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MDN presents 'Manglish - Manga in English' 101

Mainichi Daily News writes "Japan's leading English news site revolutionizes manga -- Manga lovers rejoice! A never-seen-before approach to manga made its debut on the Mainichi Daily News on Monday, July 3, 2006. Manglish takes some of Japan's hottest young manga talents -- showcased in the Mainichi's MangaTown site -- and places their creations on the MDN in their original Japanese format. However, cool thing is that while it appears on the site in the original Japanese, but if you run your mouse over it you get the translation in English.
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MDN presents 'Manglish - Manga in English'

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  • Read it backwards (Score:2, Informative)

    by Stonent1 ( 594886 ) <stonent@stonent ... t c l a r> on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:12AM (#15649309) Journal
    Start on the left and move to the right... Just an FYI.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:22AM (#15649340)
    FWIW, they make most of them learn the classic "One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets" here in junior high school, from playing a card game called "Karuta". People do read "books" as you'd understand them, including novelisations of popular manga. But manga are very popular for casual reading.
  • by Robaato ( 958471 ) on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:24AM (#15649346)
    No, no it hasn't. The typical bookstore around here (Tottori Prefecture) is about 2/3 regular books, 1/3 manga. Admittedly, Tottori is pretty countryside; I couldn't tell you about the bigger cities.

    As for young people, whenever I see them reading, it's usually manga, but I do see a fair number of kids reading stuff like Harry Potter or Earthsea.

    This is just what I'm seeing, though -- ask someone in Tokyo or Osaka, and you might get a different answer.

    Now that I think about it, one could say that Japanese literature, such as the authors you mention, or classics such as the works of Natsume Soseki, don't appeal to a young audience in Japan. I must ponder this...
  • Right to left... (Score:5, Informative)

    by so1omon ( 577498 ) <> on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:29AM (#15649361) Homepage
    Um.... That's not backwards. I think you meant "Start on the right and move to the left."
    Just an FYI.
  • by Robaato ( 958471 ) on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:29AM (#15649362)
    Kodansha has been doing this on their English website [] since 2000. There's a wide selection of various manga that Kodansha publishes that you can look at, including titles such as Akira and Love Hina. However, they haven't updated it in a couple of years, and I can't seem to get the translation thingy to work. (The MDN site works fine for me, though.)
  • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:36AM (#15649389) Homepage
    The question is perhaps a bit ill posed. Manga doesn't have the negative, childish connotations here that comics do in the west. At least some of it is considered literature to the same extent as books without images.

    That said, at least here in Osaka, on a typical commuter train I normally see perhaps 1/3 manga to 2/3 "normal" books - of course there's plenty of trashy, cheap novels sold as commuter fodder out there worse in quality than good manga, so it reflects only on the choice of medium, not quality.

    I'd also say that for everyone reading something on paper you have two or three people doing email, playing games or listening to music on their mobile phones. If you want to know what seems to overtake books as casual entertainment, there's your answer.
  • Re:Manglish is taken (Score:4, Informative)

    by DarkIye ( 875062 ) on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:54AM (#15649439) Journal
    It's also the Malaysian dialect of English []. I thought that was pretty widely known as the first meaning of the word, actually. Apparently not.
  • by cantle2000 ( 981208 ) on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:56AM (#15649446)
    Ok, who else noticed the article in the lower left hand corner entitled "Bench fever" which was about the Phillipine underwear and denim show?? Yes, it has nothing to do with manga, but I know what Slashdotters would be more interested in!!! :))
  • Re:Right to left... (Score:3, Informative)

    by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Monday July 03, 2006 @09:07AM (#15649485) Homepage
    Yup, and manga books are also read from the "end" of the book. The beginning is where usually the last page would be in a western comic.

    And if you see anime you'll notice people reading text vertically - their eyes move up and down instead of left and right. I think this is an older writing system where the text was arranged in columns top to bottom, right to left.
  • Re:Right to left... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @09:51AM (#15649659)
    I think this is an older writing system where the text was arranged in columns top to bottom, right to left.

    Correct, japanese is traditionally read top to bottom and right to left, however thanks to westerners writing software that was unable to comprehend this arrangement, it began to fall out of practice in favor of left-to-right top-to-bottom which was easier to produce on a computer. These days it seems that perhaps 1/10th of the books published even abandon the "backwards" page turning, and just go all out on the left-to-right system. Manga is still regularly written in top to bottom format though, since it's not as affected by computers due to the manual lettering.
  • Define Manglish (Score:2, Informative)

    by dartarrow ( 930250 ) on Monday July 03, 2006 @10:59PM (#15654290) Homepage
    Manglish [] has long been known to us Malaysians as the default derivative of english spoken here. It generally is a combination of all the major languages spoken here; Malay, Tamil, Chinese and of course.. English. Or sometimes it is English words with non-english grammar. Engrish is not the same because we are perfectly capable of saying "Roll the Red Rose" (as opposed to the engrish version - "LOL the Lhed Lhose")

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead