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Thread: Katakana phrases?

  1. #1
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner St3phni's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    United States
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    Katakana phrases?

    Hey :>

    I'm just starting out as a translator for a group and I'm having a lot of trouble with katakana phrases. I guess this would amount to slang but, as I am not native japanese, I can't understand these phrases. For example, there's this sentence that has a LOT of katakana (in red font) in it :


    It's phrases like this that are giving me such a hard time translating. For all those experienced translators out there, is there an effective way to learn these phrases and, if so, how?

    Thanks! ^^

  2. #2
    Intl Translator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Ju-da-su's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    Re: Katakana phrases?

    ...If the word isn't really meant to be a katakana words, as in words that were derived from other languages, but a Japanese word written in katakana, I usually just think of it as normal hiragana words though...since mostly, when the normal kana words are written in katakana, they're just meant to be said in a little more casual way (most of the time, if it's only a few words in the sentence. If it's the whole sentence in katakana, then it's a different story though, since it gives the sense of more warped and distorted way of saying the sentence...hardly saw those anyway).


    どんな奇麗(きれい)事も身蓋(みふた)もなくなるような -> どんな奇麗事も身も蓋もなくなるような

    If that makes it easier for you.

    No need to really stress out too much on them. Manga is meant to be read out loud after all, so even if they write it in katakana, if you know that the word existed in normal Japanese, just think of it as that word with a little more casual way of speaking it, aka you can actually translate them as normal Japanese word.

    Hope that helps. Sorry, I kinda fail at explanation as well, but good luck with your translation. :3

  3. #3
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    Jan 2012
    Wallis & Futuna
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    Re: Katakana phrases?

    Another reason for the author using katakana over kanji here might be that 麗 and 蓋 have lots of strokes, so they are a bit hard to draw with limited space, also younger readers might not be able to read them.

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