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Movie Titles in Japanese (1)
Part 1: Houga and Youga
More of this Feature
Examples of the Movie Titles

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Movie Titles in Japanese (2)
Learn Form Movie Dialogues (1)
Learn Form Movie Dialogues (2)

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World Film - Japan

Page 1 of 2

The Japanese enjoy movies, eiga (映画), very much. Unfortunately it is a little bit expensive to see movies at the theater. It costs 1800 yen for adults.

Houga (邦画)are Japanese movies and youga (洋画)are western movies. The famous Hollywood movie stars are popular in Japan as well. Girls love Reonarudo Dikapurio (Leonard Dicaprio) or Braddo Pitto (Brad Pitt), and they want to be like Juria Robaatsu (Julia Roberts). Their names are pronounced in a Japanese style because there are some English sounds that don't exist in Japanese (e.g. "l", "r", "w"). These foreign names are written in katakana.

If you have ever had a chance to watch Japanese TV, you might be surprised to see these actors quite often in TV commercials, something you will almost never see in North America. Click here to see what they are doing in Japan!

Some youga titles are literally translated like "Eden no higashi (East of Eden)" and "Toubousha (The Fugitive)". Some use English words as they are, though the pronunciation is slightly changed to the Japanese pronunciation. "Rokkii (Rocky)", "Faago (Fargo)", and "Taitanikku (Titanic)" are just a few examples. These titles are written in katakana because they are English words. This type of translation seems to be on the increase. This is because borrowed English is everywhere and the Japanese are likely to know more English words than before.

The Japanese title of "You've got mail" is "Yuu gotta meeru (You got mail)," using English words. With the rapid growth of personal computer and email use, this phrase is familiar to the Japanese as well. However, there is a slight difference between these two titles. Why "have" is missing from the Japanese title? Unlike English, Japanese has no present perfect tense. (I have got, You have read etc.) There are only two tenses in Japanese; present and past. Therefore present perfect tense is not familiar and confusing to the Japanese, even to those who know English. That's probably why "have" is taken away from the Japanese title.

Using English words is a easy way to translate, but it is not always possible. After all, they are different languages and have different cultural backgrounds. When titles are translated into Japanese, they are sometimes turned into totally different ones. These translations are clever, funny, strange, or confusing. I will show you some examples on the next page.

Next page > Examples of the Movie Titles in Japanese > Page 1, 2

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