Matt Gemmell

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More Japanese

personal 1 min read

An update to my Japanese rendering of "Irate Scotsman". Many thanks 
to Chris Long for the corrections.
As you may recall, my <a href="">original version</a> looked like this:
I explained its formation in my previous post, linked above.

It turns out I'd made a small error in the katakana which phonetically spell 
out "Scotsman" (the lower row of symbols); I'd typed a large <em>tsu</em> when in 
fact the "tt" sound in the Japanese pronunciation of "Scotsman" requires a 
small <em>tsu</em>. The corrected version is below; notice how the third symbol in 
the lower row is now in its smaller form. Note also the correction of my 
other mistake: the fourth symbol is now <em>tsu</em>, instead of <em>shi</em>.
You'll also notice that the first of the two kanji symbols in the upper 
row has been changed. Previously, the two kanji were "<a href="">suddenly</a>" and 
"<a href="">angry</a>", forming "furious". Now, the first kanji is "<a href="">violent</a>", giving an 
overall meaning of "rage", more or less. This is a more appropriate 
translation of "irate", and is read as <em>gekido</em> in Japanese.

But the story doesn't quite end there! Whilst the above corrected version 
will make sense to a Japanese person, it's not quite precisely correct. 
In order to actually be "enraged" or "in a state of rage", we 
also require <em>shiteru</em> (analogous to the modification provided by 
our "-ing" suffix in English). This causes the top line to not be 
representable entirely in kanji, and so the representation becomes as shown 
The second version looks a bit cooler, but the third version is more 
technically correct.

Once again, many thanks to Chris Long and his wife Ami for the corrections and 
discussion. Utterly fascinating stuff!