Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Elementary Japanese

Okay, look: I don't expect the people who write comics to know Japanese. Lord knows they don't know much about real Japanese culture. But at the very least they could check with somebody when they decide to try and use the Japanese language. I've been over this before. This is not allowed:

This is one of the first things you learn in first year Japanese. "San" is an honorific. You never apply an honorific to yourself. It's incredibly arrogant and no Japanese person would ever think of doing that.

Honorifics are exclusively for other people. If this Kodama is supposed to be Japanese he should be saying "Kodama, Legionnaire-san."

And I don't want anyone to pull out the "things can change in a thousand years" argument. The Japanese have been doing this the same way for the past two thousand years. I don't think this most basic of things about the Japanese language will change in the next thousand.

Do a little research, guys. It wouldn't take that much. You can call me, if you want.

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At 3:56 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

I assume that this falls into the same category as Colossus yelling out Bozeimoi every five minutes, or Nightcrawler saying Gotterdamerung or something similar. And yes, I know that I've misspelled it.

But considering how popular Samurai and Ninja are, you would think that something this basic would be taken note of.

At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe that how you know he's a really evil bad guy. He calls himself San... Or Paul Levitz does not speak Japanese...

I kind of like the really evil option though.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Tom Foss said...

I'm sure it's a mistake, and I haven't read the issue, but couldn't a No-Prize answer be that the character in question is the kind of extremely arrogant guy who would do just that? Like American Ph.D.s who insist on being called "Doctor" by everyone?

Alternately, maybe the guy isn't really Japanese. I'm not saying these are intended answers necessarily, but they'd be easy retcons.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Doctor Polaris said...

I earned that PhD and I don't intend to let anyone forget it.


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