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Katakana - impolite?

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Katakana - impolite?

Postby tanuki » Sun 07.09.2006 4:08 pm

Hello, people!

This is something I find myself thinking when I see katakana in a sentence, and I'm really interested in how other people feel about it in order to change my way of thinking if it's wrong.

Well, I'm not referring to times where katakana is used where it would be "normally" used (i.e. foreign words, onomatopoeias...) but rather when used instead of hiragana/kanji for emphasis.

I tend to think it's impolite, because I associate it with people using CAPITAL LETTERS WHEN THEY WRITE. ;)

Is that so, do people see that as impolite/annoying/.... or is it just me? :|

Thanks a lot in advance for the replies! Bye!
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby paul_b » Sun 07.09.2006 4:14 pm

Nothing impolite about using katakana per se. For example
コンピューターを直そうとしたけどダメだった。
isn't any more impolite than
コンピューターを直そうとしたけどだめだった。

If there's any difference then it's that ダメ might show a bit more emphasis than だめ.
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby john2 » Sun 07.09.2006 4:44 pm

how is useing capital letters impolite
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby tanuki » Sun 07.09.2006 4:52 pm

john2 wrote:
how is useing capital letters impolite


Well, it looks like you're SCREAMING, which is a very impolite thing to do, unless you're supposed to.
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby Nibble » Sun 07.09.2006 5:33 pm

Think of it as italics rather than capital letters.
Last edited by Nibble on Sun 07.09.2006 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby CajunCoder » Sun 07.09.2006 5:43 pm

Nothing impolite about it, but...

コンナフウニ、カタカナダケデカキタイナラ、チョットロボットミタイダ・・・ャVテヨミニクイデスネ。
Last edited by CajunCoder on Sun 07.09.2006 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby tanuki » Sun 07.09.2006 5:57 pm

CajunCoder wrote:
コンナフウニ、カタカナダケデカキタイナラ、チョットロボットミタイダ・・・ャVテヨミニクイデスネ。


ガイジンミタイ:D
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby keatonatron » Sun 07.09.2006 7:07 pm

paul_b wrote:
Nothing impolite about using katakana per se. For example
コンピューターを直そうとしたけどダメだった。
isn't any more impolite than
コンピューターを直そうとしたけどだめだった。

If there's any difference then it's that ダメ might show a bit more emphasis than だめ.


But ダメ is put into katakana all the time.

How about something like:

もうヤメテよ!
or
ドウシテモ行きたいよ!

These sentences just show emphasis, which is pretty normal I guess. Using ALL Katakana makes it impossible to read and would be pretty rude :D
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby Infidel » Sun 07.09.2006 9:39 pm

tanuki wrote:
john2 wrote:
how is useing capital letters impolite


Well, it looks like you're SCREAMING, which is a very impolite thing to do, unless you're supposed to.


using capital letters is only considered screaming if entire sentences or paragraphs are written in all caps. A word here or there isn't considered screaming, it's considered to be emphatic.

If you wrote entire sentences in katakana I suppose it would be equally hard to read and rude.
Last edited by Infidel on Sun 07.09.2006 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby Budomaru » Sun 07.09.2006 11:34 pm

yeah but bold is better than caps right? :P it can have a different nuance and i'd say katakana is probably closer to bold/italics than capitals - though at the same time, katakana can also be closer to caps in some cases, like sounds in manga etc.
You know you've been hanging around a forum too long when people start quoting you and agreeing :P
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby KINGZ » Sun 07.09.2006 11:55 pm

Not related to Japanese but I don’t see how CAP is impolite, as an engineer from Civil, Industrial and Mechanical. You never have anything but CAPS. I usually get flamed in chat rooms or on messengers for using caps, but its unlikely for me to see anything but caps on everything I see day to day. notes, e-mails, letters, ect... It to the point where I rather see everything in caps, but for all those out there, I have to actually use my shift button ahhhh.:D
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 07.10.2006 7:46 am

If you wrote entire sentences in katakana I suppose it would be equally hard to read and rude.


Nope, it would look like an alien or computer's speach.
In manga, the speach of aliens, computers, (sometimes foreigners) are writen in katakana to suggest that they are hard to understand/have an accent.

For example, the king of the cosmos in Katamari Damashii spoke entirely in katakana. Pissed the hell outta me, because it's impossible to read.
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby keatonatron » Mon 07.10.2006 8:07 am

Harisenbon wrote:
Nope, it would look like an alien or computer's speach.
In manga, the speach of aliens...


You need to speek English more often :D

I downloaded a sushi-eating game on my cellphone. One of the characters is a Westerner, and I find it really interesting seeing the stereotype played out. He has blue eyes, a long, pointy nose, and a beefy, squared butt-chin. Through conversations with the other characters you find out he teaches at an "怪しい「駅前通学」の英会話", has lived in Japan for 15 years and speaks horrible Japanese, and, of course, talks in all katakana with a few kanji thrown in. The katakana makes me read it really slowly with each sound drawn out... not because that's what the katakana means, I simply can't read it fast enough to make it sound normal in my head!
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby Infidel » Mon 07.10.2006 9:12 am

heh, usually I see accents represented by the Japanese reading left to right on the accented people and top-down for the natives. It really stands out when one person's chat bubble reads in a different direction than everyone else's
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RE: Katakana - impolite?

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 07.10.2006 11:16 am

You need to speek English more often


I'm slowly coming to the realization that I can neither speak English nor Japanese correctly, and will one day be religated to a profession involving shoveling dirt out of a small hole and into a large one. :/

heh, usually I see accents represented by the Japanese reading left to right on the accented people and top-down for the natives.


I still like how the do it in Hagaren. Only the last character of the foreigner's speech is in katakana. It makes it perfectly readable and still gives off a foreign feel.
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