I was going to post another wonderful thing, but this one is a brand new wonderful thing, so I’m going to post this now.
My friend Chris Kimball, a.k.a GreatBigHugeTallChris (He’s 6’11! He definitely deserves his nickname), who does freelance design work for Lolcats, the people who created other sites like “i can has cheezeburger” and “fail blog.” A couple of weeks ago, he asked me to translate an English sentence into Japanese for the t-shirt he’s designing. The sentence was, of course, “i can has cheezeburger?”
If you don’t know “i can has cheezeburger?”, it started when the creator of Lolcats posted an image from Something Awful of a smiling grey cat, known as Happycat, with a caption of the cat asking, “I can has cheezburger?” in a style popularized by 4chan. (from Wiki)
I’m writing this boring ‘how I decided on the Japanese translation,’ since there are some negative comments about it.
First I just translated the sentence, but then it seemed a bit boring… So I thought of a couple of childish/cutesy-way to say it in Japanese, but it still didn’t seem like it’d deliver the nuance right. The sentence was too short to have cute Engrishy (Engrish = incorrect English) Japanese.
I was browsing random Japanese sites for some ideas, and came up with a completely new approach. “4chan” is an American version of 2chan which was originated in Japan. 2chan is basically a text thread, and people on 2chan use many different unique terms. If you’ve watched “Densha Otoko” (J-drama), you might be familiar with what 2chan is like.
One of the terms 2channelers often use when they want something is “ギボンヌ (ghi-boh-n-nu).” It’s a made-up word from “kibou (希望)” which means “hope.” So instead of saying “Details please”, they’d say “詳細(detail)ギボンヌ.”
Chris showed a couple of different translations I did with his design to Lolcats guys, and they liked the idea of using the 2chan reference.
So yeah, it’s very obscure in a super nerdy way (even for some Japanese people), but I think it’s perfect for “i can has cheezeburger.”
Oh and I translated “cheezeburger” in hiragana, instead of katakana (used for foreign food/stuff) on purpose. It’s kind of funny (to me) to see that people are very seriously criticizing the usage of hiragana for “cheezeburger” or ギボンヌ reference in the comment, but come on…
First of all, it’s originally spelled “cheezeburger” not “cheeseburger.” And the second of all, it’s Lolcatz for Pete’s sake!
They really need to check out the pictures on “i can has cheezeburger” site and relax, and stop giving Chris a hard time! kthxbai. =P
If you aren’t a hater, and love cats, cheeseburgers, robots, and want to look obscurely nerdy, you must get this shirt!
It’s only $15!! Free-shipping!!
*I’m not getting paid for advertising this shirt, by the way. The shirt is just awesome, and so is Chris.
More of Chris’ works/designs can be seen on his site. http://www.lastisle.com
EDIT: Not like it really matters, but I’m born and raised in Japan, been living in the U.S. for the last 16 years, and I do translate for a living.
I thought it’d be strange to mention my profession in this particular case, but just in case people don’t know that I’m Japanese.