Talk:AniDB Definition:Romanisation

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Possible new layout

(Please edit freely)

Transcribing words

Main hepburn table goes here

Rules used at AniDB


When is a word a word?

Loan words

Suffixes and Prefixes

--Pelican 16:09, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

General discussion

Thread: 2935 (old forum) - 'The topic or post you requested does not exist'

Am I doing something wrong?

-- Elfish 16:45, 14 Jun 2005 (CEST+1)

Well that article is in the internal section. Only AniDB mods and mods of the old docu crew can access it atm as it wasn't complete done(?)

anyway moved it to the public "AniDB Discussion" forum if you want to have a look at it.

-- Der Idiot 17:05, 14 Jun 2005 (CEST+1)
Ack! You can't make that public!.... I guess it's my fault for not actually writing this section... --Rar 18:29, 14 Jun 2005 (CEST)
っ when exclamation

Better not to use it.

Macron usage for long vowels

Should not be used in romaji anime (and most likely ep.) names - out of low-ASCII and, therefore, PITA for file systems and many non-Unicode programs.

What to do with wasei eigo terms

Spell as in English if it is composed from full words. Abbreviations... are more difficult to judge.

What to do with names and invented terms 

Spell as in official Japanese materials. It is hard sometimes to find names in Latin in Japanese material though. Ignore materials from translated releases. --Rowaa[SR13] 15:45, 29 Jul 2005 (CEST)

Reverted a minor edit by coo, which was well intentioned but mostly incorrect... I *know* AniDB calls them 'kanji titles' internally, but there's no need to propagate wrongness, very few Japanese titles are kanji only. --Rar 05:52, 13 November 2005 (CET)

Why romanisation should not be a partial translation

According to the current romanisation standard on AniDB, 和製英語 (wasei eigo) and similar should be inversely-tramnscribed to their original words. This is a bad idea.

Let's go back and look at the purposes you list for romanisation:

  1. Recognition
  2. Pronunciation

I do not see "translation" anywhere in there.

A fact: 和製英語 words are not pronounced like the legacy words by native Japanese speakers. Any proper Japanese teacher will tell you that native Japanese speakers simply might not understand you at all if you pronounce ラジオ (rajio) as radio, コーヒー (kōhī) as coffee etc. Likewise, a native English speaker can not be expected to be able to decipher the derived Japanese words just listening to it. So why try to build an illusion that Japanese speakers understand English and the other way around, when it's obviously not true?

Another thing to take into consideration are words that have changed meaning after they were imported into Japanese. I cannot think of any really good examples right now, ecept for one: ゲイ (gei), original English word being gay. The word was/is used for men acting somewhat like stereotypical homosexual men, though they might not actually be homosexuals. Rather, it was 芸 (gei), performance. (Think of the original English meaning of the word, rather than the modern English meaning.) So should it still be "romanised" into "gay"? Couldn't that give the wrong impression among some people? Actually, it's not even a translation into modern English, even though it does give a good idea of how to pronounce the Japanese word.

So, returning to the two purposes of romanisation. In my opinion, those two purposes are different ways of expressing the same thing, since recognition generally can boil down to pronunciation. Remember that 和製英語 is not pronounced like English? Then, why should an English speaker be able to recognise a 和製英語 word, when it's not pronounced like he/she would expect, given the "romanised" title? Isn't it then better to make a true romanisation, where you romanise the pronunciation, instead of translating certain words, depending on their etymological origin?

It's a widely accepted fact that ローマ字 (rōmaji) doesn't lend a non-Japanese speaker a good chance of pronouncing the romanised text correctly, you actually need some knowledge of Japanese phonetics to do that. It doesn't help the pronunciation if you purposefully fill in even-further-from-Japanese words into the romanisation.

Finally, let me give an example of a word that just can't fit properly into those current "romanisation" rules: ダブる (daburu). A verb, derived from English double, meaning "to double, to repeat". Like any Japanese verb, it can be inflected, ダブります (daburimasu), ダブった (dabutta), ダブらない (daburanai) etc. Would you "romanise" those as "doublimasu", "doubtta", "doublanai", or perhaps translate then, "double" (?!? same thing, different pronunciation?), "doubled", "not double"? Neither of those two are a good solution, so you suddenly have to break your rule.

Conclusion: Romanise Japanese words as Japanese. It lends an English speaker a better chance of recognising a word in a title after hearing the title pronounced (the reader of the ローマ字 should be assumed to not know 漢字 (kanji), as I've been told before, and thus can't check against any 漢字 title written). It also lends the reader a better chance of pronouncing the title close to the actual Japanese pronunciation. A third point I didn't touch yet, because it (according to the current guidelines) isn't a requirement for the romanisation, is that it actually allows one to distinguish between 和製英語 and English words in a title, looking at the ローマ字.

A little note on Hepburn: I don't like pretending to be using Hepburn romanisation when not. No official Hepburn standard (neither the traditional nor any of the officially accepted modifications to it) allows you to mimic Japanese orthography by writing long vowels using direct romanisations of the kana used to produce them. That is, no Hepburn standard allows you to romanise 王 as ou, only ō (traditional Hepburn), oo and o' are accepted. ou is a ワプロローマ字 (wapuro rōmaji) spelling. Yes, real Hepburn is not filename-friendly, and not widely used inside the anime fansubbing community, so instead of pretending to be using Hepburn, rather use a better term for it: Hepburn/wapuro romanisation.

-- Jfs 14:43, 4 December 2005 (CET)

Hmm... what's your battle here? The wasei eigo section has quite clearly not been written yet, nor, as far as I can see, does anything say AniDB transcriptions should use Hepburn. I know the site has (Romaji, Hepburn) under title when adding anime, but hey, the site has lots of things that aren't really right. Anyway, unless you are implying above that you want all transcriptions to strictly follow the Japanese spelling (which would be silly - better to write them in hiragana in that case and auto-romanise according to style preference on display), I suggest you take advantage of the wikiness. Hit edit and get writing the Directly transcribe wasei eigo terms from their kana spelling side of the debate, use what you've written above as the basis for some bullet points and you've practically done all the work already. --Rar 00:05, 5 December 2005 (CET)
Well I remember previously being told that the romanisation style I described above was the preferred form on AniDB, and titles following regular romanisation mod-edited to be partial translations etc., so obviously there's some kind of preference going on here? Jfs 01:53, 5 December 2005 (CET)
If you have complaints about particular titles, raise 'em in the dbcreq foru. Personally, I can't remember the last time someone used lolicom in preference over lolicon or similar. Anyway, this really is a wiki, so, please do edit this page. --Rar 02:14, 6 December 2005 (CET)

Ambiguity on Spacing between romanised words - When should it occur?

I am referring to this part of the article: AniDB Definition:Romanisation#Spacing

I would like to add this part (the bottom-most two paragraphs. the beginning is denoted by |MY ADDITION|) as a guide but I don't know if my addition conflicts with this particular statement since I don't understand this statement:

Separate each 単語 and 助詞.

Does this mean that in 単語, the romanisation for 単 should be separated from that of 語?

Or does this mean that in 単語助詞, the romanisation for 単語 should be separated from that of 助詞?

Can someone or the author please clarify?


A good way to check if it is part of another word or not, is to use a decent Japanese-English translator such as Babel Fish to do a translation to English. Japanese words meant to be together will often produce a single English word while the Japanese words meant to be separate will often produce separate English words.

Using the above as an example, the translation of 隊 gives Party/Team and 軍隊 gives Troop.

No. Just... no.
Learn some Japanese before you try to contribute to the guidelines, please.
Pelican 15:58, 29 November 2007 (CET)


If I am translating the hiragana にいぜき into Nīzeki or Niizeki which is the Hepburn and which is the Wapuro? Tyciol (talk) 06:11, 2 February 2016 (UTC)