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Japanese insults apparently

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Japanese insults apparently

Postby Kodama_30 » Mon 12.21.2009 4:48 pm

Just got linked to a sort of tongue in cheek youtube video recently:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=MdT4lpJhyAY


The presenters are both comedians I think I should mention, which is probably one of the main reasons I'm sceptical of the content. That and I've never heard any of those insults at all. Granted I'm still relatively green when it comes to the language, and I've never really researched the topic in detail - so I could be wrong here.
Can anyone clarify? I was fairly certain that to be rude meant a more subtle absence of politeness markers, but again I could be wrong here...
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby Pork Chop » Mon 12.21.2009 5:33 pm

Never heard any of them really used before except for numbers 1 and 4.

I've never heard "chiisai ketsu no ana" (小さいケツの穴) described as "cowardly". Rather, I'd always heard described as "stingy" or "narrow minded". Even saw a Japanese definition that somewhat backed this up.

Never heard #3 before at all & couldn't really make out what she was saying, might be an Edo-ko (江戸子) thing, i dunno

#1 also seems a mistranslation, "jiji" isn't literally "goat". I always translated "kusottare" (くそったれ) as a-hole or sh!thead (lit sh!tty hole) & "jiji" is "uncle" or "old man" so you could see that phrase as "sh!tty old fart".
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby kurisuto » Tue 12.22.2009 9:03 am

Kodama_30 wrote:I was fairly certain that to be rude meant a more subtle absence of politeness markers


If you're serious about learning Japanese, maybe you should try to get rid of some of your biases, starting with the most obvious ones (contrary to the popular belief, Japanese are humans ; they do have insults, not just some kind of "grammatically insulting patterns").
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 12.22.2009 10:07 am

kurisuto wrote:
Kodama_30 wrote:I was fairly certain that to be rude meant a more subtle absence of politeness markers


If you're serious about learning Japanese, maybe you should try to get rid of some of your biases, starting with the most obvious ones (contrary to the popular belief, Japanese are humans ; they do have insults, not just some kind of "grammatically insulting patterns").


I'm not so sure that his explanation isn't correct.. as insults in Japanese can be so slight as to be hard to recognize, unless one is completely familiar with the area and the style of speach being used. In fact I found that some slight/subtle absence of politeness, to be more insulting than the common usage of 'base 5' verbs etc.. perhaps, in your haste to correct, you also allowed some bias to slip in.. ?
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby kurisuto » Tue 12.22.2009 11:25 am

two_heads_talking wrote:I'm not so sure that his explanation isn't correct.. as insults in Japanese can be so slight as to be hard to recognize, unless one is completely familiar with the area and the style of speach being used. In fact I found that some slight/subtle absence of politeness, to be more insulting than the common usage of 'base 5' verbs etc.. perhaps, in your haste to correct, you also allowed some bias to slip in.. ?


The OP implied that were no insults, or at least, by presenting a video about insults and saying "Can anyone clarify? I was fairly certain that to be rude meant a more subtle absence of politeness markers, but again I could be wrong here...", it sure looks like he thinks that's the case.
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby Kodama_30 » Tue 12.22.2009 11:30 am

Ah, I didn't mean to offend anyone with my previous point. I think I really should have worded it better - where as I'm sure there are words meant as insults in Japanese just like in any other language; my thinking was that they're not as commonly used as say the subtle condescension offered by the grammar system. I guess in a way I was trying to find a reason why the video content was so (excuse the pun) foreign to me.
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby kurisuto » Tue 12.22.2009 12:15 pm

Kodama_30 wrote:Ah, I didn't mean to offend anyone with my previous point.


I wasn't offended (really ; thoughts and words don't offend me much you see), and I sure didn't want to make you feel bad. I was simply reacting. Plus, I find biases (or what I perceive as biases), including my own ones, interesting on many aspects.

Kodama_30 wrote:my thinking was that they're not as commonly used as say the subtle condescension offered by the grammar system.


That's part of what I was reacting to : if you insult, say, a friend of yours (whether in a serious way or not) or someone you just can't stand, "grammatical insults" are not the best choice I think... The situations where you'd use them are way rarer imo.

Also swearwords are often used because of their expressive, "extravagant" quality and are not necessarily meant to harm, whereas grammatical ones are I think more serious and as you said, more subtle.
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby Ben Bullock » Thu 01.07.2010 10:31 pm

Kodama_30 wrote:Just got linked to a sort of tongue in cheek youtube video recently:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=MdT4lpJhyAY


The presenters are both comedians I think I should mention, which is probably one of the main reasons I'm sceptical of the content. That and I've never heard any of those insults at all. Granted I'm still relatively green when it comes to the language, and I've never really researched the topic in detail - so I could be wrong here.
Can anyone clarify? I was fairly certain that to be rude meant a more subtle absence of politeness markers, but again I could be wrong here...

It's interesting that they used daiji for the countdown.

Surely these are just meant as "joke" insults rather than things which really cause offence. I've never heard of "chinchikurin" or "chiisai ketsu no ana" as insults, and the one about "kuma musume" and "debesou" I only remember from Jack Seward's book. The "goat" translation seems to be arbitrary.

But ... probably the most outrageously wrong misinformation on Japanese insults is the one which you get if you type "Japanese insults" into Google and click the "I'm feeling lucky" button. Somehow, a word meaning "rabbi" is apparently an insult meaning "rabies", and the rest of the content on that page is also very dubious.
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby keatonatron » Fri 01.08.2010 1:41 am

Ben Bullock wrote:It's interesting that they used daiji for the countdown.


Not as interesting as you might think. The link you provided makes it look like those kanji are only used in financial documents, but they are actually the traditional Chinese characters for the numerals, and can be seen in many places throughout Japanese culture (they often provide an "official" or "old-timey" feel, as with all kanji vs. kanji + okurigana vs. katakana comparisons).
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby Ben Bullock » Sat 01.09.2010 7:46 am

keatonatron wrote:The link you provided makes it look like those kanji are only used in financial documents

As far as I know that is correct, the only significant use of these kanji forms is in financial documents. Note that the link is mine, so if my page is wrong I'd like to correct it.
keatonatron wrote:...they are actually the traditional Chinese characters for the numerals...

:? No, they aren't. The daiji are merely substitute characters, not traditional Chinese characters for the numerals. The Chinese characters for one, two, three and one thousand haven't changed significantly for two thousand years. You can easily confirm this by looking at, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanting_Xu or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouyang_Xun.
keanotron wrote: ... and can be seen in many places throughout Japanese culture (they often provide an "official" or "old-timey" feel, as with all kanji vs. kanji + okurigana vs. katakana comparisons).

Sometimes you might see these characters used in places other than financial documents. The first one I can think of is the name of the curry restaurant, 壱番屋 (ichibanya), and ramen restaurant 壱番亭 (ichibantei). But I'd be quite surprised to see them in a television countdown on Japanese TV, unless it was about some finance-related matter. Even more surprising to see them in this English-language broadcast. I guess the normal kanji weren't exotic enough for them.
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby keatonatron » Mon 01.11.2010 4:47 am

I apologize. Obviously you've done more research on it than I have.

Over the course of my studies, I have asked people the reason for these characters, such as in the name of my favorite ramen shop 壱六家. Many times I have been told "Oh, it's the original Chinese versions. It's what they used in Japan before they simplified it."

And in a game on モバゲー, they use 参弐壱 as a countdown to give the game an "old-timey" feel, as it is based on Japan's oldest 物語's (which furthered my suspicion that this was a common idea in Japan). I've also seen many 国語 dictionaries list 壱 and 一 in the same entry without differentiating between the two.

So, perhaps the best answer to your original question is "Someone on the Japanese staff probably thought it would give the list a more 'official' feel and suggested the stiff-looking version of the numbers."
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 01.11.2010 4:38 pm

One of the things that my wife told me was that when writing receipts at her work, they were supposed to use the old numbering kanji because they were harder to forge/edit.

For example, you get a receipt for 一万円, and add a |, you get a 十万円 receipt. Same with ニ.
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Re: Japanese insults apparently

Postby keatonatron » Tue 01.12.2010 7:34 am

I'm curious about the actual history of the characters themselves, but don't know where to find that information.

Were these characters created/selected just to stop forgeries? Or were they at one point actual ways of writing the numbers, the complex nature of which caused them to remain in existence long after the current way of writing numbers became the norm?
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