22 comments on “Overwatch’s Hanzo and Genji: How to accurately romanise and pronounce their ultimate attacks

  1. Corrections:
    -龍が我が敵を食らう! does not mean “O dragon, consume my enemy” at all. Note that 食らう is in its dictionary う form, not the imperative て form. As such, Hanzo is actually stating what the dragon will do.
    A literal translation would be “The Dragon shall consume my enemy”.

    Your translation would need something like “竜よ、我が敵を食らえ!” which is what hanzo says in the japanese version of the allied quote.

    -神 means god, not spirit.

    -くらえ is actually 食らえ in its imperative て form. As such, the literal translation would be “eat the dragon god sword!”. A more “refined” translation should be “Taste/feel the blade of the dragon god!”. I don’t know where you got the “strike” especially due to the presence of the particle を right after 竜神の剣

    -Finally, てくれて is used for the usual “~てくれてありがとうございます” (Thanks for “verb-ing”). If you asked people to enjoy the game, you probably mistook that with 楽しんでくれ which is a bit misplaced considering the context (てくれ should be used when you expect a favor from someone, which isn’t exactly fitting here). 楽しんでください would have been more appropriate.

    • I used “spirit” instead of “God” because both Hanzo and Genji looked like they were summoning dragon spirits while battling. It seemed more fitting. Maybe I should have wrote “rough translation” instead of “literal translation”.

      Anyway thanks for the tips. Please understand that some people are still learning, and sometimes translation work requires a bit of creativity and poetry from the translator.

      • If you are still learning, it would be less problematic if you don’t make that kind of post. No offense, but claiming authority by stating you have learned Japanese for 6 years but then making mistakes like confusing う form and て form will not help the intended audience. You are actually worsening some people misconceptions regarding the language as result.

        Translation work only needs creativity and poetry when it comes to expressions and situations that don’t convey themselves well in the target language, and that’s usually “localization”, not translation. More often than not, being concise and accurate is way more effective, especially that changing the words might alter significantly the perception of the given text.
        For instance, swapping “god” with “spirit” dramatically affect Hanzo and Genji abilities: with the former word, they have a connection with a divine entity, whereas with the latter word, some might think they just have mystic powers and that’s about it.
        That’s like translating “priest” with “spirit channeler”: they don’t have the same connotation at all.

        Same can be said for the rest of the translation.

    • And yet translators say

      -龍が我が敵を食らう! means, “Dragon eats my enemy !”
      竜神の剣をくらえ! means, “Eat the sword of the dragon !”

      So Where is the Taste/Feel and God part of the phrase?

      • 神 means God. So if you put it together with dragon (竜 / 龍)、it would mean “dragon God” or more poetically, dragon spirit.

        食らう literally means “eat”, but in Japanese it can also be used as a battlecry (eg. similar to “eat this!” in English).

        I’ve already blogged about this in one of my latest posts. I’m not interested in arguing whose translation is more accurate or legitimate. Every translator’s version will be slightly different because of their own writing style in the translated language.

    • That’s totally fine. I like how Blizzard made the effort to cast good voice actors for both versions. Hanzo’s English and Japanese VA are different, Genji’s one is the same person.

      EDIT: Actually, the Japanese dub for Overwatch was handled by Square Enix.

  2. Okay, first of all, Klashikari didn’t need to be so damn rude to you in their second comment. I hope their obnoxiousness didn’t make you feel bad.

    This post has been great help to me (I’m writing a fic that involves both Hanzo and Genji’s Japanese lines) and I applaud you for taking time out of your day to make it. Learning Japanese is not easy (I know I could never tackle another language besides my native one) so kudos to you for devoting six years to learning! 😀

  3. is it just me, or does the pronunciation of Genji’s ult just seem really hard? I can say Hanzo’s flawlessly, but Genji’s is just really hard.

    • I quite like his English battlecry of “THE DRAGON BECOMES ME”, although the meaning is different from the Japanese version.

      • Yeah, I like it too. I also like how he does both the VA for Japanese and English.

    • The voice actor for Hanzo in the Japanese dubbed version of Overwatch (Shuhei Sakaguchi) is different from the North American version (Paul Nakauchi), that’s why their voices sound different.

      • I’m sorry I may have worded that poorly. I meant, when he says the actual line that he says in the game, the words themselves sound different. Is he saying the same phrase in both versions? Maybe the actor is just saying it differently?

      • The battlecry for Hanzo’s ultimate is spoken with the exact same words, just with a different voice actor for the Japanese dubbed version. You are right to point out that it sounds different, because it’s a different voice actor. 😉

      • Ohh okay. I guess I am bad at detecting Japanese language and all its nuances haha. I’ll have to listen carefully to hear the phrase in the Japanese version. Interesting how the phrase is in Japanese both videos but I can only pick it out of the English version. I guess it’s more obvious then haha

  4. I asked a Japanese friend to translate and he said it roughly translates to:
    Hanzo: The dragons will eat my enemies
    Genji: Feel the blade of the dragon
    Not sure how accurate it is because I don’t speak jap but he’s fluent in it

  5. I don’t even know Japanese , I just stumbled on this site for researching for Japanese names and cuz I like overwatch and I just thought I should say that

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