Ringu Dreamworks (US) DVD Release

Tom Mes china_crisis
Tue Mar 11 18:39:05 EST 2003

>Romanization should reflect how the original title was written

You make interesting points here Aaron, many of which are very valid, 
particularly with regards to library use and academic research.

Purely from a practical standpoint however, in many cases 'direct' 
romanisation yields far too unwieldly results. Writing Perfect Blue as 
'Paafekutu Buruu', Unlucky Monkey as 'Anrakki Manki', or Dead or Alive as 
'Deddo Oa Araibu' may be correct romanisation, but they could hardly be 
called workable.

Also, I imagine the vast majority of non-Japanese speakers would pronouncee 
these romanisations in a way that doesn't even come close to the Japanese 
pronounciation of the original katakana or even to the original English. It 
requires some knowledge of the sound scheme on which katakana is based and 
of the fact that Japanese 'imitate' the sounds of foreign words. As familiar 
as we all are with these principles, I doubt the casual viewer of Japanese 
films will be aware of them.

There are numerous problems with romanisation, as you mentioned. It's 
interesting you should mention Cure, since the romanisation of this title is 
usually rendered as 'Kyua'. But this is incorrect. If we stick to faithfully 
rendering the katakana, it would have to be Kiyua (or perhaps Kiyuaa). 
Surely the average mortal would be much better off finding the title 
rendered simply as 'Cure', because I'd hate to hear what they would make of 
the pronounciation of 'Kiyuaa'.

>From the point of view of cross-media reference, I can certainly see the 
benefit of sticking to the system you describe, if only for the benefit of 
consistency. But for day-to-day practicality? I strongly feel that this 
aspect too is a responsibility we have towards the people we write for or 


Midnight Eye

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