Wednesday, November 22, 2017


In Japanese, sometimes the word NG is written, like that, with Latin alphabet letters, in the middle of a phrase with mostly Japanese characters. In this case, the acronym NG stands for "not good," which is, obviously, English. However, in English, "NG" doesn't stand for "not good." Plus, the meaning of NG is in Japanese is rather specific and not just "not good" in general.

Sore wa NG, from manga Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidoragon 小林さんちのメイドラゴン: yowatte nakereba honrai kateru aite demo nain daga na, nani ga atta ka shiran ga kami ni kansha shiyou. a. sore. kami wa NG waado. nani? If not weakened wasn't even someone I could win against though. Whatever happened I don't know but thank god for it. Ah. That. God is an NG word. What? 弱ってなければ本来勝てる相手でもないんだが。なにがあったか知らんが神に感謝しよう。あ。それ。髪はNGワード。何?

Basically, in Japanese, you say something is NG when it shouldn't be said, done or shown. That is, something NG is something censured, something taboo, forbidden, frowned upon, etc.

Examples of things that are NG:
  • Slurs, racist words are NG in newspapers and TV.
  • Uncensored gore and sexual imagery is NG in TV anime.
  • Directors acting on their own without consent of the production committee is NG.
  • Words, things or actions that trigger an anime character and make them go into a murderous rampage of unnecessary violence.

It can also mean something you personally just can't handle. For example: horror movies, alcohol, etc. If something is NG to you, you'd rather stay away from it.

Example of NG in Japanese form manga Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan: koudou ga yomenai mushi no tsugi wa koudou ga yomenai nendou made... after an insect whose actions can't be read even a Nendou whose actions can't  be read [appeared]... kanben shite kure boku wa N* mo G* mo NG nanda. give me a break, to me N and G are NG (I can't handle them)

In the case of words that you shouldn't say, they're called NG waado NGワード, literally "NG word," but the meaning is "taboo word" or "censured word."

In a sense, saying:
  • sore wa NG それはNG
    That is "not good"

Is like saying:
  • sore wa dame それはダメ
    That's not good (don't do that!)

Except not exactly. Everything that's NG is dame, but only a some things called dame are NG.

It's true that NG comes from "not good" in English, but it does not mean the same thing. You can't use NG in Japanese every time you'd say "not good" in English.

Something which is merely "bad" isn't called NG. For example, if a drawing is bad, it's not good, in terms of skill, technique, etc. it's not necessarily NG. The meaning of NG is something that's "not good" to say or do. Something you can't do, that's not allowed. Or that you (or someone else) is not comfortable with.

Lastly, the romaji for NG can be NG but it's not pronounced the same way as in English!! This is because NG in Japanese has to have its letters pronounced in the Japanese way. N is enu エヌ, G is jii ジー. So NG is pronounced enujii エヌジー.

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