mirai y (eacmd@hotmail.com)
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 21:09:03 EST

>Yes, and there is the fact that I would expect Duo, for example, to use
>street language, while Quatre would have to be formal, owing to his
>upbringing. Heero and trowa would have a heavily technical use of
>language, owing to their backgrounds, while Wufei would probably be most

You're correct. In the original Japanese, Duo uses a rough, street
language. Quatre is quite formal, almost feminine in speech. Heero and
Trowa is always concise and to the point (sort of a speaking equivalent of
technical writing...) Wufei is also concise but more rough in language than
Heero and Trowa. In Japanese, it's quite possible to show personalities
just by different speech patterns. It's not possible to do this in English.

> >Uchu sounds awfully like Cantonese (Chinese) for universe. Are you sure
> >it's space not universe?

Uchu can mean universe in Japanese but it depends on the usage. For example
Uchusen is spaceship. In the Gundam world, "Uchu" always meant space, as
opposed to "chikyu" - earth.

>Exactly. The Filipino terminology for that is based on inflection and
>intonation, as well as usage -- which worked quite well in translation. I
>think the language barrier here is that English is a very specific
>language, whereas the original language is very nuanced.

I agree with you here. Japanese relies heavily on intonation and
inflection, something that most Americans have a very difficult time
learning because it's practically absent in English. Japanese language has
a natural rhythm which is used in poetry such as haiku. English really does
not have it so it relies on such things as rhymes. I think this is the
reason why so many lines which sound so nice in Japanese Gundam doesn't have
the same impact in English.

One of the well known lines out of First, the series was: (Amuro after he
killes Lala) "Torikaeshino tsukanai koto o, torikaeshino tsukanai koto o,
shite shimatta" which has a 5-7-5-7-5 syllable speech pattern. It's
similar to tanka (Japanese poetry which is slightly longer than haiku) and
has a wonderful, easy to remember rhythm to it. Unfortunately in English,
it was translated to: "I did something I can't take back" which is correct
in meaning but loses the poetic aspect. (It was popular among us anime fans
back then to use this line for any minor mistake... which was rather fun)

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