Thursday, January 11, 2007

Your Nick in Japanese

After seeing someone mistakenly claim that their Digg name was Japanese for something-or-other, and being absolutely incorrect (as in: using words that don't exist in Japanese and poor grammar beyond that), I figured I'd do a service to the Digg community and extend an offer: over the next week or so, comment here or on the Digg story I am about to post, and I'll translate any nick you designate (please, only 1) into Japanese. I figure my attempts will probably be better than other Diggers (barring native Japanese and JLPT level 1s).

Also, you may optionally request a transcription instead of a translation. The difference is thus: "Kyle" is Gaelic for "stream" or "strait" and "Goetz" is the pet form for "God" in German. Thus, "Kyle Goetz" may be written "Ogawa Jin" (小川神 -- which happens to sound like an actual Japanese name, including extremely popular family name "Ogawa"). This is a translation. For "mage of death" ("magimashinu" on Digg), a translation would be "shi no maji."

A transcription is a phonetic representation. For example, "Kyle Goetz" is "kairu gettsu" (カイル・ゲッツ) and "magimashinu" is マギマシヌ.

I figure I'll just post my translations as soon as I can here, on my blog. The smartest thing to do would probably be to just add the Atom feed of my site to Opera, Sage on Firefox, or whatever RSS reader you use, and after I post my translations, take the feed off. I hardly ever blog anymore, so you most likely don't have to worry about getting some other blog post showing up in your RSS reader that you don't want to read.

Also, note that I don't use any kind of advertising, so I'm not doing this for monetary gain. I just don't like seeing people use languages incorrectly, and since I speak Japanese, it might be kind of fun for me to help out some hapless users.

A couple more caveats: I'd prefer to not be translating someone's actual name (unless you provide me with the meaning of your name) because it's harder than translating a phrase such as the aforementioned "mage of death." The other caveat is that you should not expect your name to be translated as perfectly as mine can be, because I just lucked out. Granted, there are Japanese people who can do a transliteration of your name into kanji that give a new meaning (such as a professor in Japan who gave me 海留 for "kairu," meaning roughly "across the ocean"), but I am not comfortable doing this, as I'm not native in the language. I could probably do it, and you may ask me to, but I do state openly that it may not have any kind of beauty to it.

OK, I'm getting rather long-winded. Request away!

Oh, and if I get 1,000 requests, I'm sorry, but I don't have time to do 1,000 translations (this is supposed to be fun for me, too). However, I'll do as many as possible. However, I figure, since I don't think I have any Diggers watching what I digg, there probably will be only 4 diggs or so, and I won't have anything to worry about.


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