Romanisation (E/J)

Ono Seiko and Aaron Gerow onogerow at
Wed Mar 12 09:13:22 EST 2003

I'm enjoying this little discussion. 

But again I'm not convinced myself. Take Tom's example:

>新・第三の極道 勃発 関西極道ウォーズ
>as: Shin Daisan No Gokudo Boppatsu Kansai Gokudo Wars.

True, this is unweildy, but for a reader who doesn't know Japanese, 
rendering the last word Wars or Uozu is not going to make much of a 
difference. Such a reader would want the English and if we are trying to 
avoid the unweildy, we should provide it even if we are doing the 
translating ourselves. The fact is that there are tens of thousands of 
films in Japanese film history, only a tiny fraction of which have ever 
been given English release titles. To talk about these in English 
language texts we just have to make up a translation on our own 
(preferably checking beforehand to see if anyone else has made up an 
English title--again for consistency). Perhaps one can note in a footnote 
that one has done this, but I assume this is a much kinder way of 
accommodating the reader than just giving them Wars over Uozu in a long 
Japanese romanized title. Again, the romanized title can just be used on 
first citation or in the filmography.

By the way, some editors specify that, in figuring out romanization, one 
should follow the Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary. That, in 
some ways, is the bible for modified-Hepburn. 

Aaron Gerow
Associate Professor
Yokohama National University

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