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Windows IME is stupid!

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Windows IME is stupid!

Postby kentaku_sama » Sat 04.11.2009 11:07 am

I was reading raw manga and translating words that I didn't know. WHat was stupid is that I entered the EXACT readings displayed to the right of the kanji and my japanese input would never give those symbols in the list of kanji that pops up when you hit the space bar.
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Re: Windows IME is stupid!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 04.11.2009 11:10 am

Can you give some specific examples? The furigana can be small, and sometimes you might mixup the b-series (i.e. ば, び) with the p-series (i.e. ぱ, ぴ), and the small kana (i.e. つ or the y-series) often look like full-sized characters in the furigana. There are also cases where manga writers make up their own furigana but this shouldn't be a major issue. There are also some fairly common furigana-kanji pairs that are not "officially" correct but are often used in novels and manga, things like 理由 read as わけ.
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Re: Windows IME is stupid!

Postby kurisuto » Sat 04.11.2009 11:47 am

And btw I think that's a great feature of the Japanese language : by adding furiganas that don't match the actual kanjis used, you can add subtle nuances (or not so subtle for that matter) and sometimes it even works as a "real-time footnote", whereas in "our" languages you would have to put it into parentheses, use an apposition or an actual footnote, which could break the rythm of the sentence (or lead to other stylistic problems). Just one of the many reasons why I love Japanese...
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Re: Windows IME is stupid!

Postby Hyperworm » Sat 04.11.2009 11:55 am

Yeah, I love furigana/ruby. I think the double-meaning/real-time-footnote aspect would work well in English (mangas) as well, but it's not a familiar enough concept to English audiences. ._.

There's another reason kanji conversion may fail: if you're not parsing the structure of the original correctly. You can't convert half a word.
e.g.
Say you see 戦う in a manga with the furigana たたか over 戦.
In order to enter it, you need to realize that this kanji 戦 is part of the word 戦う, enter たたかう, and convert it.
Simply saying "I don't know this kanji (戦), let me try converting it from the furigana (たたか)" whenever you see unfamiliar kanji will lead you into problems, because たたか doesn't convert to 戦 (only to 多々か and a number of others).

In the above example it's fairly obvious what you need to enter and convert ... but I guess beginners might have problems, especially if the word ends with okurigana that matches a particle. Thought I'd mention it just in case. >_>
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Re: Windows IME is stupid!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 04.11.2009 11:58 am

That "feature" (I would call it a flaw) of the writing system actually is not used as often as people seem to think it is; in a case like 理由 being read as わけ that doesn't really add any particular nuance since it's a fairly standard (though not official) representation. The only cases in which I've seen it used to actual advantage are in fantasy or sci-fi situations where they have a made-up katakana name with kanji showing what the name means; other languages get along fine without this so it's really more cutesy than anything else.

It still breaks the rhythm of the Japanese sentence. I'm not just saying this as a foreigner, but having watched a number of 実況プレイ videos on nicovideo, native Japanese readers often stumble over the fake-katakana/kanji sequences when they're reading the text out loud. (Watching those videos also would disabuse someone of any notion that native Japanese readers can read all the kanji in a text; part of the fun people have is watching for which words and kanji the player reads incorrectly or can't read at all.)

EDIT: Hyperworm has a good point; note that the IME will often help you out if you just type not only the furigana but any kana that might be after it, for instance, たたかわなければならなくても coverts to 戦わなければならなくても.
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Re: Windows IME is stupid!

Postby kurisuto » Sat 04.11.2009 12:17 pm

I would have to disagree. I was talking about manga, and the "riyuu-wake" thing isn't really what I had in mind (not just that at least). Anyways, the potential of this system is maybe even more important than the way it tends to be used in most cases. Let's say (just a silly example) I write "kirai" in kanji, but "suki" in the furigana part : how would you represent that instant contradiction (or whatever you want to convey by that) in an English text ? And it doesn't break the rythm of the sentence because you actually can read both at the same time, it's not like you would read it "kirai" then "suki", it's more something like "ksiurkaii" if I may say so. To me, it's isn't meant to be read out loud, it's all in your head. What can I say ? I just like it :)
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Re: Windows IME is stupid!

Postby Bucko » Sat 04.11.2009 5:51 pm

Let's say (just a silly example) I write "kirai" in kanji, but "suki" in the furigana part : how would you represent that instant contradiction (or whatever you want to convey by that) in an English text ?


That's the beauty of kanji.

Your complaint is rediculous by the way. I'm only bothering to reply because it reminded me of reading my first ever manga, Death Note, the main character's name was Laito (Light) written 月.
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Re: Windows IME is stupid!

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 04.11.2009 10:00 pm

kurisuto wrote:Let's say (just a silly example) I write "kirai" in kanji, but "suki" in the furigana part : how would you represent that instant contradiction (or whatever you want to convey by that) in an English text ?


That's not really used in Japanese text either.

And it doesn't break the rythm of the sentence


I'm not speaking from theory, I'm speaking from actual experience watching native speakers read text out loud in real time and stumbling over "creative" furigana use. The very existence of furigana speaks to the extreme inefficiency of the Japanese writing system, but this is going to take the discussion away from the original poster's question so perhaps it's better handled elsewhere.
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