Dice-K Dictionary

My friend Mark of pinyin.info sent me an article titled "Dice-K Dictionary" in recent issue of The Phoenix, an alternative newspaper in Boston area.

The article pointed out due to the popularity of Japanese baseball player Daisuke Matsuzaka (松坂 大輔) joining Boston Red Sox, many signs with Japanese have been spawning up around Boston area.

The article's author, Mike Miliard, contacted Momo Shinzawa, a fine-art photographer from Tokyo to help translate some of these signs.

In one of their examples,

http://thephoenix.com/article_ektid40133.aspx (114KB pdf)

Shinzawa said:
“Oh, this is really good one! The first three letters says ‘Red Sox’ (literately means ‘Red color sox’) which is kind of okay, but everybody knows Red Sox as Red Sox. You know what I mean? We pronounce and used the name of the team just like Bostonian, so this is kind of funny. On top of it, I think they try to say “Red Sox Fans” but, the last two letters literately means ‘an army corps,’ not ‘fan.’ I can see this sign was made by someone who speak Chinese, maybe? Who can not write [Japanese characters] Hiragana and katakana. When we use foreign words, we use Katakana. So the word ‘Red Sox’ or ‘fan’ should be all Katakana, not in Chinese letters. So this is my suspicious. Yeah, it is kind of No, No to call Japanese ‘An Army corps of red color sox?!’ Since [the Japanese were] Americans enemies long time ago!? I found this sign kind of funny! If Japanese see it, they can understand what they are trying to say. It is almost there, but not right Japanese.”

Actually if the characters shown above are be read as Chinese, it would translate as "Army group under red/bare boots". could be translated as either "red" or "bare" depending on the context.

The correct Chinese translation for Boston Red Sox is 波士頓紅襪(隊).


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