Subject: [FFML] Re: [fanfic][draft][Ranma/MKR] Fire in the Water, chapter one
From: "Jerry Levine []" <>
Date: 2/12/2007, 12:53 AM

Just because I had a yen (modern Japanese currency unit) to contribute...

Reading a piece where the author stops to put in large-scale usage of 
Japanese, especially transliterated (read: obliterated and obfuscated) 
Japanese, is pretty aggravating and, frankly, will cause me to stop 
reading - it's just too difficult to switch gears from English to 
transliterated Japanese.

However, the usage here isn't so terribly awful, although I think that if 
you're writing in English, you should write in English, unless your 
character is _deliberately_ speaking another language.


Harry looked askance at Hermione, who was deep in attempted conversation 
with the little pink haired girl. Hermione was getting redder and redder in 
the face as she attempted to communicate what she wanted.

"Je voudrais louer un �quipement de ski, s'il vous plait," spoke Hermione, 
for what seemed to her to be the thousandth time. And just like the first 
thousand times, the little girl, growing more and more frustrated, replied 
"Je ne parle pas fran�ais."

Harry thought that it was all rather odd and much like an episode of that 
television show, _Family Guy_, that he had overheard Dudley listening to one 


Clearly, there, the usage of reasonably simple French _assists_ in telling 
what is probably a somewhat funny anecdote. Lurker's usage of "tasukete" is 
not horrible, but I don't think it's great. I can come up with some reasons 
for it, even though they're clearly not really necessary:

1) Ranma speaks English, but the girl in the dream is shouting in a foreign 
language (Japanese),
2) Ranma speaks Japanese, but it's been through the universal translator, 
which cannot translate dream-speak,
3) Lurker wrote the story in Japanese, but that word was accidentally 
skipped in the translation, and so forth.

Although I don't find myself as "put out" by the usage as Jorge does, I 
definitely agree with him in that it shouldn't be used, as it removes the 
reader from the writing, is confusing, and engenders misconception.


(And as a reply to Sebastian Palm: The US voice actors actually generally 
have many other acting jobs, however, voice acting is extremely lucrative 
and an excellent way to, say, make money. It's better to place the blame on 
the bowdlerization of the original Japanese script and poor directing, 

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, February 11, 2007 10:45 PM
Subject: [FFML] Re: [fanfic][draft][Ranma/MKR] Fire in the Water, chapter 

In a message dated 2/11/07 10:39:07 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
Jorge A Pratt wrote:


This is not a gripe _against_ the use of Japanese in fics, but rather 
argument _for_ the use of English: running this scene in my mind, I 
that --for an audience whose first or second language is English-- the
"Tasukete" removes the reader one step from the intended meaning. A
translated "Help"/"Help me" would feel much more visceral, more urgent,
it would draw the reader in more strongly.

Jorge is absolutely right. Actually, in my case, he's more than right.

See, I know no japanese at all. Right up until I read Jorge's comments,
I thought Hikaru was calling some name I had forgotten from MKR. The
emotion came through fine, as it is derived from the context, but I got
absolutely the wrong meaning and would have been wondering later in the
fic when this Tasukete person was going to show up.
We never watched MKR in the original Japanese, did we?

"Tasukete...onegai, kono sekai o tasukete...densetsu no Majikku Naito!!"

See, it's a direct homage to the very first scene of the series, and since 
tend to "hear" character dialogue in Japanese in my head, when I don't see
any particular reason to "translate", or when I feel it sticks better in
Japanese, that's how I go with it.

This is an argument I've been having with people on and off for the past
decade, and my stance on it isn't about to waver. It's not as though it
takes more than five seconds to use JDIC/Jeffrey's J-E server (which
everyone should have bookmarked by default anyway) or Google to "footnote"
the Japanese dialogue I use, so why should I stifle myself?
To help keep readers from having to stop reading your work to open another
page to look up what you are writing would be one good reason.  Kinda 
helps them
stay in the moment and understand what you are trying to get across 
How about compromising with a glossary of used Japanese terms at the end 
the chapter?  That way the reader can quickly scan down and find any 
translation and then get back to the story without losing train of 

Just my two cents worth.


Outlaw 1

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