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What language should translated go terms be presented in?
Poll ended at Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:53 am
Japanese - This is what the Western World already knows, and I'd rather not have to learn new words 79%  79%  [ 19 ]
Original Language - Respect the culture of the source material, I don't mind learning new words 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
English - Even if it requires multiple words, use an English equivalent 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Don't Know / Don't Care 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Other - Please comment in reply 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 24
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 Post subject: Language choices for English-language website
Post #1 Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:53 am 
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If one publishes an English-language website based on mostly Chinese source material, what language do you think the go/weiqi-related terms should be in? For example, should the website use "tesuji" or its Chinese equivalent "ShouJin?" Or would you prefer an attempt at an imprecise English equivalent, for example "Clever Play?" The decision has already been made to use English where there is a concise equivalent, for example "extend" rather than "nobi." For the purposes of this poll, please assume the goal of this website is to be a resource for the Western world, not just native English-speaking countries.

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Post #2 Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:01 am 
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IMO, terms like tesuji or atari have effectively already become English words. We also conjugate them (ataried, tesujis) despite the fact that such forms make no sense in the original Japanese. So I would say: Use English, keeping in mind that many English terms have a Japanese etymological origin. :)


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Post #3 Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:32 am 
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Bear in mind language is alive -- it's always evolving and needs to be updated continually.

Having said that, no need to re-invent the wheel for the English-language audience.

Follow the convention used in the Dictionary of Basic Joseki (Ishida and Takao versions).

Adding to Herman's list: aji, Avalanche, atari, dame, gote, hane, ko, komi, Magic Sword, miai, moyo, seki, sente, Taisha, tengen, tenuki, tesuji.

If you suddenly decide to use Chinese or Korean (or any non-Japanese language) for the above terms for the English-language audience,
many people (including me) will have no idea what you're talking about.

Specific reply to your example: tesuji, ShouJin, or clever play -- I absolutely vote for tesuji.

Atari -- as you know, an entire US company was named after this. :)


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Post #4 Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:00 am 
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Use the established Japanese words that English language players are familiar with. To discover the set of words and their correct usage, the canonical writers are John Power and Richard Bozulich. Perhaps also James Davies and John Fairbairn. If in doubt about a usage, shamelessly copy the judgements of John Power in his translation of Takao Shinji's 'Dictionary of Basic Joseki'.

Slowly, the set of Japanese words has shrunk over the years from the older to the modern editions of their books. It appears to me that John Power and Richard Bozulich have put a lot of thought and hard won experience into selecting the informative set of words that are the sensible foreign imports to English where an existing older English expression doesn't exist.

Yes, China has a longer rich history of Go literature and play, but by an accident of historical timing the initial corpus of English language Go literature was translated from Japanese sources. Later texts, even translations of ancient works, then have to fit in with the de facto language that English language players are familiar with.

English speaking Karate or Judo players are familiar with a similarly limited and shrinking set of imported Japanese words. Kata is definitely in the set due to its concise expression of an idea that doesn't have an exact equivalent. Sensei and tatami were in the set, but perhaps are dropping away due to having adequate older English equivalents.

The move from the older usage of 'nobi' to the modern usage of 'extend' that you describe illustrates the evolution of usage.


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Post #5 Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:50 am 
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With your recent threads, I am wondering what type of project you're working on. Whatever it is, I look forward to the result!

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Post #6 Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:17 am 
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1st choice: the most-used terms in the EN-speaking world.

And if I can wish more: 1st choice PLUS the other terms in parentheses.


<edit>

TBH, I also prefer … Kosumi, Keima, Ogeima, Shimari, Kakari, Nobi, Ikken Tobi, Nikken Tobi, Hane, Oiotoshi, etc. over existing English terms.

</edit>

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Post #7 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:00 am 
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Thanks all for your feedback. Polls are still open. I'd love to have more votes to help advise the developers.

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Post #8 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:09 am 
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I voted for Japanese, with the understanding that means the most common ones like hane, atari, tesuji (perhaps about two dozen in total?*), but use English ones like peep rather than nozoki where an equally succinct one is available. For something like 'semeai' vs 'capturing race' I don't have a strong preference, but if your target audience is people relatively new to the Western Go community then err towards English in those cases.

* Non-exhaustive lists off the top of my head

== OK ==
atari
ko
hane
tesuji
aji
aji keshi
sente
gote
tenuki
kikashi (it's more subtle than forcing move)
dame
moyo (but this one is tricky and has various flavours so I think JF tends to avoid it in his works)
fuseki (but not joban, use opening; could do without it)
yose (but not shuban, use endgame; JF's 'boundary play' is a bit of a mouthful to me)
honte (good one for arguments about the glossary!)
komi
miai
seki
ponnuki

== Maybe ==
shimari
semeai
semedori (was tempted to put in above list as there is no succinct standard equivalent I know, but it's not so common)
tengen
tsumego
sabaki

== Probably Not ==
kakari -> approach
damezumari -> shortage of liberties (but it's so fun to say I might keep it)
oshitsubushi -> crush (but also fun to mispronounce)
nakade -> literally placement, but also used for the dead shapes killed by such placements I think, I don't use this word but others seem to. I'd say bulky five / straight three etc.

== Definitely Not ==
moku


Last edited by Uberdude on Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #9 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:06 am 
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I largely agree with Uberdude's list and would like to emphasise the importance of his introductory sentence.


Some additional remarks:

-- You might replace "tenuki" by "play elsewhere".
-- "dame" might be replaced by either "neutral point" or "liberty" (as it has at least two different meanings).


When thinking about the usage of Japanese terms that have suitable English equivalents, you might want to take the frequency of occurance into account. Especially when your website will be about multiple, different issues.

Just a tiny example: In "Igo Hatsuyôron 120 -- An Elephant in Slices" I naturally used "damezumari" when writing the book. After having been asked to reduce Japanese terms in the book, I counted their individual occurance. One hit for "damezumari" only !!!
It would have been no problem at all to replace this with "shortage of liberties", but -- like Uberdude, I am very fond of this term -- I left it in the book, which treats a very special Japanese issue (and there is a glossary ...).

On the other hand, I preferred to use "hasami-tsuke" in this book, instead of "pincer attachment". In Igo Hatsuyôron 120, there is ONE hasami-tsuke, as a core element of our solution. Using the Japanese terms highlights the importance of this move (in my opinion), so it seemed better suited for reference in the text.
However, the evaluation would be quite different, if we considered a book about tesuji, and techniques.

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Post #10 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:43 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
I preferred to use "hasami-tsuke" in this book, instead of "pincer attachment".
Do you mean a clamp ? Or is that different ?
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W :w1: = Clamp
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . X . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . .
$$ | . X X . . . . . . . .
$$ | . O X X . . . . . , .
$$ | . O O O X 1 . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ ----------------------[/go]
Quote:
use English ones like peep rather than nozoki where an equally succinct one is available.
Cassandra wrote:
I ... emphasise the importance of his introductory sentence.
Therefore, :w1: is a clamp, which I like very much.

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Post #11 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:06 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Therefore, :w1: is a clamp, which I like very much.

Yes, indeed, "clamp" sounds very OK, I think, this is used in the legend of the above mentioned books, too.

+ + + + +

However, for my books on Igo Hatsuyôron 120, I still prefer to be consistent:

Joachim's oki
Yamada Shinji's tsuke
My guzumi
Harry's hasami-tsuke
Joachim's hiki
Michael Redmond's kikashi

I only refrained from using "hôrikomi" for "throw-in", because I considered this to be too unusual. And the English equivalent is of identical length.
This might be a useful experience for wineandgolover: If you feel that a Japanese term looks somewhat "unusual", or "ugly", to your English eyes, then use an English one, instead.

+ + + + +

There were several discussions between native English speakers, and mine, as German. Before long, I had to learn that using capitals for the Japanese Go terms (no problem at all in German) seems to look extremely ugly in English eyes.

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Post #12 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:33 am 
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Japanese, with the same comments as Uberdude's list. I don't think I'd dispute any of his examples.

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Post #13 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:38 am 
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While I also mostly agree with Überdude's list (JF's "boundary play" feels more accurate and understandable than an amorphously used "yose"), and second Cassandra's comment about the first sentence, it's worth noting that the list is far from exhaustive. Bonobo mentions further a number of terms which he prefers in Japanese (me, not necessarily), most of which I am familiar with, and Cassandra mentions terms used in her book most of which I am not so familiar with. Basically, a discussion could be had for each term. I guess each decision would depend on the audience the authors are writing for. One thing that might be considered is to include hover over pop-ups for foreign-derived terms (let's not forget haengma...).

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Post #14 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:46 am 
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daal wrote:
(let's not forget haengma...).


I like that word, but often when I use it I find the translation "funky jump" works just as well ;-)

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Post #15 Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:49 am 
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Uberdude wrote:
daal wrote:
(let's not forget haengma...).


I like that word, but often when I use it I find the translation "funky jump" works just as well ;-)


It's sometimes noted in Korean go articles that I read that 'haengma' is unique in that it is the only Korean go term that's commonly used as an "English" term (in contrast to Japanese, where there are several "English" terms, like you've already mentioned: aji, atari, etc.).

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Post #16 Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:55 am 
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Thanks again, all. I really appreciate the votes and comments.

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Post #17 Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:57 pm 
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Uberdude wrote:
== Definitely Not ==
moku

I would add to this the following recently often (mis) used terms:
goban,
kifu,
baduk (althought this one is useful for searches, so maybe leave it in, but just for that geason.)

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Post #18 Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:37 am 
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Bantari wrote:
[
I would add to this the following recently often (mis) used terms:
...
baduk (althought this one is useful for searches, so maybe leave it in, but just for that geason.)


I really like "baduk" for searching, both because it is unique for that purpose and because unlike weiqi, there aren't a lot of romanization or pronunciation pitfalls. I would be quite willing to have it adopted as the official name of the game in English if it weren't for the cultural issues a forced change like that might bring up.

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Post #19 Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:12 pm 
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Personally, I'd vote for Japanese terms adapted into English. Newspeak would be more correct and future proofed (post Brexit and the Trump presidency) but it will still be a while before "unlife" replaces "death" and "unsente" replaces "gote" in the common usage. (Also "unponnuki" for "dango", "unseki" for false Seki", "untesuji" for the almost identical mash-ups "anti-suji" or "non-suji", and remember that "unfilled triangles" are bad shape.)


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Post #20 Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:18 am 
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wineandgolover wrote:
For the purposes of this poll, please assume the goal of this website is to be a resource for the Western world, not just native English-speaking countries.


If the goal is to reach all Westerners, then one should definitely go with the established Japanese terms, which are used (as far as I know) in all European languages. This would make it easier for those trying to read English who are more familiar with go in another Western language.

Of course, as has been mentioned, many terms such as "nobi", "shicho", "oiotoshi", "niken tobi", "semeai", "hasami", "kaketsugi", etc. have been (or are being) replaced by modern English equivalents and many newer players would no longer be familiar with those terms unless they read older books.

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