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Names: HOW DO YOU SAY THEM?

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So I am starting a project I have been wanting to do for a while. But what I am worried about is the pronunciation of the characters names. I have voice training, but I am not good at Japanese or Japanese-esque names. I am hoping the community can help me with a pronunciation guide for names. Be aware I can read phonetics like 70% of the time and never quickly, but I would generally prefer that over typing it out as it is less AK - YOU - WRIT

I will start by just listing all the names we have seen and wondering how you guys would say it:

Rokugan
Fu Leng
Jigoku
Kaiu
Kami
Togashi
Tao
Shinsei
Bayushi
Bushidō
Hantei
Ki-Rin

meishōdō
Shinjo
Chrysanthemum
Doji
Hotaru
Satsume
Akodo
Arasou
Matsu
Tsuko
Toturi
Altansarnai
Utaku 
Kamoko 
Shiba
Ujimitsu
shugenja
Togashi
Yokuni
oni
Hida
Kisada

 

So I have included several that I am pretty sure I know how to say =P
Just adding them all for completion. Thanks for any and all guidance.

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It's weird for me to type it out, because I don't know how to type using proper IPA and Japanese uses very similar phonemes to Swiss-German. The 'u' is a bit different and emphasis is placed differently (SG tends to super-overstress the first syllable). Typing the 'i' and 'u' sound out as 'ee' or 'oo' also doesn't imply that they're long.
But here goes:

  • Róhkoogahn
  • Foo Leng
  • Jigóhkoo
  • Kaheeoo
  • Kahmee
  • Tohgahshi

and so on. I try to pronounce things the Japanese way, anyway.

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Fu Leng is a hard one, since it's not based on Japanese (anyone else notice that the only kami with a Chinese name is the evil one?). Is it in Wade-Giles or Pinyin? I'm pretty sure the -eng ending is pronounced differently in the two systems. When I was studying Mandarin, I always thought -eng sounded closer to the English sound in the word "lung" than the way we would immediately assume it should be pronounced.

Anyway, while the average L5R player's pronunciation is pretty ghastly in my experience (no offense to anyone), the vowel sounds aren't generally a major issue. There are some exceptions, of course, like the widespread mispronunciation of kotei as "kotai" for whatever reason (see the separate thread on this), and most people are unaware of the more esoteric things like the u not really being pronounced in Kitsuki or Yasuki (google "Japanese vowel devoicing" if you're interested in this). But the big thing that really gets English speakers (and which is really hard to explain on-line) is that English has a stress accent and Japanese doesn't (everything receives equal stress). So, to use an example that I used to frequently encounter and probably will again now that she's back, Kachiko is pronounced ka-chi-ko, not ka-CHI-ko (there's some devoicing here as well which makes the difference stand out even more).

 

Edited by Yoritomo Reiu

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21 minutes ago, Yoritomo Reiu said:

Fu Leng is a hard one, since it's not based on Japanese (anyone else notice that the only kami with a Chinese name is the evil one?). Is it in Wade-Giles or Pinyin? I'm pretty sure the -eng ending is pronounced differently in the two systems. When I was studying Mandarin, I always thought -eng sounded closer to the English sound in the word "lung" than the way we would immediately assume it should be pronounced.

Anyway, while the average L5R player's pronunciation is pretty ghastly in my experience (no offense to anyone), the vowel sounds aren't generally a major issue. There are some exceptions, of course, like the widespread mispronunciation of kotei as "kotai" for whatever reason (see the separate thread on this), and most people are unaware of the more esoteric things like the u not really being pronounced in Kitsuki or Yasuki (google "Japanese vowel devoicing" if you're interested in this). But the big thing that really gets English speakers (and which is really hard to explain on-line) is that English has a stress accent and Japanese doesn't (everything receives equal stress). So, to use an example that I used to frequently encounter and probably will again now that she's back, Kachiko is pronounced ka-chi-ko, not ka-CHI-ko.

 

Fu Leng is "Foo Leng." I've never heard anyone pronounce it any other way.

If you get 'stressed' out by people stressing syllables, you are going to have trouble hanging out at most L5R tournaments. ;) There is a small minority of players who pronounce things "correctly" (e.g., with no emphasis on any syllable). But it's mostly kit-SU-ki and to-TU-ri and kuh-NAY-kuh (instead of kah-neh-kah, so not just the emphasis but the vowel pronunciation changes) and so forth. On the bright side, I think the dominant pronunciation of Kachiko is actually pretty even, or maybe with the emphasis on the first syllable (ka-chih-ko or KA-chi-ko, rather than ka-CHEE-ko.

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1 minute ago, Daramere said:

If you get 'stressed' out by people stressing syllables, you are going to have trouble hanging out at most L5R tournaments. ;) There is a small minority of players who pronounce things "correctly" (e.g., with no emphasis on any syllable).

I picked up my first starters back in Imperial, so this isn't a revelation to me. My FLGS group is actually pretty good, so it's always a bit of an eyeopener to be reminded what the average player sounds like when I listen to a podcast or attend a Kotei.

I think this will get a little better with the LCG since younger players will be drawn into the game. Anime, etc., has been in the mainstream for their entire lives so they generally have better pronunciation in my experience.

 

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Chrysanthemum is a word in common usage, isn't it?
Chris-anthem-um.  I had never even considered that there might be other options.

And I also have never heard Fu Leng pronounced in any way other than Foo Leng.  Again, I hadn't even considered other options.

I played the CCG for the majority of its existence, since the late 90's, and I am pretty sure that I horribly butcher the majority of that list. Expect to hear Americanized versions of every single one of those words more often than correct pronunciations.   

I would imagine that L5R tournaments could be quite painful for people fluent in Japanese.

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Our friend had a girlfriend in L5R for a while.  We had been hanging out with her for a while, and brought her to a tournament.  At this point she pronounced Kitsune as "Kitsoon".  She had named her dog this.  To be sure we were surprised, and disappointed.

If you get bothered by mispronunciation, don't go to a tournament.  Most people's experience about such things is only based on reading the name in their head, as well as local cultural norms.  Sometimes it doesn't match with what you are useful.

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In the old version of the game, I usually pronounced it "that guy" or "this girl."  Such specifications were often met with a correction regarding the associated personality's gender.  

 

I look forward ward to the more generic names for the non-unique personalities.

Edited by GooeyChewie

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Keep in mind that the CCG was a Japanese flavored game created by people that, more often than not, couldn't speak Japanese.  At least not well.  This resulted in some rather embarassing situations.

The Otaku family of the Unicorn was probably the most visible (later changed to Utaku)

Also, this guy.
 

showimage.jpg

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10 minutes ago, GooeyChewie said:

In the old version of the game, I usually pronounced it "that guy" or "this girl."  Such specifications were often met with a correction regarding the associated personality's gender.  

 

I look forward ward to the more generic names for the non-unique personalities.

"No, that crane is a dude..." "Is she?"

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8 hours ago, BayushiCroy said:

So I am starting a project I have been wanting to do for a while. But what I am worried about is the pronunciation of the characters names. I have voice training, but I am not good at Japanese or Japanese-esque names. I am hoping the community can help me with a pronunciation guide for names. Be aware I can read phonetics like 70% of the time and never quickly, but I would generally prefer that over typing it out as it is less AK - YOU - WRIT

I will start by just listing all the names we have seen and wondering how you guys would say it:

Rokugan
Fu Leng
Jigoku
Kaiu
Kami
Togashi
Tao
Shinsei
Bayushi
Bushidō
Hantei
Ki-Rin

meishōdō
Shinjo
Chrysanthemum
Doji
Hotaru
Satsume
Akodo
Arasou
Matsu
Tsuko
Toturi
Altansarnai
Utaku 
Kamoko 
Shiba
Ujimitsu
shugenja
Togashi
Yokuni
oni
Hida
Kisada

 

So I have included several that I am pretty sure I know how to say =P
Just adding them all for completion. Thanks for any and all guidance.

http://iprc.soest.hawaii.edu/users/furue/jp-pron.html

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10 minutes ago, Yogo Gohei said:

Keep in mind that the CCG was a Japanese flavored game created by people that, more often than not, couldn't speak Japanese.  At least not well.  This resulted in some rather embarassing situations.

The Otaku family of the Unicorn was probably the most visible (later changed to Utaku)

Also, this guy.
 

showimage.jpg

Yeah, Kuso was awful. I think the Otaku family was an intentional reference, though. It's just that while the term was still fairly obscure in 1995, it didn't stay that way.

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1 hour ago, Yogo Gohei said:

Chrysanthemum is a word in common usage, isn't it?
Chris-anthem-um.  I had never even considered that there might be other options.

Yes, it's an English word. It's the name of a flower. Kiku, in Japanese. They eat it in salads, I've seen.

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10 hours ago, Yoritomo Reiu said:

Fu Leng is most likely derived from Fu Manchu, so yeah, everyone pronounces it "foo leng". I was trying to answer how it would be pronounced as an actual Chinese word rather than a semi-offensive homage.

I always wondered how they came up with that name. Anyone have an idea?

I have my own theory that it's an anagram of Lu Feng, an actor in many Shaw Brothers wuxia films. He usualy played the villain.

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32 minutes ago, Robin Graves said:

I always wondered how they came up with that name. Anyone have an idea?

I have my own theory that it's an anagram of Lu Feng, an actor in many Shaw Brothers wuxia films. He usualy played the villain.

I felt as though it may have been meant to call to mind Leng from the Cthulhu Mythos, to hint at the character's sinister nature, but I could be wrong.

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3 hours ago, Robin Graves said:

I always wondered how they came up with that name. Anyone have an idea?

I have my own theory that it's an anagram of Lu Feng, an actor in many Shaw Brothers wuxia films. He usualy played the villain.

I think that's as likely an explanation as any.

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