Soft Power and Translating Manga

Translating Manga

  The head of the Theory and Practice of Translation program for my MA was an elderly Chinese man who often made snide remarks about how translating manga wasn’t a “real” form of translation. A view I worry is often shared among professional translators. When the topic of manga comes up many people think of kids people, and never consider the adults that enjoy reading and working with manga translation. They often don’t consider the culture behind each page, the hard work that goes into translating it, or the implications manga can have on society’s perspective of Japan. They don’t… Read More…

Japan’s Lucky Poop – Dajare Puns and Culture

This week I wanted to look at Japan’s fascination with dajare (ダジャレ) or “wordplay/puns” and how their love for them has permeated itself into Japanese customs and media. (I’ve talked about Japanese humour before in Japanese Jokes for English Speakers.)   Japan’s Lucky Poop Dajare One of Japan’s most weird and iconic custom is poo. There is a weird obsession with it to the point where you can buy cute faced poop keychains, and golden poop statues at shrines. So why the poop? In Japanese poop can either be “unko” (うんこ) or “unchi” (うんち), however, “un” (うん) also means luck or… Read More…

Birthdays in Japan

Birthdays in Japan

It was Japanese Talk Onlines 2nd Birthday this week (4th October to be exact)!!! 誕生日おめでとう!!! To celebrate we’re going to talk about how people celebrate their birthdays in Japan as they’re very difference compared to the West. The idea of celebrating the anniversary of one’s birth with a party, cake, family and friends, in the way that we understand it, is a very Western idea. You may have noticed watching J-drama or anime, that when a person celebrates their birthday Happy Birthday is sung. This might not seem that strange but when you think about it, this is a VERY… Read More…

Japan Hacks – Snacking in Japan

When sight-seeing in Japan you might find yourself walking A LOT and so it’s very important to keep yourself hydrated and sufficiently fuelled for the day. You might think that you can just go to any restaurant or shop when you’re hungry but what I found was that often there aren’t always resturants or cafes where you’re going, and if the place you’re going to is particularly touristy you might not be able to get a seat right away (especially if you’re with lots of people). This post is about rationing food and the best things to eat from convenience stores when out… Read More…

Restaurant Japanese – Essential Japanese for Visiting Japan

When you go visit Japan you are most likely to eat out in a restaurant at least once at some point during your visit. So here are some tips on ordering, understanding the server and some general restaurant vocabulary that you might find useful. All the vocabulary and phrases are being added to a new Memrise course on the JTalkOnline Memrise page! There’s also a general course that has the basics on restaurants along with a variety of other topics: Essential Japanese for Visiting Japan Last week’s post: Different types of Japanese restaurants and what to expect  — Getting a Table The… Read More…

Restaurants in Japan

Apologise for the late post but I’m in Tokyo on a business trip and it’s been non-stop for almost a week. Being out here though, is reminding me of some useful Japanese, especially restaurants in Japan. So this week is about food in Japan when you go to visit and useful vocabulary and phrases to use when going to a restaurant (which will all be on Memrise as well). Although I realised that this was quite a large topic, so it will be split into 2 posts with this one about restaurants and the next about useful Japanese phrases which… Read More…