Shouldn’t it be “boku” instead of “watashi?”]]>
“Elfish”….I’m actually hoping that’s not a LOTR reference. Tolkein actually developed a full language for the dwarves and two for the elves; Quenyan and Sindarin. Sindarin was actually the “common” and more simplistic of the two so not all elves were even familiar with Quenyan. Yet the films use nothing but Quenyan (it’s one of my major peeves)]]>
What about Gibberish? Nobody really speaks gibberish.]]>
Naga, Japanese Mythology doesn’t really have a god of death named god of death, you are quite right. I would say they don’t even have a god of death figure, they kinda have things more like “dead gods” that are under the influence of the underworld and became something more like zombies that cannot live off the food of the underworld.(thus in Japanese Mythology, a living being who went to the underworld was warned of not to eat anything there, or he will not be able to return.)
Japanese gods are pretty much like mortals that cannot escape death, and you don’t really have a god overseeing death. You do have the god who became the queen of the underworld after she died(while giving birth), Izanami, but she is quite different from god of death, more like the ruler of the underworld.(more similar to Hades in Greek mythology.
Hah! That’s awesome they got Michael Dorn to make an appearance.]]>
Thank you both, Naga and Newbie Death, for your generous and dedicated responses. I have updated the comic with “Watashi wa Shinigami desu”. I am very appreciative of the help. You guys rock.]]>
Newbie Death’s explanation is not inaccurate but language used in manga is rather special so it’s not always a good reference for real Japanese.
You should use “Watashi wa Shinigami desu.”
“Shinigami” is right. “Shi” means death. “Kami” (“gami” when used in a compound for euphony) means god. Shi is not normally used by itself.
“Watashi” is not used by ‘little men’, it is the general “I” that anyone can use, it is polite but not overly-polite. “Watakushi” is super polite and does not fit in this situation because Death and Mary know each other well. (“Watakushi” can be used in self-introductions and formal business conversations when a person humbles themselves.) “Wagahai” is special usage, kind of old-Japanese. “Washi” is used by old people and, as Death seems pretty cool so far ;), it doesn’t really fit either.
Actually Japanese people don’t really use pronouns, but for the purpose of the comic, “Watashi” is good.
“Desu” is general/formal; “da” is informal but a bit too direct in this case.
“to iimasu” is for names. Shinigami isn’t a name, it’s more of a title. I’m not very knowledgeable about JP mythology, but I think there are different shinigami, each with a name, Shinigami so-and-so.
“Watashi wa Shinigami desu.” is your best choice.
Sorry for the long explanation~ I’ve studied Japanese for a long time, lived in Japan for a while and am familiar with pop culture, so I had to clarify.
I enjoy reading Mary Death every week, and the art fantastic!! I found you through Bug Martini btw.]]>
Newbie Death – That was an excellent explanation on proper usage and interpretation. Very interesting too! Looks like I’ll update the comic to read, “Watashi wa Shinigami to iimasu”. I really appreciate you taking the time to help in the translation.
As Classically Artist Death suggests, Mary and Death could go to Japan. I’ll put in the list for sure. Could make for a fun premise. I would love to go Japan myself sometime though. It’s certainly on my to do list. You know, for research. Totally not to visit Akihabara and buy all the things.]]>
“Though it is not suitable in this situation, Japanese businessmen introducing themselves are just plain fun. They hand out their business card, and say “I am this kind of person”.”
That actually sounds like the root for a great cartoon. Perhaps Death and Mary can take a holiday to Japan together . . .]]>
http://www.thinkgeek.com sells the Rosetta Stone set for Klingon.