I can’t seem to manage the enthusiasm to talk about the selection now, so maybe commenters can handle this one. (Pretty please!) But at least ? is more interesting than the kanji of the year for 2005: ?.
While browsing at Eslite the other day I happened across a new book that sounds interesting: Tónghuà de tóngchuángyìmèng: Rìb?n zhì shíq? Táiw?n de y?yán zhèngcè, jìndài huà y? rèntóng (???????: ??????????????????), by Chen Pei-feng (Chén Péi-f?ng / ???).
Although the book is written in Mandarin and has essentially no English, it has a strange but intriguing English title: The Different Intentions Behind the Semblance of “Douka”: The Language Policy, Modernization, and Identity in Taiwan during the Japan-Ruling Period. This doesn’t quite match the Mandarin.
I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has read this.
While a lot of things might be unusual about this old print of a Japanese soldier having sex with or simply raping a Western soldier, what particularly startled me is the use of romanization. Given that much of the text in the full image (note: definitely not safe for work) isn’t accompanied by romanization, it appears the intent is to help indicate which lines are being said by the Westerner. (But I can’t read Japanese, so I don’t know for sure.)
Has anyone noticed this practice — the romanization, y’all — in other Japanese prints?
Commenters on Eros Blog (again, not safe for work) translate the text and place the cartoon from the time of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05.
Why would love for their language lead several men in southern India to burn themselves alive in its name? Passions of the Tongue analyzes the discourses of love, labor, and life that transformed Tamil into an object of such passionate attachment, producing in the process one of modern India’s most intense movements for linguistic revival and separatism. Sumathi Ramaswamy suggests that these discourses cannot be contained within a singular metanarrative of linguistic nationalism and instead proposes a new analytic, “language devotion.” She uses this concept to track the many ways in which Tamil was imagined by its speakers and connects these multiple imaginings to their experience of colonial and post-colonial modernity. Focusing in particular on the transformation of the language into a goddess, mother, and maiden, Ramaswamy explores the pious, filial, and erotic aspects of Tamil devotion. She considers why, as its speakers sought political and social empowerment, metaphors of motherhood eventually came to dominate representations of the language.
Feel free to print out a copy of the Schriftfestschrift for your own use or for inclusion in a library. Just don’t sell it.
The original publication contained several color photos. I’ll add those later. Also, the English tex is searchable to some degree, as I used OCR after scanning these pages; but the results weren’t perfect.
Here are the contents:
Introduction, by Victor H. Mair
Publications of John DeFrancis
Hanzi Bu Tebie Biaoyi, by Zhang Liqing
Typology of Writing Systems, by Zhou Youguang
Dui Hanzi de Jizhong Wujie, by Yin Binyong
The Information Society and Terminology, by Liu Yongquan
A Bilingual Mosaic, by Einar Haugen
The Polysemy of the Term Kokugo, by S. Robert Ramsey
Memorizing Kanji: Lessons from a Pro, by J. Marshall Unger
Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard, by David Moser
Ethnolinguistic Notes on the Dungan, by Lisa E. Husmann and William S-Y. Wang
Korean Views on Writing Reform, by Wm. C. Hannas
Language Policies and Linguistic Divergence in the Two Koreas, by Ho-min Sohn
Okinawan Writing Systems, Past, Present, and Future, by Leon A. Serafim
Proposal of a Comparative Study of Language Policies and Their Implementation in Singapore, Taiwan, and China (PRC), by Robert L. Cheng
The Topical Function of Preverbal Locatives and Temporals in Chinese, by Feng-fu Tsao
Yes-No Questions in Taipei and Peking Mandarin, by Robert M. Sanders
Patronizing Uses of the Particle ma: Bureaucratic Chinese Bids for Dominance in Personal Interactions, by Beverly Hong Fincher
Gender and Sexism in Chinese Language and Literature, by Angela Jung-Palandri
A zhezi Anagram Poem of the Song Dynasty, by John Marney
Some Remarks on Differing Correspondences in Old Chinese Assumed to Represent Different Chinese Dialects, by Nicholas C. Bodman
Can Taiwanese Recognize Simplified Characters?, by John S. Rohsenow
Simplified Characters and Their (Un)relatedness, by Chauncey C. Chu
The Teaching of Culture and the Culture of Teaching: Problems, Challenges, and Opportunities in Language Instruction, by Eugene Eoyang
The Culture Component of Language Teaching, by Kyoko Hijirida
Thinking About Prof. John DeFrancis, by Apollo Wu
Wo suo Renshi de De Xiansheng, by Chih-yu Ho
Two Poems for Professor John DeFrancis, by Richard F. S. Yang
This is a weird one: Sharp Corp. has acknowledged that more than 10 million of its cell phones have a “software glitch that disables the handsets when certain hiragana phrases are converted into kanji when writing e-mail.”
The phrases known to freeze the phones are: “mirare makuccha,” which roughly means “people’s eyes were fixed on me,” and “kazega naori kaketa,” meaning, “I was recovering from a cold,” according to Nikkei Net, a Web-based business and information technology news site.
I’m not sure I could come up with a proper comment on this even if I didn’t have a bad case of jet lag.
Studying kanji while taking in a Japanese noh drama — what could more exciting? Heh.
A common problem for those new to Japanese traditional performing arts is that–even for native Japanese speakers–it is hard to understand the story and old-fashioned language used in noh recitation or gidayu, a form of narrative chanting that accompanies bunraku performances. With a view to solving this problem, there has been a marked increase in productions using Japanese subtitles at the National Theatre in Tokyo and National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka. The National Noh Theatre in Tokyo also plans to make greater use of subtitles on screens it will introduce in autumn.
The new computer-controlled system to be introduced at the National Noh Theatre in Tokyo, where prior improvements to seats and other theater facilities are scheduled for completion in August and September, will allow Japanese subtitles to be displayed on flat-panel screens installed in seat backs.
“We will provide Japanese and English subtitles for the time being, although the system will allow us to use four channels in total,” said an official at the noh theater. Noh recitation will be displayed as it is in Japanese, while the plot of the play and a briefing on scenes will be provided in English along with a translation of the recitation….
Some bunraku performers at first questioned why Japanese subtitles were necessary since most audience members are Japanese.
“But they don’t voice such objections any more. Some even say the subtitles are useful in learning kanji…,” said Takemoto Sumitayu, a bunraku narrator and a living national treasure.
The National Bunraku Theatre hopes that the service “will help overcome the image of traditional performing arts as hard to understand.”
I suppose as long as the chairback is below the stage, the text would still be subtitling. But I can’t help but wonder if there’s a more precise term. It’s not likely to be real captioning. And what’s the word for texts that are presented on the sides of stages?