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Language Learning

My Language Learning Journey

If you’ve seen my blog before, you know about my passion for languages and translation. Up until now, I’ve only been discussing translation, but not languages or language learning, even though I’ve wanted to make these topics a big part of my blog. I’ve already made a post on my language learning methods, so now I want to show you my progress in different languages with these methods. Over the next months (I say months, but in all honesty, I have no idea how long it’s going to take), I’ll be writing about my study progress, both with languages I already have a good amount of experience in and languages I know nothing about. Now, which languages will I be studying? The short answer: way too many.

Languages I’m already familiar with:

Japanese

Japanese as a language is very important to me. I have a BA degree in Japanese, and it’s one of the few languages I want to get to the highest possible level. I’m planning on taking the JLPT exam (日本語能力試験) for level N2 next year, so I’ll be studying the grammar and kanji required for that level. This means I won’t be studying Japanese from scratch, but I’ll still try to make my progress understandable for those who don’t know Japanese.

German

I learned German in middle and high school up to a B1/B2 level, but my reading and listening are definitely stronger than my writing and speaking. This means I will be mainly working on those skills around the B1/B2 level.

Hindi

Hindi is a language I’ve been slowly working on for the past few months after studying it in uni for a bit. My Hindi is still at a very elementary level, so it should be fun to see how my Hindi improves over the course of the next months.

Completely new languages

Filipino

I’ve gotten interested in Filipino after hearing and seeing it used by some Filipino classmates when I was an exchange student in Japan, and finally decided to buy a textbook and start studying it.

Finnish

My dad’s an electrician at a company that fused with a Finnish company a short while ago. Last Christmas, he received a card from his work with the holiday greetings in both Dutch and Finnish, and the Finnish looked so interesting to me! I know nothing about Finnish at all, so I’m curious to see how well I’ll be able to understand it.

Greek

Greek is an interesting choice for me. I studied Classical Greek (specifically Koinè Greek) in middle and high school, and loved it, so I decided to pick up modern Greek. My biggest fear is honestly the pronunciation, as it has changed quite a lot compared to Koinè Greek, and I’m afraid I’ll fall back to the old pronunciation on a regular basis. But that aside, it might be the new language I’m most excited to study!

That’s all for this post! I’ll try to write an update post every week or every two weeks, where I explain which methods I’ve been using for each language, some of the new grammar and vocab I’ve learned, and what was difficult for me to grasp and how I tackled those difficulties. I’m looking forward to starting another language learning journey, and writing about it should be a good motivator! I hope you’re all looking forward to it as much as I am!

Categories
Translations

Pun Analysis 2: Are you hitting on me?

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another pun analysis! This week, I’m looking at a pun translation from a manga called Takane no Hana nara Ochitekoi! This is not a manga I’ve read or plan to ever read, but this pun was very useful for my thesis research. I’d like to show it to all of you, as well as my analysis on this pun.

In Japanese, this pun revolves around the word tsukiatte (付き合って), which is used by a student asking out his classmate, and means please go out with me. The girl, however, interprets this as a different meaning of tsukiatte (突き合って), which can mean something like please hit me or let’s hit each other. This is a homophonous pun, as the words used in the puns have different meanings and different spellings but share the pronunciation of tsukiatte.

The pun in Japanese

In the English translation, the translator translated both forms of tsukiatte (突き合って and 付き合って) according to the meaning the kanji give them, and not to the double meaning of the pronunciation of the word. This removed the pun, but the translator added a note explaining what the pun was in Japanese. This is what we call a Pun to Non-Pun translation, with usage of an editorial technique (in this case, a translator’s note to explain how the pun works in Japanese).

The pun in English

I would personally try to keep a pun in the translation, possibly using the English phrase “to hit on someone.” This still gives ambiguity if used correctly and also matches with the Japanese meanings of tsukiatte.

How would you translate this pun? Leave a comment and let me know! This post is a bit shorter than my usual ones, but these analyses are pretty short. I have more pun translations available, and I will analyze them all eventually, so check back regularly!

Categories
Translations

Pun Analysis 1: Punk Bicycles

A few weeks ago, I promised to show some puns and their translations, and analyze them in a blog post. The past weeks have been busier than I expected, so I haven’t had the time to properly write for my blog, but I fully intend to keep that promise, so here’s the first pun analysis! This pun is from the Nintendo game Earthbound/Mother 2.

In the Japanese version of the game, the bicycle shop is called Panku (パンク), which can mean either punk or flat tire. This is a homophonous pun involving the double meaning of the word panku, combined with the fact that it is the name of a bicycle shop owned by a typical punk guy. The translators used a Pun > pun translation here, using a similar bicycle-related pun that also covers the meaning of the word punk.

The English translation for this bicycle shop is Punk-Sure. This is a pun in multiple ways. First of all, the name of the shop sounds almost identical to the word puncture, which is another possible translation of the word panku. This is a paronymous pun, as Punk-Sure and puncture have similar, but not identical spellings and pronunciations. Secondly, the name Punk-Sure involves the word punk, which again refers to the store’s owner. Lastly, going back to the word puncture, this is very closely related to the name of the shop in Japanese, as a puncture (Punk-sure) usually results in a flat tire (panku).

That’s all for this post! I’ll analyze more puns over the next couple of weeks, so check back regularly!