gommyommy: (Default)
This is silly but it's bugging me. I've started memorizing katakana and hiragana so that I can read at least a little of Pandora Hearts in the native Japanese. My katakana book - Japanese Katakana for Beginners -- has a list of most common English names, and one of them is Liam, spelled like this: リアム. If you read Pandora Hearts, you know there's a character named Liam there -- or he might be named Reim, depending on who you talk to.

Let's look at the katakana, followed by the syllables that make up each kana, followed by the name it apparently translates into:

レイム = Re-i-mu = Reim
リアム = Ri-a-mu = Liam

Now when I write about this guy, should I use Liam or Reim? I have been using Liam, since it seems a reasonable name for someone in pseudo-Victorian era pseudo-Europe to have. Most of the other characters have European sounding names, like Vincent, Gilbert, Alice and so forth.

But the name used in the actual Japanese manga text is レイム, which is Reim.

Since (to my recollection at least) Liam/Reim has not appeared in an officially translated manga or anime yet, it will be interesting to see how his name is translated/subtitled in upcoming books/DVDs. (BTW the official subtitled DVD is being released by NIS America at the end of October).

I'll keep using 'Liam' for now, but I do think 'Reim' is far cooler.
gommyommy: (Default)
I only speak one language: English

I'm 42 years old. It is unlikely that I'd ever get good at a second language at this stage in my life, unless I lived in a country where I was forced to speak that second language all the time.

That said, all the manga I am following is in Japanese and all of the stories are ongoing. Each month, a new chapter comes out in Japan. I rely on providers of scans and translations to keep up with the story.

Mind you, I have bought all available volumes in English...but there aren't many.
  • Nabari No Ou has 4 volumes out in English; compare that with 13 volumes in Japanese
  • Pandora Hearts and Black Butler have 2 volumes out in English, and at least 10 volumes out in Japanese
  • 07 Ghost has 3 volumes out in English, and their publisher went belly-up, so there is no hope of more English volumes any times soon

I understand that three of the four manga I am following are licensed, and therefore the publishers of the English language versions of these manga do not want scanlations to be shared around the web. But when the English language story is years behind the Japanese story, and a new volume in English only comes out once every 3-5 months, can they really blame us for wanting to see the scanlations? How else can we keep up with the story and share our thoughts on forums and whatnot? If we are not up to date, the forums are full of spoilers.

I have spent considerable time tracking down raws, translations and scanlations, and figuring out which Twitter, LJ and other forum sites I need to watch for news.

Last night my husband came in and saw me with a printed translation in my hand while perusing a Japanese raw scan on my laptop screen. 

"You're obsessed," he said.

You bet I am.


gommyommy: (Default)

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