Back in 2012 when a bunch of 4chan members released a visual novel game based around romantically pursuing disabled high school girls, expectations were low to say the least. But to the shock of the internet, the game received widespread acclaim for its impressive visuals, story, and music, not to mention its sympathetic treatment of its characters.
However, despite being a game in a distinctly Japanese genre and taking place in a Japanese high school with Japanese characters, the game was originally written and released in English. It’s only now, three years later, that Katawa Shoujo (“Disabled Girls”) has finally been released in the language many people thought it was originally created in: Japanese.
In an effort to make facilities foreigner-friendly or simply to enhance the style of an advertisement Asian governments and businesses will often add English translations. However, many don’t feel it’s worth the effort to do a proper translation and simply rely on automatic ones. The results are often sure to put a smile on the face of English speakers in the rest of the world.
Now, Xi’an North Station has put another feather in the cap of gloriously wrong translations…and this time they called it macaroni.
With their complex writing systems, getting around in Japan or China can be stressful for even the most seasoned of tourists. Sure, you could carry a travel dictionary in your pocket while you go sightseeing, but how are you supposed to look up all those funny looking sticks and squiggles when you don’t even know how to pronounce them? Often the locals try to be helpful by providing an English translation, but there are reasons why that doesn’t always work out. If only there was a way to just wave your magic smartphone over some unintelligible text and have it provide a reliable translation on the spot. Well, as we discovered over at Shanghai List, there’s an app for that.
As anyone who has studied Japanese for any length of time will tell you, leaning lists of vocabulary can be tough. On some occasions, the very first time you’ll meet a word will be on paper; some abstract or complex term that’s almost impossible to remember as it’s so rarely used in the real world. Other times, you’ll have heard–or perhaps even used a word yourself–in conversation, but when encountering it on paper for the first time it may appear completely alien due to the characters with which it’s written.
Thankfully, though, since kanji characters are based on meaning rather than speech sounds, it can be easy to decipher a written word even if you’re still not sure how to pronounce it. But sometimes, translating a word too literally can land you in all kinds of trouble, or at the very least leave you chuckling to yourself while native Japanese speakers are left wondering what’s so funny…
Regular RocketNews24 readers will know doubt have seen our articles documenting some of Japan’s weirder translations of Western movie titles (Malkovich’s Hole, anyone?), or perhaps caught our collection of English movie posters remade using their Japanese titles. But today’s list of 10 adapted movie titles was nominated by none other than Japanese movie watchers themselves, who felt that the new names their country had given to these feature films were actually pretty cool.
Let’s take a little look, shall we?
Translation apps are very popular for people visiting foreign lands. With only internet access and a tap of the finger you can convey “I swallowed a june bug” in any number of languages like Spanish (Me tragué un error junio) and Hatian Creole (Mwen vale yon ensèk mwa Jen). I’m pretty sure those are both wrong, but still better than I could do by myself with no knowledge of either language.
Now Yamaha has brought the translation app beyond the boundaries of humanity and into the realm of the machine with their engine revving translation app, RevTranslator. As the name suggests, this app will listen to an engine and deliver its message in Japanese.
Jiro Kuwata‘s 1960s Batman manga series will get a complete English release for the first time in both digital and print formats this year. DC Comics will first release a new chapter online each week beginning on Saturday. DC will then publish the complete run by the 8 Man manga artist in three volumes later this year. The manga will appear in its original right-to-left format.
When traveling abroad it’s always advised that you look into the country’s rules and regulations before departing. You never know what activity, considered perfectly acceptable in your homeland, might turn out to be taboo or even a crime in another.
So it’s nice when your hotel sends you a “Warm Notice” like the Star Hotel in China had, which outlines what you may and may not do in your room. The note is dated from 2013 but it was recently posted on Imgur where it gained a lot of attention for it’s simple but important message…
Google Translate, the tech giant’s online language translation service, is not always perfect (for example, translating “twenty” from English to Japanese gives us “20”), but it’s a nice, not to mention free, tool that’s available to anyone with an internet connection. Aside from being very useful, the site is also entertaining with plenty of funny tricks to be found, like how to make Google Translate beatbox.
Here’s another trick to add to the list! Just translate a bunch of dots into Japanese and you’ll be treated to a hilarious, and somewhat melodic, interpretation of those little round symbols that perch at the end of our sentences.
The Chinese language is widely regarded as one of the most difficult languages to learn.
There are more than 80,000 Chinese characters in existence, although a non-native speaker can get by with 1,000 of the most frequently used.
To make matters more complicated, the characters that make up each word or phrase individually carry different meanings based on the context in which they’re used. For example, the Chinese character 吃 could mean “eat,” “drink,” “bear,” or “take,” depending on the phrase that surrounds it.
As hard as the language is, it can also be incredibly poetic when translated character by character into English, and sometimes hilarious.
What happens when you take a prefecture’s name written in kanji and change it into English based on the literal meaning of the Chinese characters? Sounds like you’d get a pretty cool name, right? Well, you may be disappointed to find out that Tokyo (東京), the capital of the nation of Japan, in fact simply means “Eastern Capital,” and Kyoto (京都), the former capital, doesn’t fare much better, coming out as, um, “Capital Capital.”
But with 45 other prefectures to choose from, there’s no reason we can’t find some good ones! Join us after the jump for some fun with kanji.
Hollywood films are popular around the world and Japan gets its fair share of dubbed and subtitled blockbusters. But sometimes things get a little mixed up when changing words from English to Japanese. This gives rise to translated titles that come in a wide range of strange from unintended sexual innuendos to spoilertastic summaries.
Let’s take a look at 13 weird Japanese movie titles that make you wonder what the translators were thinking.
Although major cities in Japan have installed signs in both Japanese and English, many foreign travelers still face difficulties reading the text found on things like menus, product packages, and billboards. That may all change thanks to NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest mobile phone operator, and their new glasses that are capable of almost instantly translating Japanese text.
As anyone who has ever taught or studied a second language will tell you, online translation software simply don’t work. Sure, you can throw in short phrases or key words and it’ll help you out from time to time, and languages that are grammatically similar escape more-or-less unscathed, but the rest of the time the sentences these programs spit out is absolute garbage.
With a keen eye for humour, online hub and original content creators Smosh put together the following hilarious video, ‘Japanese Titanic‘. The script is made up entirely of lines generated by an online translator after turning the original English into Japanese and back again, making this easily one of the funniest videos we’ve seen in weeks.
It was only yesterday that we were chuckling about poorly translated health and safety instructions on household items, and now here we are with possibly the greatest mistranslations ever written.
Proving that it’s not just English that gets shoved through Google Translate until it vomits up bile and nonsense, a Japanese Twitter user has posted an image of the precautions label on a massage towel she bought in China.
We’ve all seen funny spelling errors and mixed-up grammar on labels before, but when a towel starts admitting to us that it can’t stand going outside to ski, you know you’re onto a winner…
Haruki Murakami, the award-winning essayist and critically-acclaimed author of Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore and many others, has spoken out about the recent troubles between Japan, China and Taiwan in a startlingly down-to-earth essay over on the Asahi Shinbun Digital’s culture section.
Motivated in particular by the recent news of China’s bookshops removing titles by Japanese authors, the essay focuses on the importance of cultural exchange in our societies and how, through all forms of media, we are able to communicate our very souls over seas and across borders. Read More
Nevermind searching for restaurants or shooting birds at pigs. You want to know how much radiation you’re surrounded by? You want to unequivocally prove to your friends how many push-ups you’ve done? You want to know where that random aircraft flying overhead is going? We present to you a variety of iPhone apps that vastly expand your capabilities and make the unthought of possible.
Apparently the iPhone camera can “see” various types of rays, such as ultraviolet and infrared, by its semiconductor sensor. With this app, it can detect high amounts of radiation in 30 seconds, while taking 1+ hours for lower amounts. In those cases, they say you might want to plug in the recharger because you’ll need to leave the device still for a long time. So, this app might get different kinds of results depending on their sense of urgency and/or patience… Read More