Talk:Mottainai

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First draft[edit]

This report is not translation from Japanese. I am the text which I considered by myself. It understands, if a Japanese report can be translated and obtained. I want to ask a check of everybody.--LongLongAgo 04:50, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Ah, I see. I had thought that it was a machine translation from the article in the Japanese wiki. English as a second language, eh? No worries. We'll get someone to help with it. --Blu Aardvark | (talk) | (contribs) 08:43, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
  • I attempted to sort it out a bit, (adding a little based on having just seen Maathai speak) but I am afraid some of the meaning was lost in translation. I did not change the translations of the word itself, as I don't speak Japanese. --User:Windupcanary 18 March 2006

Citation[edit]

[1] (in Japanese) by the Mainichi_Shimbun.--222.5.247.120 08:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Intro[edit]

The intro needs to be rewritten. It starts out with very hard to understand definitions. (It's better if you get past that part but I'm not sure how many people would persevere.) RJFJR (talk) 17:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

"Mottainai" as an international word?[edit]

Article has turned up nicely, but what do you think about this point? "The word has also entered the English language and is also in use in other languages[dubious – discuss]." I'd definitely say no, that's just what Japanese people would like. We already have the part about Ms. Maathai effort to make the word more known, so I think the best thing would be to erase this sentence. Any opinions? --Jair Moreno 27 January 2008

I agree. I never heard the word until I came to Japan. I think it's a great word but if I used it in England no-one would know what I was on about. 219.176.20.5 (talk) 11:38, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Mottainai simply means "wasteful" or "what a waste." I don't know of a single use of the word that couldn't be translated into English exactly as such. This article needs to be revamped. As it is, it's little more than nihonjinron 180.5.154.72 (talk) 07:41, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Agreed - this article is Mainichi Shimbun self-promotion and blatant nihonjinron. I've tried to clean it up, but it still irks me. The word has not entered the English language in an strength - a Google search on it shows several pages of, you guessed it, the Wangari Maathai promotion. Candidate for deletion imho. Cypella (talk) 07:10, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

How do you pronounce this word? Could someone knowledgeable add a pronunciation guide (in phonetics)? Thanks. AugustinMa (talk) 11:52, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

[mo-taj-naj] This is a very basic transcription of the Japanese sounds. There may be subtle complexities that I have not accounted for. I have used dashes to separate the syllables, which is not the IPA convention. It seems that there is no accent in this word. Each syllable is given equal time. The [j] is the semivowel that joins the [a], and has the sound of the letter "y", as in yes [jɛs]. The two together sound like the vowel center of the English night [najt] [1] [2] Armslice (talk) 22:15, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

[mo.tːa.i.na.i]
This is how mottainai is actuallty pronounced in Japanese. Mo is not equal to nai as two syllables. Mo is equal to na in time, since Japanese is a mora-timed language. The periods represent moraic boundaries. With how Japanese words are usually pronounced in English, it would become [moʊʔ.taɪˈnaɪ] for North American speakers. This means it would sound like the English words "moat tie nigh" with the last word stressed. Though Japanese does not have stress it has a pitch accent, and putting the stress on the same part that has the pitch accent is a way to approximate the Japanese pronunciation while speaking English. I'm not so sure about how people from England would handle it, but I think it would either be [məʊʔ.taɪˈnaɪ] or [mɒʔ.taɪˈnaɪ]. (Ejoty (talk) 00:45, 28 August 2009 (UTC))

Greenwashing?[edit]

This whole "mottainai" campaign is being pushed (and funded) by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Itochu Corporation, one of the largest companies in the world. Forgive me if I'm a bit suspicious about their sudden concern with people wasting things. Cypella (talk) 07:03, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCpTS43wM4k
  2. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_phonology