Research project

A few months ago, another book in the "manga essay collection about the author's husband" was released: ダーリンはアキバ系. Literally, this translates as "[My] darling is akiba-kei", but the English title given on the cover is "My husband is O-TA-KU."

The "darling"/"husband" thing can be accounted for fairly easily: we English speakers haven't really used "darling" as a third-person pronoun since the early 1900s, but some Japanese speakers still do; also, this genre began with the book Darling wa gaikokujin ("[My] darling is a foreigner"), and it set the tone.

The "akiba-kei"/"O-TA-KU" thing is more interesting, because it looks like a kind of loanword drift: presumably the translator decided that akiba-kei wouldn't be understood by English speakers, but rather than use a roughly equivalent native English word like "geek" or "nerd" (all arguments about the precise definitions and connotations of these terms aside), they used a different Japanese word with a similar meaning which had been borrowed into English a decade or so before. Maybe English only has room for one word meaning "+geeky +Japan"?

The hyphens are a mystery.

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I haven't seen the akihabara addition but my wife loves this (外国人)series. I think the darling in question, Tony really is the writter's husband and is a linguist?


I like the hyphens--very dramatic.


It's actually a different series, Joseph -- totally different darling! That's why I said it's a new genre... a less charitable way to put it would be bandwagon-boarding, guess. But yeah, the original Tony really is her husband and is a language fiend. I don't remember if he actually studied linguistics, but he can speak (and discuss etymological matters relating to) like half a dozen languages, IIRC.

Amida: A little foreboding for my tastes.

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