This time, I’d like to write a short article on screaming. Pretty frequently, you’ll stumble upon screaming like this in Japanese otaku thingies:


And pretty frequently, you’ll see it being put like this:


While Japanese is based on syllables, Western languages often rely on consonants. English, for instance, uses far less vowels than Japanese does due to said syllables. While Japanese is undergoing slight changes towards vowel omission too, it’s far more prominent in English.

In Japanese, the most common example would perhaps be “shiteru” (してる, doing), where the “i” of “shi” gets skipped, ending up in something like “sh-teru”. If we take the word “instance” from above, it practically ends up with one vowel left if used in a colloquial manner, “instance” ends up as “instns”. That should be pretty close to a Japanese pronunciation nightmare.

What does this have to do with screaming? Well, a tad. Above, the prolonged character is a consonant. You try screaming “what the hell” yourself. So? Did you prolong the consonant? Of course not. You can’t scream/stretch consonants. Most people put the screaming on the last character, since the Japanese original does the same. But Japanese isn’t English. Why Japanese words frequently end with a vowel, English doesn’t. And even if a word like “instance” does theoretically end with a vowel, the vowel practically gets omitted once spoken. You have to give that thought, like you have to write “a European” even though “Europe” theoretically starts with an “E”. Anything else’d be just irrational and I don’t see whatever could justify putting screaming that weirdish way.


1 thought on “SCREAMINGGGG!”

  1. Hehe, nice little post on a nice little thing that seems a detail, but can be a moodkiller if not translated well. Or a source of embarrassment for both the author and the translator, if it ends up being the funniest thing of the page.
    I haven’t seen it used much, I usually see “whaaat”, but every encounter with prolonged consonants is awkward as one with a judgemental 逸般人.


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