Talk:Tanuki

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Translating bake-danuki (化け狸)[edit]

Since using the Japanese term "bake-danuki" will be hard to comprehend for the average English readers (and because I hate using Japanese words in English as well), it may be better if we translated into a normal English phrase. For the choice, even though the Wikipedia page uses "monster tanuki", I'll rather go for "mimic tanuki" because the bake (化け) means more of "disguise" and "transformation" (Wiktionary). But we need to be careful about this for not ruining the consistency of the bake- category i.e. bake-neko (化け猫) and bake-gitsune (化け狐), so if were going to make the change all of these terms would be needed to be changed too. If this is not a considerable move, then maybe at least we could use "bake-tanuki" instead, so it could be understood as a sub-class of a tanuki, even if it's not a correct Japanese.--Doncot (talk) 17:12, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Alternatively, "youkai tanuki"/"tanuki youkai" or "transforming tanuki". As for why characters like Mamizou get referred to by their mundane species name... most English speakers will never encounter or have to talk about mundane tanuki, and if you're using the Japanese word for fox in an English sentence it's assumed you don't mean a normal one (at best, a bake-kitsune might be referred to as a "fox spirit"). Bakeneko is the only "bake-word" that's really recognisable among English speakers. Or maybe there's a perception that all foxes/raccoon-dogs (being less seen and thus more mysterious) have some supernatural power from birth and cats don't. --Prime32 (talk) 18:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
It would be better if we use the same protocol for all the bake- category, since they're all referred the same way in Japanese and share the some concept of "disguising", after all. In any case, I'm fond of using "foxes" any time instead of "kitsune" (e.g. "bake-foxes"). Because unlike tanuki almost all English speakers can understand what a fox is, even if it doesn't share the same perception of the Japanese folktale background of "kitsune", it still better than using an alien word (I would like to do the same for neko/cat, but maybe not a reasonable move since bakeneko is already well known here). And whether how common it is to use their mundane species name in Japanese as a mark for the "youkai-ness", ZUN uses both the species name and bake- name in his work, even if there isn't much intention to it, and we should distinguish those two at least when referring to them on the wiki.
BTW, the pronunciation changes (adds the dakuten) in certain words when combined, the reason why tanuki (ぬき) becomes bake-danuki (ばけぬき) and kitsune (つね) to bake-gitsune (ばけつね) (the "bake-neko" won't change because there isn't a dakutened character for ne ()). --Doncot (talk) 19:46, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
I would imagine that kitsune is even more established as a loanword than bakeneko. - Kiefmaster99 (talk) 23:47, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Um, guys? So where exactly are we planing to land here?
We have three options (for now)
化け猫 化け狐 化け狸
1. Japanese bake(-)neko bake(-)gitsune bake(-)danuki
1'. Japanese (dropping the dakuten) bake(-)neko bake(-)kitsune bake(-)tanuki
2. English monster/youkai/mimic/etc cats monster/youkai/mimic/etc foxes monster/youkai/mimic/etc tanuki
Remember that whichever protocol we pick, we can't mix them up (e.g. use bakeneko and mimic tanuki at the same time). And I don't think we should use just plain "kitsune" and "tanuki" for bake-gitsune (化け狐) and bake-danuki (化け狸) (on the wiki). Overwriting the meaning in loanwords to one another, especially when they are both used in the same content, sounds really weird and can cause confusion to everyone (just like now).--Doncot (talk) 16:46, 21 June 2012 (UTC)