Japlish Talk/ Discussion

Sub-page of JaplishTalk


Until B1 copied from Sagari.

John F. I'd like to make a general comment sparked off not by this page but by the one on [Sagari Tesuji] (now descent tesuji), though it seems to belong here as this is the definition page.

Terminological inexactitudes abound on SL. Sometimes they give rise to useful discussion. Most often they don't but stay there to mislead future readers.

Problems can arise whatever the language of the term, but it seems to me that the main problem arises when someone posts a Japanese term.[1] This is a special problem because so many terms of Japanese origin are now used by western players as quasi-English terms, but either with different meanings from Japanese (e.g. yose, fuseki) or with a different range of coverage, e.g. hane ... and sagari.

The example shown in Sagari Tesuji is not usually called sagari in Japan. It would most often be called orikiri, sometimes sagarikiri (oru is another way of saying sagaru). Indeed, the usual Japanese definition of sagari is telling: it is a nobi towards the edge. This tells us several things. One is that it is really a mistake to call a nobi a push, as some people do, but also that what is in the Japanese mind is a space for a stretch, i.e. ordinary sagari does not usually get used for a move onto the first line. This is where the -kiri comes in: end, limit.


Until B2 moved from Sagari

I'd suggest a new page giving guidance and a check list on how to introduce pages for new terms on SL. It should include the instruction to indicate whether the term is being introduced as a Japanese term or a Japlish term. If it is meant to be a Japanese term there should be advice to include, if possible, a definition from a Japanese book, and examples taken from **untranslated Japanese** books.[2] Using the western literature is just reinforcing the mistakes.

I see nothing wrong with using a Japanese term as Japlish, just so long as it's marked as such.

Pari passu for other languages, of course.

BTW I don't agree with the philosophy of posting something wrong in the hope that someone will come along and correct it.[3] They usually don't - the evidence is all around you.


Well, I have systematically tried to remove Japanese terms that strike me as superfluous here. This is an ongoing and time-consuming project.

On the general question of who posts what - it's Liberty Hall, the whole point of a wiki. Things will get better only if there are enough police (vigilantes, call them what you will) taking an active interest. I often do 50 copy-edits a day here, but that's only 1% of the site.

Disinformation about Japanese terms is constantly reinforced, by the way: see stuff about sabaki in recent Go Worlds.

I wish people would not post stuff here just because they have read it in a book.[2] But I don't suppose that will ever stop.


[2] I think in this case the culprit[01] is Tesuji by James Davies, although I don't have a copy here to check that. I had assumed that [Sagari Tesuji] is the commonly accepted term for this specific tesuji: The descent to the 2-1 point to win a semeai. If that were be the case, this would definitely not be a superfluous usage of a Japanese term, as that is far more precise in meaning than "descent tesuji".

I still see a point of continuing to use this term, of course it had to be marked clearly as "Japlish" then. If it's in widespread use in English, and has a well-defined specific meaning, why not? It has always happened that terms borrowed from another language got a different meaning than in their original language. And in the tension between the "etymologically correct" and the widely used meaning of a word, there is no a priori winner.


Bill: Well, if both Japanese and English-speaking go players call a play sagari, even if the Japanese usually use another word these days, what is the problem?


[3] I don't quite know what you expect. I intended to post a diagram for the tesuji, and linked it under the name I knew it (and my guess is that most Western Dan players would recognize it under the same name). I am afraid I neither own Japanese books, nor could I read them if I had. Should I refrain from posting then?


Dieter: Continuing on dave's thoughts, an example from Dutch. The proper Dutch word for "attitude" has been "ingesteldheid". Close to that word lies "instelling", which means "institute". Over the years, people have started using instelling for both meanings. The last time I checked, "ingesteldheid" has even disappeared from the dictionary. Those who know that our language got a little poorer due to massive abuse of a certain word, may regret it, but that's the way languages work.

Japlish Talk/ Discussion last edited by MrTenuki on July 9, 2006 - 02:12
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