Reading untranslated Japanese VN's in 2018?

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#26 by kominarachromer
2018-10-20 at 21:08
#22 As I understand it, there's actually some people in Japan that think that way as well. The problem is that there's just so much material written with kanji already; it would be completely improbable to convert all of it over to kana-only. That's not even taking into account the nationalists that say that it's "cultural erasure" or something like that.
Basically, it's the same reason the US won't convert to metric.

#23 That's also a valid point. A lot of people find it easier to read material with kanji.

Funnily enough, there are actually eroge with kana-only dialogue; specifically the ones from the early-mid 80s. Computers like the PC-88 had very limited storage space, which made complete character sets infeasible until the release of later models like the PC-98. Because of this, several games had kana-only scripts; and some even had text written entirely in English. The same goes for early console games; some NES games didn't even have to be translated, since all of the text was in English to begin with. Since titles like Fukai ni Nemuru Oujo no Abaddon are trying to replicate a retro aesthetic, they also have a script written almost entirely in kana, although I think that particular example actually has some sections with kanji in it...

#25 Yeah, I think that's just you. I'm pretty sure playing video games actually taught me how to read. And do you know how popular titles like Final Fantasy were among younger audiences?
Now, I doubt that reading eroge is really an issue, considering that their sale is prohibited to minors and any child that's old enough to figure out how to pirate them probably knows how to read kanji anyway, but that's besides the point.
#27 by tomtheerogeman
2018-10-21 at 04:26
#22, #26 Now that the old PC-88 games made it into the discussion, I checked out a kana-only one on youtube and tried reading it. I don't know about Japanese people, but for me I also want to read it in kanji instead.

I think the issue is that logographic scripts are supposed to be processed in your brain much differently from phonetic ones. After I started reading Japanese, I spent a long time trying to translate it to English in my head, but looking back at it now what made me kick that habit overtime was trying to visualize everything that's going on instead. There's often times where I can understand what a sentence without having to think about it, but it's hard to interpret it into English.

You see, the thousands of characters that make up Kanji aren't entirely random lines; some of them are supposed to look like their definitions, such as 下 (low), 上 (high), 不 (non-), 人 (person), 足 (foot), 画面 (screen/picture), 水 (water), and so on. Some characters such as 日 no longer resemble their meaning because these characters were standardized to get rid of some strokes such as dots and circles, but even today this still applies.

And on top of that, it's also designed in such a way that you can more accurately guess or remember the definition of a term you don't know if you only have partial knowledge of the language. Like if you know 糸, then it'll be easier to remember 紐、織る、結ぶ、繋ぐ、etc because 糸 appears as a radical within the other characters. The language is intended so that you can more directly paint a picture of what's going on, not to sound it all out and then match it to a particular definition.

I don't think literature already written using kanji is the only issue, because if it was, then why would games during the 80s switch to using kanji so quickly? Food for thought.
#28 by kominarachromer
2018-10-21 at 05:06
I don't think literature already written using kanji is the only issue, because if it was, then why would games during the 80s switch to using kanji so quickly?

Because Japanese people are used to writing and reading kanji. Logistical problems aren't the only thing keeping Japan from going kana only.

And as both you and I pointed out, kanji is just easier to read than kana. Most kana-only material adds spaces to make it slightly easier to parse, but it just doesn't compare to reading something written with proper kanji. It doesn't help that Japanese is a bit utilitarian in a way; homophones in English will often be spelled different ways (to, too, and two) but since kana is strictly syllable based, that doesn't really work. The kanji basically serve the same purpose as spelling variations do in English in that case.

I may as well point out that a lot of the ideas you point out in the kanji system originated in Chinese. Personally, one of my favorite examples of kanji-definition resemblance is 一, 二, and 三. Bonus points for being extremely helpful; once you learn the definition of 一, you'll never forget it. Now if only 四 didn't come in and screw it up...Last modified on 2018-10-21 at 05:07
#29 by shadowdawn
2018-10-21 at 10:03
#28 Japanese people anyway wouldn't care if kana or kanji.

German: Benutzen (use) ; Austrian German: Benützen
German: Kasse (cash register) ; Austrian German: Kassa

So or so simliar japanese people feel the differences.

But I would rather learn japanese if they were written in kana, because I don't need learn so many signs and Voice Replay had more effect, because many kanjis can mean the same sentence but kana... rather not.Last modified on 2018-10-21 at 10:03

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