Japanese question.
July 15, 2007 7:26 PM   Subscribe

What does this say in (I think) Japanese?

(Note: there are two exclamation points at the end of the sentence, so the last character is a single upward stroke.)
posted by tehgeekmeister to Writing & Language (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
oh no!?
posted by that girl at 7:30 PM on July 15, 2007


Oh, NO!

In english, no less, because those are the characters used for foreign words and they've spelled it out phonetically.
posted by Phyltre at 7:31 PM on July 15, 2007

Yep. It's Katakana, used for writing foreign words... all foreign words. regardless of language.

A romanization of the characters is "Oo No!", as previous stated.
posted by SansPoint at 7:42 PM on July 15, 2007

This is what it looks like computerized: γ‚ͺγƒΌγƒŽ!

(Katakana is used for foreign words, but it's also used for native words for emphasis. Katakana is more or less the Japanese equivalent of italics. As it happens, in this case it is English, but the mere fact that something is written in Katakana doesn't guarantee that.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:10 PM on July 15, 2007

it's hard to tell from the angle, but it could either be "oh no!" as people wrote above, but it could also be "oh-ha" (if the exclamation point is not in fact an exclamation point but the 2nd stroke in "ha" in katakana -- i really can't tell from the angle)... if it is "oh-ha", that was a popular slang term (especially among young girls) several years ago that means "hello" or "good morning". that would definitely fit the bill of a hello kitty tshirt, and explain the yellow sunbeams and possibly the image title of number+hi, unless of course "hi" in that context meant "hi-rez".

i think it's "oh ha", because i can't make out the dot under the putative exclamation mark. but that's only because i can't zoom in.
posted by modernnomad at 8:20 PM on July 15, 2007

( i realise you said that it was a single upward stroke followed by exclamation points, but i am just offering an alternative in case you are mistaken).
posted by modernnomad at 8:22 PM on July 15, 2007

I second modernnomad's interpretation. The way I had O-Ha explained to me was that it was shorted slang for O HAyo gozaimasu.
posted by ikahime at 8:25 PM on July 15, 2007

Except that the "o" isn't lengthened in that.

(They're talking about this character: ハ)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:55 PM on July 15, 2007

Another vote for 'oo-ha' (whatever that means). Latter character looks like a "ha" to me.
posted by R343L at 9:59 PM on July 15, 2007

wow - it really is hard to tell. my best is with Oh No!, because the last bit (the exclamation point/ second stroke in katakana 'ha') is seemingly in bold, or slightly different from the other strokes.
posted by matkline at 10:36 PM on July 15, 2007

I was going to say 'o-ha' at first, but it does look more like 'o-no' with an bold exclamation point. 'Oh no!' also makes much more sense in the context.
posted by robofunk at 12:18 AM on July 16, 2007

Best answer: Hot Topic says it's "Oh no" in "asian character writing". Heh.
posted by clearlydemon at 12:58 AM on July 16, 2007

I've seen the shirt in stores, and the latter character is definitely "no." It has 2 exclamation points.
posted by graymouser at 4:23 AM on July 16, 2007

It's a shortened way of saying "Ohayo-gozaimasu" - or "Good morning" - popularized by the all-girl pop group 'Morning Musume' sometime in the late '90s.
posted by sanverde at 4:32 AM on July 16, 2007

It's Oh-No!. Besides, Ms. Kitty's expression says 'oh no' (eyes squeezed shut, clenches paws to the face), not 'good morning'.
posted by derMax at 6:36 AM on July 16, 2007

It definitely looks like Oh-Ha from that angle, but it really is Oh No.
posted by Ekim Neems at 9:55 AM on July 16, 2007

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