Is the Japanese name of Godzilla pronounced....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenA, May 28, 2002.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Go-hir-ra or Go-jir-ra? I'm just wondering if the Japanese are like the Spanish and pronounce their j like an h or like the English and say it like it is and/or g. Thanks for clearing it up.
     
  2. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    I'm pretty sure it's pronounced with a "j". If if was pronounced with an "h", the English name "Godzilla" wouldn't be possible.
     
  3. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Ok thanks. Sorry to sound stupid. Just wanted to make sure.
     
  4. JohnAD

    JohnAD Cinematographer

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    Richard, Stephen:

    Yep, definitely said like 'j'.

    Interesting tidbit:

    Gojira is a Japanese combination of 'Gorilla' (gorira) and 'Whale' (kujira). Toho didn't just come up with this out of the blue. One of the people who worked at the studio, who was apparently a rather large person had gotten the nickname gojira, and Toho apparently thought it was a good name for their new monster.

    John.
     
  5. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Thanks John. Very interesting bit of trivia.

    I take it that Toho is the creator of Godzilla?

    Oh,...the pronounciation - I understand that english words with the letter 'l' that are imported to Japan change to sound like 'r'. Hence 'gorira' instead of 'gorilla'.

    But then why was Gojira changed to God-zilla when imported back to the US? Obviously, Americans don't have a problem pronouncing the letters 'd', 'r', and 'j'.

    Any thoughts?
     
  6. JohnAD

    JohnAD Cinematographer

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    Peter:

    Yeah, Toho is the studio. I think it's an abbreviation, but I could be wrong.

    As for the name, I would agree that it was probably just an americanization of the Japanese word.

    John.
     
  7. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    The British had a habit of twisting up alot of Native American words when they first settled here in the US. When Americans moved out west, they did the same thing with the Native Americans out there. I guess it makes it easier to say the word, and still keeping it similar to where it originally came from.

    Edit: Thanks for responding.
     
  8. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Stunt Coordinator

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    It's pronounced "Go-jee-ra", with equal emphasis on each syllable, roll the "ra" a bit, there, you've got it. The name "Godzilla" was thought up by Toho themselves, not any American company... promotional art for "Godzilla" that pre-dates the film's sale to an American distributer was circulated by Toho in the months following the films release in Japan on November 3rd, 1954. The odd translation possibly arises from the practice of writing the romanization of the Japanese katakana character for "ji" as a "dzi" sound, which seemed to be the practice in the 50's.

    And if you want to hear the name pronounced correctly without tracking down copies of the films in Japanese, watch the US version of the first film... there's a "press conference" scene where Dr. Yamane (Takashi Shimura) announces an expidtion to Odo Island... or so Raymond Burr's English narration would have you believe (Shimura is not dubbed in this scene, and the Japanese is left intact). Actually, the scene occurs much later in the film in the Japanese version, and Yamane is actually making a plea for Godzilla to be studied, not destroyed. He says the name "Gojira" several times in this scene, which must not have been noticed by the editors of the US version.
     
  9. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Are there any sub-titled versions of the Japanese original release? I always thought the Americanized version was pretty good but I hear tell that it's not as good as the original Japanese version. There's a disquiet to the whole film and the cinematography is lushly ominous. I love it.
     
  10. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    There are no legal copies of Gojira subtitled on video. The only way to see it is 35mm

    Why is a story I really don't feel like typing out, it's too long

    The character in the middle of Gojira is sort of a combination of J and Z (with an i, so ji or zi) when pronounced, so like r and l, either one is used when romanizing.
     
  11. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    It's only pronounced "Gojira" if Jean Reno is waving a lit cigarette lighter in front of your face.
     
  12. JohnAD

    JohnAD Cinematographer

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    Oh No! There goes Tokyo!
    Go Go Godzilla!
    (Blue Oyster Cult, Godzilla)

    John
     
  13. Chris Lynch

    Chris Lynch Stunt Coordinator

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    History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man, GODZILLA!
     

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