? asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 8 years ago

What is the transcription of Japanese sounds of the language into English without actual translation called?

The best example I can give you is names or watching anime.

A name for example, would be transcribed into English as Tsubomi or Jun or whatever, despite that not being how the name should actually be written in the native tongue. It's just an interpretation of the sounds.

The only reason why names are a bad example though is because names usually don't mean anything, where as other words may.

So, for my better example, I'm referring to anime. Sorry for non-anime fans haha. Usually in the opening sequences, there are songs, and with the songs are usually the Japanese words written in hirigana, katakana, kanji, the English translation, and then this sort of transcription of the sounds of the Japanese words (Something like "yume" for example). Rather than telling you the meaning, they just tell you the pronunciation, which I find to be used especially with new learners of languages involving the more "symbol"-looking (for lack of a better word) letters/sound combinations.

My question though, is what is this called? When you write not the meaning, but rather what the "symbols" should sound like?

Pardon my ignorance as well. Thank you!

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the exact case of Japanese, this is called roomaji/ローマ字 (often written romaji in English). More generally it can be called romanisation.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Other Yahoo Answerers are correct. General Transcription Services are used for solving such complex problems in Professional Arenas. So you don't need to feel ignorant as Yahoo Answers is the place where you can learn and ask about a lot of things as it's a forum for Knowledge Sharing.

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  • 8 years ago

    In Japanese, it is called Romaji. See this article: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Jap...

    Hope I could help :)

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