Japanese Alternate Titles

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  • Updated 2 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
We're very pleased to announce that alternate titles can now be contributed in Japanese script (Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana).

To do so, simply select the Japan: Japanese title option in the Country/Language drop-down in the Alternate Titles contribution form. Please see this guide for more information on contributing these.
As with other languages, these will display (1) on the release info subpage, and (2) on the main title page for users who have set their site preferences to Japanese and Japan (if the imdb display title attribute is used), e.g.




As always, we would welcome details of any issues you find, or feedback you have via this thread.

Many thanks!
Mike
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Mike, Employee

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Posted 3 months ago

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Jeorj Euler

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Yes!
       [yes] [clap] [cheers] [clap] [yes]
[cheerleader][1banana] [1bananaj] [1banana1][cheerleader]
[1goodjob] [love10]

Thanks!
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Peter, Champion

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You mention in the submission guide that you want to keep existing romanized/transliterated titles when new Japanese-script titles are added as display titles. Perhaps it is worth mentioning which attributes to use with romanized titles which are not display titles.

There is a "transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title" attribute, but this is not included in the list of attributes in the guide.
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Mike, Employee

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Hi Peter

Important question, thanks for raising. I've clarified in the guide. Would you mind taking a look and letting me know if you have any feedback?

Many thanks,
Mike
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Peter, Champion

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Thanks. I think that seems fine.
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Mike, Employee

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Hi Peter - just to let you know, we just announced a simplification to this attribute (and the other encoding attributes) here. In summary, "transliterated title" should now be used instead of "transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title". We've replaced all the existing instances accordingly.
(Edited)
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Q Leo Rahman

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This may only benefit Japanese readers. But still, I have to give congratulations for this. 
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Appraiser1

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Yes, agreed; wouldn't it be better to keep it in Western alphabet and have a drop box near the title for Japanese speakers to switch it? This makes more sense, considering that it's an anglo website (UK started, US-purchased and based). 

Or what's next: are we gonna be able to add trivia in Japanese and other languages mixed with the English and readers have to sift through it?

As a polyglot, I like each language in its proper place: if I can read and write several, including different alphabets, you have to respect the country where a website is based and the many readers who only speak 1 language. I get very tired of polyglots who shame those who never got the opportunity to learn other languages, claiming it's easy; it's not.

I used to contribute to a few of the foreign IMDb's, then they were deleted. I never understood why! Perhaps now would be a nice time to bring those back and not expect foreigners to be forced into the US website (dot com) and shamed because they can't read English. Not everyone has electronic devices that auto-translate (I don't). Before, all we had to do was change .com to "dot other country abbreviation" to easily access those. 

Not to rain on the parade, congrats on the Japanese characters, they look pretty cool but I hope it's not the beginning of a website downfall here. 
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Q Leo Rahman

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I've always wondered whether trivia can/should be added in different languages. IMDB administrators are going to need language classes to go through that information. 
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Rachel, Employee

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Hi,

Thanks for the feedback here. 

We've just posted an announcement regarding a beta for multi-lingual plot outline contribution here -> https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/contribution-beta-opportunity-multi-lingual-plot-outlines

Let us know your thoughts.

Cheers,

Rachel

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Jeorj Euler

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It's beneficial in the context of search engines being able to generate results for for titles according to the way those titles would be read and written in foreign languages.
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Nardog

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This is great news, but where is the guideline on demarcation between a main title and a subtitle? Because there has to be. There exist a whole array of conventions for Japanese distributors choose from: the most common is a space, followed by a slash, but swung or straight dashes (surrounding the subtitle), a colon, etc. are also common. Should these stylizations be retained, or conform to a certain form (e.g. space)?

And what about full width vs. half width in regard to numerals, Latin characters, punctuation marks, spaces, etc.?

If you don't set rules on these matters you will be opening a can of worms.
(Edited)
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Nardog

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Just noticed that, even though the Japanese titles that were already added by IMDb when this feature was announced use the full-width space for demarcation, the full-width space gets converted to the half-width (i.e. the normal) space when trying to submit a title manually. This means that a lot of the Japanese titles currently on the site contain characters that cannot possibly be submitted by a user.

I've also noticed that some titles now have Japanese akas that are simple transliteration into Japanese prefixed by "(原題)", which means "(original title)", presumably inherited from whatever source that was used (Eiga.com, I'm assuming). This is madness and should be removed or fixed (I've submitted corrections for titles whose local titles have been determined).
(Edited)
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Mike, Employee

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We've now removed (原題) from all titles. We've also clarified the punctuation and word divider guidelines here. We'd appreciate any feedback on those. We will also investigate the issue with full space contribution and update this thread.

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Nardog

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Thanks for addressing my concerns, but I regret to say it seems hardly any problems have been solved.

It seems like you've just removed the "(原題)" part but not the titles themselves. That makes little sense. The titles that had it were transliterations, not translations. Do you accept transliterations of original titles into Japanese? If so, they should be marked as such. If not, they should be removed altogether.

I also note that there are titles with "(英題)" and "(仮題)" attached as well, which mean "(English title)" and "(temporary title)" respectively. I suggest you remove these too. (Those with "(仮題)" may be kept by giving attributes, but then you'd have to determine in what sense they are "temporary". They could be working titles, festival titles, etc.)


As for punctuation, you didn't clarify what to use in official titles. But "exactly as written in the official source" is not as clear-cut as you might think.

For example, Fox/Disney will tell you the official Japanese title of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes remake is "PLANET OF THE APES/猿の惑星". But some publications, e.g. Eiga.com which you seem to have pulled the data from, will tell you it's "PLANET OF THE APES 猿の惑星" because to replace whatever the subtitle demarcation with a space is their house style. Print publishers will tell you the first part is "PLANET OF THE APES". These "full-width" characters are remnants of the word-processor days (and now used mainly for desktop publishing) because in Japanese every character fits in a 1:1 box, so so should the Latin characters. But for web media like Eiga.com this is a big no-no because it's not only ugly but a technical nightmare. So given IMDb is an online source and the full-width space is automatically converted to half-width in the submission form (which would result in a weird mix if full-width Latin characters were allowed), I believe the half-width should be used. But if the main title should be using the half-width characters, what about the "/", the full-width slash? Other distributors and media might use the half-width "/", or use both interchangeably. Allowing the use of both willy-nilly on IMDb will invite great inconsistency, which doesn't seem wise to me. So the Japanese Wikipedia opts for "/", and I think you should too.

But let's say we must always use "/", then what about other Western symbols? Disney will tell you the Japanese title for The BFG is "BFG:ビッグ・フレンドリー・ジャイアント". Should the ":" part (full-width colon) be submitted as ":", ": ", ":", "/", " ", or "〜"? Personally I'd suggest ": " because a) half-width is always preferable for Western symbols as mentioned above and b) the half-width equivalent of ":" is clearly ": ", not ":", considering it's an import from Western orthography and adding one space after is the way English handles it (I know French does it another way, but I don't think the vast majority of Japanese people are thinking of French orthography when they use a colon, or even aware of this difference; also some Chinese fonts show ":" more like ": " rather than centered, hinting at the equivalence). "!" and "?" should also be converted to "! " and "? " rather than "!" and "?" if followed by a word. An edge case is the ampersand. Should "メアリー&マックス" (Mary and Max) be submitted as "メアリー & マックス" or "メアリー&マックス". I think the former for the same reason as the colon, but I know not a lot of people would agree with me. (I stress "Western symbols" because the half-width equivalents of "「」", etc. should not be used as they are seldom used and known to cause technical problems.)


Going back to the updated guide, I find the recommendation of the wave dash 〜 to be a really weird choice. In the vast majority of cases, a space is used to mark the division between a main and a subtitle (followed by a slash). Even when a wave dash is used, it is almost always used in pairs, as in "Main Title 〜Subtitle〜", with or without a space between the main title and the first dash. (It should also be noted that the wave dash differs from the full-width tilde "~". I think you should make the form automatically convert tildes to wave dashes.)

"Straight dash ー should be used when part of a word or to indicate a long vowel" shows ignorance. The chōonpu "ー" and "―", known as a dash in Japanese (mapped to "horizontal bar" in Unicode), are two entirely different characters. The chōonpu always indicates a long vowel and should never be used if not part of a word, so the note goes without saying and should be removed.

"Forward slash / colons : and semicolons ; should not be used" is another note that adds more confusion than it solves. What about when they're in the original title the Japanese title is a transliteration of?
(Edited)
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Nardog

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Here's what I would say if I was in charge of writing the rules for Japanese titles:
  1. Use half-width characters for spaces, Latin letters, Arabic numerals, and punctuation marks that exist in ASCII (or the "Basic Latin" Unicode block), i.e. ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . / : ; < = > ? @ [ \ ] ^ _ ` { | }; except the tilde, which should be converted to the wave dash 〜
  2. ! ) , . : ; ? ] } should be suffixed by a space if followed by a non-punctuation letter (except when , or . is part of a number or when : is part of a clock time) (e.g. ホット・ファズ -俺たちスーパーポリスメン!-. DOPE/ドープ!!, 100,000年後の安全, パリ 05:59)
  3. ( [ { should be prefixed by a space if preceded by a non-punctuation letter (e.g. (500) 日のサマー, バードマン あるいは (無知がもたらす予期せぬ奇跡), ザ・コール [緊急通報指令室])
  4. & should be enclosed by spaces
  5. < > should only be used as less-than and greater-than signs; if <> are used as some sorts of quotation marks, 〈〉 should be used instead (e.g. ボルベール〈帰郷〉)
  6. ' " should follow the English conventions; that is, it should be prefixed by a space if at the beginning of a quote, and suffixed by a space if at the end of a quote (e.g. IT/イット "それ" が見えたら、終わり。)
  7. Use full-width characters for katakana, kutōten, kagikakko, and interpunct, i.e. ア ... ン, 。 、 「 」 ・
  8. Full-width punctuation marks need not be prefixed or suffixed by a space unless at the edge of a main/sub-title
  9. IMDb converts the ellipsis … to three periods ..., but a space need not be added before or after it unless present in the original (e.g. カンバセーション...盗聴...)
  10. Single-character Roman numerals (ⅠⅡⅢⅣⅤⅥⅦⅧⅨⅩ) should never be used; use ordinary Latin capitals instead
  11. If hyphens or straight dashes (-, ‐, or ―) are used to enclose a subtitle (that is, one hyphen or dash is inserted before the subtitle and another after it), format it as "Main Title -Subtitle-" (main title + space + half-width hyphen + subtitle + half-width hyphen)
  12. If wave dashes (〜) are used to enclose a subtitle, whether or not to insert a space before the first wave dash should follow the original
  13. Do not include yomigana, even for jukujikun (unconventional reading); 猿の惑星: 創世記 is acceptable but 猿の惑星: 創世記 (ジェネシス) is not, because "創世記" and "ジェネシス" are not read separately, while ボルベール〈帰郷〉 is acceptable because "ボルベール" and "帰郷" are read separately; exceptions are where the first part consists entirely of non-Japanese characters, as in 300 〈スリーハンドレッド〉 and ROMA/ローマ
  14. Full-width = should be used if it is part of a personal name, as it is interpreted as a double hyphen, not as an equals sign
  15. \ is a backslash; for the yen sign, which the backslash appears as on some devices, use ¥ (Unicode U+00A5)
The only points I can see some people potentially disagreeing with are #4 and #12; beside these, I believe all the points are reasonable. #6 and #9 are compromises due to IMDb's existing restrictions. #14 and #15 probably would not affect any akas as the double hypen and yen sign are rarely found in titles, but would affect personal names, plot summaries, trivias, etc. should submissions for Japanese in these categories be accepted one day. Whether or not you agree with my suggestions, I hope this illustrates the potential sources of inconsistencies upon which I think you should set the rules.
(Edited)
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Nardog

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In the vast majority of cases, a space is used to mark the division between a main and a subtitle (followed by a slash).
Realized this wasn't clear. I mean the most common way to mark the division is a space, and the second most common is a slash.
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Joel, Employee

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Hi Nardog,

Thanks for all your feedback! 

We'll take a look into improving our help content and report back once we've had a chance to do so. 

Thanks,
Joel 
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Joel, Employee

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Hi Nardog,

Thanks for your patience.

I've run through a V1 update of the help site article based on your helpful guidelines above - could you take a look and let me know any feedback? 

I'll likely run through a format update to tidy it up once the content is all set. 

Thanks,

Joel 
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Nardog

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Hi Joel,

Thanks for the heads-up!

Wow, so you accepted my suggestions almost verbatim (as a draft I assume, but still)? That's flattering! But... the rules are still under the "Unofficial titles" header... is this intended? If it's about unofficial titles most of the rules make little sense as many of the symbols mentioned are ones nobody would use in a translation anyway, and the examples are all official local titles (with some streamlining of the punctuation).

Again, "exactly as written in the official source" is never that straightforward and could easily invite contradicting submissions - it is not uncommon to see full-width Latin letters in a press release and half-width ones on an official site, "/" on one page and "/" on another, and so on, even from the same company, even for the same movie. I suggested you set rules only so that you wouldn't have to deal with such inconsistencies.

For example, what is the point of sticking to, say, "~" instead of "〜" just because an "official source" uses it? And if there turned out to be another official source for the same movie that used "〜" instead, would you accept that in addition, having separate akas that only differ in "~" vs "〜"? The current wording suggests that you do, and it makes little sense to me. After all you don't accept English titles in all caps or capitalize "of" in the middle of a title just because "official sources" use them, and these are no different.
(Edited)
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atsuhiro

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I noticed  this big change more than a week ago. Although the change is very welcomed to me as a Japanese user, the news must be told in https://www.imdb.com/pressroom/press-releases/ and definitely
https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/other-submission-guides/japanese-titles/ must be updated.
Without it, the contributors will get confused. I was one, in fact, who already reported the new Japanese alternate title as inappropriate one since your guide was not renewed.
Unless I have found so many alternate titles and felt something must have been going on to get to here, I might have sent more of such unnecessary reports. That is quite a waste of our time and effort.
Thank you!
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Nardog

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Currently when you try to edit alternate titles, they warn you about this change with a red, bold, all-caps caption. Don't you think that's enough?
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atsuhiro

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That is when and after someone tried to edit the title according to the guideline. If the guideline is updated, that someone (supposedly after checking on the guideline if the title should be changed or not) does not try to edit at all, and that is very kind for the contributor.
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Nardog

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What do you mean? I'm talking about this:

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atsuhiro

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The guideline I mentioned in my OP has been gone (dead link). I was talking about it. The one you showed me is a warning AFTER already starting to edit a title, which can be avoided if the lost guideline had been updated to the latest change (and if a contributor read the guideline BEFORE pushing edit button). That was my point. But now I hope a new guideline is clear on this.

Having said that, when I search for "Japanese alternate title" at https://help.imdb.com/search/all?term=japanese+alternate+title&ref_=help404_srch_submit , I find https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/other-submission-guides/japanese-titles/GE6V4GYJT9JD6CMH and this must be the revised guideline for Japanese alternate title.

The problem is... when combined with another guideline https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/other-submission-guides/asian-names-titles/G6A7ZFYDHAXUBYU7 which says "For Japanese names and titles, we prefer "Revised Hepburn" romanization...," it seems IMDb recommends using Romaji titles over Kanji. Yet, the recent change is quite the opposite of this guideline. I do not know why. I am confused.
Sorry for taking so long to reply.

(Edited)
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Bulma PunkRocker

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This seems great!

Since I'm currently in Chile, I have been without internet access for over a month, so I will take time to read the proper Guidelines to start contributing after the Holidays.

Cheers!
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Nardog

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Some of the new Japanese akas inappropriately have years in their visible part. It seems they are of movies which share the same titles with others. See e.g. "トライアングル(2009)" and "十三人の刺客(1963)". Who knows how many of these have crept in.
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Bulma PunkRocker

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I have corrected some already, even some that has odd 「原題」included. I don't know if those are human or machine mistakes, but the corrections are processed quite fast.
I hope this means more Japanese users will engage on IMDb!


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Nardog

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My submission to correct the Japanese title "ウェーブズ" for Waves (2019), erroneously marked as imdb display title even though it's an unofficial transliteraiton, to "WAVES/ウェイブス", the official release title, was rejected as "Badly Formatted" (200123-085447-379000).

My hunch is that it was considered so because the first element is in all caps, but then how do you explain COLD WAR あの歌、2つの心, X-MEN:ダーク・フェニックス, HOT SUMMER NIGHTS ホット・サマー・ナイツ, IT イット THE END "それ"が見えたら、終わり。, SHADOW 影武者, and WEEKEND ウィークエンド, just to name a few from last year?

Japanese distributors name their movies in all caps, in title case or even in all lowercase when they use Latin characters, and Japanese media respect this (unlike the full- vs half-width mentioned above). And so should you, if you seriously want to incorporate Japanese titles into the site, not in a half-baked way.
(Edited)
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Jeorj Euler

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no