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Have a question that's been bugging me for years

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Kiks
Post #575497
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10:27 pm, Oct 31 2012
Posts: 89


Anyways this has been bugging me from the first time I heard an american (not sure about the other eng. speaking nations) say the word "anime"..... idk maybe you're just americanizing the word to a completely new level, but it just sounds so wrong that I always wanted to ask why, but would soon forget about it (probably the lack of interest in anime, since I was always a manga and novle fan).

And now that I have nothing better to do on this rainy evening I wanna ask why do you say "anime" so differently, it's not even spoken as it is written but as if you wanted to say animation but stopped halfway to "anima"/tion with the last "a" spoken as "ei", instead of how it should be by saying "anim" normally with a silent e and no "a"(ei) at the end(in english not japanese ofc). And as far as I remember it was said like that in my childhood some 15 years ago when I remember watching dubbed anime in english, tho it was on the international channels so might be smt different from yours even back then.

Just for reference this is how it should be said in Japanese by a very weird voice LOL:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anime.ogg

P.S. FYI this is coming from someone with a natural talent in languages and english that can easily compete with anyone born in an english speaking country bigrazz

edit: should probably explain a bit more on why it sounds weird to me XD
I simply get languages, any language that I learnt when I started just by listening to it for a while I'd get it even how the grammar should go, not trying to brag here but I just felt it, idk how to explain it T_T
Anyways the same thing when reading new words that I never saw before in english, it just came naturally, the first one being ofc anime which made me think that the person who said it back then was a bit...anyways long story short it just feels unnatural to me not sure about others but talked to a few people with great eng that weren't english born and raised and they agreed

Last edited by Kiks at 10:51 pm, Oct 31

Baalzebup
Post #575499
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10:53 pm, Oct 31 2012
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I don't have the answers, but I'm very curious about this as well.

My language base is kinda similar to yours and I've often been irked by all these weird english-y twistings of Japanese words and names. Like this one Youtube channel where some guy makes anime reviews. The reviews themselves are fine, but hearing the dude saying names like Bakemonogatari, Inuyasha etc really gets to me.

Then again, it works the other way around too. Most English in various anime are all kinds of horrible. There are exceptions, but overall it's quite bad. Latest that comes to mind is the last ep of Fate/Zero. The funeral speech is grating on the ears and the brain.

I'd hazard a guess that it's due to lesser interest in learning foreign languages and especially the pronounciation. Which is kinda weird because English has all sorts of weird pronounciation things going when compared to the written component. You'd think they would be able to pick up the other ways of saying stuff quite easily.

So yeah.. No idea, but it is both funny and a bit sad.

Quote from Mangaotaku-chan
You're right, basically, the word "anime" is a shortened version of animation. It's origin was the English word. It's meaning merely came to mean Japanese animations. It could also mean anything animated, but it is most often used to refer to the Japanese anime we know and love.


The referring thing is kinda funny too. For the Japanese, anime = animation, but for us outside of Japan, the word anime is used to specifically refer to Japanese animation. Same with manga. Another good example is the popular western use of the word hentai.

Last edited by Baalzebup at 11:12 pm, Oct 31

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Mangaotaku-chan
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Falcon
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10:57 pm, Oct 31 2012
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You're right, basically, the word "anime" is a shortened version of animation. It's origin was the English word. It's meaning merely came to mean Japanese animations. It could also mean anything animated, but it is most often used to refer to the Japanese anime we know and love. That's why it's so weird compared to all other Japanese words because it wasn't originally Japanese.

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Kiks
Post #575503 - Reply to (#575500) by Mangaotaku-chan
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11:46 pm, Oct 31 2012
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Quote from Mangaotaku-chan
You're right, basically, the word "anime" is a shortened version of animation. It's origin was the English word. It's meaning merely came to mean Japanese animations. It could also mean anything animated, but it is most often used to refer to the Japanese anime we know and love. That's why i ...


Yes, but the meaning of the word anime and the way it's written gives it a new "origin" - for the lack of a better word and it in my opinion shouldn't be read as a shortened version of animation which is a word for every kind of animated filmography wink . Wouldn't you agree??

As I said above the word itself shouldn't be spoken like that in the english language XD, since it's written as anime but read as if it were written anima(to be even more correct it should be written as animei), with a different pronunciation of the letter "a" at the end then it is for anima(meaning soul, spirit and psyche)

Last edited by Kiks at 12:06 am, Nov 1

FormX
Post #575505 - Reply to (#575503) by Kiks
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12:07 am, Nov 1 2012
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Quote from Kiks
Yes, but the meaning of the word anime and the way it's written gives it a new "origin" - for the lack of a better word and it in my opinion shouldn't be read as a shortened version of animation which is a word for every kind of animated filmography wink. Wouldn't you agree??

As I said above the word itself shouldn't be spoken like that in the english language XD, since it's written as anime but read as if it were written anima, with a different pronunciation of the letter "a" at the end then it is for anima(meaning soul, spirit and psyche)

Didn't you say you were a language prodigy?

Kind of hard to explain, but that is just how Japanese works. It's not English.

They they take a lot of words from English and shorten them, and they are used as Japanese words in day to day life. They aren't trying to speak English. This is why their English is so bad and why it is so difficult for them to learn proper English.

Reasons for this include a history of contact with the West and the Japanese language possessing approximately five times less phonemes than English.

EDIT: Haha oh right wrong answer, thanks Baalzebup. His answer is about what I would've said then.

Last edited by FormX at 12:24 am, Nov 1

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Baalzebup
Post #575506 - Reply to (#575505) by FormX
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12:20 am, Nov 1 2012
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^ You're answering to the wrong question. The question was why do English-speakers/Americans pronounce anime in an English-y way, when the word itself has been .. Japanified.

Basically the argument is that while the word anime has its roots as a shortened form of "animation", it ,by itself, should now be considered a Japanese word and thus should be pronounced as the Japanese do, and it is bugging him that English speakers pronounce it in the way described above.

So not why are the Japanese bad at English, but why are the English bad at Japanese. Except we're talking about an individual word, instead of the language as a whole.

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waftingwish
Post #575507 - Reply to (#575503) by Kiks
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12:42 am, Nov 1 2012
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Quote from Kiks
As I said above the word itself shouldn't be spoken like that in the english language XD, since it's written as anime but read as if it were written anima(to be even more correct it should be written as animei), with a different pronunciation of the letter "a" at the end then it is for anima(meaning soul, spirit and psyche)..

American English speakers tend to draw out vowel sounds. That is why the last letter is pronounced as the letter a (ei) instead of the Japanese e. Americans know it is a Japanese word that should be pronounced with three syllables, but the tendency is to say the word with American vowel sounds. Short "e" sounds are generally not found at the end of English words. I can't even think of such a word off the top of my head. Also if you want to get technical and follow English pronunciation rules, the letters a-n-i-m-e should be pronounced such that it rhymes with the word lime (the fruit).

Edit: @kiks
I don't know what mistakes you speak of. No laws of the English language were broken. When words are taken into English the spelling is retained but often the pronunciation is altered. We usually don't change the spellings of loan words as the Japanese do. I suppose it's worth noting there is some debate in certain circles over whether all English words should be spelled phonetically.

Last edited by waftingwish at 4:46 am, Nov 1

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TheShawn
Post #575512
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1:27 am, Nov 1 2012
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Every culture corrupts foreign words to suit its own phonetic library. Take the treatment of "don't mind" in Japanese as an example; donmai.

As for English pronunciation rules, they're loose at the best of times, and even more so when a foreign word is brought into question. I imagine this has something to do with the fact that our language is a rather odd mixture of sometimes contradictory Germanic, French, and Latin roots.

Also, before you get too complacent in your own mastery of the language, work your way through some of the writings of Chaucer and Marlowe, and then we can talk about your innately nuanced understanding of all things English. Go on, I'll wait.

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Kiks
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1:30 am, Nov 1 2012
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I believe you guys are getting me wrong here I'm not asking why are they pronouncing a word that is originally in english differently it's why are they writing and speaking it differently that bugs me...... a word that is written as anime can't be read with that kind of pronunciation no matter how far you stretch the laws of the english language and as stated before since it is a word taken from the kana a-ni-me which the Japanese in some ways use for foreign languages which degrades their english I agree with all that, but if you're gonna take it exactly as it is written from that degraded kind of jenglish then at least have the common sense to read it in your own language as it should be properly read. I'm not saying to start reading it like the Japanese say it, but make it your own without breaking the laws of the english language - mainly when you put it back from kana then you can't write it as anime and read it as if it were written as anima(or to make it more obvious how it sounds animei), but something in the lines of anim with a silent e at the ending no ei...... I hope you finally understand what I'm trying to say here.

And at last that's why I'm asking why and how can you use it like you haven't even noticed how wrong it is/sounds. And to waffing wish with mistakes of that level you can't really say anything to the japanese or their way of turning other languages into smt completely different bigrazz

@ the shawn those two are smt else I know but the reason why they do so is because no matter how huge the language is it will never have enough words to express oneself and their ideals upon someone else. And when I said innately nuanced understanding I meant I understand languages like how kids do their own language...... I just feel how the grammar should go and how things should be pronounced and such, without even needing to learn beforehand all the laws and guidelines of that lng. idk how to explain it I heard it has smt to do with perfect pitch hearing and memory and some other thing that I don't feel like going into details

Last edited by Kiks at 1:43 am, Nov 1

Zarallx
Post #575517
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2:01 am, Nov 1 2012
Posts: 71


Aren't you guys making this too complicated? It all boils down to the fact the first American who widely used the word said it one way, ppl heard him and jumped on his bandwagon. And now we accept that's the way to say it. We're americans... we just do whatever we want. I don't believe there is a certain reason we say it the way we do, or a way you can prove that it's the correct way to say it. we just do.



chineserider
Post #575519
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3:09 am, Nov 1 2012
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To me, it feels like the Americanized pronunciation of "anime" is just like "animation" without the -tion. And probably because of how it sounds, people chose to spell the word like how it sounds, instead of "anima." Maybe you can ask a native Japanese or a linguistics professor fluent in East Asian languages why that is.

If you don't mind my asking, what languages do you know, or are fluent in?



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BlackOrion
Post #575521 - Reply to (#575517) by Zarallx
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3:10 am, Nov 1 2012
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Can you please stop saying "Americans" as if America = U.S.A.

I'm from Latin America and over here the spelling is much more like in Japan, so i can tell you that it's mostly their ascent, some Spanish words are also miss-pronounced all the time, is nothing odd, you might have terrible English pronunciation too, aren't there any English taken words that are miss-pronounced in Japan? (answer: yes there are)

Hell_Clues
Post #575522
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3:32 am, Nov 1 2012
Posts: 175


Why the hell would any American know the answer to this unless they went to school for linguistics. People don't question how they pronounce things too much.

My guess is that it's a foreign word, and not seen as a short for animation. The Japanese took that word and then it's made it's way back here as a foreign word or term. So it's being given a slightly foreign pronounciation. I have heard people pronounce it as anime(like lime) back in the day but that was considered quite wrong, and people were discouraged from it, I started with anime(like may) then switched for a short time, then switched back.

Perhaps people are trying to say it in a japanese like way, though I can't recall how they say it. Who can say how it really went down and what went through the minds of the first people that saw anime, and trying to figure out how it's said.

Zarallx
Post #575524
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3:51 am, Nov 1 2012
Posts: 71


Just to point this out, as in their response was also directed at me.

U.S.A = United States of America. People who live there are also called Americans. Same principle as people who live in Germany are called Germans.



Calamansi
Post #575525
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3:58 am, Nov 1 2012
Posts: 43


I've always pronounced anime, as you say, the "American" way. It's always sounded best, because it's like a shortened form of "animation", and even people who aren't into anime know what I'm talking about because, where I live, it's the way everyone pronounces it. I have a neutral US accent (or no accent, as other people in Texas would say) so correctly-pronounced loan words sound awkward and disjointed when I use them in sentences. They don't follow the subtle stress rules found in our language and are incongruous with our tendency to speak in iambs.

And... I'm trying to understand what your point is. You're saying that if we write it as anime, we should pronounce it as... "Aneem", to follow our grammar rules? So pretty much, if we're going to butcher a foreign word, we might as well thoroughly butcher it and make it conform completely to English's (lack of straightforward) rules? I'm pretty sure that when the word "anime" was brought over, it was intended to simply be the Japanese word written in the Latin alphabet so people could read it. But when a word is learned by sight alone it tends to be misinterpreted, so Japanese animation became "animei".
TL;DR
-pretty much everyone says it that way
-modified to flow with other English words/ our accents so that
-it doesn't sound wrong/ awkward

Last edited by Calamansi at 4:13 am, Nov 1

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