Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Japan-related articles/Macrons

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Macrons vs. circumflexes

Originally moved from Talk:Yugi Mutou.

Arbitrary division 1

Yu-Gi-Oh! is serialized in the U.S. Shonen Jump. As the magazine uses circumflexes instead of macrons, Yu-Gi-Oh! related articles should use circumflexes in place of macrons. WhisperToMe 20:48, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Shonen Jump is not an encyclopedia, and has different standards. You're probably right about Anna Kyoyama: use of circumflexes where they are actually present in the most popular romanization of the names is likely the best way to go. Nonetheless, actual Japanese text (especially as here, where the localization with which the reader will most likely be familiar is a translation rather than a romanization) should always be glossed using Hepburn as described in the manual of style. --Aponar Kestrel 22:11, 2004 Jul 26 (UTC)

Agreed -- just because some incompetent comic book publisher can't figure out what a macron is doesn't mean Wikipedia should lower its standards. Jpatokal 09:27, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Good point. I agree as well. In any case, Viz, the company that publishes Shonen Jump in North America, is not even consistant within its own works. I stopped by Barnes & Noble the other day and looked at one of the Inuyasha graphic novels, which are published by Viz. While they appear to use circumflexes in Shonen Jump, Viz definitely uses macrons in their graphic novels, at least for the Inuyasha ones. --Josh 21:33, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)
Really? That's interesting. It suggests to me, in fact, that Anna Kyoyama et al. should be spelled "Anna Kyōyama" in the article -- if Viz isn't even internally consistent within a given work, we needn't bother trying to figure out where one or the other is preferable. Does this sound reasonable to others? --Aponar Kestrel 22:33, 2004 Jul 27 (UTC)
Well, if that's how Viz does it, then we should romanize the way they do it. You don't understand. The comic book publisher INTENTIONALLY uses circumflexes. Yes, I understand they aren't the most consistent guys when it comes to marking long vowels and all, but if they do it once, then by all means Anna Kyôyama should stay where it is. I'll even make a scan proving that it should stay. If the official publisher of an English language manga uses this spelling, this spelling should be used instead of the MoS. (As a matter of fact, five out of six Shonen Jump issues spelled her name with a circumflex, so of course it is intentional)
HOWEVER, outside of the Shonen Jump magazine, JoshG is correct. Rurouni Kenshin, and according to JoshG, InuYasha use macrons. (While Fushigi Yûgi, yes, even the title, uses circumflexes) WhisperToMe 23:47, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Oh, and as for a reference:

  • The following Viz manga use circumflexes in the manga: Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z, Naruto
  • The following Viz manga use circumflexes in the title: Fushigi Yûgi
  • The following Viz manga have circumflexes used (so far, and as far as I know) only in introductory pages in Shonen Jump: One Piece, Shaman King
  • The following Viz manga use macrons: InuYasha, Rurouni Kenshin
  • The following Viz manga do not use either circumflexes or macrons but appear in Shonen Jump, which itself uses circumflexes: Hikaru no Go, Sand Land, Yu-Gi-Oh!, YuYu Hakusho
  • The following manga have circumflexes used in the introductory pages, but once inside the actual manga, macrons are used: Whistle! (Yes, it's weird!)

In addition, Viz spells Yû Watase's name as "Yû Watase" in all of the works she has done. WhisperToMe 23:59, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Arbitrary division 2

I have an idea on how to resolve this:

And the rest default to macrons. WhisperToMe 00:59, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I don't think that's a good idea at all. Exploding Boy 01:25, Jul 28, 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. All this is, is indication that Viz and SJ don't give a fig about romanization. If they can't be bothered to care about what they use, I certainly can't, and Wikipedia at large shouldn't have to either. --Aponar Kestrel 03:26, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)
Correct me if I am mistaken. But why do we need to have this sort of complex systems? The use of macrons entirely over wikipedia seems to have no problem. We use macrons because sometimes like Osaka's case, we want to show how to prounce the name accurately. But nothing should be more intended. -- Taku 01:44, Jul 28, 2004 (UTC)
Because in the case of two manga (Dragon Ball Z, Naruto), things are spelled in the actual text using circumflexes instead of macrons. And in the case of One Piece and Shaman King, the introductory pages in Shonen Jump use circumflexes, though I have learned that this actually is more the case with the magazine itself than with the actual text in the graphic novel. Pick up an issue of Shonen Jump and/or graphic novels belonging to those two series and you will understand the issue :) (And in the case of Fushigi Yugi, see: http://store.viz.com/product/GNVLB0013/b.FUSHIGIYUGI/s.ajpOwnuF) WhisperToMe 01:49, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
In sheer triviality this debate must be some sort of record-breaker; WTM is getting his panties in a twist about diacritics in a comic book!? Here's a clue: the Hepburn article says that macrons are standard and circumflexes are outdated surrogates. Period. If Viz were to intentionally write the sound "th" as " þ", should þis be aped in Wikipedia?
We should be following standard policy here:
  • No diacritics in the article title ("Anna Kyoyama")
  • Macrons in article content ("Anna Kyōyama is...")
  • Macrons also in Japanese Hepburn reading if common English reading is different ("Yugi Moto (武藤 遊戯 Mutō Yūgi)...")
And no circumflexes anywhere, except maybe in redirects if WTM has nothing better to do. Jpatokal 01:55, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
And if he wants to do that, fixing them when they get broken is his business, not mine. I don't want to have to deal with changing fifty redirects that no one on the face of the planet will ever use, if I have to move an article for some reason. --Aponar Kestrel 03:26, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)
Yes, we will if that is what is used in the actual manga. We can't "judge" what is done. I know circumflexes aren't used in "proper" Hepburn but if the official U.S. publisher of Dragon Ball Z and Naruto decides to use them instead of macrons, that is what me must do. I can get upset about the littlest things, but I will ask you to focus on the issue and not on me. Focusing on the issue makes me happy to talk about it.
  • NOTE: I HAD to strikethrough and replace. Men don't wear "panties" in American English. WhisperToMe 02:10, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Arbitrary division 3

One more note, in the case of Shaman King and One Piece, I may revert to MOS style because so far, I have not seen circumflexes used in either actual manga. When a friend of mine returns, I will ask him to check up on those two to see if circumflexes are used in the actual manga. WhisperToMe 02:14, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Whisper to me clearly does have nothing better to do: his pet project is creating as many useless redirects as he possibly can. His peculiar insistence on fooling around with matters he doesn't understand (specifically, things related to Japanese language) has created all sorts of problems on Wikipedia, necessitating page upon page upon page of discussion (the majority explaining to him repeatedly where he's going wrong) and hours of following him around cleaning up his messes.
At basic issue here is how to represent long vowels. It should be simple enough: we have a policy on the matter.
Whisper to me, for the hundredth time, leave editing of Japanese to those who speak the language. Oh, don't alter other people's posts, ok? You should know that by now. Exploding Boy 02:18, Jul 28, 2004 (UTC)
Again, I'm going to ask you - Stop talking about ME. You are TORTURING me with this method and way of talk. I struck-through (and made it clear that I struck-through because it was personal, and it was unnessecary) - If you have noticed, this is becoming a personality feud, not a real, honest discussion. I am going to ask you to take a time-out and find a better way to discuss this issue. This issue is very complex. WhisperToMe 02:39, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
And I'm going to ask you to take a time-out and actually look at what the consensus and style guidelines are, and why they are that way, instead of blithely asserting that they're irrelevant. --Aponar Kestrel 03:26, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)
Okay, why not move Yu-Gi-Oh! to Yugio! (This is rhetorical, I don't really mean to do this! I'm just illustrating the problem here!) - Again, Style of reference kinda gets pushed to the side or whatever if the official spellings differ. WhisperToMe 03:49, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
... like I said, please actually look at the style guidelines: An English word or name with a Japanese origin should be used in its English form in the body of an article, even if that is pronounced or spelled differently from the properly romanized Japanese form. "Yu-Gi-Oh!" is an English word, used by many people who don't even know that it's of Japanese origin. "Anna Kyôyama"... isn't. Perhaps in future there will be legitimate borderline cases (see also the Hawai'i debacle), but SJ (being, as it is, much less well-known than most dubbed anime) doesn't look likely to generate them. --Aponar Kestrel 04:16, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)
"Yu-Gi-Oh" in English means "King of games", but in the U.S. it is used to refer to the series. Is this what you mean? (And if it is proven that "Anna Kyoyama" with the circumflex isn't used in the ACTUAL manga, then that won't be an issue here) Also: the U.S. dub of Shaman King, AFAIK, just uses "Anna" without the surname, so the manga is really the deciding factor here. WhisperToMe 04:22, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
You misstate. "Yu-Gi-Oh", in English, means "that show that comes on Cartoon Network", or possibly "that trading card game my kid wants me to get for him". It does not mean either 'Game King' or 'Pharaoh Yugi'. It is an English word, like tsunami, jiu jitsu, or judo; any semantic drift it may have undergone is utterly irrelevant. "Anna Kyoyama" is not an English word, and thus needs romanizing. How SJ does it isn't relevant unless changing it would confuse people -- which it won't. This is already non-issue. --Aponar Kestrel 04:55, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)

Arbitrary division 4

I know the guidelines and style rules. But as the English Naruto and Dragon Ball Z manga do things differently, especially with proper nouns. "Knowing the style" doesn't change that. So how can we accomodate this along with our manual of style? I have thought of some ideas.
I do not believe in "correcting" the English-language versions by outright replacing the circumflexes. Rather, I think we should use the form with the circumflexes to refer to things in those two articles, but we should let readers know that the scholarly romanization is with macrons. WhisperToMe 03:34, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Let me put it this way. Yu-Gi-Oh! is how the English-language version of Yūgiō is romanized. If we went with what you said, that would be changed to "Yūgiō". Do you catch my drift? This is the same scenario with the circumflex stuff. WhisperToMe 03:36, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
You're trolling, WTM. The consensus here seems to be to follow the existing guidelines, which allows for Yu-Gi-Oh!, and not Yugio!, because Yu-Gi-Oh! is the standard English form. So this argument is a troll.
Personally, this is one of the stupidest arguments I've seen on here. Mix standard practice with Hepburn standards; use Shonen's romanization (which typically seems to be the standard English form) but with Hepburn's guidelines. One has to realize that certain names do not remain all their flairs when put in text. The name of the department store chain is, according to the sign, Macy*s. So, should the article be at Macy*s or the more appropriate Macy's? Same with this. The flairs are added by the publisher and have little relevance towards the name itself. Just because the publisher added a flair doesn't mean it should be included in an encyclopedia.
Another example: "id Software" or "iD Software" in logo, but in text, is more properly, when writing an article, Id Software. Cartoon Network's Adult Swim is almost always displayed as "[adult swim]", but that doesn't mean the article should refer to it as such. This is simply accepted practice, either from the AP style manual or from some other manual; you ignore the special stuff someone does with the name and just use the name. Consider the circumflexes in Yu-Gi-Oh! part of the logo, not part of the name. So they should rightly be Macy's and Yu-Gi-Oh!. If you want, maybe include the circumflexes later on, or include a picture of the title. (The exclamation point could fall into this too; have fun, kids)
A final note, WTM: If he's torturing you with a comment on Wikipedia, maybe you need to take a break. --Golbez 04:25, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
But articles on bands with heavy metal umlauts use the umlauts in their titles. (E.G. Hüsker Dü), and then there is Häagen-Dazs. Perhaps this will become a big battle in policy? WhisperToMe 04:44, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Then I suppose I should ask: Does the presence of the circumflex change the pronounciation from the macron at all? Doesn't seem to work with Haagen, though, since that's as fake as the n in Spinal Tap. So, question does become, yes, perhaps there could be a change in policy. A change that is decided by people who still have their AP Style Manual, which isn't me. Then again, we aren't writing a news article here, we're working with, not quite the lowest common denominator, but certainly a wider breadth. So Haagen Dazs (with umlaut) and such are good. So that brings us back to the original argument. Personally, I say nuke the accents altogether, unless they have some actual meaning. Main page Fushigi Yugi, with possible redirects from accented pages for those people who actually thought to type in the circumflex/macron. On a side note, I'm way too tired to be typing, so I apologize in advance if any of this makes no sense. --Golbez 04:55, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
You are saying that if the accent/diatritical mark doesn't contribute, then it shouldn't be in article titles, right? WhisperToMe 06:45, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Arbitrary division 5

As for another idea: how about this for the header of the Fushigi Yugi article:
  • Fushigi Yûgi (Fushigi Yūgi)
  • I don't consider putting in circumflexes as opposed to macrons as a way of saying "circumflexes are proper, not macrons" - I'm trying to show how it is spelled in the official English graphic novel. Perhaps we can have a note saying that the English graphic novel uses circumflexes but proper scholarly Hepburn uses macrons? WhisperToMe 03:01, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
That's the sort of thing that belongs in Romaji. Oh, look, it's already there: 'Macrons and other diacritical symbols are often omitted or substituted for, both because of carelessness and difficulty in remembering or inputting them.' I'll add 'unavailability' to that, but still. --Aponar Kestrel 03:44, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)
No, I say this would belong in every single affected article. AGAIN: What would the problem be of moving Yu-Gi-Oh! to Yugio? WhisperToMe 03:51, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Another guideline on Wikipedia:Manual of Style for Japan-related articles: "Wikipedia is an English encyclopedia. An English word or name with a Japanese origin should be used in its English form in the body of an article, even if that is pronounced or spelled differently from the properly romanized Japanese form:" - Since use of circumflexes would technically be the "English" form of such a name, wouldn't this guideline apply? WhisperToMe 03:59, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)
... English word. A word in English. Romanizing a word or a name doesn't magically make it English; only being in common use can do that. "Anna Kyoyama" (in whatever romanization) is neither, as has been explained to you several times by myself and others. --Aponar Kestrel 18:37, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)

WTM, Kyôyama and Kyōyama are the same thing, two near-identical renderings of the same Japanese word in English. This should be patently obvious to even the densest anime geek, who is unlikely to have an apoplexy because he types "Anna Kyoyama" into Wikipedia and is greeted with a macron instead of a circumflex. Why, precisely, do we need to repeat two identical forms? What value would this add?

And for your information, I've been speaking American English since the ripe old age of nine months, and I fully agree that men doesn't wear panties, even when discussing diacritics in kids' cartoons. The reason these arguments tend to degenerate into ad hominem is that, in this discussion as in so many before, your side consists of well, you, and everybody else disagrees! Pattern or remarkable coincidence? Jpatokal 05:23, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I KNOW it's the same thing - I know it. You didn't ask for why I am doing this: if people really want macrons in the article, then this is how should go. The information from that macron is "This it is how academically spelled".

If anything, those that agree with me aren't posting. If you want me to, I'll rouse them and they'll come on here. WhisperToMe 06:03, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Arbitrary division 6

Whisper to me, unfortunately this is a personal issue because one user, namely, you, continues to insist on fooling around with things he doesn't understand, namely, Japanese language. It wouldn't be so bad if you didn't insist that were right in the face of overwhelming opposition from those who actually speak, read and understand the Japanese language! Looking things up on a romaji list or in a kanji dictionary does not render you able to make judgements on issues of Japanese usage, even in an English encyclopaedia! And nor does reading manga translated into English.
It's a personal issue because you insist on pushing your point of view when you clearly have little understanding of the matters at hand. Do you think I find it entertaining checking your list of contributions every few days and fixing all the little errors you inadvertantly or mistakenly insert into articles? I, and others, have asked you time and time again to leave the editing of Japanese to those who speak Japanese, or at the very least to ask someone who knows before creating unnecessary (and often ridiculous) redirects or adding similarly unnecessary, ridiculous or just plain wrong information to articles.
Again. Yu-Gi-Oh is fine because that's the common English spelling. Anna Kyo^yama is not because a long vowel is properly given with a macron.
Whisper to me, I've half a mind to start a request for comment on you if you persist in inserting erroneous information into articles and starting frivolous redirect pages. You have been asked by many users many, many times to stop.
And by the way, quite a lot of men do wear panties, even in American English, but that's hardly important here because (a) it's an expression, and (b) American English is not the default language on Wikipedia. Exploding Boy 06:07, Jul 28, 2004 (UTC)
1. I stand corrected there.
2. If you want to talk about ME, do so on MY talk page. Not here. WhisperToMe 06:45, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

This is about you because it's inextricably connected to you. No other user messes with Japan-related articles like you do, and you're the only one promoting this ridiculous thing. Exploding Boy 06:55, Jul 28, 2004 (UTC)

Also I point out that he has done so on your Talk: page. Repeatedly. To no visible effect. --Aponar Kestrel 07:16, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)
I won't go into that, but I believe the talk pages did help - You all are wasting your time doing this when we could just have resolved it right here. I don't think any of you are paying attention to what I am saying. Discussions here are so difficult because we all focus on each other, and not the issue. I ask all of you, even myself, to read Wikipedia:Staying cool when the editing gets hot.

And yes, JP, I apologize for editing your comments like that. WhisperToMe 07:40, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

On the contrary, Whisper: we're paying much, much closer attention to what you say than you seem to think. Every time you say something, we match it up to what you've said previously, in order to understand your arguments and your position, and the understanding we have formed is that you think that English translations should dictate Wikipedia use because they are (in some sense) 'the official spelling'. You haven't coherently responded to any of the several arguments, good or bad, as to why we should not blindly follow the English publications. You seem to be the only one ignoring the arguments here. --Aponar Kestrel 18:37, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)

Fine. Here's the issue: Why do we need to include the circumflex? What value would this add? What value is lost if we use macrons?'

Can you answer my questions? Jpatokal 08:19, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Arbitrary division 7

I apologize for breaking in here. This conversation has become very long and complex, and as a person that occasionally touches manga articles it is of interest to me that I understand the consensus (if any) on the issues so I don't add errors into the articles that I write or edit. Unfortunately, the key points of the conversation are a bit lost in the torrent, so please allow me to restate them for clarity:

  • Viz (and other manga "translators") practices "Englishification" instead of "Romajization", and they do so inconsistently-- including in a way that looks and smells wrong to a speaker of Japanese. (But, of course, English readers don't know that.) This Englishification extends even to the real names of Japanese people that probably are known wider than through just their manga/anime.
  • To follow an inconsistent standard, we would be forced to adopt an inconsistent standard to Wikipedia. This is not acceptable in a work that should aim higher. In addition, the lack of an external standard means that in a few years we may be gifted with new editions that use different "standards", rendering our work moot and dated.
  • Regardless of the shoddy quality of the translated named in the manga, we are nonetheless faced with a quandry as the translated manga are generally the only textual reference point for a English-translation of a series. (Anime subtitles are significantly worse at consistency.) The Wikipedia, a textual medium, is naturally inclined to lean towards the artist's textual medium which should provide fewer inconsistencies in spelling, etc. than we would otherwise have. (Of course, with point #1, we see that fewer inconsistencies does not mean "none".) When spellings between the manga and anime have differed, we have generally perferred the manga one.
  • The names in some popular import series have English "brand/logo" names that don't match up to what the proper spelling would be, but has so permeated the English-language anime subculture that they have become English words, though how widely those words might be recognized as English outside that subculture can be called into question. As series, such as Dragon Ball and Yu-Gi-Oh, enter more mainstream culture; this line is blurred even farther.
  • Faux-foreign and decorative text in English is not the result of a translation and we are not obliged to follow those conventions even when we can. However, a discussion of this is outside the scope of this conversation.

Approaching this is difficult. The title of the article is an easy case, because title words are more inclined to be English adoption or brand words than otherwise and, because EN.Wikipedia isn't usually accessed by people with enough shift keys on their keyboards, it needs to be available (at least through a redirect) to a version that doesn't contain non-English characters. In many of the manga articles (though not most-- there sadly aren't enough folks able to research and enter this), the original Japanese and proper romajization are included in the headers of the articles, immediately after the english title.

Proper names are also easy. Real people's names should be in the system in proper Hepburn-- unless the person himself has a preference, and that should be stated-- and with redirects from the myriad of non-conventional spellings that other sources happen to use. I'm sure this is already in the style guide, I think I read it there.

The trick, and this is where I most see WTM's quandry, is that internal words and less established words don't have an established reference point for spelling. We all don't have the luxury and gift of speaking Japanese and using names which are completely unknown to the English-language reader in the bodies of articles intended for that audience isn't optimal. The primary reference point that we have, the Viz manga, is in itself full of inconsistencies. The problem only arises when the reference spelling is wrong and looks poor to the other portion of the audience, the ones that actually know Japanese. (And that audience is also important, because Japanese speakers should be considered a reasonable audience for Japan-related articles.) The easy case here is if a reference source regularly offers multiple spellings for a name, then the spelling of the name adopted for Wikipedia should be the more correct one, rather than the one used more frequently. (With some level of judgement involved.) (And if someone wants to pepper the world with redirects from the wrong spellings, so be it. Even list them in the articles, if it's helpful.) With Shonen Jump, if it is determined from people that know more than I do that "Son Gokū" is more correct than "Son Gokû" and both are provided by the reference text (I think they are.) then we should pick the one that is more correct.

But outside of those cases, I am at a loss as to what to do-- do you follow the incorrect reference spelling (the position that WTM advances), a "corrected" (Hepburn-ified or modernized) spelling, an "English" spelling without diacritic marks, or something else entirely? I would suggest "common sense" come into play someplace: if it looks wrong to English or Japanese readers, care should be taken to use a written form in the body which is least offensive to both-- even if that means using an alternate name for the character or object which avoids the problem, provided that alternate name is introduced earlier in the article. (To use yet another Dragon Ball reference, if no one can agree on the spelling of Nyoibo and it really upsets people in every form, then just call the darn thing a Power Pole and have done with.) JRP 13:55, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Close. There are two issues, although they are linked. One of them is "should we follow the English publisher's spelling?" The other is "does WhisperToMe deserve censure?"

In reference to your comment "When spellings between the manga and anime have differed, we have generally perferred the manga one." This is not true, although from his previous comments in Talk:Sailor Moon (now removed, but see the page history), Whisper would apparently like us to believe that it is so.

When spellings between the manga and anime differ, we prefer the most popular spelling, as the style guide indicates. For Sailor Moon, the manga name is "Bunny Tsukino" while the anime name is "Serena Tsukino". So we go with the most common -- which, I was mildly surprised to learn, is in fact Usagi Tsukino (yes, in western name order). For Yugi Mutou, this should be the English anime version Yugi Moto (as Google and my 12-year-old brother concur). It should be remembered that relatively few people read translated manga compared to those who watch televised anime.

However, romanizations are not necessarily spellings: and if SJ doesn't seem to know the difference between a circumflex and a macron, you can't tell me that their readers (Whisper excluded) are likely to care either. So, the consensus is that macronless Hepburn (whether diacriticless, diaresisised, or circumflexed) gets turned into macronful Hepburn.

Whisper being deserving of censure hinges on the fact that he has constantly and consistently added circumflexes and moved articles to "conform to the manga version", ignoring consensus and style guidelines alike; that he has made numerous edits to Japanese-related articles based on nothing more than 'stuff he got from Shonen Jump'; that he makes dozens upon dozens of useless redirects, thus making it more difficult to move pages if necessary (which is especially egregious behavior when done after he's moved the page under the wrong title); and that, in general, he doesn't appear to be able to get his nose out of his manga in order to see over the top of it. --Aponar Kestrel 16:34, 2004 Jul 28 (UTC)