Saturday, March 31, 2018

Ko 子

In Japanese, the word ko 子 usually means "child." If you check dictionaries, translators, the translation going to be "child" most of the time. But ko has other meanings, too, and is used in certain ways that don't really make sense with that translation.
Thursday, March 29, 2018

O__san お〇〇さん

In Japanese, there's a practice of using a noun that describes people, like kyaku 客, "customer," and prefixing it with a honorific suffix like chan, san, or sama, and maybe a honorific prefix like that o or go, turning the noun into a more honorific version of itself: okyakusan お客さん.
Thursday, March 22, 2018

御~ Honorific Prefix - O~, Go~, お~, ご~

One of the first things you notice when learning Japanese are the honorific suffixes, like san, chan and kun, but there's another type of honorific too: the honorific prefix o お or go ご. The kanji for both these words would be 御, but it's usually not written with kanji. In this post I'll explain its usage.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Furigana Dots ﹅ Bouten 傍点

Sometimes when reading manga you might come across certain dots, points, circles, diagonal marks, or something of the sort in the furigana 振り仮名 space beside the words, and you might ask: what do these furigana dots mean???

Furigana dots in the manga Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア. Transcript: Izuku-kun ni wa kansetsu ga futatsu aru kono sekai ja mezurashii. In Izuku-kun's case there are two joints, in this world that's rare.
Monday, March 12, 2018

・ Middle Dot

In Japanese, sometimes words are separated by a middle dot, a ・, also called an interpunct, or interpoint, or nakaguro 中黒, "middle black [mark]," nakaten 中点, "middle dot," nakapotsu 中ぽつ, "middle spot," nakamaru 中丸, "middle circle, " etc. But what does this ・ mean in Japanese?

Well, it has multiple functions.

Separating Katakana Words in Names, Titles & Phrases

The Japanese language loves loaning words from everywhere, and when they do it with gairaigo 外来語 they katakanize those words so they can be written with katakana. The same happens with foreign names, titles of anime in English, etc.

But there's a problem: Japanese rarely uses spaces, and it relies on having multiple alphabets to tell the words apart in a sentence. Then, how'd you separate two katakana words in Japanese, given they're all written with just one alphabet: the katakana?

There are multiple ways.
Thursday, March 8, 2018

"Zoku" in Names of Anime - 続

Every now and then, you see an anime with the word zoku 続 in its name. Either the zoku is at the start of the name, or zoku at the end of the name. But what does this zoku mean? And why so many anime have it?

Gattai 合体

In Japanese, the word gattai 合体, written with the kanji for the words "join" and "body," means, literally, to combine two or more bodies into one. Although the term can be used in a number of ways, in anime it's pretty much always used to refer to one thing: combining mechas!!!


Gattai sequence from manga Getter Robot ゲッターロボ


Monday, March 5, 2018

Daku, Idaku 抱く

The word daku 抱く, you know, the one in dakimakura 抱き枕, usually means "to embrace" or "to hug." But given that daku has a couple of other meanings, too, I decided to make a post about it.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

How to Embed Pixiv Images

Since I've been embedding a dozen of Pixiv images in this blog for reference, I'm going to go off-topic for a bit to show how to embed these things.

Now, you might be asking: why would anyone want to embed them instead of just infringing copyright uploading it to somewhere else? Well, there are pros and cons

The pros are:
  • If the artist deletes the post from Pixiv, it'll automatically disappear from your website, respectfully.
  • Spend less bandwidth because the images are hosted on Pixiv.

The cons are:
  • If the artist deletes the post from Pixiv, it will disappear from your posts.
    (note: this actually happened to be, so for example images I steer away from using images posted recently and take the ones posted from years ago instead.)
  • If the post is deleted by Pixiv mods, the embedded images disappear too.
  • If the artist is banned from Pixiv, the embedded images disappear too.
  • If the artist updates their post the image may change into something you don't want.
  • If the artist's account is hacked the hacker may changed all his post images into something you really don't want.
  • Takes longer to load the page because the browser has to access multiple websites.
  • Needs to load a script to load a image instead of just loading the image.
  • Embedded synchronously causes the page to render only partially until the script loads.
  • In the unlikely event Pixiv is hacked and somebody replaces the script with a malicious script, the malware will be spread all over your posts.
  • In the unlikely event Pixiv is hacked and somebody deletes the database and they don't have a backup (which I'd like to say is unlikely, but can't because some people just don't do backups.) then your embedded images disappear.
  • In the event Pixiv stops supporting embedded images with the script, the embedded images disappear.
  • If Pixiv goes down, your embedded images disappear.
  • If Pixiv goes under, your embedded images disappear.
  • You can only choose three different sizes for the images (small, medium, large), although you can resize them arbitrarily with CSS voodoo.
  • In certain content editors (forums, some free blogs) adding user scripts is forbidden so the embedding is impossible anyway.
Saturday, March 3, 2018

Blue Oni Red Oni

In anime, when oni characters are involved, it's common for there to be a blue oni and a red oni, the blue oni having a single horn and the red oni two horns.

Blue oni and red oni from hell talking to Goku in the anime Dragon Ball Z.

The origin of this blue oni red oni trope comes from a certain children's tale about friendship. It was a popular one, so references to it spread across all media and fiction, not just anime.

Note that, most of the time, there's usually no deeper meaning to the red oni blue oni combo. It's simply that if there's a red oni, the blue oni will show up sometime, or vice-versa.

Oni 鬼

In Japanese, or, rather, in Japan's culture, an oni 鬼 is a kind of "supernatural being," youkai 妖怪 often translated to English as "ogre" or "troll," although those are technically different things. Generally speaking, an oni in anime is a big, strong, scary, evil, rugged, powerful humanoid monster, who has one or two horns on its head, fangs, and the like, but designs may vary.

Oni Gouki from the anime Yuu Yuu Hakusho

Nowadays, oni are normally portrayed featuring colored skin, specially red and blue, just like the modern day ogre is usually green. In anime, oni characters can usually talk and have some sort of connection with the demon world, afterlife, hell, or something supernatural like that.

Apparently, the word oni would mean it's an invisible spirit, originally, but that's rarely the case in modern fiction.
Friday, March 2, 2018

Sounds Animals Make in Japanese

For reference, a vocabulary list of sounds animals make in Japanese containing the onomatopoeia commonly used in manga, games, etc. Note that some of these words don't really sound like the sounds animals make in reality, but they're the ones that are written anyway.

See the "cry" section for the word for "crying" in Japanese.

The following words do not have kanji, they're only written with hiragana or with katakana. The katakana version is in the parentheses, by the way.

nya にゃ (ニャ)
nyaa にゃー (ニャー)
nyan にゃん (ニャン)
Sound made by "cats," neko 猫.
"Meow."

wan わん (ワン)
wanwan わんわん (ワンワン)
Sound made by "dogs," inu 犬.
"Woof."

kon こん (コン)
konkon こんこん (コンコン)
Sound made by "foxes," kitsune 狐.
(as demonstrated in Flying Witch, this is totally wrong, foxes don't make these sounds.)

Wan わん

In Japanese, wan わん is the sound dogs make when they bark, an onomatopoeia. In other words: wan is "woof" in Japanese, or wanwan わんわん means "bow-wow" in Japanese, or something like that.

Note that wan わん doesn't have kanji and may be written with hiragana because hiragana is cuter, or written with katakana as wan ワン. In the case of wan ワン, beware that it's homonym with the katakanization of the English number "one." That is, wan piisu ワンピース means "one piece," and probably not "woof piece."

When wan' わんっ or wan' ワンッ are written instead, with a small tsu at the end of the phrase, it emphasizes the sound, expressing a stronger-sounding bark.

wan, wanwan わん, ワン, ワンワン as seen written in the manga Aho Girl アホガール and Gakkou-Gurashi がっこうぐらし

Wanko わんこ

In Japanese, a wanko わんこ is a colloquial way to refer to a dog, specially a puppy. The word is formed from an onomatopoeia for the sound dogs make, "woof," in Japanese: wan わん, and ko 子, which in this case is a suffix used to refer to something cute.

So wanko is how you say "doggy" in Japanese. But more literally wanko means "lil' woof" or something like that. Note, however, that despite the cutesy origins of the word, it may be used in a very enraged way depending on the situation.

The term wanko わんこ as used in the manga Gakkou-Gurashi がっこうぐらし.


Since it's a pet-like name, sometimes the chan honorific suffix is added to make stuff cuter: wanko-chan わんこちゃん. The term wanchan わんちゃん may also used to say "doggy."
Thursday, March 1, 2018

Nyanko にゃんこ

In Japanese, a nyanko にゃんこ is a colloquial way to refer to a cat, specially a kitten. The word is formed from an onomatopoeia for the sound cats make, "meow," in Japanese: nyan にゃん, and ko 子, which in this case is a suffix used to refer to something cute.

So nyanko is how you say "kitty" in Japanese. But more literally nyanko means "lil' meow" or something like that. Note, however, that despite the cutesy origins of the word, it may be used in a very enraged way depending on the situation.

The word nyanko ニャンコ being used in the manga Dolkara / Dorukara どるから

Since it's a pet-like name, sometimes the chan honorific suffix is added to make stuff cuter: nyanko-chan にゃんこちゃん. The term nyanchan にゃんちゃん may also be used to say "kitty."