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Japanese

Casshern

For those of you who are intrigued yet mystified by the Casshern trailer… this is my horrible “I’ve taken two whole years of Japanese, golly-gee-wow” attempt at “translating” it.

MAN SPEAKING IN BOARD ROOM: koko ni, hitotsu no seika wo happyo sasete itadakitai.  sono nawa, shinzou saibougu.
[here]  [one] [product/result]  [announce receive/ask to do] [heart/mental image/newly made] [cyborg]

Here, I would like to present to you a product.  That is, a new cyborg.

MALE VOICE 2: kore ga…[something?  hu?] koko made [something] da na…
[this is]  [this far]

What?  It’s already come this far?  (this is pretty much a guess based on the guy’s tone…)

MALE VOICE 3: okusama, ko-byokidatou wo okishimashita ka.
[Madam] [illness] [occurred]

Madam, have you become ill?  (there seems to be a malicious undertone to this.  also, it’s spoken very formally)

MALE VOICE 4: runa wa dou surun da.

What is Runa/Luna doing?  (not specifically; more like, what is she up to?  what’s on her mind?  what’s her problem?)

MALE VOICE 5: tomodachi katta dakatte iru no ni jibun dake konnata tokoro ni du(?) wake de wakanai.
[friend][?][?][exist/are (a person/people)][nominalizer particle][directional/purpose particle][self][only][this place][reason] [of] [I don’t know]

(Um…yeah.  Your guess is as good as mine.)

LAB TECHNICIAN (or something): geninfume desu!
[cause unknown] [it is]

We don’t know what caused it!

MALE VOICE: shinzou saibo wa mada kansei se no ka?

Isn’t the new cyborg finished yet?!  (I’m pretty sure on this one, but I could be wrong)

MAN WITH RED LIGHT ON HIS FACE: dou yuu koto da?

What is the meaning of this?

MALE VOICE: gunbu gan go iteru to yuu koto desu.
[military authority/rural area/county] [frozen]

(These words could really mean too many things for me to even make a good guess.  But I think the “frozen” bit must be correct, seeing as there is so much snow in that scene.)

GIRL EMBRACING BOY: naze hito wa tatakau no kana?

I wonder why people go to war… (This might be “So that’s why people go to war…” or something…I’m still sort of unsure about the “kana” form)

WOMAN: anata katta wa.  nani wo shita no desu ka?

I found you out!  What have you done?!  (I’m pretty sure this is it, but I’m still bad about plain form because they leave out lots of particles that could help me figure out what parts of speech words are…also, when she says “anata”, she might be meaning “dear”, as in “my husband”.  This is typically how the word is used these days.  If that’s the case, then it’s just “I caught you, husband!” or something similar.)

MALE VOICE: shio wa samaru anata wo shinsou ningen to shioshu.
[opportunity][topic particle][?][you][preposition marker][depths/deep level/real] [human][part of speech marker][?]

(This looks something like “I took the opportunity to [do something involving] real humanity”, but who knows…)

MALE VOICE 2 (gasping): ningen wo?
[human] [obj.particle]

To humans?!  (or maybe “Humans/humanity [are being ___]?!”)

ICY LOOKING GUY (Casshern?): minagoro shissuto.  (sheest?)

(NO CLUE WHATSOEVER!  I would like to just guess that he means “I’ll kill everyone”, but I can’t find any evidence for that theory :>)

FRANTIC MAN ON PHONE: kodomo(?) aru(?) no(?) kyu(?) hyaku shiro!

(Some details that probably explain everything.  I don’t even know if I transcribed the words correctly ;_;)  Quickly!

MALE VOICE (whispered): Hello. (I think, anyway…)

MAN (murmuring to woman): watashi no buwe no tsukutano fifu […?]

(People shouldn’t mutter.  ;P  Other than “my”, I have no idea what he’s saying.)

KNIGHT-LOOKING GUY (Casshern?): kisama…!

You…!  (kisama generally refers to someone you are very unhappy with.)

WHITE-HAIRED MAN: dare da?!

Who are you?!  (or “Who is that?!”)

MAN WITH SHINY ROUND THING ON HEAD (Casshern?): ore wa mo ningen ja nain da yo!

I’m not human anymore!  (This doesn’t sound like a random statement, but rather he’s saying this in response to something, or as a reason for something)

MALE VOICEOVER: tatta hitotsu no inochi wo sutete, umari kawatta fujimi no karada.  tetsu no akuma wa tadaite kudaku.  Casshern ga yareneba.  Dare ga yuru(?)
[only] [one] [power] [suteru-to abandon/throw away?][buried/surrounded/overflow/filled] [another/different/various/particular/unusual] [immortal] [body] [iron] [demon]  [comes?] [break/smash]
Only one power (something), filled another immortal body (???). The iron demon comes to destroy.  Casshern can’t be stopped.  Who (something)?

So yeah, wasn’t that great?  My attempt sure cleared THAT up!!!  ^^;;;  If anyone has a real clue, be sure to leave a comment or send me an email and let me know.

One reply on “Casshern”

Original comments from Livejournal

mattgunterman – 2004-03-20 08:16 am UTC

Well … At least I was impressed …
Well, I for one was quite interested in seeing the pure transliteration before you offered up the English. I know NOTHING about Japanese … it’s undoubtedly pretty much nothing close to Chinese, which I’ve studied.

Glad to see you FINALLY updated your site. How many calories have I wasted clicking my bookmark these last few weeks?

cosleia – 2004-03-20 04:55 pm UTC

Re: Well … At least I was impressed …
Ha, ha :>

And yeah, Japanese and Chinese are very different! Many linguists today believe that Japanese is an Altaic language. Chinese languages are from the Sino-Tibetan family.
This is a very good site about language families that also explains to some degree the methodology used in classification.

The classification of Japanese has been highly controversial over the years. Its similarity to Korean has been hotly denied and debated, especially by Japanese and Korean linguists. The prevailing theory now, that is grudgingly accepted even by Japanese scholars, is that the Japanese language is an offshoot of an ancestor language of Korean, brought to the islands by people migrating from the mainland. Japan’s “indigenous” language (which is even more difficult to classify), Ainu, was spoken by the people living there when people from the mainland pretty much invaded and pushed them north.

Ainu really isn’t spoken anymore, although some descendants, living in the northern island of Hokkaido, have tried to keep the language alive. Cities and landmarks in Hokkaido often have Ainu names. I once did a project on it! :>

Most linguists, as far as I can tell, lump Ainu into the Altaic family, for the sake of neatness.

At any rate, Japanese is certainly not Sino-Tibetan. Japanese is a pitch language–it has a system of two “pitches” or stresses, i.e. stressed or unstressed–while Chinese is, of course, tonal. I’m sure there are plenty of other differences, but that’s a big one.

It can be confusing because Japanese uses Chinese characters for stems in writing. Japan, like Korea, adopted the Chinese characters because they were a readily available writing form–easier than just making one up out of thin air! Later, though, Japanese scholars created the katakana and then hiragana syllabaries, for use with words and inflections that didn’t exist in Chinese. Korea, on the other hand, developed a whole new writing system. I don’t know a whole lot about Korea, but the story goes that a past king (prince?) decided he didn’t want Korea to be a “subject” of China, and therefore he felt the country needed its own writing script–so he made one up himself!

I’d like to study Chinese sometime. My friend sent me a really cool sound file once in which she said her name in both Mandarin and Cantonese–neat! I’d also like to study Korean–which, at least in my opinion, would probably be easier, since I’ve studied Japanese. I get the impression that it would be like a person who’s studied French moving to study Spanish. (I need to study Spanish too…)


Original comments from Xanga

Man alive. Why not just put down the English rather than the Japanese jibberish and the technical bullshit? You just hurt my head.
Posted 3/19/2004 11:11 PM by JakeThorin

Because…I have a BA in Linguistics!!!!!!! :>

It’s so the people who do understand it can see my reasoning.
Posted 3/19/2004 11:43 PM by cosleia

I read that as:

Because…I have a BA in Linguistics!!!!!! :>

It’s so I can show off to all my friends that I can do incredible things with language!
Posted 3/22/2004 12:13 AM by JakeThorin

Wow…you think that’s incredible? *glows*
Posted 3/22/2004 8:12 AM by cosleia

You totally missed the point. Nomoreepropsforyou!
Posted 3/22/2004 11:43 PM by JakeThorin

Meat, meat

Eat some meat.

Eating meat just can’t be beat.

Coke, Smoke

Coke and a smoke

Drown your meat with Coke and a smoke
Posted 3/25/2004 11:18 PM by JakeThorin

Comments are closed.