Why is Jordan pronouncing the word Karateka incorrectly?

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#1 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2772 posts) -

This really ticks me off, the game industry keep interviewing Jordan Mechner and he keeps mispronouncing the name, and they he start making the interviewer mispronounce the name. Karateka is a WORD in Japanese, so even if you don't pronounce it in 'perfect' Japanese there is no reason to change the sounds and add emphasis to the wrong syllable.

http://www.forvo.com/word/karateka_(%E7%A9%BA%E6%89%8B%E5%AE%B6)/

#2 Posted by MB (12395 posts) -

I don't know...I remember the initial interview in which he "mispronounced" karateka, but...it's his game, and he's not Japanese. It doesn't bother me, all I know is that Karateka and Oregon Trail were the first video games I ever played and they were absolute magic. He can say it however he wants.

It also makes me feel really old when I think about the fact that most people reading this never even played either of those games.

Moderator Online
#3 Posted by Imsorrymsjackson (855 posts) -

Alright.

#4 Posted by Tennmuerti (8100 posts) -

@MB said:

I don't know...I remember the initial interview in which he "mispronounced" karateka, but...it's his game, and he's not Japanese. It doesn't bother me, all I know is that Karateka and Oregon Trail were the first video games I ever played and they were absolute magic. He can say it however he wants.

It also makes me feel really old when I think about the fact that most people reading this never even played either of those games.

Ironically I played the game, but being like 5 or 6 I never knew what it was called (lack of english at the time didn't help either)

#5 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2007 posts) -

Eh.

Tell him yourself, if you care this much, or just sit and fume on the internet. It's not that big of a deal, seeing as he's not Japanese.

#6 Edited by CaLe (3985 posts) -

Who gives a shit? He's not Japanese, and Japanese people themselves butcher English pronunciations all the time. FAINARU FANTASHIIIIIIIIIIII. These are English words and the Japanese pronounce them wrong!!! Oh noes. I'm guessing he also mispronounces samurai, ninja, tsunami, karate, judo, sumo, and a whole slew of other Japanese words as well. Like pretty much every other バカ外人.

Stop making an issue out of nothing.

#7 Edited by mandude (2669 posts) -

@CaLe said:

FAINARU FANTASHIIIIIIIIIIII

As far as I'm concerned, that's making it sound better.

But yeah: non-issue.

#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@MonkeyKing1969 said:

Karateka is a WORD in Japanese, so even if you don't pronounce it in 'perfect' Japanese there is no reason to change the sounds and add emphasis to the wrong syllable.

Your argument is "so even if you don't pronounce it in 'perfect' Japanese, there's no reason you shouldn't pronounce it in perfect Japanese"?

#9 Posted by Baillie (4168 posts) -

Yeah, I don't understand why people are pronouncing it wrong now, I rarely heard it being pronounced wrong before.

#10 Posted by TonicBH (271 posts) -

@MonkeyKing1969 said:

This really ticks me off, the game industry keep interviewing Jordan Mechner and he keeps mispronouncing the name, and they he start making the interviewer mispronounce the name. Karateka is a WORD in Japanese, so even if you don't pronounce it in 'perfect' Japanese there is no reason to change the sounds and add emphasis to the wrong syllable.

http://www.forvo.com/word/karateka_(%E7%A9%BA%E6%89%8B%E5%AE%B6)/

That's how he pronounces it, thus that's how it's pronounced. Who cares if it's not accurate?

#11 Posted by Christoffer (1818 posts) -

¡Exzécutable!

#12 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -

Jeff Gerstmann doesn't pronounce his name with the proper German accent.

Neither does Brad Schumacher.

#13 Posted by Gladiator_Games (444 posts) -
@MonkeyKing1969 Ever promounce it "motorhead"? BAM! Youre wrong! Hes not a native speaker. You weeaboos are strange indeed.
#14 Posted by YoungFrey (1321 posts) -

I don't know of any language where a real effort is taken to pronounce another's when incorporating parts of it. Which is kind of the point, you are aren't trying to speak the other language, you are just taking a useful part of it and making it part of your language. Which means you can then say it however you like (you meaning the population at large). If Jordan was saying "The Japanese have this thing they call <mispronounced>" that is ok (if petty) to complain about because for that 1 word he is speaking Japanese.

#15 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

Why are you so bent out of shape over something this small?

#16 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

He made the game up, he gets to pick the pronunciation. Especially with a title as dumb as Karateka.

#17 Posted by RVonE (4638 posts) -

This thread is gold.

#18 Posted by laserbolts (5322 posts) -

What is a weeaboo?

#19 Posted by Fire_Of_The_Wind (170 posts) -

Isn't it pronounced how its written, how do you pronounce it wrong? Listening to the Japanese pronunciation that is how I always pronounced it and I never knew that it was a Japanese word.

#20 Posted by ReverendHunt (344 posts) -

Now see, you can't use the Japanese mispronouncing English as a valid argument. A lot of sounds in English don't exist in Japanese. *All* sounds in Japanese exist in English natively, except maybe Tsu.

#21 Posted by CaLe (3985 posts) -

@ReverendHunt said:

Now see, you can't use the Japanese mispronouncing English as a valid argument. A lot of sounds in English don't exist in Japanese. *All* sounds in Japanese exist in English natively, except maybe Tsu.

They are taught how to read English from a young age and see it constantly throughout their daily lives. Just because their syllabary system doesn't contain the sounds doesn't mean they can't pronounce them.

#22 Posted by Shady (503 posts) -

Well, I'm glad to know that name calling hasn't left this site yet. Still, I'm not really sure it matters how you pronounce it since the game doesn't make any effort to let you know how to do so. Also, this game sucks.

#23 Posted by JasonR86 (9706 posts) -

Eh. This reminds me of those who freak out when people mispronounce 'karate'. Why make such a big fuss about it? All words are made up anyway.

Online
#24 Edited by Shady (503 posts) -

@CaLe said:

@ReverendHunt said:

Now see, you can't use the Japanese mispronouncing English as a valid argument. A lot of sounds in English don't exist in Japanese. *All* sounds in Japanese exist in English natively, except maybe Tsu.

They are taught how to read English from a young age and see it constantly throughout their daily lives. Just because their syllabary system doesn't contain the sounds doesn't mean they can't pronounce them.

Unless you constantly speak a language, those things are bound to slip by. My pronunciation of certain Spanish words became really rusty after not speaking it for several years.

#25 Edited by CaLe (3985 posts) -

@Shady said:

@CaLe said:

@ReverendHunt said:

Now see, you can't use the Japanese mispronouncing English as a valid argument. A lot of sounds in English don't exist in Japanese. *All* sounds in Japanese exist in English natively, except maybe Tsu.

They are taught how to read English from a young age and see it constantly throughout their daily lives. Just because their syllabary system doesn't contain the sounds doesn't mean they can't pronounce them.

Unless you constantly speak a language, those things are bound to slip by. My pronunciation of Spanish became really rusty after not speaking it for several years.

I wasn't trying to suggest they should even attempt to pronounce the English properly. Just pointing out they know how to read English... albeit not very well in most cases. Just like most English speakers can't properly pronounce a whole bunch of common Japanese words. They just say them in their normal accents, which is fine. It's dumb to complain about it.

#26 Posted by Gladiator_Games (444 posts) -
@laserbolts 1) weeaboo is a japanophile. Typically a white person who does everything they can to be what they think is japanese (re: manga/anime) and tend to open threads like this and use mangled japanese in their day to day speak. 2) as Jeff would say: "a jerk"
#27 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (666 posts) -

I don't understand this thinking. I live in NY and Manhattan probably has the most accents in one area in the world, and I've never once gone up to a foreign person and said, "you're pronouncing *insert English word* wrong, learn to say it." Japanese people butcher English all the time, it's a very difficult language gap...it's not a crime to mispronounce a Japanese word.

#28 Posted by believer258 (11905 posts) -

@MB said:

I don't know...I remember the initial interview in which he "mispronounced" karateka, but...it's his game, and he's not Japanese. It doesn't bother me, all I know is that Karateka and Oregon Trail were the first video games I ever played and they were absolute magic. He can say it however he wants.

It also makes me feel really old when I think about the fact that most people reading this never even played either of those games.

I played Oregon Trail and I'm only 21. Best educational game ever.

@laserbolts said:

What is a weeaboo?

From my understanding, it's someone who is similar to an otaku but instead of being obsessed with Japanese culture from a more outside perspective, they try to pretend like they really are Japanese. So, yeah, somehow more pathetic than an otaku.

Online
#29 Posted by Grimhild (723 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Jeff Gerstmann doesn't pronounce his name with the proper German accent. Neither does Brad Schumacher.

*gasp* Das ist wahr! Unannehmbar! Fire them, now.

#30 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@CaLe said:

Who gives a shit? He's not Japanese, and Japanese people themselves butcher English pronunciations all the time. FAINARU FANTASHIIIIIIIIIIII. These are English words and the Japanese pronounce them wrong!!! O

They are English words adapted into the Japanese writing system, so that's why they sound different. It's not because they are pronouncing them wrong, it's just how they should be read from looking at the writing.

Some words make a smooth transition (such as banana) but others don't and alter the sound of the words slightly.

@rebgav said:

@MonkeyKing1969 said:

Karateka is a WORD in Japanese, so even if you don't pronounce it in 'perfect' Japanese there is no reason to change the sounds and add emphasis to the wrong syllable.

Yeah! Let's make a big deal out of this! Especially since Japanese developers do such a great job of pronouncing English words!

As above.

@CaLe said:

@ReverendHunt said:

Now see, you can't use the Japanese mispronouncing English as a valid argument. A lot of sounds in English don't exist in Japanese. *All* sounds in Japanese exist in English natively, except maybe Tsu.

They are taught how to read English from a young age and see it constantly throughout their daily lives. Just because their syllabary system doesn't contain the sounds doesn't mean they can't pronounce them.

You are vastly overestimating how many people in Japan actually understand English. It's nothing like Scandinavia.

and it kind of does, English is much harder to pronounce than Japanese and it is impossible to write certain English words in Japanese, hence the adaption/interpretation - it doesn't mean they can't pronounce it, although most couldn't.

#31 Posted by Cube (4366 posts) -

man who fucking cares. video games must be slumping if this is what we're talkin about

#32 Posted by Fearbeard (830 posts) -

His game, he can pronounce it however he wants and the way he pronounces it is the way it should officially be pronounced. The actual probounciation of a real word is irrelevant.

#33 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

this thread is kawaii

#34 Posted by Bribo (605 posts) -

It's pronounced "carrot tweaker".

#35 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

Of all the things to get mad about. There is a civil war in Syria right now, and you're whining about some guy not pronouncing a title correctly.

#36 Posted by rentfn (1280 posts) -

This was brought up at the PAX East 2012 Keynote. A fan in the crowd asked him this same question and I believe he responded by telling the guy to make a game and call it whatever he wants...until then get off his back.

#37 Posted by Jerusahat (139 posts) -
#38 Posted by matti00 (668 posts) -

Until I learned proper Japanese pronunciation, I pronounced all sorts of shit wrong. I won't judge people for doing the same thing, because I know how easy it is.

Also, Americans telling people how to pronounce *anything* is crazy.

#39 Edited by Napalm (9020 posts) -

Is it "care-uh-teekuh" or karah-tikuh"? I think it's the second. I think.

Or I mean, the second way sounds less dumb.

#40 Posted by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

Aluminium not Aluminum

#41 Posted by Azteris (810 posts) -

@Napalm said:

Is it "care-uh-teekuh" or karah-tikuh"? I think it's the second. I think.

Or I mean, the second way sounds less dumb.

It's the second one, in my opinion. I don't understand this fascination some people have with stopping in the middle of a word to pronounce it incorrectly, then getting upset that people are telling them they are wrong.

#42 Posted by Trilogy (2653 posts) -

@Hitchenson said:

Aluminium not Aluminum

Excuse me, but I do believe the correct pronunciation is "Alooomeenummenumenumenum".

#43 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2156 posts) -

@Azteris said:

@Napalm said:

Is it "care-uh-teekuh" or karah-tikuh"? I think it's the second. I think.

Or I mean, the second way sounds less dumb.

It's the second one, in my opinion. I don't understand this fascination some people have with stopping in the middle of a word to pronounce it incorrectly, then getting upset that people are telling them they are wrong.

And yet everyone just loves it when people make fun of Will Smith.

I have no idea why people suddenly started saying it wrong.

#44 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

@Manhattan_Project said:

@Azteris said:

@Napalm said:

Is it "care-uh-teekuh" or karah-tikuh"? I think it's the second. I think.

Or I mean, the second way sounds less dumb.

It's the second one, in my opinion. I don't understand this fascination some people have with stopping in the middle of a word to pronounce it incorrectly, then getting upset that people are telling them they are wrong.

And yet everyone just loves it when people make fun of Will Smith.

I have no idea why people suddenly started saying it wrong.

To be fair, he pronounces normal-ass words weird. Exzecutable? Like, what?

#45 Posted by Jimbo (9809 posts) -

Should have been a poll.

#46 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@ReverendHunt said:

Now see, you can't use the Japanese mispronouncing English as a valid argument. A lot of sounds in English don't exist in Japanese. *All* sounds in Japanese exist in English natively, except maybe Tsu.

There are plenty of Japanese people who can speak English perfectly, the sounds don't simply not exist for them, but I've seen enough Japanese TV shows to know they often slaughter the language. For example, the word "decade" (which is fairly obvious to say for native English speakers) in Kamen Rider Decade is frequently pronounced "Dee-cad-oh".

But I don't see the big deal and I'm sure no one in Japan does either.

#47 Posted by Abendlaender (2804 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Jeff Gerstmann doesn't pronounce his name with the proper German accent. Neither does Brad Schumacher.

*arrogant cough* It's SchuHmacher, thank you

Online
#48 Edited by CaLe (3985 posts) -

@Sooty said:

@CaLe said:

Who gives a shit? He's not Japanese, and Japanese people themselves butcher English pronunciations all the time. FAINARU FANTASHIIIIIIIIIIII. These are English words and the Japanese pronounce them wrong!!! O

They are English words adapted into the Japanese writing system, so that's why they sound different. It's not because they are pronouncing them wrong, it's just how they should be read from looking at the writing.

Some words make a smooth transition (such as banana) but others don't and alter the sound of the words slightly.

@CaLe said:

@ReverendHunt said:

Now see, you can't use the Japanese mispronouncing English as a valid argument. A lot of sounds in English don't exist in Japanese. *All* sounds in Japanese exist in English natively, except maybe Tsu.

They are taught how to read English from a young age and see it constantly throughout their daily lives. Just because their syllabary system doesn't contain the sounds doesn't mean they can't pronounce them.

You are vastly overestimating how many people in Japan actually understand English. It's nothing like Scandinavia.

and it kind of does, English is much harder to pronounce than Japanese and it is impossible to write certain English words in Japanese, hence the adaption/interpretation - it doesn't mean they can't pronounce it, although most couldn't.

I'm not overestimating them at all. I've spent a decent amount of time surrounded by Japanese students who are learning English and they actually do know how to read and pronounce English properly when they want to (some better than others of course). It might be different if you are talking with someone who has zero interest in even trying. Plenty are perfectly happy to katakana-fy everything. I'd never suggest it's anything like Scandinavia. I was simply saying they can make English sounds that are not part of their own syllabary system -- which they can.

My first post wasn't a slight at any Japanese person. It was a parody of the OP. I guess the butchering part was a slight, but it's true. Many are pretty bad because they are katakana-fying everything, not just 和製英語 or normal 片仮名. This isn't a bad thing in itself... unless trying to learn English.

Also: "it's just how they should be read from looking at the writing." -- I know.

#49 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@CaLe said:

@Sooty said:

@CaLe said:

Who gives a shit? He's not Japanese, and Japanese people themselves butcher English pronunciations all the time. FAINARU FANTASHIIIIIIIIIIII. These are English words and the Japanese pronounce them wrong!!! O

They are English words adapted into the Japanese writing system, so that's why they sound different. It's not because they are pronouncing them wrong, it's just how they should be read from looking at the writing.

Some words make a smooth transition (such as banana) but others don't and alter the sound of the words slightly.

@CaLe said:

@ReverendHunt said:

Now see, you can't use the Japanese mispronouncing English as a valid argument. A lot of sounds in English don't exist in Japanese. *All* sounds in Japanese exist in English natively, except maybe Tsu.

They are taught how to read English from a young age and see it constantly throughout their daily lives. Just because their syllabary system doesn't contain the sounds doesn't mean they can't pronounce them.

You are vastly overestimating how many people in Japan actually understand English. It's nothing like Scandinavia.

and it kind of does, English is much harder to pronounce than Japanese and it is impossible to write certain English words in Japanese, hence the adaption/interpretation - it doesn't mean they can't pronounce it, although most couldn't.

I'm not overestimating them at all. I've spent a decent amount of time surrounded by Japanese students who are learning English and they actually do know how to read and pronounce English properly when they want to (some better than others of course). It might be different if you are talking with someone who has zero interest in even trying. Plenty are perfectly happy to katakana-fy everything. I'd never suggest it's anything like Scandinavia. I was simply saying they can make English sounds that are not part of their own syllabary system -- which they can.

I mean overestimating the country, English really isn't widely spoken outside of what they pick up in school. Of course there's plenty of students who take their English to an excellent level.

#50 Edited by CaLe (3985 posts) -

@Sooty said:

I mean overestimating the country, English really isn't widely spoken outside of what they pick up in school. Of course there's plenty of students who take their English to an excellent level.

For sure, it's nothing like Scandinavia, or Europe in general. Actually they are even a lot worse than Korea when it comes to English. I just think it's a little unfair to say they can't pronounce English sounds because of their own system. It's a hindrance, but they can overcome it if they make an effort.

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