Monday, July 7, 2008


I was reading some scanlations online (which I'm quite prone to do, apparently), when I came across this mysterious word: "hisuterikku". From what I could gather, the scans were from an [official] Chinese translation of the original Japanese comic. But whether the translation was from the Japanese dialogue or not is something else. Anyway. Character A starts describing character B as being "hisuterikku", which for a moment looks a bit foreign. Until I realised that the idiot "translator" (extremely generous use of word there) was phonetically transcribing the Japanese assimilated English word: "hysteric". Doesn't it take about 20 seconds to flip through a physical dictionary to confirm the spelling? And even if the translator was terrible at English, that translator must at least have English-competent collegues. Or maybe not, the translator's idiocy probably alienated herself from linguistically competent beings. Garr.

Rant #2: Scheschuan
Fine, it's a foreign word, and therefore has a spelling that's strange for English-speakers/readers. But still. You KNOW it's Chinese, so why the frell would you think that it'd adopt a germanic spelling of "sch-"!? For the record, there are three official/accepted spellings: Sichuan (Mandarin Pinyin), Szechwan (Cantonese phonetic), and Szechuan (hybrid). Also, German Wikipedia recognises Sichuan, Sechuan, and Sezuan. So none of that sch- business.
Which reminds me: why the heck do English ppl think that a phonetically transcribed Chinese name /ch/ would be pronounced as a /sh/?? Eejits. Sichuan ends up sounding like "shesshuan" in the mouths of foreigners. Yes, it sounds foreign enough from English words, but it sounds equally foreign to Chinese ears. Encountering it almost makes me go hisuterikku!

No comments: