And kanji with manga
Friday, March 22, 2019

serifu 台詞

WIP: this article is incomplete and might change in the unforeseeable future.
In Japanese, serifu 台詞, also spelled serifu セリフ, refers to one's "lines" of dialogue. That is, the stuff that they say.

Everything that's inside a speech balloon in a manga is a serifu, because it's what the characters say. The "lines" a voice actors speaks in anime are their serifu.

The word serifu is also used to say "that's my line!" in Japanese, that's my serifu. In the sense of "it's me who should be saying that."
  • sore wa ore no serifu da!
    That's my line!

Although koso こそ can also mean something along those lines, koso tends to be used in a good way: it's I who should be thanking you, it's I who should be saying sorry, while serifu tends to be used in a bad way: you stole my line, why are you telling me this? It's I who should be telling you that.

Note that when a character doesn't show up in an anime or manga, it's said that they have no deban 出番, that they "have no screen-time," deban-nashi 出番なし, not that they don't have "lines," serifu.

A manga where nobody has dialogue, there are "no lines," would be serifu-nashi セリフなし. The opposite being serifu-ari セリフあり.

Also, serifu is merely a "line" in the sense of dialogue. The word sen 線 would be a "line" that's drawn somewhere. And retsu 列 is a "line" of things, a sequence, which can be a "queue" of people, too.

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