View Full Version : Hentai vs H-anime

06-26-2006, 06:02 AM
So I'm looking through wikipedia's hentai webpage and stumble across an interesting link (http://web.archive.org/web/20021212041355re_/home.attbi.com/~kagamix2/H_does_not_mean_hentai/). Basically, it's a page about how hentai is not called hentai in Japan but rather h-anime (I already knew about this). The guy claims not to be trying to lead a crusade against the use of the term hentai but you can clearly see he is trying to persuade the reader against using it by saying such things as "If you care about whether or not Japanese speakers are laughing at your webpage behind your back... read on."

The best part is at the bottom - follow the "Those Crazy Gaijin" link. Here are many quotes from supposed Japanese making fun of Americans for using the term hentai incorrectly. That's right, Japanese making fun of Americans for using their language incorrectly. Oh my, the irony. You know what I'm talking about; all of you with Japanese friends and teachers should be familiar with those moments where you have to stop them and say "wait wait wait, you're using that word wrong, here in America we say..." or "what, that's what a Turkish bathhouse is in Japan?" or "what, that's what a Dutch wife is in Japan?"Oye.

06-26-2006, 06:20 AM
I think he/she might just be a dumb wap who knows a little too much?
Wait, it seems he/she's fluent.
Maybe he/she is one of those "pseudo-superior" Japanese people? Yep, seems like it. The article has that "I know more than you" tone about it.

But in the end, nobody will care. It's the widely accepted term here so nobody will change it here. Nothing is ever technically right in American English slang so what's so blapsphemous with hentai being used incorrectly?

Yep. Silly Japanese people. :rolleyes:

06-26-2006, 06:50 AM
All languages have their fair share of misused loan words. If Americans reserve the right to make fun of Engrish, I think the Japanese have every reciprocal right to make fun of English-misused Japanese words.

And I stopped listening to this American wish-I'd-been-born-Japanese purist when he wrote:

The word H/etchi, as used in modern Japanese, does not carry any connotation of perversion, deviance, or abnormality.

[...] As a side note, the official Hepburn Romanization of this word is 'etchi,' and the official kunrei Romanization is 'etti.' 'Ecchi' is a modified Hepburn Romanization made up by anime fans. While there is technically no 'correct' way to Romanize languages, it is worth noting that the spelling 'ecchi' does not follow any standard Romanization method for converting Japanese text to Roman letters.
Problem with Quoted Paragraph #1: Nobody said it literally meant "abnormal". Everybody (in English-speaking H societies) uses the word when discussing sexual activities, normal or otherwise. You're just reading into it, dude. If anything, Japanese people use it to refer to "the weird" more than English-speakers do. When an English-speaking person says something is ecchi, they mean it is [sexually] perverse, and not [generally] perverse/abnormal.

Think about it this way. If you interpret 可愛い (kawaii) literally, it's an adjective that means "[having the quality of] passable love". One can see how that ties into the associated meaning(s) of kawaii in modern Japanese society, but something that is described as kawaii is NOT necessarily something which the speaker finds acceptable to love. As an example, a guy would not call his own father 可愛い, even though his father "is passably lovable". The same thing applies here for 変体. Yes, "hentai" just means "abnormal". But at an even more literal level, it reads "Changed Body". 変わる (to change, intrans.) and 体 (body). So really, hentai is one of those interesting words in linguistics that has been created, deviated from its original meaning, and then (arguably) returned somewhat to its original etymologically-implied meanings.

Problem with Quoted Paragraph #2: Wrong. -_-; Ecchi is standard Hepburn romanization. Clearly our Japanese "sensei" here has never tried to type the word on a PC or Mac. Here is what you get if you do what he said, and then here's what you get if you do what you're supposed to write:
etchi --> えtち --> 絵t地 (nonsense, "picture + the letter t + earth)
ecchi --> えっち --> エッチ --> the word we want

Type it yourself if you don't believe me. Etchi is not standard romanization. :rolleyes:

06-26-2006, 09:01 AM
The linked article definitely is abnormal in using etchi instead of ecchi. Through my 2 years of Japanese lessons (I still suck at it though), we have learned some romanization. We learned about the う used for lengthening pronnounicatio is the - over the previous character.

Also, the first romanji character of the following character for any small tsu (っ), which is used to signify stress. E.g: Ecchi (エッチ), Chotto(ちょっと).

But otherwise, the article seems quite correct ^_^

06-27-2006, 01:58 AM
But otherwise, the article seems quite correct ^_^

I have no argument with whether or not Japanese use hentai differently than we do. That goes without saying. It's the guy's general attitude that appropriating words from other languages and using them differently than intended that bothers me, as well as the idea that we should change our language because Japanese make fun of us.

Language has worked like this for millenia. The large majority of words in most modern languages come from other/older languages and usually take on a new if similar meaning in their new form. The Japanese are not special and I'm not going to stop using slang because it makes some "American wish-I'd-been-born-Japanese purist" (as Talon so eloquently put it) feel uncomfortable.


Regarding romanization of the Japanese word for ecchi, my Japanese teacher back in college taught us to put two c's in cases with the little tsu before a chi just as you guys argue. I have however seen different methods in some text books. Considering romanization is entirely arbitrary (look at the mess that is Chinese romanization), it doesn't really matter I suppose.