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Manga Answerman - Is the Word “Hentai” Misunderstood/Misused by Fans Outside of Japan?




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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1862
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:26 pm Reply with quote
Adding to the confusion, 'ecchi' may refer to sex or sexy actions whereas the western usage it refers to erotic but non-sexual. Those two terms sort of switched places when coming over...
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Heh, this explains an old One Piece gag involving Franky transforming into his "centaur" mode during the Enies Lobby arc. He yells "HENTAI!" before he transforms, and the enemy he's fighting nods sagely as the kanji flash up onscreen. Very Happy
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AholePony



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:45 pm Reply with quote
Another word with several uses that was placed into a specific "box" that it will never be able to escape. Just like the word "queer".

It's funny, even the words for describing the strange have a hard time like those that are strange themselves.
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melmouth



Joined: 19 May 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:55 pm Reply with quote
This is one of your best jobs ever, Answerman. It's very easy for words of another culture to make major shifts in meaning when they enter ours, and we never guess the change happened.
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Malsang
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Joined: 29 Jul 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:29 pm Reply with quote
This was a delightful insight! Thanks, Answerman!
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nDroae



Joined: 26 May 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:46 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
Adding to the confusion, 'ecchi' may refer to sex or sexy actions whereas the western usage it refers to erotic but non-sexual. Those two terms sort of switched places when coming over...

I think it's more clear to say we use it to mean "erotic but non-explicit," or perhaps "non-pornographic," though many products we label "ecchi" could be considered softcore pornography. (Of course our meaning of "pornography" itself changed drastically over the 20th century, but I'm talking 21st century standards.)
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omegafinal



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:53 pm Reply with quote
Hmm, now I'm curious if there is an western/English variant of the situation. Like what word has a different meaning over there as oppose to here.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:31 pm Reply with quote
omegafinal wrote:

Hmm, now I'm curious if there is an western/English variant of the situation. Like what word has a different meaning over there as oppose to here.


The middle finger
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all-tsun-and-no-dere



Joined: 06 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:14 am Reply with quote
omegafinal wrote:
Hmm, now I'm curious if there is an western/English variant of the situation. Like what word has a different meaning over there as oppose to here.


There's a ton of loanwords that have shifted in meaning there. In fact, there's a specific term for it - wasei-eigo. For example, "スタイル/sutairu" comes from the English "style," but refers to body, such as, "He's got a great body." "フェミニスト/feminisuto" means something closer to "chivalrous" than someone who supports equal treatment of the sexes. The list goes on and on...
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:36 am Reply with quote
AholePony wrote:
Another word with several uses that was placed into a specific "box" that it will never be able to escape. Just like the word "queer".
I'm currently reading my way through Agatha Christie, and a while ago someone was acting a bit strange and I said in response to someone mentioning it "Yes they have been acting rather queer today", forgetting that that words meaning has changed.
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#884745
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Joined: 08 Jul 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:29 am Reply with quote
It's the same in English - the world "pervert" means "change". If you pronounce it with the emphasis on the last syllable ("perVERT"), it's still a verb. Still used in completely non-sexual contexts.

Also, there's nothing weird or perverted about any form of sex.

It's perverted to call sex perverted.

It's perverted to not think positively about sex.

MarshalBanana wrote:
AholePony wrote:
Another word with several uses that was placed into a specific "box" that it will never be able to escape. Just like the word "queer".
I'm currently reading my way through Agatha Christie, and a while ago someone was acting a bit strange and I said in response to someone mentioning it "Yes they have been acting rather queer today", forgetting that that words meaning has changed.


This is why I don't like people trying change it, or deny its meaning - because it will never not mean "weird" and there is nothing "weird" about rejecting the insane superstition known as gender.

I think that anyone who really supports gender/sexual equality should start labeling heterosexual and binary people as weirdos, not the reverse.

Obviously I'm nonbinary/pansexual, or gender-free, or anti-gender. Gender will break down, because it makes no sense, but calling yourself "weird" for rejecting it only slows that progress.


They're really the same thing.

All they mean is that you don't fit in.

"Deviant" = different. But it's the people who are the same who are wrong.

But the people who do conform are the ones who are insane, who need help, who need to be stopped.

If others call you a pervert, then you're actually the only one who's not corrupt.

If others call you queer, then you're actually the only one who's not corrupt.

But everyone is equally capable of becoming wise, and the first step towards enlightening them is to stop accepting labels like "pervert" or "strange", and start calling sexually deviant behavior what it is - wisdom.

(Not that most hentai manga are wise - they're too heterosexual for that, even the BL ones).
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Adamanto



Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 132
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:11 pm Reply with quote
AholePony wrote:

It's funny, even the words for describing the strange have a hard time like those that are strange themselves.


And even the word "strange" itself used to mean more or less what the word "grotesque" means today. It was a word frequently used about horror fiction back in the 50s.
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