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Nov 4, 2009 5:22 PM
#1
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Faerie Queen

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There has been some discussion recently of moving to a standard set of romanization rules for all database entries (anime/manga/people/char), and using this romanization for all main titles rather than relying on fansub/scanlator romanizations or "the most popular" title. When the titles are meant to be in a language other than Japanese they still would be, but all other japanese titles would follow these rules.

This concerns you, as a user, because the main title is the title that appears on your lists and at the top of every entry. It is also the only name given to characters and people (which currently don't have synonyms).

We have been considering moving to this for a few different reasons. It:
  1. allows all entries to be searchable by a set romanization. This reduces the chances of duplicates being admitted to the database, and makes it easier to search for people, characters, and less popular titles.
  2. removes the subjectiveness out of the main title, with all titles following one set of rules rather than what the person working on the entry feels is the most popular title.
  3. gives all entries consistency across the database.

For those interested, our proposed romanization system is detailed here:


If we were to move to a system such as this, we would need to decide what to do with official Japanese romanizations, or the romanizations that the Japanese production companies use on their websites. There are two main possibilities:

1. Use official Japanese romanizations for the main title/name where defined, and MAL romanizations for all other titles/names.
  • The main appeal of this possibility is that it is more official to use producer/mangaka romanizations since they are the ones naming their own anime/manga/characters (or even themselves). In some cases, the spellings may have specific meanings.
  • The main drawback to this is that one must now know all the official names for people and characters to search them. It should be noted, as well, that if the official romanization includes special characters (namely ō and ū), the macron would be dropped, replacing the special character with 'o' or 'u'.

2. Use MAL romanizations for all titles/names, and place official Japanese romanizations in the synonyms field.
  • The main appeal of this possibility is that it allows all entries to be searchable based on our criteria, and gives all titles consistency.
  • The main drawback is that it is not official.

Please note: this does not include loanwords in Japanese; they will be treated the same under both options.

Examples: 1 vs 2
Characters: Senjyogahara vs Senjougahara; Yuki vs Yuuki
People: Kato vs Katou; Yu vs Yuu
Anime: Jyu Oh Sei vs Juu Ou Sei; Chi's Sweet Home vs Chii's Sweet Home


Please give your thoughts on MAL moving towards a system like the one proposed above. I have not opened this as a poll because I am not looking for yes/no answers, but careful consideration and thoughtful posts. Please note that consideration and thoughtfulness usually takes at least a few sentences to describe, and does not include one line posts.

Thank you for reading through this, and I look forward to seeing your responses.
KinetaOct 30, 2010 1:55 AM
Nov 4, 2009 5:24 PM
#2

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I, for one, verily approve of option two. I'd rather consistent romanisation based on our standards instead of inconsistent stuff where we do some, and the rest is official -- especially when official romanisation is often daft anyway. I think option two offers a better solution for us, and will make the database easier to navigate, and manage (just do it once, no need to keep an eye on "official" updates).
Nov 4, 2009 5:40 PM
#3

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I thought it was like this already...

I think that whenever there is an "official" romanization you should stick to it. Everyone else follows "mal romanization".
Waratte Oemashou Sore ha Chiisana Inori
Nov 4, 2009 5:47 PM
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I like option 2. Having it consistent means that when I romanize the way I expect it to be romanized, I can find it. Otherwise, it's just confusing to go with their romanization. Like Senjyogahara (wtf?).
Nov 4, 2009 5:54 PM
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I'm more for option one. Though the subjectivity of a main title is bothersome, I believe it's necessary. I don't think MAL should be one to have a romanization system that is site-specific. The benefit of "official" entries gives the site more credit and makes it more useful. While consistency is nice in some regards, it loses out here.
Nov 4, 2009 6:02 PM
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ladyxzeus said:

I think that whenever there is an "official" romanization you should stick to it. Everyone else follows "mal romanization".

Also, would it be too unnapropriate to have the two options at the same time?
Waratte Oemashou Sore ha Chiisana Inori
Nov 4, 2009 6:06 PM
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Definitely option 2.

There's some things I'd rather have a tiny bit different, but it's no big deal. I'm all for consistency. The only change I'd never get used to is Tousaka/Toosaka instead of Tohsaka. orz
Shana is love.



Nov 4, 2009 6:50 PM
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ladyxzeus said:
Also, would it be too unnapropriate to have the two options at the same time?
I'm not sure what you mean by two options at the same time, I'm sorry. We're discussing the main title here, so if there is an official romanisation, it needs to be one or the other. This does not affect ease of searchability with our romanisation in the anime/manga databases where we have synonyms, but it does affect people/character databases where we currently have no fields for alternate spellings.
Nov 4, 2009 7:20 PM
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Option two is pointless.
Even if MAL decides on a set site-wide mode of romanisation, it's, as wombu said, arrogant of MAL to expect its own pretentious form of romanisation to become a standard for its users. Even if the userbase had high recognition of the Japanese language (though I'm sure all anime fans are confident in their grasp on knee hawn go), do we expect them to always keep 'MAL's romanisation' of names in mind despite officially romanised names appearing effectively every else on the internet?
This is, of course, if they can memorise MAL's form of romanisation in the first place. It's not as if there even exists a common standard in Japanese romanisation. Hepburn, kunrei-siki, and nihon-siki are all still means of romanisation in common practise, and all three are used in official romanisation; no matter which mode MAL chooses for 'consistency', many titles will be debauched.
Of course, this is assuming that everyone knows a set form of romanisation, which, based on perusing various anime forums, IRC, blogs, &c., they do not. Common means of romanisation are not even consistent: what I see most people attempt is hepburn, but often still does one find inconsistency in vowel romanisation that even varies from user to user. This is because of what one calls 'taste', which is inherent in every part of option two. The preferation of one's own style of romanisation in lieu of official titles already connotes a certain self-righteous approach to naming; do we expect all such semanticists to agree on a single form of romanisation? I'm sure they'll be more than happy.
Database inconsistency based on consistent authorities seems much more sound than an ostensible consistency based on inconsistent authority.

For those who want a more simple means of searching, why not just have the title romanised in whatever mode MAL thinks is most widely used among members and having such an equivalent for characters?
Or one could incorporate a list of romanisation synonyms (have it hidden if it so esthetically pleases you) used exclusively for unorthodox romanisations of names for the express purpose of allowing users to find characters (and perhaps learn official names in the process) by searching for whatever romanisation that they so choose.

The Horo example is also irrelevant: romanisation applies only to Japanese names; katakana is the ineffective Japanese attempt to emulate Western names - in this case it is explicitly stated to be 'Holo', and as such, is not a Japanese name subject to romanisation.
Nov 4, 2009 7:29 PM

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"There has been some discussion recently of moving to a standard set of romanization rules for all database entries (anime/manga/people/char), and using this romanization for all main titles rather than relying on fansub/scanlator romanizations or "the most popular" title."

Why? The former is far too inflexible. It seems easier to just use the official romanization or if it doesn't exist, the most popular form that's already in use.

Better then trying to force some arbitrary standard. Nobody likes 'em funny macrons on top of our ōs and ūs.
Nov 4, 2009 7:31 PM

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This is very rude. It would of been appreciated if the topics I made were linked to.

"1. Japanese government officially support "ū"
2. Typing "ū" into your computer is difficult, and it cannot be used in website links.
3. The definition of "ū" is "uu"
4. Even if Japanese people in Japan (not all of them do this, by the way) write "u" because they are lazy, doesn't mean that they would write it in an official title, or when trying to teach others Japanese. Romaji isn't Japanese. It can be used to introduce people to Japanese, or for websites like this where people want to know how to pronounce the shit they are watching. You pronounce ちゅ and ちゅう differently, for example. It is written differently in Japanese. Chu and chuu. If you are typing Japanese using an english keyboard, no matter how hard you try using your psychic magic powers, you can't suddenly change ちゅ to ちゅう without writing the extra u.
5. I think it is comparable to me writing "Plants Don't Grow in the Dark b/c their is no Sun" as an official title for a paper."

^ For example

Please read:
http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=128909
http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=128114


But really with method "1" why drop the macron and why not just write uu/oo etc? All the macron means is elongate the vowel..

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Nov 4, 2009 8:05 PM

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I'm wondering exactly who's "official" version would be used if proposal one was chosen. Are you using the Japanese producers or other foreign producers "official" titles and namings? That's rather unclear, at least to me. I'd presume from your example that you're wanting to use a little of both, which would then perhaps be even more confusing.
Frankly I don't see what the appeal is to "official" anyways. I am of the opinion that we use proposal two for naming consistency which is of far more value than anything else.
Nov 4, 2009 8:59 PM

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qtipbrit said:

For those who want a more simple means of searching, why not just have the title romanised in whatever mode MAL thinks is most widely used among members and having such an equivalent for characters?
.


That's one of the main points of option 2...to create a common romanized language (which typically is seen to be widely used among the members on this site) that all MAL members will be able to follow when searching for anime or manga.
Nov 4, 2009 9:25 PM

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I'd prefer option 2 myself. It just seems needless to have a majority of things romanized in one way, to then have someone come along and toss out an odd rominzation from left field, ruining the consistancy.

I personally also have a hard time spelling some romanized japanese correctly (good at spelling with english but botch this often, hurray). I'm learning as I go along, but learning one way, so it would make it harder on me to search for what I want to find correctly if the uniformity were broken by option 1. Such as: Senjyo vs Senjou. I simply don't understand how this works or why it's done.

Breaking things into two camps just to conform to unusual romanization strikes me as pointless, and I myself think consistancy goes a long way, so option 2 seems the most practical in both use and aesthetics.
Nov 4, 2009 9:38 PM

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I love the idea of standardization but I think standardizing away from official romanization would be crazy. Especially for titles.

I am also not sure that this would really make it easier for the average user to search. How many people are going to look at the original text and try to romanize it before they search? I have to believe that this would help a relatively small percentage of the overall user base.

So, in summary, I favor option 1.
Nov 4, 2009 10:36 PM

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I agree with qtipbrit that the Horo/Holo case is irrelevant. It is question of whether or not to use the romanized name (which would be Horo in all cases) or to use the admittedly odd-sounding Western name, rather than which form of romanization should be used.

Something many users seem to be forgetting is that MAL currently has a so-called "synonyms" section where other spellings of names are often placed. These "synonymous" titles are also searched for. For example Tonari no Yamada-kun can be found with
http://myanimelist.net/anime.php?q=tonari+no+yamada-kun or
http://myanimelist.net/anime.php?q=hohekyo
Just as English titles can also be searched for
http://myanimelist.net/anime.php?q=my+neighbors+the+yamadas

One specific example of this conflict is Kuuchuu Buranko which can be found using Kuchu Buranko, Sky Swing, Kūchū Buranko, Kuuchuu Buranko, and Trapeze.

The only place where this might inconvenience you is if you were "ctrl + f"ing it on some anime/mangalist or the anime/manga you share pages in which case one would also likely run into the anime they are searching for having a title that is in romanized Japanese rather than English or vice versa (It would appear as Tonari no Yamada-kun rather than My Neighbors the Yamadas).

While option two (excluding the Horo over Holo thing) would be a generally more accurate representation of the pronunciation of Japanese words, as long as titles of separate romanizations are held in the "synonyms" section and can be searched for I could care less.

Edit: As was pointed out to me, only the first listed nickname of a character can be searched for. How about just bugging Xinil to fix that. :<

More edit: BBCODE CAN GO TO HELL
XD3r3K-chanX1996Nov 4, 2009 10:54 PM

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Nov 4, 2009 10:45 PM

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Indirect_Purple said:

But really with method "1" why drop the macron and why not just write uu/oo etc? All the macron means is elongate the vowel..


This. Those "extra" vowels are pronounced differently than single vowels and need to be properly included in a romanization for it to be in any way correct.

Ichizon said:
Option 1. I don't want to see on my list something like Juu Ou Sei or any title that is romanized wrong. Even if that wrong romanization is more known.


But Juu Ou Sei is a completely correct romanization. It's just using a different (and actually much more common) romanization system than Jyu Oh Sei.
Nov 5, 2009 1:24 AM

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Is it possible to do "redirects"? This idea is based on Wikipedia, where "common" terminology occurs all too frequently. Duplicates are treated as "redirects" to main articles.

Example of a redirect:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nfl&redirect=no

For duplicates pointing to multiple possibilities, they're listed. For example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruhi
Yes, there's more than one reference to Haruhi.

Furthermore, titles pertaining to anime/manga in Wiki. are standardized so that one topic has one article.
Click on this. I dare you. | MAL Fantasy Football League | Currently Watching List

RWBY Club. RWBY is anime. Deal with it.

Nov 5, 2009 1:44 AM

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I don't really care about the romanization, I'm more concerned about the inconsistensy with japanese/english titles being displayed as the "main" titles for entries. I.e, we have Welcome to NHK! instead of NHK ni Youkoso!, Letter Bee instead of Tegami Bachi, Voices of a Distant Star instead of Hoshi no Koe; but at the same time Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is still Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, not The Girl Who Leapt Through Time or whatever, and Hakushaku to Yousei is still Hakushaku to Yousei, and not Earl & Fairy.
I think that's what should be standartized first. If MAL uses the English titles for all anime that's licensed in US, for example, then all displayed titles for such anime should be in English. If it's not an "ironclad" rule, then I think it's more appropriate for all titles to be in romanized Japanese.

As for the romanization question, option 1 for me of course.
Plate said:
edit: you know option 1 = jyo, right? Right?

It's not. "Jyo", "oh", etc = not official romanization. Some (very few) people still using it, but it's actually obsolete. So I don't really understand why this was brought as an example (Senjyougahara (opt 1) vs Senjougahara (opt 2) ) by Kineta. It's Senjougahara, and only Senjougahara for both options.
seishi-samaNov 5, 2009 1:52 AM
Nov 5, 2009 2:02 AM

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Nitre said:
Which genius romanized じょ as jyo? It's easy enough to see that writing it as jyo makes no sense whatsoever, going by an official romanisation chart, it doesn't even have it like that, so why?

As for my opinion, i'd go with option 1.

I have to know, is this sarcasm? For the life of me I can't tell, because you're not choosing option 2 which would concrete it as Senjougahara as opposed to Senjyogahara, yet you're talking about official romanization (Yes, American. I uze the z) charts. The three main romanization systems, Hebpurn, Kunrei-shiki, and Nihon-shiki write じょ as Jo, Jo, and zyo respectively.

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Nov 5, 2009 3:37 AM

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Kineta said:
ladyxzeus said:
Also, would it be too unnapropriate to have the two options at the same time?
I'm not sure what you mean by two options at the same time, I'm sorry. We're discussing the main title here, so if there is an official romanisation, it needs to be one or the other. This does not affect ease of searchability with our romanisation in the anime/manga databases where we have synonyms, but it does affect people/character databases where we currently have no fields for alternate spellings.

For example, put the official romanization as main title and then MAL's romanization under "alternative titles".

For characters and people,, the same thing could be added.
Waratte Oemashou Sore ha Chiisana Inori
Nov 5, 2009 3:53 AM

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I think people are misunderstanding some things here. When we're saying "official romanization" we're talking about the romanization the Japanese mangaka or producers are using or whatever other official source we can find (obviously not a japanese blog).

The Senjyogahara example is from the official Bakemonogatari site: http://www.bakemonogatari.com/chara/

So yes, if option 1 was chosen, that's what the name would be changed to, no matter how stupid it looks.
KyuuA4 said:
Is it possible to do "redirects"? This idea is based on Wikipedia, where "common" terminology occurs all too frequently. Duplicates are treated as "redirects" to main articles.

Example of a redirect:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nfl&redirect=no

For duplicates pointing to multiple possibilities, they're listed. For example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruhi
Yes, there's more than one reference to Haruhi.

Furthermore, titles pertaining to anime/manga in Wiki. are standardized so that one topic has one article.
Wut? We'll have alternative spelling before any wiki stuff.

Also, I don't see how the Holo/Horo thing is different (it's funny how Colophon and qtipbrit seem to be agreeing, yet are disagreeing ^_^;; ). Yes, the name is spelled in katakana, but have you ever heard an actual name being Holo or Horo? It's not derived from another name like Edward. There's no foot to stand on with the whole Horo/Holo thing, aside from the romanization the official websites use. And that just makes it the same as any other issue here.

And uhm...........I really wouldn't go into the whole "look at what the japanese government does" debate, 'cause that's leading nowhere. Unless of course you want to start doing long vowels as described here. Contrary from what I thought, especially in human and place names, they often just kill the circumflex ('cause apparently the ISO standard, which is officially recognized by the Japanese government uses circumflexes instead of macrons) for long vowels. The source was actually for passports, which apparently has its limitations, but it just shows how they actually deal with this very problem in official documents. I've also been told by our Japanese staff member, that it's very common in general for Japanese people to romanize their names like that.

So in short;
Option 1 = Senjyogahara
Option 2 = Senjougahara

Option 1 = Kuchu Buranko
Option 2 = Kuuchuu Buranko

Take your pick. ^_^


Edit:
ladyxzeus said:
Kineta said:
ladyxzeus said:
Also, would it be too unnapropriate to have the two options at the same time?
I'm not sure what you mean by two options at the same time, I'm sorry. We're discussing the main title here, so if there is an official romanisation, it needs to be one or the other. This does not affect ease of searchability with our romanisation in the anime/manga databases where we have synonyms, but it does affect people/character databases where we currently have no fields for alternate spellings.

For example, put the official romanization as main title and then MAL's romanization under "alternative titles".

For characters and people,, the same thing could be added.
The alternative titles field will always be used to reflect alternate spelling, but we simply don't have them for people and characters yet. It's a work in progress, but there's no ETA on that yet, so it's best to assume we won't have that any time soon and stay at the problem at hand.
Nov 5, 2009 4:00 AM

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Nitre said:
Which genius romanized じょ as jyo? It's easy enough to see that writing it as jyo makes no sense whatsoever, going by an official romanisation chart, it doesn't even have it like that, so why?

As for my opinion, i'd go with option 1.


The official producers did. This is why option two is better, because official romanisation is often quite silly and ruins the consistency of the database. We know our alphabet and we can do romanisation more accurately, and if we have our own chart to go by, anybody can look over it and understand how we do it, which will lower confusion and allow easier management of the db, better displays for pages (since we're talking about main titles/names) and easier searching, since synonyms are somewhat broken and hardly on Xinil's priority list, much less adding more fields to entries that don't have them yet. Far more important things to do -- the romanisation change is something the staff can and want to do without Xinil's code intervention.
Nov 5, 2009 4:16 AM

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Boursk said:
I think people are misunderstanding some things here. When we're saying "official romanization" we're talking about the romanization the Japanese mangaka or producers are using or whatever other official source we can find (obviously not a japanese blog).

The Senjyogahara example is from the official Bakemonogatari site: http://www.bakemonogatari.com/chara/

It's quite inappropriate to call this an "official romanization" then. Also, the webmasters =/= mangaka or producers. There are numerous cases of an anime having more than one official site, with different spelling used on those sites. Not to mention that many character names were never romanized by the authors/webmasters/whoever else.
Nov 5, 2009 4:22 AM

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It's "official" because the creator spelled their series/character/themselves like that, which they have every right in the world to. And I'm expecting the webmasters (of the official websites) to do it appropriately according to the original creator's wishes, or else they'd get slapped and/or fired.

More than one official site with different spelling? We're talking about Japanese sources, not western licensed ones. I'd like to see such a case presented so we can deliberate on that.

And in the case character names weren't romanized:
Kineta said:
1. Use official romanizations for the main title/name where defined, and MAL romanizations for all other titles/names.
Don't forget to read. ^_^
Nov 5, 2009 5:55 AM

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Nitre said:
are we using the romanised names, the names in english or a mix of the two?
I'm not entirely sure what you exactly mean. MAL's romanization guidelines are in the OP's spoiler, so you can check exactly what we mean by option 2 there.

For option 1, we'd just use exactly whatever the official Japanese sources tell us if available. And if they're not available, we'd just use MAL's romanization guidelines.
Nov 5, 2009 6:40 AM

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Boursk said:
I'm not entirely sure what you exactly mean.


I think he was thinking we plan to romanise English names too, eg. Edward as Eduwarudo or something idiotic like that, which isn't the case. Real English names that are clearly English names will get proper translations (Certainly not the case for Horo vs. Holo, since it isn't a real name) and option two would prevent crazy silly names from popping up.

People need to read the OP properly before replying, I think. A lot of people don't seem to understand what is being proposed and said before replying.
Nov 5, 2009 7:18 AM

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Consistency > Official
No, I don't care much if the mangaka includes a pun in the name by using some weird spelling, I'll most likely be able to notice it anyway.
So yeah, Option 2 from my side as it gives the romanization some rules to follow.
----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
Version 3.12 '''(Updated: 29/05/15)'''
GCM/GCS d s:+ a C++(+++) UL-- P L+(-) E-- W++ N++
o? K? w++(++++) O--- M--- V-- PS@ PE+ Y+ PGP++@
t+ 5 X+ R++ tv b DI D++ G e h!* r* y-
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
Nov 5, 2009 8:50 AM

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Right, as for me I'd much prefer to have option 2. The consistency is always welcome and having them romanised the way they are said is also a big bonus if you ask me. Having a decided set of rules to follow that will not be broken up by some random oddities that came to be simply because someone who has no idea how the roman alphabet works started making them up is a good thing.
Nov 5, 2009 8:52 AM

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Boursk said:
Also, I don't see how the Holo/Horo thing is different (it's funny how Colophon and qtipbrit seem to be agreeing, yet are disagreeing ^_^;; ). Yes, the name is spelled in katakana, but have you ever heard an actual name being Holo or Horo? It's not derived from another name like Edward. There's no foot to stand on with the whole Horo/Holo thing, aside from the romanization the official websites use. And that just makes it the same as any other issue here.
Actually as a surname, yes. But that's entirely besides the point. Are people no longer at liberty to create their own western names? You're apparently fine with Horo/Holo being a made up Japanese name for some reason. But hey, nobody seems to complain when people start calling their characters whatever the first cute little noise they made was (Nyuu, Chii), why can't they call their characters made up western names anymore?

Take Aerith. Does it look western? Yes. Is say Aerith a real name? Hell no. Is it an actual English word like Spike, Jet, etc? No. So why does it look western? Maybe partially because Aer is almost Aero or some stupid crap like that, but mostly because it ends with th. The Japanese don't have any th, just like they don't have any l. Obviously it isn't just some romanization thing with "R"s are now "L"s, else the other guy would be called Klaft Lawlence. There would be no reason for anyone to change it to an l if they weren't trying to westernize the name.

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Nov 5, 2009 8:54 AM

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I think we should use official romanization when it's a) the North American or other English language release and b) not obviously incorrect (eg, use Alucard instead of Arucard, because it's Dracula and not Dracura).
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Nov 5, 2009 9:04 AM

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@Nitre (and seishi-sama)

Arite, I see what you're talking about now. ^_^

In that case, I'll refer back to the OP:
Kineta said:
There has been some discussion recently of moving to a standard set of romanization rules for all database entries (anime/manga/people/char), and using this romanization for all main titles rather than relying on fansub/scanlator romanizations or "the most popular" title. When the titles are meant to be in english, they still would be (ie: we won't romanize Maid in Kaichou wa Maid-sama) but all other japanese titles would follow these rules.
So to shorten this: All main titles and names will be the official Japanese name/title, no exceptions. We will however keep foreign words in the Japanese title as they're supposed to.

Examples would be the aforementioned Kaichou wa Maid-sama (instead of Kaichou wa Meido-sama), but also Clannad (instead of Kuranado o.O ) will just stay as it is. Clearly Letter Bee will be changed to Tegami Bachi and the abomination that is The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya will be changed to Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu.

Of course we haven't started changing anything yet before the entire guidelines are finalized and officially posted. So it's not weird if there are still inconsistencies.


Edit:
Colophon said:
Boursk said:
Also, I don't see how the Holo/Horo thing is different (it's funny how Colophon and qtipbrit seem to be agreeing, yet are disagreeing ^_^;; ). Yes, the name is spelled in katakana, but have you ever heard an actual name being Holo or Horo? It's not derived from another name like Edward. There's no foot to stand on with the whole Horo/Holo thing, aside from the romanization the official websites use. And that just makes it the same as any other issue here.
Actually as a surname, yes. But that's entirely besides the point. Are people no longer at liberty to create their own western names? You're apparently fine with Horo/Holo being a made up Japanese name for some reason. But hey, nobody seems to complain when people start calling their characters whatever the first cute little noise they made was (Nyuu, Chii), why can't they call their characters made up western names anymore?

Take Aerith. Does it look western? Yes. Is say Aerith a real name? Hell no. Is it an actual English word like Spike, Jet, etc? No. So why does it look western? Maybe partially because Aer is almost Aero or some stupid crap like that, but mostly because it ends with th. The Japanese don't have any th, just like they don't have any l. Obviously it isn't just some romanization thing with "R"s are now "L"s, else the other guy would be called Klaft Lawlence. There would be no reason for anyone to change it to an l if they weren't trying to westernize the name.
And what makes you think you can just decide whether it's Holo or Horo? The official sources say Holo, so why would it have to be changed to Horo? Like you said, the Japanese can make their own (western styled) names, but that doesn't mean that westerners somehow know better than the creators of the character.

There are a lot of weird ass names out there. Neither you nor me have the right to "improve" said weird ass names. Your only choice is to either respect the original creators' wishes or to vote for a standardized system for the sake of consistency (or to say you don't want to have any consistency at all keep going like we currently are).
BourskNov 5, 2009 9:12 AM
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Boursk said:
And what makes you think you can just decide whether it's Holo or Horo? The official sources say Holo, so why would it have to be changed to Horo? Like you said, the Japanese can make their own (western styled) names, but that doesn't mean that westerners somehow know better than the creators of the character.

There are a lot of weird ass names out there. Neither you nor me have the right to "improve" said weird ass names. Your only choice is to either respect the original creators' wishes or to vote for a standardized system for the sake of consistency (or to say you don't want to have any consistency at all keep going like we currently are).
And where are you getting the idea that I've decided that Horo or Holo is the almighty superior way to write it? I have said absolutely nothing of the sort. All I have said regarding my opinions on what it should be on the database is that Holo sounds a bit odd. I haven't even said that I would prefer to have Horo or Holo on the freaking database. I've just been saying that we are voting on whether we should use the romanization of whatever some "official" thing says or whether we are going to follow a proposed romanization system, and that this does not apply to Horo/Holo.

ホロ is Horo if you are romanizing it. Nowhere in any normal situation would there be a Holo popping up when you romanize ホロ. Horo/Holo is like arguing whether to use Kallen or Karen. Horo/Holo is a matter of whether to use the romanized name or not, rather than which type of romanization we should be using.

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Well, I guess a few of you would be quite surprised to see how often "じょ" is romanized as "jyo" in Japan. You also see じゅ as jyu (Jyu Oh Sei was mentioned already) or しゃ as sya quite often (Syaoran?) etc etc. To us it might look awkward, but to Japanese the pronunciation is the same and it does makes sense if you look at the kana being used, so they use it here and there.

Since there are different systems being used, there will always be inconsistencies. When dealing with Japanese at one point you just have to accept that the same syllable can and will be represented with different letters depending on the person.
If MAL uses one and only one romanization system, there would be consistency on this one site, but a lot of inconsistency when comparing to other sites.

For Example: Especially mangakas also like to spell their names in "creative ways". With option 2 Bleach Creator Tite Kubo would become Taito Kubo on MAL oO; You Higuri would be Yuu Higuri and similarily Youka Nitta would be Yuuka Nitta. And Masamune Shirow or Leiji Matsumoto?

So, in the end, I prefer option 1 ... and for the rest we'll just have to wait until the "synonyms" field is available for persons and characters etc.

And I mean, it's not like in our part of the world we don't have different spellings of the same names, words, sounds etc. Quite on the contrary ^^


edit:
Kineta said:
Option 1:
The main drawback to this is that one must now know all the official names for people and characters to search them.

Option 2:
The main appeal of this possibility is that it allows all entries to be searchable based on our criteria


In the end doesn't this end up being the same thing? Either you have to know the official spelling or you have to know the "MAL system". And as mentioned above, when the official spelling is a lot more well known that seems quite confusing to me.

Also:

Names, nouns, formal nouns, adjectives, verbs should be capitalized; "little" words like particles and adverbs should not.


You'd capitalize practically everything, but not quite. Personally I always find capitalized verbs / adjectives / anything which is not a noun to look very weird, but I guess that's because of my native language.

But capitalizing adjectives but not adverbs seems really kinda random to me, given that they are almost the same word (and you'd have to know japanese grammar to know which is which?). I propose to capitalize Nouns / formal nouns only or everything apart from particles.
lumiNov 5, 2009 7:45 PM
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Boursk said:
There are a lot of weird ass names out there. Neither you nor me have the right to "improve" said weird ass names. Your only choice is to either respect the original creators' wishes or to vote for a standardized system for the sake of consistency (or to say you don't want to have any consistency at all keep going like we currently are).
This is another one of the reasons for option 1. Who are MAL users to proclaim themselves the self-appointed arbiters of regularity?
Asako said:
The official producers did. This is why option two is better, because official romanisation is often quite silly and ruins the consistency of the database.
Because we shouldn't allow any silliness in an anime database; a database of mediums featuring titles like Love So Life, Lyrical Nanoha, Aria the Natural, &c. is such that one cannot navigate without the imposition of complete order.

lumi said:
Kineta said:
Option 1:
The main drawback to this is that one must now know all the official names for people and characters to search them.

Option 2:
The main appeal of this possibility is that it allows all entries to be searchable based on our criteria


In the end doesn't this end up being the same thing? Either you have to know the official spelling or you have to know the "MAL system". And as mentioned above, when the official spelling is a lot more well known that seems quite confusing to me.
This is similar to what I wrote in my previous statementl: I'm not sure as to the status of whatever search problems MAL is apparently having, but having a blatantly incorrect name used as the header of a page seems like it would further debase MAL's already dubious credibility. It seems that ease of searching and personal esthetic appeal are the two main valid arguments; while taste cannot be debated, I'm in favour of having a set of alternate romanisations for names to overcome 'ease of searching'.
lumi said:
Also:

Names, nouns, formal nouns, adjectives, verbs should be capitalized; "little" words like particles and adverbs should not.


You'd capitalize practically everything, but not quite. Personally I always find capitalized verbs / adjectives / anything which is not a noun to look very weird, but I guess that's because of my native language.

But capitalizing adjectives but not adverbs seems really kinda random to me, given that they are almost the same word (and you'd have to know japanese grammar to know which is which?). I propose to capitalize Nouns / formal nouns only or everything apart from particles.
I'm sure she means appositives; titles in Western languages are generally capitalised as such - French is the only exception with which I am familiar. If Western romanisation of Eastern languages follows Western capitalisation practises (I'm not sure how this works, though it seems to be so), then I'm quite sure everything except particles should be capitalised. It's not as if Japanese is able to make a distinction between adverbs and adjectives anyway.
Nov 5, 2009 10:44 PM
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lumi said:
If MAL uses one and only one romanization system, there would be consistency on this one site, but a lot of inconsistency when comparing to other sites.
[...]
And as mentioned above, when the official spelling is a lot more well known that seems quite confusing to me.
The official spelling is not always more well known than the romanised spelling. For as many examples as you can provide saying one way, I can provide the same saying the other way. We will be inconsistent with other sites no matter which way we choose as other sites are also inconsistent in their naming methods. I am not arguing your decision to choose option 1, but am saying I do not feel "being inconsistent with other sites" is a valid argument.

For example:
ANN: Katou Emiri Official Name: Kato Emiri
ANN: Matsuoka Youko Official Name: Matsuoka Yoko

In these two cases, going with option 2 would make us consistent with ANN.

lumi said:
In the end doesn't this end up being the same thing? Either you have to know the official spelling or you have to know the "MAL system".
The advantage to the MAL system is that if you know the rules (as detailed above) you should be able to find any entry. There are no rules to official names, however.

qtipbrit said:
I'm not sure as to the status of whatever search problems MAL is apparently having, but having a blatantly incorrect name used as the header of a page seems like it would further debase MAL's already dubious credibility.
Blatantly incorrect? There are many official romanisations that people feel are blatantly incorrect as well.

Names, nouns, formal nouns, adjectives, verbs should be capitalized; "little" words like particles and adverbs should not.
In a nutshell this means: Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo instead of Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo. This obviously isn't the way you'd capitalise if you were romanising a paragraph, but we're discussing titles here.
Nov 6, 2009 4:14 AM
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Kineta said:
The official spelling is not always more well known than the romanised spelling.


That's of course true. But your two examples don't convince me, because I hardly know those people, so I don't think either spelling is a lot more "well known" than the other, but I'll try reporting them on ANN XD They usually go with official spelling according to their guidelines I think.
I tried to cite especially famous mangaka ... I mean, I have never even seen those mangakas' names being romanized any other way. Dropping a long "ou" etc. is also a very common practice ... going from Tite to Taito is already a bit more complicated imho.

I do not feel "being inconsistent with other sites" is a valid argument.


I see what you mean. I was also thinking of something much more general, like MAL would be inconsistent with what is actually written on the manga in the US etc. and to me that doesn't make much sense ^^

The advantage to the MAL system is that if you know the rules (as detailed above) you should be able to find any entry. There are no rules to official names, however.


But that's only for people who know Japanese or at least can read how the name is spelt in Kana. For any other person there's no advantage, is there?

In a nutshell this means: Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo instead of Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo.


Yea, I get that part, but that's also only a particle. My main problem is the part with capitalizing adjectives and verbs but not adverbs (and other "little" words, whatever that means ^^;; )? If you mean appositives as "can't spell his nickname up there xD" suggests I kinda see where you're coming from (= capitalize everything expect "grammatical particles"). Only the "adverbs" part really confused me.
lumiNov 6, 2009 4:47 AM
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I was going to say option 2, as I agree with what other users like Asako said previously. But the possibility of having some names like Sephiroth changed into Sefirosu or Aerith Gainsborough into Earis Geinzubuuru does bother me. If this is what will happen with option 2, then I rather go with option 1.

Boursk said:
Kineta said:
There has been some discussion recently of moving to a standard set of romanization rules for all database entries (anime/manga/people/char), and using this romanization for all main titles rather than relying on fansub/scanlator romanizations or "the most popular" title. When the titles are meant to be in english, they still would be (ie: we won't romanize Maid in Kaichou wa Maid-sama) but all other japanese titles would follow these rules.
So to shorten this: All main titles and names will be the official Japanese name/title, no exceptions. We will however keep foreign words in the Japanese title as they're supposed to.

Examples would be the aforementioned Kaichou wa Maid-sama (instead of Kaichou wa Meido-sama), but also Clannad (instead of Kuranado o.O ) will just stay as it is. Clearly Letter Bee will be changed to Tegami Bachi and the abomination that is The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya will be changed to Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu.

Of course we haven't started changing anything yet before the entire guidelines are finalized and officially posted. So it's not weird if there are still inconsistencies.

From what I understood this is going to happen regardless of what will be chosen concerning romanization, right? That's a very good thing to hear, finally setting up some rules and giving a little order to the database is very nice. And it just feels stupid to have some titles translated while others are not.
------------------------
Database Guidelines
Denials: anime | manga
Modifications: anime | manga
-----------------------------------
Nov 6, 2009 8:46 AM

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Hm.. does this mean that with the first option, Shinigami (for example) would become Sinigami (<-- I think I saw this speling in Soul Eater.. I think :p)? Then, for the second option, would it remain the same?
I don't have time to read all the posts now, but I want to say that maybe the best answer is: leave it as it is. When one searches for English-Japanese dictionaries, I, from what I know (and I know very little about it, by the way, so don't get angry, please!) when you want to search what a word means, for example, you search "tenshi" (=angel) and not tensi or what we should truly write.
There are already a lot of anime/manga with many names, so it's not like the world would fall apart with another one. For example, when searching for Sukisho [sorry boys I couldn't think of something else] I can search with Sukisyo as well (and the loonger name Suki na mono wa suki dakara shouganai!) but this is a bad example though, since the first option is already in use in this case. There are many ways for searching, at least two for the most series: English and the "not-really-Japanese" names [for those of you that are against the current spelling :d]: Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler, Case Closed or Detective Conan. (<-- is this the japanese name? XD)
So.. like I was saying (I got lost in other ideas), the world wouldn't end with another spelling, but doesn't this mean, at least a little bit, that all the internet sources would have to change their names? It seems kind of a confusing idea to me, if I think too much about it.
Sorry, my choice is 2nd option, but still I'm not against the first one. If we don't like spelling it that way, nobody stops us to write them how we want when we're posting on forums or talking with each other.

PS Isn't this idea, after all, very hard to do?

Nov 6, 2009 1:53 PM
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Disa_hian said:
When one searches for English-Japanese dictionaries, I, from what I know when you want to search what a word means, for example, you search "tenshi" (=angel) and not tensi or what we should truly write.


That depends on the dictionary I guess ^^ They can use the system they prefer and romanizing "し" as "si" is in no way uncommon, just like the part with "jyo". You see that quite a bit here and there (it's part of Kunrei system). But here we are not talking about japanese words, but proper names ... and there we have quite a few examples where they stray from the "standard".

And on a different note, this is also a neverending discussion, but I usually prefer to have an english or international title whenever one is available (unless it's completely grammatically incorrect). Because then people actually ... understand what the title means. To me it is very annoying to have titles in korean or chinese, where I hardly can read it, not to mention pronouncing or remembering and of course understanding. ^^;;
lumiNov 6, 2009 2:33 PM
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Seriously, why have you people fucked this up so hard? There shouldn't be "option 1 or option 2" only.

For Japanese words in Japanese titles you should write it out in romaji. The point of romaji isn't to be something stand alone, it is supposed to act as a guide to how it is written out in hiragana. This is why writing something like "uchu" instead of "uchuu" is stupid, because you cannot tell if you mean "uchuu" or "uchu".. (other than from inferring)..

For names of people you should stick to whatever the person wants (their own name to be). A name is different than an actual :word:

Also, a website link is never an official title. You cannot do special characters, so the mods should not point to that and say "look at that official title." No. Not when the word is clearly a normal Japanese word, ie. Kuuchuu. There is no special meaning to kuchu. I believe someone else said this as well.

More importantly,
you are combing several issues into one thread, which is a really shitty way to do things. You are asking different questions:
1. Should we use only Japanese titles, only English, or some method of mixing
2. How should we romanize?
3. Should we only use our romanization, or should we prefer official tities? For anime/manga titles
4. How should we deal with the character/people databases, after we decide all the above questions.
+ maybe even more questions

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I would have to say like some others that for the sake of consistency we should go with option number 2, even if it is not technically the "right" way to do it. People shouldn't get their panties in a bundle over whether or not it's a common way or right way to do it or if it looks stupid, this is for the sake of ease.
Nov 6, 2009 11:56 PM

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I say use Official names unless a romanization is clearly incorrect. Like with Kampfer, how would you romanize that without it looking weird when the title of the show is already in.... German?

Anyway, yeah, I like the idea of official names better than anything else.
Nov 7, 2009 1:08 AM

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Option 1 but special characters will be 'ou' or 'uu' or 'ii' or whatever they use to lengthen the sound. Damn, Indirect Purple says it better, please just look it up.

This reason :
-The main appeal of this possibility is that it is more official to use producer/mangaka romanizations since they are the ones naming their own anime/manga/characters (or even themselves).
I don't want to be so 'arrogant gaijin' as to distort someone's name when they have written it so. It is tantamount to insulting even if it's just a database. Just because I can't wrap my tongue around their foreign sounding names/words doesn't mean I'll go ahead and semi-butcher their names. Let official names stand.

After all :
...and MAL romanizations for all other titles/names.
Sounds just right to me.
Nov 7, 2009 4:29 AM
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Indirect_Purple said:
The point of romaji isn't to be something stand alone, it is supposed to act as a guide to how it is written out in hiragana. This is why writing something like "uchu" instead of "uchuu" is stupid, because you cannot tell if you mean "uchuu" or "uchu".. (other than from inferring)..


I don't quite agree with this. Romaji is used for people who cannot read kana. Once you know them, you don't really need romaji anymore.

Also - without judging whether it's stupid or not - as a matter of fact droping the long vowel "u"s in romaji is a very very common practice. From what I see in daily life on road signs etc. it is even more common than including them as "uu" or "ou". Sometimes I also see them using the ô, but most of the time it is just ignored.



As stated above, I prefer international titles, so I refer to Kuchu Buranko as "Trapeze", exactly same meaning, but people actually understand it and avoids those romanization arguments ^^;

For names of people you should stick to whatever the person wants (their own name to be). A name is different than an actual :word:


Well, that's option 1 isn't it? I agree with that ^^ But a title of a series is also part of the "creative output" of the creators not a japanese lesson textbook ;) and therefore the spellings could also be considered as "creative freedom".

And finally I agree with your last part, many things are being mixed together here somehow.

Also very much agree with TsukikageRan ^^
lumiNov 7, 2009 3:26 PM
Nov 7, 2009 4:38 PM
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Please read my posts carefully and with an open mind, as I am trying to read yours. Many posts in this thread so far have been easily answered by the opening post.

In spite of this, there were still some really good questions brought up, primarily about loanwords in Japanese. As such, I have editted my initial post clarifying this issue. To quote here:
Loanwords in Japanese
- spell words and names in the original language, where possible (Ex. Kaichou wa Maid-sama!)
- use official spellings for invented names and terms, where possible (Ex. Dragonaut)
- spell wasei eigo and gairaigo words according to MAL's guidelines
[...]
Please note: this does not include loanwords in Japanese; they will be treated the same under both options.
I have said "where possible" as there will likely be some exceptions we will need to discuss now and in the future. While you are welcome to point these out, these will not be the primary focus of this discussion (ie: Arucard/Alucard, Holo/Horo)


@lumi:


@Loxaris:


@Disa_hian


@Indirect_Purple (& TsukikageRan):


@Blaze-Senpai:
KinetaNov 7, 2009 6:11 PM
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I think option 2 is better. It is consistent and simple, because romanizations left to the Japanese can produce horrendous results (they almost never use it themselves, so that isn't a surprise. And when they do, they don't really care about sticking to a single method). Also, basing it on modified Hepburn is a good idea for a site which has an overwhelming userbase coming from countries that use English as their primary language, since Hepburn is all about matching the Japanese phonemes with English syllables. Most of MAL doesn't care about Japanese and would probably appreciate not making memorizing anime titles and characters harder than it has to be.

I don't understand the argument against it saying that titles or names can lose a special second meaning. 90% of the time, any other interpretation is lost when turning kanji into hiragana anyway, so it makes no difference how exactly you romanize it.



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Nov 7, 2009 5:54 PM
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Thanks for the detailed answer Kineta. Just two parts I'd like to comment on:



Sakinho said:
Most of MAL doesn't care about Japanese and would probably appreciate not making memorizing anime titles and characters harder than it has to be.


See@ Kineta? ;)

Also Sakinho, that is in no way an argument for "option 2". If don't know japanese anyway neither of them is any easier to remember than the other ^^;
lumiNov 7, 2009 5:57 PM
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I think I'm slightly dumbfounded here. I'm not sure how you could fail to comprehend what I meant, but apparently you did.

In response to kineta crossing off the different issues I think she should be asking about and not deciding herself (+~5 other mods) which options go together:

I suggested a way you could separate the questions you are asking us in your first post. You only gave us two solutions. This is not a black and white issue. For example, I may want to use English titles when the anime has been licensed, and use Japanese titles when it has not. Boursk (who you pointed me to in the first place, not that he's a database mod even) said that one option supports the use of English titles, while the other completely eliminates it. That, I believe, is one of the many complicating factors in this discussion. Some people could say "I want to use the official Japanese title only" while another could say "I want to use MAL romanization of the Japanese titles always, except when the anime has been licensed"

Suddenly this issue is more complicated! Therefore, can you please separate out the different issues, or offer up more options? If you read through this topic, you can see that most people are not 100% on either side, and that they are pointing out problems with each option. Shouldn't that be a strong indicator to you that your options might not be the only two possibilities, or even slightly good?

kineta said:
Saying that there is no special meaning to Kuchu means nothing when you're discussing official romanisations. These are done as often on whim as they are with purpose. This is why some people would prefer option 2; others are more concerned with the purposeful romanisations, and prefer option 1. If we decide to go with option 1, we may very well have to decide what we consider official sources and what we do not. But choose your option. This is not a discussion thread about Kuchu Buranko (your first thread), or long vowels (your second thread), but a much wider issue.

Way to slap me in the face. I actually think that both of those topics were locked!!!!!!! Then I was directed here!!!!!!! Now you're telling me stop analyzing your shitty options, and just pick one? If you wanted a thread with no discussion then you should of made a poll that was: "Option 1" or "Option 2" only. I am using Kuuchuu Buranko as an example, because you blocked my other threads. I also used other examples, but apparently you're just going to ignore that fact.

Sakinho said:
I think option 2 is better. It is consistent and simple, because romanizations left to the Japanese can produce horrendous results (they almost never use it themselves, so that isn't a surprise. And when they do, they don't really care about sticking to a single method). Also, basing it on modified Hepburn is a good idea for a site which has an overwhelming userbase coming from countries that use English as their primary language, since Hepburn is all about matching the Japanese phonemes with English syllables. Most of MAL doesn't care about Japanese and would probably appreciate not making memorizing anime titles and characters harder than it has to be.

I don't understand the argument against it saying that titles or names can lose a special second meaning. 90% of the time, any other interpretation is lost when turning kanji into hiragana anyway, so it makes no difference how exactly you romanize it.

I also mostly agree with this post.

You also have to understand that there is a difference between writing
"Shirow" instead of "Shirou" as someone's name (that they actually use) and writing "kuuchuu" and "kuchu" (romaji is not typically used in Japan ever, and in hiragana it's くうちゅう ~ or kuuchuu~) as there is no meaning or pun lost, and actually you lose more when you drop the u's. :/

Also, if some people, like windy, prefer kuchu and not kuuchuu for asthetic reasons, isn't this yet another reason that maybe we should discuss "MAL romanization" further, thus making the issue once again, less black and white.
ESSWHYNov 7, 2009 8:41 PM

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Nov 7, 2009 10:01 PM

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"2 goes against everything I'm used to and think is right. :/" first database mod I saw? also pretty sure I've never seen you use kuu instead of ku (etc). Sorry for my bad assumption.

edit: Oh yeah, and I swear I've read that you dislike how Wikipedia romanizes (a really long time ago), but you're right, that does not directly translate to you disliking kuuchuu over kuchu. IDK it was a long time ago, maybe you changed your mind?
ESSWHYNov 7, 2009 10:07 PM

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