Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

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Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:38 am

This is a tougher question than I anticipated. Maybe someone here is able to help me.

I'm making a bonsai database.

I would like to include bonsai styles with names in English, Japanese as it is written for
readers of English, and also in Japanese characters.

For instance: "Formal Upright" = "chokkan" in Japanese, in as much as Japanese is translated for people reading a Latin alphabet.

What would be the equivalent term for "chokkan" using Japanese characters, and how can I find that equivalent term on my own?

That's just an example. I have a long list of words to cross-reference into Japanese characters. I don't want anyone to do my homework for me. This database is a hobby, but I'm a bit lost on how to get started.

I hope that made sense.

Regards,

John Jones



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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:18 am

"Chokkan" for instance? I assume you're looking for a literal translation of the kanji that make that word?  You're going to need a good kanji translation book.  Try P. G. O'Neill's "Essential Kanji".  Good luck, I don't envy your project.

And by "Japanese characters", stick with kanji. Hiragana and Katakana are nothing more than sounds with no meaning.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:56 am

Russell Coker wrote:"Chokkan" for instance? I assume you're looking for a literal translation of the kanji that make that word?  You're going to need a good kanji translation book.  Try P. G. O'Neill's "Essential Kanji".  Good luck, I don't envy your project.

And by "Japanese characters", stick with kanji.  Hiragana and Katakana are nothing more than sounds with no meaning.
OK thanks then. I wasn't planning a weekend project. I've seen some of these bonsai terms referenced in English and in Japanese characters before.

I might be better-off starting with the Chinese character equivalents of the English terms. I have a few Chinese friends that are willing to help me, and they say they can recognize about 30% of the Japanese characters.

Regards,

John Jones


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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  JimLewis on Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:08 pm

It sounds like  LOT of makework to me, but if you can get your hands on Yoshimura and Halford's The Japanese Art of Miniature Trees and Landscapes, (1957 Chas. Tuttle, pub.) you might find  the terms and kanji in the various back-of-the-book appendices (specifically, 3 and 5) helpful.  I have no idea if the recent cheap paperback reprint has that same info in it.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:41 pm

john jones wrote:
I might be better-off starting with the Chinese character equivalents of the English terms.  I have a few Chinese  friends that are willing to help me, and they say they can recognize about 30% of the Japanese characters.

I think I'd find some Japanese friends who recognize more than 30% of the Japanese characters. And there's more than one way to read individual Kanji depending on how they are combined. I don't think it's as cut-and-dry as you're thinking. It would also help if the friend is familiar with bonsai... it makes a difference.

Not trying to poop on your plans, just trying to steer you in the right direction...

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Norma on Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:31 pm

Hi John,    If I'm clear on what you are looking for ....you are looking for Japanese terms written in kanji?    Google translate will give the kanji for a Japanese word.

http://translate.google.com/#ja/ja/%E7%9B%B4%E6%84%9F

I hope this is what you want.

Norma

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Kakejiku on Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:50 pm

Russell Coker wrote:
john jones wrote:
I might be better-off starting with the Chinese character equivalents of the English terms.  I have a few Chinese  friends that are willing to help me, and they say they can recognize about 30% of the Japanese characters.
I don't think it's as cut-and-dry as you're thinking.  It would also help if the friend is familiar with bonsai... it makes a difference.

Not trying to poop on your plans, just trying to steer you in the right direction...
直幹 Chokkan 直 (adj-na,n,adv) (arch) straight; direct 幹(n) (tree) trunk; (arrow) shaft; (tool) handle; backbone; base The first character is Choku, but has other readings such as Jika, Jiki, Nao, Tada to name a few. When bonsai enthusiasts combined these characters they dropped the ku ending and put a double consonant kk. In Hiragana reads ちょっかん. But if you type that into your computer the only four possible characters that come up are the following that all read Chokkan:
直感 n,vs,adj-no) intuition; instinct; insight; hunch
直観 Slight variation on the characters directly above with a similar meaning
勅勘 (n) the emperor's censure
直間 It is a specialized economic term usually combined with the characters hiritsu 比率 and relates to a comparison of direct to indirect taxes.

This tells me that Chokkan is a bonsai industry specific word, and although a lay Japanese person would understand it means a straight trunk, it would not be in their everyday vocabulary and they may even initially mispronounce it differently than Chokkan.

This does not even go into why the English equivalent becomes "Formal Upright". Which is centered in Japanese art concepts of categorizing art of different genres into Formal, Semi-Formal or Informal, and has nothing to do with the direct translation of the characters.

My advice given delicately is to stick to nurturing your bonsai...BTW this post with research and double checking facts took about 45 minutes... And if your computer on sections of this post is just showing squares, you need to download the East Asian Language pack (if on a PC) onto your computer so your computer will be able to show Japanese, Chinese and Korean text on your screen.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:01 pm

Kakejiku wrote:
Russell Coker wrote:
john jones wrote:
I might be better-off starting with the Chinese character equivalents of the English terms.  I have a few Chinese  friends that are willing to help me, and they say they can recognize about 30% of the Japanese characters.
I don't think it's as cut-and-dry as you're thinking.  It would also help if the friend is familiar with bonsai... it makes a difference.

Not trying to poop on your plans, just trying to steer you in the right direction...
直幹 Chokkan  直  (adj-na,n,adv) (arch) straight; direct 幹(n) (tree) trunk; (arrow) shaft; (tool) handle; backbone; base The first character is Choku, but has other readings such as Jika, Jiki, Nao, Tada to name a few. When bonsai enthusiasts combined these characters they dropped the ku ending and put a double consonant kk. In Hiragana reads ちょっかん. But if you type that into your computer the only four possible characters that come up are the following that all read Chokkan:
直感 n,vs,adj-no) intuition; instinct; insight; hunch
直観 Slight variation on the characters directly above with a similar meaning
勅勘 (n) the emperor's censure
直間 It is a specialized economic term usually combined with the characters hiritsu 比率 and relates to a comparison of direct to indirect taxes.

This tells me that Chokkan is a bonsai industry specific word, and although a lay Japanese person would understand it means a straight trunk, it would not be in their everyday vocabulary and they may even initially mispronounce it differently than Chokkan.

This does not even go into why the English equivalent becomes "Formal Upright". Which is centered in Japanese art concepts of categorizing art of different genres into Formal, Semi-Formal or Informal, and has nothing to do with the direct translation of the characters.

My advice given delicately is to stick to nurturing your bonsai...BTW this post with research and double checking facts took about 45 minutes... And if your computer on sections of this post is just showing squares, you need to download the East Asian Language pack (if on a PC) onto your computer so your computer will be able to show Japanese, Chinese and Korean text on your screen.
Thanks Jonathan! That's exactly the point(s) I was trying to make.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Kakejiku on Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:38 pm

john jones wrote:That's just an example.  I have a long list of words to cross-reference into Japanese characters.    I don't want anyone to do my homework for me.  This database is a hobby,  but I'm a bit lost on how to get started.
I have already done this for commonly used species of bonsai, bonsai styles, tables, jiita, pots, accents etc...but with the amount of time it took to compile, I have no intention of posting it here for free. I did a lecture on it to paying participants at the American Bonsai Society convention in Saratoga NY this fall...I think most of the students were able to grasp some of the concepts, but it is still a daunting task considering the language barrier...but I will paraphrase what one student said:
"I have had bits and pieces of concepts of how something was paired (i.e. a pot to a tree), but I never understood the reasoning and why. Now it makes things much more clear as to why I was told to do it this way by people that had learned or trained in Japan."

Here is another nugget:
http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?13051-First-Formal-Shohin-Display


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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Alain Bertrand on Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:26 pm

john jones wrote:
OK thanks then.  I wasn't planning  a weekend project.  I've seen some of these bonsai terms referenced in English and in Japanese characters before.

I might be better-off starting with the Chinese character equivalents of the English terms.  I have a few Chinese  friends that are willing to help me, and they say they can recognize about 30% of the Japanese characters.
It would be better if you could at list type correctly the pronunciation of the term you are looking in hiragana.
Then type your term とは (toha means about) and 盆栽。Usually you can find the correct writing quite easily.

Personally I don't mind helping you (this is very little work) but on the condition that freely obtained stuff remains free. i.e. that you release your database under a GPL-like license.

You'll find quite a lot of terms at the following place :glossary


Last edited by Alain Bertrand on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:06 pm

Russell Coker wrote:
john jones wrote:
I might be better-off starting with the Chinese character equivalents of the English terms.  I have a few Chinese  friends that are willing to help me, and they say they can recognize about 30% of the Japanese characters.
I think I'd find some Japanese friends who recognize more than 30% of the Japanese characters.  And there's more than one way to read individual Kanji depending on how they are combined.  I don't think it's as cut-and-dry as you're thinking.  It would also help if the friend is familiar with bonsai... it makes a difference.

Not trying to poop on your plans, just trying to steer you in the right direction...
That's fine. I just don't know any Japanese people, but I work with several Chinese.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:07 pm

Alain Bertrand wrote:
john jones wrote:
OK thanks then.  I wasn't planning  a weekend project.  I've seen some of these bonsai terms referenced in English and in Japanese characters before.

I might be better-off starting with the Chinese character equivalents of the English terms.  I have a few Chinese  friends that are willing to help me, and they say they can recognize about 30% of the Japanese characters.
It would be better if you could at list type correctly the pronunciation of the term you are looking in hiragana.
Then type your term とは (toha means about) and 盆栽。Usually you can find the correct writing quite easily.

Personally I don't mind helping you (this is very little work) but on the condition that freely obtained stuff remains free. i.e. that you release your database under a GPL-like license.

You'll find quite a lot of terms at the following place :[url= http://bonsai.shikoku-np.co.jp/en/word/]glossary[/url]
LOL:


404 - ファイルまたはディレクトリが見つかりません。
検索中のリソースは削除された可能性があります。または、名前が変更されたか、または一時的に使用不可能になっています。

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Alain Bertrand on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:17 pm

I have fixed the unwanted space in the url formatting.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:21 pm

Alain Bertrand wrote:I have fixed the unwanted space in the url formatting.
Thank you. I LOLed because i could instantly recognize a 404 error in any language.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:26 pm

Alain Bertrand wrote:I have fixed the unwanted space in the url formatting.
Yes. that's very much what I was looking for. Thank you for the help.

For what it's worth, I have no plans to sell this database. It's for my own use to keep track of my trees, and to keep me busy with something-bonsai related during the dead of winter. Also, I used to be a SQL database admin and designer, and I want to refresh my skills a little.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Alain Bertrand on Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:57 pm

There are many places where you could upload a dump of you database.
Sourceforge for example.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:37 am

Norma wrote:Hi John,    If I'm clear on what you are looking for ....you are looking for Japanese terms written in kanji?    Google translate will give the kanji for a Japanese word.

http://translate.google.com/#ja/ja/%E7%9B%B4%E6%84%9F

I hope this is what you want.

Norma
Hi Norma,

That was what I thought I wanted. Very interesting. In the lack of any context, the word 'yamadori' when translated and back again came back as 'copper pheasant'. Shohin came back as 'written products'.

Thank you for your help.

I know what I will be working on this time next year. lol

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:51 am

Alain Bertrand wrote:There are many places where you could upload a dump of  you database.
Sourceforge for example.
I had not seen Sourceforge before. I'll keep that in mind.

Years ago, I wrote a multitasking OS overlay for DOS. I didn't know if it was any good or not, so I uploaded the C source code for review. Some guy downloaded it and started selling it. He was decent enough to send me a copy in the mail. That's how I found-out he was selling it.

Live and learn.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  DougB on Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:46 pm

John JKL on another site posted a link to a very interesting site. The site does have an extensive glossary and includes Japanese. Lots of other great stuff including pics of the bonsai at the Imperial Palace. Link is Glossary and here is home page

thanks to JKL

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:56 pm

DougB wrote:John JKL on another site posted a link to a very interesting site.  The site does have an extensive glossary  and includes Japanese.  Lots of other great stuff including pics of the bonsai at the Imperial Palace.  Link is Glossary and here is home page

thanks to JKL
Thanks. That glossary is the same one Alain posted up-thread. It was a start, but the "Japanese notation" [sic] stopped at the top of page 5 of 11 or so.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  JimLewis on Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:38 pm

It was a start, but the "Japanese notation" [sic] stopped at the top of page 5 of 11 or so.
Actually, it occasionally reappears. Maybe that part is a work in progress.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Update: I found about 40% of the terms I was looking for. My next step may be to take it to a university for some help/proofreading in exchange for a donation.

Regards,

John Jones.

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Reply with quote Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  Robert J. Baran on Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:06 pm

And we may have some more info for you here, http://www.phoenixbonsai.com/TermOrigins.html

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:26 pm

Robert J. Baran wrote:And we may have some more info for you here, http://www.phoenixbonsai.com/TermOrigins.html

Thank you, kind sir. I have an Excel spreadsheet of a few myself that are in a font that Windows can use. Let me know if you would like a copy.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

Post  john jones on Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:07 pm

Kakejiku wrote:
Russell Coker wrote:
john jones wrote:
I might be better-off starting with the Chinese character equivalents of the English terms.  I have a few Chinese  friends that are willing to help me, and they say they can recognize about 30% of the Japanese characters.
I don't think it's as cut-and-dry as you're thinking.  It would also help if the friend is familiar with bonsai... it makes a difference.

Not trying to poop on your plans, just trying to steer you in the right direction...
直幹 Chokkan  直  (adj-na,n,adv) (arch) straight; direct 幹(n) (tree) trunk; (arrow) shaft; (tool) handle; backbone; base The first character is Choku, but has other readings such as Jika, Jiki, Nao, Tada to name a few. When bonsai enthusiasts combined these characters they dropped the ku ending and put a double consonant kk. In Hiragana reads ちょっかん. But if you type that into your computer the only four possible characters that come up are the following that all read Chokkan:
直感 n,vs,adj-no) intuition; instinct; insight; hunch
直観 Slight variation on the characters directly above with a similar meaning
勅勘 (n) the emperor's censure
直間 It is a specialized economic term usually combined with the characters hiritsu 比率 and relates to a comparison of direct to indirect taxes.

This tells me that Chokkan is a bonsai industry specific word, and although a lay Japanese person would understand it means a straight trunk, it would not be in their everyday vocabulary and they may even initially mispronounce it differently than Chokkan.

This does not even go into why the English equivalent becomes "Formal Upright". Which is centered in Japanese art concepts of categorizing art of different genres into Formal, Semi-Formal or Informal, and has nothing to do with the direct translation of the characters.

My advice given delicately is to stick to nurturing your bonsai...BTW this post with research and double checking facts took about 45 minutes... And if your computer on sections of this post is just showing squares, you need to download the East Asian Language pack (if on a PC) onto your computer so your computer will be able to show Japanese, Chinese and Korean text on your screen.

I went back and read this again. Was this reply meant for me? I originally thought it was, but now I see that you actually replied to Russell Coker.

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Re: Bonsai Terms Translated/Transliterated

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