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An interface between the two languages


Hiroyuki
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I would just like to give a few hints for fellow translators:

The most important online resource for me is Jim Breen's WWWJDIC which is an online dictionary with many functions. It allows you to look up kanji using a multiradical method which is great if you don't know the reading, and it has all the other functions of a basic dictionary.

Recently an extremely helpful piece of software has come out. If you are using the Firefox browser (which you should probably be using anyway. It's free) you can download an extension for your browser called Rikaichan (also free). Rikaichan allows you to place your cursor over any Japanese text, including kanji, hiragana, and katakana and a small popup will appear with the reading of that text in hiragana as well as the meaning of the kanji (see image below). You need to download the Rikaichan plugin as well as the J->E dictionary.

With these two tools you can figure out almost any Japanese material that can be accessed on the web. Some knowledge of Japanese grammer, and being able to read at least hiragana, will really help you when using both these tools.

When you are trying to find out the most common way of saying something in Japanese you can use google to see how popular that usage is. Just enter the variations of the word in Japanese into google and take note of how many results you get.

Good luck to everyone who is studying Japanese food and language!

gallery_23727_2765_5880.jpg

Edited by _john (log)
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Thanks, John. :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

These tools will reduce the number of posts that I have to deal with!

That was my thought exactly! Now you can focus on other obscure cultural questions and product searches :biggrin: .

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  • 5 weeks later...

I just watched Tampopo (again), and I just noticed that the word Tampopo is spelled TA N PO PO in Japanese. How come it isn't translated as Tanpopo in English, rather than Tampopo?

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It's probably because, while the correct spelling is n, the actual pronunciation is m.

The same goes for shimbun (newspapar) vs. shinbun

tempura vs. tenpura.

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Oh, so it really IS pronounced taMpopo in Japanese?

I thought it just sounded like that because the consonant immediately following the N uses the same uh, "mouth/lip position" as M (ie P)? When pronounced, it's just about impossible to tell the difference between taMpopo and taNpopo; teMpura and teNpura; shiMbun and shiNbum because of the following P and B.

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[m] is a bilabial nasal (a sound produced with both lips while restricting air from coming out of the nose)

[n] is an alveolar nasal (produced by placing the tongue on the alveolar ridge--that ridge on the roof of your mouth--while restricting air from coming out of the nose)

In many languages, sounds normally pronounced as [n] will become [m] when followed by other bilabial sounds ( bilabial stops/plosives and [p], and perhaps the bilabial fricative in Japanese--normally transcribed as "f" like "fu", though I don't know if there's a word in Japanese than has ~nfu~ in it). It's because it's more natural for the mouth (lips and tongue) to move that way. In Japanese, what is normally transcribed as syllable-final "n" can be writtten as either "m" or "n" and be considered "correct".

Anyway, it's not entirely correct to say that "Tampopo" is more correctly spelled than "Tanpopo" or vice versa because if one were to "correctly spell" it, it would be written in hiragana, not in the Roman alphabet. As far as I know, there is no "official" rule of transcribing Japanese words into English sounds, and as I teacher I have seen a number of variations even in English textbooks (is it "Fu" or "Hu"? "Tsu" or "Tu"?).

Transliterations are rarely perfect replicas of the transcriptions of the words.

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There are rules for romanizing Japanese. The problem is that there are several sets and people seem to choose different ones. I highly recommend the Modified Hepburn, because I think it is easiest to use and read.

Without getting into nasal and plosive sounds I'll just say that when N precedes P or B in Japanese the pronunciation of the N sound more closely resembles the english M. For example: Nipponbashi is how the station name in Osaka is written in Hiragana but it is romanized as Nippombashi There are other examples of this such as when a SU sound following a N sound becomes ZU. For example: kaiten zushi (conveyer belt sushi). There is another class of sound changes that actually change the way a word is written in hiragana. I think that kudzu (bean curd skin) is an example of this.

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There are rules for romanizing Japanese. The problem is that there are several sets and people seem to choose different ones. I highly recommend the Modified Hepburn, because I think it is easiest to use and read.

When I said "official" I should have said "standard", in the sense of one way that is accepted by all, and used by all. The Hepburn system is, by the way, a method of transcribing rather than transliterating, which is what we were discussing with the use of n vs m.

Without getting into nasal and plosive sounds I'll just say that when N precedes P or B in Japanese the pronunciation of the N sound more closely resembles the english M.

That's pretty much what I said.

There is another class of sound changes that actually change the way a word is written in hiragana. I think that kudzu (bean curd skin) is an example of this.

That's an entirely different kind of example. The [n] and [m] we are discussing are allophones--different versions of the same sound (what you would be referring to as "sound changes"). Substituting one sound for the other, and you'd still have the same meaning for the same word.

The "zu" and "dzu" you allude to with "kudzu" are phonemes--these are not the result of sound changes, and if you substitute one for the other, you'd have entirely different words.

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Hi everyone,

I was hoping someone could help me out. I had parked my car in the city during the week, and when I came back to the car, I found a flyer on my windscreen. Since I can't read or speak Japanese, I was quite interested and thought it looked like an advertisement for eggs or food of some kind.

Could someone please translate or tell me what it is? Any help would be greatly appreciated, it's got me stumped! :)

Here are photos of the flyer:

1.)

japflyer0020vx.th.jpg

2.)

japflyer0039ds.th.jpg

3.)

japflyer0042gr.th.jpg

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Three photos of the same flyer??

Here is a translation:

New Year's cards

released Mon. November 1.

Eggs in packs offered at 9:00 a.m. November 1

to the first 50 people

With our whle heart

Nagasu Post Office

The chicken says:

It's good.

Great!

Some creature? (I can't tell what it is) says:

Happy New Year.

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Three photos of the same flyer??

Here is a translation:

New Year's cards

released Mon. November 1.

Eggs in packs offered at 9:00 a.m. November 1

to the first 50 people

With our whle heart

Nagasu Post Office

The chicken says:

It's good.

Great!

Some creature? (I can't tell what it is) says:

Happy New Year.

Sorry, I included 3 incase one of them was easier to read than the others.

Wow, sounds a bit over due, new years 5 1/2 months too late!

Thanks for the translation, at least now I know! :)

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  • 1 month later...

Here's one. Way back when I lived in the mid-west (US), I used to get ground two-way chuck for hamburger meat when we decided to do a bbq.

Does anyone know what two-way chuck would be called in Japanese?

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Here's one.  Way back when I lived in the mid-west (US), I used to get ground two-way chuck for hamburger meat when we decided to do a bbq. 

Does anyone know what two-way chuck would be called in Japanese?

Before I can answer your question, you have to tell me what two-way chuck means. :sad::biggrin:

Kris, Helen, anyone?

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Before I can answer your question, you have to tell me what two-way chuck means. :sad:  :biggrin:

Kris, Helen, anyone?

according to http://foodfest.neworleans.com/top_ten.php?TTID=43 it's

Two-way chuck [is] the leaner two-third of the chuck [steak], with the fatty section removed.

...also we've never heard of it here in Australia - we call it premium lean mince.

Hope that helps, Hiroyuki. :blush:

-Rob.

Edited by Kuma (log)
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Chuck means shoulder roast?

If so,

Shoulder roast = Kata rohsu (肩ロース)

Premium = Jou (上), ii tokoro (いいところ)

Lean = Akami (赤身), abura no nai tokoro (あぶらのないところ)

Mince = minchi (ミンチ), hikiniku (ひき肉)

Thus, I would say to the butcher things like:

肩ロースの、あぶらのない、いいところのミンチ,

上「肩ロース」のミンチ(ひき肉), and so on.

Just copy and paste the above phrases, print them out, and show them to your butcher. :biggrin:

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I have never heard of two way chuck either and could only find two references to it...

It sounds on the lean side and most Japanese ground meat isn't. This might be something you will have to get a butcher to do or buy a meat grinder and do it yourself. :biggrin: Outside of a couple packs (at I think may be Costco and one or two of the international markets in Tokyo) I have never seen the fat percentage on ground meat. I have seen packs of ground pork labeled akami、which is the lean cut and I think I may have seen akami ground beef at a Seijo Ishii but it had a ridiculous price....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 months later...

I'm trying to search the web for stainless steel chopsticks that are made in the Japanese style and are 18 - 20cm in length. I'm not sure what the best search string would be to find what I'm looking for but ステンレススチール箸 didn't really turn up anything useful. Has anyone seen stainless steel chopsticks like this? what would be the best way to search for these on the internet?

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I'm trying to search the web for stainless steel chopsticks that are made in the Japanese style and are 18 - 20cm in length. I'm not sure what the best search string would be to find what I'm looking for but ステンレススチール箸 didn't really turn up anything useful. Has anyone seen stainless steel chopsticks like this? what would be the best way to search for these on the internet?

Try ステンレス箸.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't know where to post this, so I thought I would add it here. For those trying to study Japanese, try using http://www.popjisyo.com/WebHint/Portal_e.aspx

It allows you to view Japanese webpages in Japanese, that's right, but when you put your pointer over a Japanese word it tells all the information you need to translate it yourself. I think this is more for intermediate to advanced level, you have to have a grasp on the way the language works. Try it out.

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  • 1 month later...
One correction:  not nigiri sushi but nigiri zushi.  When preceded by certain words, sushi changes into zushi.

Thus,

chirashi zushi

inari zushi

temaki zushi

If you read Japanese hiragana, this may be easier to understand:  su す changes to zu ず.

Some more examples:

mawari zushi

kaiten zushi :smile:

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