Sunday, February 12, 2006

Poor Bushido

Not only does he lose his, uh, torso, he's also reduced to talking like a shy female librarian.

I don't mean to brag, but I do speak a fair bit of Japanese. And reading the two panels from Teen Titans #32 where Bushido speaks in Japanese was a bit disconcerting for me. Take note of the way that Bushido is speaking in this panel:

Now you see, Japanese people don't really speak that way. Sure, if you opened up a textbook and looked up how to say "Where is the Justice League" it would probably give you "Justice League wa dokoa desu ka?" But almost nobody would actually say it. Unless they were female and trying to be really polite. As a young male, Bushido would be more curt and rough. He'd say something like "Justice League doko?" or "JLA wa?"

Now don't get me wrong; I'm not trying to give Geoff Johns a hard time. Obviously he doesn't speak Japanese. And that's okay. I give him props for trying. I just wanted to mention how off it seems (and let Geoff Johns know that I'm always available for Japanese dialogue coaching).

Oh, and it's probably best that I don't get started on this panel:

Whew...

9 Comments:

At 5:56 AM, Blogger kalinara said...

*nod* I noticed that too. (though "JLA wa?" would be more of a young girl exclamation than a young man's, I think.)

The problem is that textbooks teach desu-masu form as gender neutral in this country. When really, in Japan, it's *not*.

If you're a man and you talk like that in Japan, you're going to get teased a lot.

It's quite silly really, you can hear the (much subtler) differences between male and female speech in English, but people don't seem to notice the much vaster difference in Japanese. Male-spoken Japanese sounds curt and rough and sometimes even rude.

:-) Gotta watch for these things. No one expects it to be perfect, but Bushido shouldn't sound like a woman. :-)

 
At 6:08 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

It depends on how you say "JLA wa?" I hear my male students say stuff like that all the time. *shrug*

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger kalinara said...

You're in Kobe right? That's one of those weird guy kansai things. :-P I always forget about those. In Tokyo/Kanto it's usually with a rising pitch and feminine, I think.

Where *is* Bushido supposed to be from, for that matter?

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

He's probably supposed to be from Tokyo. I mean, as far as most people outside of Japan are concerned Tokyo *is* Japan. Much to my constant chagrin...

 
At 9:42 PM, Blogger Centurion said...

What does 'Faito' ever mean?
'Fight'? good grief...they could have at least used a fancy font to make it seem like he's yelling it harshly...

Then again, I'll hold back so you don't go berserk with your opinion ^_-

 
At 9:53 PM, Blogger redlib said...

Hey hey, sometimes female librarians are not so shy. And you never, ever cross one, because information, that's our business. Faito!

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Centurion: Yes, 'faito' is supposed to mean 'fight'. But there's no way a tough as nails samurai warrior is going to yell 'faito' when he's taking on a invincible superbeing. 'faito' is something junior high girls say to one another before they take a test or play volleyball.

Redlib: I would never, *ever* presume to say that librarians are all shy. I used to work in a library. Some of the toughest (and coolest) ladies I've ever known...

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger jamawalk said...

right, well even if Johns doesn't speak Japanese, doesn't DC employ a large stable of editor-types who are meant to deal with such things?

and would a Japanese warrior really call himself "Bushido"?

that'd be like Wildcat calling himself "Boxing" wouldn't it?

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Martin said...

I think it would be closer to him calling himself "The Sweet Science".

 

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