretty clear in contest. I mean, if it were in English, Black would be Black after all!
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    Just some dreamer Lesley_GSC's Avatar
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    Well, in most Anime/Game series, the Japanese names are either kept, or changed into other Japanese names. Let's take Naruto for example. Well i'm not sure weather the charactors keep there sub names or not, they defenitly sound like Japanese names. But pokemon, being aimed at a younger age group, changes names into native names so the children playing them can memorize the names easier. Would you really expect a six year old to memorize the meaning of Usokkie? (Sudowoodo) No, but a six year old can at least remember the wood part, because it's a word they know. About the Raquaza thing,
    "Qua" comes from Quazar (Some sort of sky phenominon), so it's different. The "Rai" in Darkrai may come ray, refering to it's abilitys. With Celibi, there was an interesting conection. They used Engrish to translate Serribi into Celibi, but the name Celibi can also be broken down into Cellery-two (Bi, refering to it being a dual type) It can also come from a forest goddes (Forget which religan) of the same name.

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    Registered User The Outrage's Avatar
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    The "quaza" came out of the word quasar "kuu" is probably the closest vowel sound they have for "qua" in Japan. Take good ol' umbreon for instance. It's Japanese name is Burakki. It's name was intended to be pronounced "Blacky" but I guess for you, we shouldn't change the kki, and just make it "Blakki"

    And I'm not too sure on this, but if you were to try and spell "dark" in katakana, wouldn't it end up as Daaku, changing it to Darkrai? The Ku in Daakurai seems more like a double entendre, making his name translate to Dark Dark. As for Rai meaning something else, therefore, Darkrai becomes confusing to you, not everyone can understand Japanese, and therefore would not be confused.

    Honestly, it's probably done for pronounciation purposes. Kaiouga has way too many vowels, and despite being pretty straight forward to pronounce, the excessive use of vowels may intimidate young children. I mean come on, children had trouble pronouncing Xatu, and I was surprised they didn't just call it Zatu.

    And I ressent the term "americanize" since it's not like America is the only country that probably does this....

    GSC junkie, I think he was reffering to Japanese names they've kept, but changed the spelling.

    Also my username, being one single letter would end up エル (eru)
    Last edited by The Outrage; 29th January 2008 at 06:00 PM.

  5. #5
    I want to rp! Te-em's Avatar
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    I don't think they meant to put the word "quazar" in the name. Because I can't see how the Pokemon has anything to do with quazars. Kuu, however, means "sky", and the Pokemon lives in the sky, right?

    And about the Daakurai part, I meant, it's the English word Dark (pronounced "daaku" in Japanese, but it's Dark in English letters) and the Japanese word Kurai.
    In Japanese it's combined daaku and kurai into daakurai (removing one katakana for "ku", or else it would be daakukurai). So, dark+kurai will be Darkurai (with one k left out, or else it would be Darkkurai). But NoA changed it to Darkrai, but I guess if you don't know Japanese it's not confusing, but then you don't know what the kurai part means anyway.

    If the Rai in Raichuu is not hard to pronounce, I don't think Kai would be. And the ouga is (or at least I think it is) orga. The Pokemon is based upon an orca and the Japanese names sometimes have c (or k) replaced by g, like in Zenigame (kame=turtle). But of course some people will think it's pronounced Kayorga, I think Raichuu has been Raychuu so some. I don't know about the ouga part. It's based upon an English word, so it doesn't have to be spelled ouga. It could be ogre or orga (but ogre doesn't match the Pokemon).

    About Blacky, that's from an English word, so of course it can be spelled as the word Black. I was mostly talking about the Japanese words.

    I won't be too hard on the spelling, though. It was somewhat annoying to see Hanekko spelled Hanecco, but it's no major difference. I mean, k and c are the same for japanese after all, so it shouldn't make any difference. But I still don't get that with Rekkuuza/Rayquaza.


    EDIT: Ok, I think I have to explain why are started this thread in the first place. It's not that I'm complaining on people who spell the names the way they do. It's because people have been complaining on me a lot. If I spell it Darkurai (just to make it easier instead of spelling it Daakurai), they say I'm wrong. If I spell Chikoriita, Chicoryta, am I wrong then as well? I just thought that the Chikorii was referring to the word chicory and isn't that easier for english speakers than chikorii is? I never complained on anyone, whether they used the Japanese or English name or how they spelled it. If I didn't understand (as I did not know who Budew was) I looked it up. I just wanted people to understand that there can be different ways of spelling the names because of these confusing trademarked romaji. It may sound as if I really hate the way they spell the JP names and that I don't like the US names, but even if I don't like them anyway, it's because people think these versions of the names are so much better just because someone said they were. I someone is used to spell the JP name Herugaa, it's ok, if they choose to spell it Hellgar or Hellger, it's ok. If they choose to use the name Houndoom, that's ok with me, but if I choose to spell it Hellgar (I often put a sprite or use the US name as well for those who don't know the original name), I don't want someone to say "your wrong, it's Herugaa".

    In this thread, I don't really mean anything about that you can't spell Daakurai, Darkrai. Of course you can, but I just wanted to say that I think Darkurai is more correct I and want to use it. If you like Darkrai more then use it and maybe you have and explanation why (the simplest explanation would probably be that you're using the US name of the Pokemon).

    But remember that you cannot trust all those trademarked romaji or that the US names have the same meaning as the JP ones. I've decided to use the JP names and when if they contain English words, I usually spell the words as the do in English (daaku=dark) and leave the Japanese words as they are (converted directly from katakana to english alphabet, according to the katakana charts that you often use to learn the Japanese characters).

    Even if I think the way of turning Kai into Ky, or Kuu into Qua is stupid and confusing, I don't blame the people who uses the English/trademarked romaji versions. I just said that I think the spelling of the Japanese words are not correct (the best would of course be to use Kana, but I don't think many would be able to read that, unless they're Japanese). I can understand that if you don't know or are interested in the Japanese language, you don't care much that the Japanese words in the Pokemon's names are spelled like English ones (like "Ky" for instance). Me, and other people I know who likes and wants to learn or already know Japanese, takes notice of this and thinks it is confusing.

    The US names are suited for English speakers, but the JP ones should keep their Japanese contents. In other words: Kyogre is correct as the English/US name of the Pokemon. But I don't think the JP should be spelled that way. Just what I think.
    Last edited by Te-em; 29th January 2008 at 07:17 PM.
    Captain Lincoln Stern, you stand here accused of...
    12 counts of murder in the first degree
    14 counts of armed theft of Federation property
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  6. #6
    Registered User Adamant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by "L" View Post
    The "quaza" came out of the word quasar "kuu" is probably the closest vowel sound they have for "qua" in Japan.
    That very site links to the Japanese wikipedia article for quazar, you know, showing us quite clearly that they spell it "Kueesaa".

    And eh, I honestly think they should've just made new, English names for the monsters with names of Japanese origin. How many non-Japanese really see anything other than a random jumble of syllables in names like "Pachirisu"?

  7. #7
    yandere=awesome Yamato-san's Avatar
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    the thing is, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Darkrai, etc. weren't actually done by Nintendo of America. They are all the official spellings, even in Japan.... anyone remember "Rukario to Lucario"? I think Gravy's point has been proven even further by recent screenshots of Smash Bros. Brawl. As for why they had to alter words like "kai" and such.... maybe Gamefreaks wanted names that, when spelled out in Roman characters, would look somewhat exotic, not particularly of Japanese origin (in spite of already basing some of them off of Japanese words). I mean, the three ancient Pokemon don't exactly look like something out of Asian mythology, unlike the majority of GSC legendaries. This is why, sans Lugia and Celebi, the official spelling of their names appear Japanese (Suicune and Ho-oh were Nintendo of America's doing. They're actually spelled as "Suikun" and "Houou" in the Japanese version).

    Yup, classes again. I'm gonna be at this for a while.

  8. #8
    Registered User Adamant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamato-san View Post
    the thing is, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Darkrai, etc. weren't actually done by Nintendo of America. They are all the official spellings, even in Japan....
    Then again, so are Prasle and Frygon.

  9. #9
    追放されたバカ
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    Yeah. I also hate "Engrishizing" Japanese words. It's so annoying and incorrect.

    When I refer to Pokemon, I never write down Rekkuza as "Rayquaza". The Japanese words spelling is supposed to stay untouched. Only English words should be spelt by their English way while romanising.

    That's why I hate official romanisations.

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    A thing to remember is that Japan Japanifies English words, and other languages too. "Pikushi" for Pixie? Or "Gyaroppu" for Gallop? And they can't seem to decide how to spell out ニャース. I've seen Nyasu, Nyasuu, Nyaasu, Nyarth, and (of all things) Meowth.

  11. #11
    Registered User Adamant's Avatar
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    Well, uh, of course they do. How else would they write them, given that they don't use the same writing system we do? They aren't "japanified" as much as they are written with a different alphabet.

    As for ニャース, "Nyarth" is the official romanization, "Nyaasu" is the direct romanization, "Nyasu" is the direct romanization written with no marking of extended vowels (making it impossible to see how the word is pronounced), "Nyasuu" is probably just a spelling error, and completely incorrect in every way, and "Meowth" is... uh... actually, I don't know. They probably just used the official English name.

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Well, if Nyarth is the official romanization, how come I've seen the others on official products? Wouldn't they all want to use the official spelling?

  13. #13
    I want to rp! Te-em's Avatar
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    I think the su part in Nyaasu is spelt th in English because it refers to the word "mouth" (that end with th). This is just something I've heard so I'm not sure if it's correct.
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    ∠(>w<) #634 Argy's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Nyaasu -> Nyaas -> Nyars -> Nyarth

    Keep in mind that Pokémon names aren't really Japanese or English words, they're just based on them. When a Japanese name is based on a Japanese word, it would be stupid to have it spelled the same as the origin word. We wouldn't do that with an English name.

    When the Pokémon names are created, the official Anglicisms come first. Game Freak isn't going to go, "Let's name this bird 'Mukubaado' and see what English words we can get out of it. Oh, how convenient! Baado is bird in English!," they're making the Japanese fit the Anglicisms. "Prasle" and "Frygon" might not sound so stupid to Japanese people, but NOA was the one that changed them to "Plusle" and "Flygon" for the English release. If you didn't know Japanese, would you know the difference if NOA changed Pachirisu's name ("risu" means "squirrel") to Pachirasu?

  15. #15
    I want to rp! Te-em's Avatar
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    Some spelling makes the names confusing to pronounce, like when Nyaasu is changed into Nyasu. If you know the origin of the word, it's not hard (if you have some knowledge of that language it comes from). So if Nyasu is Japanese, it doesn't pronounce the same as Nyaasu.

    Prasle looks stupid, but you're right. If you use the Japanese characters its becomes the same as Plusle does. The same with Frygon. It's because in Japanese r and l are the same.
    Captain Lincoln Stern, you stand here accused of...
    12 counts of murder in the first degree
    14 counts of armed theft of Federation property
    22 counts of piracy in high space
    18 counts of fraud
    37 counts of rape
    and 1 moving violation....how do you plead?

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