Friday, October 5, 2018

Ora Ora Ora Ora オラオラオラオラ

If you watched JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, specially Stardust Crusaders, you've probably already heard Kujō Jotarō 空条 承太郎 and his stand, Star Platinum, screaming ORAORAORAORA オラオラオラオラ at everyone they punched. And you might have asked yourself: what does oraoraoraora mean in Japanese?

The answer is: not much.

Ora ora ora ora ora ora ora ora ora!!! オラオラオラオラオラオラオラオラオラ!!! yelled by Star Platinum from manga JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険

(note in the picture above that ora ora ora ora is actually said, spoken in speech balloons, and not an onomatopoeia like the dodododo ドドドド)

Single Ora オラ

In Japanese, ora オラ is a way to call for somebody's attention. A yell, like "oi!" or "ayy!" or "hey!" or whatever.

It gets used toward children or animals when they're doing something improper. You could translate it as "watch out" or "stop that!" depending on the situation. Sometimes it's used to make people look at stuff, so you can translate it as "look (at that)!" in such cases.
  • ora, miro オラ、見ろ
    Hey, look [at that.]
    Oy, check that out.
    I told you that was gonna happen, look!

The word kora コラ is similar, but is used more to scold than to tell people to look at things.

Sometimes, ora オラ is used as a kakegoe 掛け声, something you said while doing something, like "heave-ho!" or "one, two, three!" Except in this case is something you say while punching someone.

In English, this could be translated as "take this!" for example.

A panel showing a punch with a single ora written on it, from manga Saiki Kusuo no Psi-Nan 斉木楠雄のΨ難
Manga: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. / Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan 斉木楠雄のΨ難
  • Oraa オラ
    [Take this!]

In JoJo

The way it's used in the oraoraoraoraora of JoJo is kind of like "take this! And this! And this! And this! And this! And this! And this!" and so on as he goes on punching.

More literally, you could think of it as Jotarō telling his punching bag, err, victim, I mean, target to "look" at the punches, a call of attention, or something like that. It just boils down to Jotarō screaming something with each punch.

To make it clear: oraoraoraora doesn't really mean anything in Japanese.

Similarly, muda muda muda muda 無駄無駄無駄無駄 is used by another character and also doesn't mean much either.

Note that some Japanese words gain different meanings when they're said twice (reduplication), but this isn't the case here, this is merely repetition.

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