Japanese (?) translation
September 28, 2022 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I want to be able to impress my niece by telling her what this says. Also, if this is not Japanese, please don't laugh at me.

My niece drives a blue Subaru wrx, so I got her this art on a coffee mug for Christmas. Can someone please tell me what it says? I want to look cool in front of my family.
posted by SamanthaK to Writing & Language (6 answers total)
Best answer: The big characters are 伝説 (= legend)

The sentence in the middle explains that Subaru is an automobile brand and automobile manufacturing division of Subaru Corporation
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 3:14 PM on September 28, 2022 [6 favorites]

It might be worth noting that "Subaru" references the Pleiades, the source of the Subaru logo.
posted by SPrintF at 4:30 PM on September 28, 2022 [8 favorites]

Printed, clear text in common languages can often be auto-detected and changed to your desired language output using the Google Translate App and your mobile device's camera.

I was able to point my phone at your image on my computer screen to confirm Sockin'inthefreeworld's assertion, above.
posted by enfa at 6:56 PM on September 28, 2022 [5 favorites]

If your niece is inclined to be impressed by you translating the Japanese, she may also have the interests to be impressed if you know that this is the same densetsu / legend kanji as the Legend of Zelda (example).
posted by past unusual at 8:28 PM on September 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I believe this may also a sideways reference to Initial D. While the hero car is ostensibly the Toyota "86" (Hachi-roku) Trueno (Corolla in the US), later the hero's dad Bunta drove the WRX and easily beat the hero, and later, got the hero to drive it occasionally to teach him the advantage and disadvantage of AWD vs Trueno's RWD. (Audio warning: semi-loud Eurobeat music)
posted by kschang at 6:14 PM on September 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

For future reference: More translation tools/resources:
- DeepL (tends to provide better translations than Google);
- r/translator (has users who actually speak/write the language and understand the culture)

A general word of warning: Automated translators like the app linked in enfa's comment are fine for things like identifying the language or quick-and-dirty translations in projects that do not get reviewed by a professional translator...but they cannot inform you about errors or other "off"-ness that you see in cases where someone with no Japanese knowledge has slapped some "Japanese" onto merch, which seems to be most of the stuff I get asked to translate now.

(For things like art on a t-shirt, it's relatively harmless; but I remember coming across one r/translator post in which someone received a mystery pill-like product and, without verifying the [fake and nonsensical] Japanese branding, ingested it. It was only after they posted that we could point out the definitely-not-native Japanese and that it was likely some kind of weird counterfeit product.)
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 6:35 PM on October 5, 2022

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