The Meaning of Shikinami

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The third installment debuted in Japan on November 17, 2012.

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PanzerEVA
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The Meaning of Shikinami

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Postby PanzerEVA » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:27 pm

The pronunciation of Japanese words has become important to me, thanks to anime. I want to pronounce every characters names correctly. But Shikinami (Asuka from Rebuild and the ship of course) have always been a tough nut to crack.

Just now, I used Google translate to pronounce 敷波 from the wikipedia article for the 1929 destroyer. The page puts it as (敷波 'spreading waves'). So naturally you'd assume Shikinami means that.

Apparently not. According to Translate, Shikinami (敷波) stands for... well, Shikinami.

However, turn on detect language and it detects Chinese... and 敷波 means 'deposited wave' in Chinese, which is very close to the translation on Wikipedia.

Yes I know, Google Translate isn't exactly accurate, but come on! You'd think they'd get it right.
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:40 pm

You just need to hit the enter key so that it doesn't translate the Kanji together as one word. The "Shiki" in Shikinami (the Warship's name is 敷波) translates into "spreading", although the first hit on Google Translate, funnily enough, is "insole". Online translators are far from the greatest, although if I had a little more time at the moment I'd look up an online Kanji dictionary or something, which would work better.

Captain Shikinami's name is written with different Kanji - 式波 - with the first character meaning "Expression, formula, ceremony". Ceremony waves? That's weird, but there is a reference to ceremony at the start of 4th Impact (Hajimari no Gishiki , the starting ceremonies).

Saying the name out aloud, it becomes something like "Shkee-nami" in English (rather than "Sheekee-nammy")
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Postby PanzerEVA » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:15 pm

式波 = expression wave

Yes that's odd. I understand the character to the right is the first part of the word (shiki), but the other part is 'ha'. If what you say is true and Asuka Shikinami uses those kanji, her name should actually be Shikiha (even though without a space between the characters, it still says shikinami in the translated part)
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Postby UrsusArctos » Sat Feb 14, 2015 11:32 pm

It's Onyomi versus Kun'yomi - the Japanized Chinese reading versus the native Japanese reading. In this case, the -ha part is a modified version of Chinese, which the Japanese brought along with the Kanji from China. -nami is the way it would be read in Japanese. If you want an example of the -ha reading, there's Uchuu Senkan Yamato, where the Wave Motion Gun(波動砲) is called the "Hado-ho" rather than the "Nami-ugoku ho".

This kind of confusion is actually rife when it comes to reading Japanese words without furigana to indicate how they're pronounced. During the Second World War, the carrier Junyo's name was misread as Hayataka, the Shimpu special attack units had their name misread as "Kamikaze" (they mean the same thing - "divine wind" - but the Japanese Navy was using the Chinese reading) and then there's Hara-kiri versus Seppuku (the latter being the Chinese reading).
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Postby Reichu » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:44 am

PanzerEva: If you want to know how it's pronounced, just watch 2.0 in Japanese.

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:Ceremony waves?

"Ceremonial waves" or "ritual waves" sounds a bit better, albeit no less nonsensical.

As I recall 式 shows up a lot in technical designations, but as a suffix. Not sure if that has any relevance.


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