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Japanese: More expressive?

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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby Sairana » Wed 08.26.2009 10:12 am

astaroth wrote:Yeah I know. I never quite understood how it came into being and sort of suspecting that a long vowel or a っ is missing.


The link keat posted has your answer....

"Bokeh (derived from Japanese, a noun boke 暈け, meaning "blur" or "haze") " Even though WWWJDIC doesn't consider it a noun, that's where they apparently got it. :P
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby astaroth » Wed 08.26.2009 10:14 am

Sairana wrote:The link keat posted has your answer....

oops sorry I didn't check the link.
Sairana wrote:"Bokeh (derived from Japanese, a noun boke 暈け, meaning "blur" or "haze") " Even though WWWJDIC doesn't consider it a noun, that's where they apparently got it. :P

Though I'm wondering why it has the h at the end since it's not a long vowel ... maybe to avoid having people pronouncing it as ボキ ...?
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 08.26.2009 10:29 am

Or to rhyme with "poke". The wikipedia page explains the choice of spelling.
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby furrykef » Wed 08.26.2009 11:52 am

keatonatron wrote:Photographers use the word ぼけ in English???

That's.... so wierd :shock:


I thought a ぼけ is a 突っ込み's comedy partner. ;)

Actually, I've read about bokeh before. On that very Wikipedia page, no less!

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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 08.26.2009 7:43 pm

keatonatron wrote:Photographers use the word ぼけ in English???
That's.... so wierd :shock:


I know... A few weeks ago I was working on some new effects from design sites and I saw one that said "Create a Bokeh Effect in Photoshop" and it had a lot of blurred out multi-color circles.

I assumed that the bokeh was someone's name and thought nothing about it, but looked it up later, and sure it enough was was from ボケ
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Somehow, I don't think that's what they had in mind... (汗
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby becki_kanou » Wed 08.26.2009 9:53 pm

Harisenbon wrote:Image
Somehow, I don't think that's what they had in mind... (汗


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そうだ、嬉しいんだ、生きる喜び!
例え胸の傷が痛んでも。
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby CajunCoder » Thu 08.27.2009 12:30 am

Wow. I can think of no forum where one can observe such an interesting evolution of a topic.

As it turns out, you don't have to ask a good question to get good replies! :lol:
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 08.27.2009 2:53 am

becki_kanou wrote:トゥース!


I actually posted that with you in mind. =)
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby becki_kanou » Thu 08.27.2009 4:04 am

Harisenbon wrote:
becki_kanou wrote:トゥース!


I actually posted that with you in mind. =)


Thanks but my heart belongs to Nishida...
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or maybe Kawashima...
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or Yamazaki...
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or was it Daigo?
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or even Iwao?
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As you can see my taste in manzai crystallized about 5 years ago... The only new conbi I like these days is Maeda-Maeda.
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby keatonatron » Thu 08.27.2009 8:19 am

Giving it the name "Bokeh" is just stupid, I think.

We use ボケ all the time in my field (photography :wink: ), and it just means "blurriness" or "the part of the image that isn't in focus". By "coining" that term into English, it creates the impression that it's some secret art that you can only learn by studying the great Japanese masters of photography, when all it really means is "out of focus"--something we've had in English ever since the first bad photographer :lol:

Maybe I should just follow his lead... I'll start a restaurant offering grilled pork... But not just any old pork, it's called "niku" (from the Japanese 肉) and it's a special Japanese food that you can only learn how to prepare by studying from the reclusive monks that live on the peak of Mt. Fuji.

Then I'll be "credited with coining" the (new) English word "niku" and bringing this amazing cuisine to the western world :roll:
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby furrykef » Thu 08.27.2009 8:45 am

How is that any more silly than any of a number of loanwords that Japanese got from English? ;)

It's obvious that the word "bokeh" in English is used with a slightly different, and more specific, meaning than its Japanese equivalent. Japanese does the same thing to tons of English words. (English has also done the same thing numerous times to other languages such as Latin, often without us actually realizing it.)

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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby astaroth » Thu 08.27.2009 9:32 am

keatonatron wrote:By "coining" that term into English, it creates the impression that it's some secret art that you can only learn by studying the great Japanese masters of photography, when all it really means is "out of focus"--something we've had in English ever since the first bad photographer

Yeah, but you would agree that in photography there is good bokeh and bad bokeh. And the secret art behind that can only be learned through mastering the camera and a lot of experience (not to mention knowing how to choose a lens, what aperture and so on).
Though it has nothing to do with Japanese, and I think your average photographer (even a professional photographer) doesn't know the origin of the term but only its meaning.
keatonatron wrote:Maybe I should just follow his lead... I'll start a restaurant offering grilled pork... But not just any old pork, it's called "niku" (from the Japanese 肉) and it's a special Japanese food that you can only learn how to prepare by studying from the reclusive monks that live on the peak of Mt. Fuji.

Stores and shops do that all the time. I just got back to New York where I was happy to find again dorayaki and yakimochi (I grew addicted during my last year I was living there) and sure enough in those stores one can also find anko-pan which seriously is just a croissant filled with anko.
I probably already mentioned ... but in US people use the Italian words "panini" (small bread or sandwich) and "latte" (milk, plain milk no coffee added just milk ... :wink: ) because they sound fancy.
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby keatonatron » Thu 08.27.2009 9:54 am

After I wrote that post I was wondering why I feel that (some) loan words sound dumb in English, but English loan words seem almost essential in Japanese. I think the reason is that in Japanese the loan words actually have different nuances than the Japanese equivalents.

For a related example:
If you were to say "ブラー" on a film set, it has nothing to do with the current camera's settings; ブラー means a blur effect added in post-production (when Hollywood's special effects software first came to Japan it was all in English, and when it was finally localized they simply katakana-ized the "blur" effect :wink: The name of the effect became ブラー and blurring done with a camera remained ボケ[る]).

I can think of similar differences in nuance for just about all loan words in Japanese. ミルク came up in this thread--ミルク is never (hardly ever?) used as a substitute for 牛乳. You can't walk into a grocery store and find a carton of ミルク (unless it's part of a name). ミルク is only used to describe foods that have had milk added (ミルク入り缶コーヒー, etc.), whereas 牛乳 is used for the drink (milk). In English we don't differentiate between these two types of milk (a difference that is created by usage of the item), but that doesn't mean it isn't a valid use of the loan word to create a distinction.

To address astaroth's examples...
Anko-pan doesn't exist in the western world, so the Japanese name is the only name it has (even if you say "it's just bread with anko in it," what is anko???).

Panini is specific type of sandwich, so that makes sense. (I'm not sure about Italian, but in French "Panini" doesn't simply mean "any small sandwich")

Using the word "latte" for "just milk" is dumb... but I've never heard that before :roll:


ボケ already exists very much in the western world, and the Japanese word isn't used to differentiate from the English word, which makes it a different case from many of the English words on loan to the Japanese language.
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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby furrykef » Thu 08.27.2009 10:38 am

keatonatron wrote:ボケ already exists very much in the western world, and the Japanese word isn't used to differentiate from the English word, which makes it a different case from many of the English words on loan to the Japanese language.


I can't think of an English word that captures the meaning of "bokeh". "Blur" or "blurriness" certainly doesn't cover the meaning (that could refer to any kind of blurriness), and "out-of-focus area" is an unwieldy term. None of these words capture the aesthetic sense of the term either. That's why they used a loanword: because it does describe something different than any existing English term. Perhaps the original Japanese meaning didn't, but that's aside from the point; they needed a new word to describe a concept, so they chose "bokeh".

C'mon, I'm not even a photographer and I get the concept just fine. :lol:

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Re: Japanese: More expressive?

Postby astaroth » Thu 08.27.2009 10:39 am

I see your point. Just a couple of notes ...
keatonatron wrote:Panini is specific type of sandwich, so that makes sense. (I'm not sure about Italian, but in French "Panini" doesn't simply mean "any small sandwich")

panino (singular, panini is the plural) is Italian for small bread (the suffix is used to add a feeling of something smaller than the usual), though the current meaning is sandwich: a generic sandwich, not grilled like in US.
keatonatron wrote:Using the word "latte" for "just milk" is dumb... but I've never heard that before :roll:

Sorry if it sounds dumb but that is the meaning in Italian :wink: . Honestly it sounds dumb to me (I'm Italian) to ask for a latte at a coffee-shop. In Italy a caffèlatte, from which the American latte is coming from, is never served in coffee-shops and only drunk at home and only only for breakfast.
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