Looking for romaji script for Totoro
November 8, 2008 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find a rōmaji script for My Neighbour Totoro?

(Slightly different question from last time.) My toddler is addicted to My Neighbour Totoro, so we watch it (at least partially) several times a week. I don't mind, since I don't get tired of it, but it would be nice to use the opportunity to get more familiar with Japanese (we watch it subtitled). Basically, I'd like to have a printout of the script in rōmaji (Japanese in Latin alphabet).

Searching the web, I've only been able to find this for the opening and closing songs.
posted by snarfois to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you don't find it, hiragana isn't that hard to learn. (Not sure where to find a Japanese script either, but there's always the comic book adaptation, which is very faithful to the original, and contains furigana).
posted by martinrebas at 9:33 AM on November 8, 2008

Best answer: this might help, hope it dose i love this film
posted by chelegonian at 9:57 AM on November 8, 2008

Best answer: Here's what purports to be the script in Japanese.

Here's a kanji-kana converter. I admit I'm a little surprised I haven't found a kana-romaji converter that will handle complete web pages (since that's much easier than kanji-kana), but you might have better luck searching. Or you could learn the kana in about a week. The script is very light on kanji, as it turns out.
posted by adamrice at 10:04 AM on November 8, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, guys! That turns out to be quite useful.

If I feed the script @adamrice found into the kanji-kana converter, I get this. If I then copy and paste that into @chelegonian's Romaji translator, I get what is recognisably the romaji script.

A few search & replaces later, I've ended up with this romaji script, which is quite servicable!

It's not perfect, though. There are lots of very long words that should've been broken up. There are also chunks of ??? characters which I could remove, but I was wondering whether it contains actual dialog that failed conversion. I'd also need to understand Japanese to know whether there are other conversion errors.

In short, a proper romaji script would be preferable, but this is better than nothing. Thanks again!
posted by snarfois at 1:36 PM on November 8, 2008

It looks like the ?????? parts are the original Japanese text, corrupted (or in an encoding not immediately obvious to me) and left in there along with the romaji.

I don't notice any obvious conversion errors on a quick scan-through, although there are a few idiosyncrasies (e.g. "あっ メイ" coming out as "atsu mei" instead of "a! mei" or something).

But I notice that the spaces that were in the original script have vanished. if I were you, I would return to the original, replace all the spaces with some other character (that the parser leaves intact), and run it through the process again. You're going to have a hard enough time separating words as it is if you don't speak Japanese; no sense throwing away the existing separations and making it harder for yourself.
posted by No-sword at 3:03 PM on November 8, 2008

Best answer: Thanks for the advice! After a bit of experimentation, I realised I didn't need the nihongo.j-talk translator. I could paste the Japanese script into MS Word, and then paste that into the translator at romaji.org. That preserved the spaces.

Here's the updated romaji script
posted by snarfois at 5:02 PM on November 8, 2008

Late to the party, but seriously, why not give hiragana a try? By all means, start off with the romaji script, but toddlers can pick up stuff in any language. There may be a few bumps down the road where they confuse the two languages, but those are easily hurdled. This could be a pretty solid way to help your kid grow up at least partially bilingual. Take it from someone who's trying to do this at 32, it's a lot harder.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:01 PM on November 8, 2008

Response by poster: She's already growing up bilingual (I'm Afrikaans). I expect she'll learn a bunch of catch-phrases from Totoro ("Toto" and "Mei" are two of her first 10 or so words), but the romaji is firstly for the benefit of my wife and I, to extend our Japanese vocabulary. We've no plans as yet to do a proper study of the language, but we'll see where things go.

What amazed me when I was cleaning up the romaji script, was that I could start reading at literally any point, and would instantly know where in the movie I was. But this says more about my familiarity with the movie than an actual ability to read it.
posted by snarfois at 10:55 AM on November 9, 2008

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