Notes on honorifics

posted Monday, April 25, 2005

In general, I'm going to leave honorifics like "-san" and so forth as they are. I think most people (especially people who would be reading this blog) have at least a passing familiarity with Japanese honorifics, and so trying to shoehorn them into the English system -- drastically altering the effect of much dialogue in the process -- makes little sense.

For those who don't have a passing familiarity with them... uh, sorry. The wikipedia article linked above is pretty helpful, and here's a quick summary, with the inevitable caveat that circumstances and time period cause mileage to vary: Note also that I attach honorifics to the name with a hyphen (Suzuki-san) rather than writing them as a separate word (Suzuki San) like European honorifics, and I do not italicise honorifics used as address terms ("Hey, sensei! Can I borrow $20?"). Again, feel free to argue with me about this or call me on inconsistencies.


Comments: 0

The Bass Harp: new English translations of Japanese short stories, essays, poems, criticism, and whatever else is out of copyright.

So far, everything here has been posted by me, Matt of No-sword.

e-mail me at: matt at no-sword dot jp

April 2005 May 2005 September 2005 January 2006

For listings by title, check my master translation index.

- About the Bass Harp (including romanisation notes)
- Notes on honorifics

- Aozora Bunko + updates
- Japanese Text Initiative (UVa)
- List of E-texts (M.Shibata)
- Japanese Classical Literature (Taiju)

RSS feed

[Powered by Blogger]