Gender

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ChozoBoy

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Gender

Postby ChozoBoy » 07.30.09 4:19am

I've always heard that Japan uses gender neutral pronouns (which is why the original US manual goofed up). Why is it that the manga being translated with male pronouns for Samus?

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Re: Gender

Postby sharonlover » 07.30.09 6:43am

Japanese for the most part is indeed a gender-neutral language; however, each gender has a different way of talking most times.

And before anyone jumps on me for what I'm about to type; this was taught to me by my native Japanese instructor who was born and raised in Tokyo, whilst also living in Kyoto and Osaka before moving to the US where she now professionally teaches japanese.

For example:

Male:
Boku wa sharonlover desu. (My name is Sharonlover)
Femal:
Watashi wa Brittany desu. (My name is Brittany)

In a group of people such as "we", the gender of the person speaking about the group will do one of two things, and I'm not sure which is more common. They will either use "we" in a gender sense that reflects their gender, or they will use the majority of the groups gender:

Male:
bokutachi wa eiga ni ikimasu (we will go to the movies) *whether the speaker is male, or the group is dominantly male.
Female:
Watashitachi wa eiga ni ikimasu (we will go to the movies) *whether the speaker is female, or the group is dominantly male.

Now I've been told by other Japanese speakers that the use of "Boku" is not used by males and those males that do consider highly of themselves (sorta like honorific) which makes no since to me. I personally use "boku" when I'm talking because that is what I was taught.

There are also words and certain particles that are used that can indicate gender as well. Now I haven't taken a look at the manga to see what the structure of the sentences are so I can not say for sure. Now there was no 'real' mistake for the original instruction manual for Metroid. It has been stated that midway through development, that the protagonist would end up being a female in the end; so there was no translation error. The manual was made like that on purpose so that people would be surprised at the end.

With that said, the manga being released around the same time as the first game needed to keep up the impression that he was really a she. At least that would be my impression; but again I haven't read the manga but maybe that gives you a better understanding.


Your Japanese Pronoun Lesson for the day brought to you by Wikipedia *note I haven't gone through and checked accuracy)

Japanese

Japanese does not have pronouns in the Indo-European sense, but does have nouns that are similar to pronouns. For example, kare (彼、かれ?) and kanojo (彼女、かのじょ?) can be used for 'he' and 'she'. However, kare in its plural form may refer to a group of mixed gender. Depending on context, kare or kanojo may also refer to 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend' respectively. This is not commonplace and the phrase ano hito (あの人?, lit. 'that person') and other similar phrases would be more appropriate. The most common way to refer to another person is by title or affiliation, e.g. bu-cho (部長?, director) or Hitachi-san (the person from Hitachi). In general, the Japanese avoid using pronouns when they can be determined from context, and often use a person's name where English would use a pronoun. This can be seen in the custom of often referring to oneself by name rather than by watashi (私?) most commonly by women or boku (僕?) by men, both meaning 'I/myself'.

The English titles of 'Mr', 'Mrs', 'Miss', 'Ms' are all irrelevant as all people are referred to by the suffix -san (さん?) or the more polite -sama (様?). The most polite suffix -dono (殿?) usually, but not always, refers to males, and is rarely used in modern speech.

There is a distinction between animate and inanimate, but this is restricted to the verbs that mean 'to exist': iru/oru (居る?, animate) and aru (在る?, inanimate) and does not extend to pronouns. There is no equivalent of 'it'; instead something like 'this/that thing' (このあの物, kono/ano mono?) would be used, although often the subject or topic would be left out and determined from context.

Japanese does have different styles of speech for men and women, so it would be inaccurate to say that the language is entirely gender-neutral. However, for the equivalent of pronouns and titles, the language is essentially gender-neutral. This seems to be fairly deep in the semantics of speakers, as it is very common to hear even native level English-speaking Japanese occasionally mix up 'he' and 'she’.
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Emperor Ing

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Re: Gender

Postby Emperor Ing » 07.30.09 12:16pm

When I have watched a few Japanese shows and whatnot, the male characters would also use "watashi" for saying what their name is.
must be some sorta side effect of the hatchling or maybe she should stop going down on Miyamoto.
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Re: Gender

Postby sharonlover » 07.30.09 12:20pm

Emperor Ing wrote:When I have watched a few Japanese shows and whatnot, the male characters would also use "watashi" for saying what their name is.


That is correct because "watashi" is the neutral "I" and the one that is commonly used. "Boku" doesn't seem to be used as much anymore and for casual conversations 'watashi' would work fine. What really threw me was hearing Watakushi for the first time. There is a pretty long list of these types of pronouns.

check out this chart, it gives a better understanding.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watashi
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CapCom

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Re: Gender

Postby CapCom » 08.03.09 6:26pm

If you're referring to the strategy guide manga, it's a retro thing. Samus' identity is never revealed in the manga, so it's assumed throughout that she's a man; hence my use of male pronouns. At the same time, it gives what I interpret to be a few hints as to Samus' gender (information which is included in some footnotes that will eventually be added).

I've heard conflicting reports about the use of 'boku'. It is a male pronoun, but apparently more commonly used with boys; men use 'watashi'. Of course, you can look at 'Sukiyaki' and that throws this theory out the window...
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ChozoBoy

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Re: Gender

Postby ChozoBoy » 08.09.09 1:10pm

Yeah, I totally understand avoiding female pronouns, but if it isn't directly specified in the original, why not use gender-neutral words and allow the reader to impose their imagination onto that?

Also, I thought some of the lines in the footnote sounded better, like page 122 and 178. What was the preference behind those selections?

CapCom

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Re: Gender

Postby CapCom » 08.10.09 11:20am

The manga explicitly uses male pronouns and imagery to describe Samus in a few scenes. Also, 'he' is the generic pronoun in English. We don't call people 'it'. 'He' is also used throughout the NES instruction manual, so it fits. Changes have to do with style, awkwardness, and ability to reasonably fit inside a speech bubble.
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Re: Gender

Postby VGMStudios » 08.10.09 3:56pm

since we are talking about genders...did anyone listen to that podcast about SM?

who here ever thought Ridley was...errr female?!?!
I was like WTF!! when I heard that.
Why are ppl so weird.
haha

VGM out...
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CapCom

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Re: Gender

Postby CapCom » 08.10.09 6:04pm

Someone got confused over the Ripley/Ridley Scott thing. Ridley is a man's name. Ripley is a last name. (Lt. Eleanor Ripley, and I wonder if that's an homage to Eleanor Roosevelt?). I was shaking my head the whole time.
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Infinity's End

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Re: Gender

Postby Infinity's End » 08.12.09 11:44pm

Also, Chad's gay, so it's in his nature to effeminate anything that he doesn't know what the gender may be. Clearly, he hasn't read the Metroid Manga either... -_-;
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RoyboyX

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Re: Gender

Postby RoyboyX » 06.17.11 7:34pm

Old topic [this post will certainly lock it], but it's Ellen, CapCom, not Eleanor. lol. And I keep thinking they could have just pulled a NiGHTS.
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metroidlover64

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Re: Gender

Postby metroidlover64 » 01.08.12 6:13pm

Also, Chad's gay, so it's in his nature to effeminate anything that he doesn't know what the gender may be. Clearly, he hasn't read the Metroid Manga either... -_-;
wow. i never thought you would say gay.


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