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rcdiggs
04-22-2003, 03:14 PM
I'm starting a screenplay re: a Japanese exchange student who comes to America. The opening scene is in a Japanese airport, where she says good-bye to her parents . My question is, how do I format Japanese dialogue btwn the student and her parents? Japanese dialogue will be written in English with subtitles but how do I format that in the screenplay? Japanese pronunciation with English written beside it (in parentheses?) Please give an example. Thanks.

Deus Ex Machine
04-22-2003, 04:06 PM
..................JAY
It's assumed every character speaks
English unless otherwise indicated in
parenthesis when a character speaks
more than one language throughout the story,
or in the narrative when they only speak
one non-English language as with the
designation of language used in Dances
With Wolves.
..........(in Japanese)
Now I am speaking Japanese even
though it is written in English. No need
to indicate subtitles, it's obvious that if
what I am saying is to be understood it
will need to be in subtitles.
..........(in English)
Now I am speaking English. The use
of parenthesis is how I would handle a
character speaking multiple languages.
Writing it out in anything other than English
is a waste of time and page space because
99.99% of the readers will only be able to
read the English portion and the non-English
portion will be gibberish that adds nothing to
the read.

JakeSchuster aka Ostroff
04-22-2003, 05:17 PM
I'm definitely with Deus on this. I recently wrote in a screenplay:

JOSE
(in Spanish)
Listen to him, please!


French I can do, but Spanish isn't my second language, so that's how I deal with it, as would Deus. In any event, in a spec you want the reader to get the meaning and then deal with the translations issues later.

rcdiggs
04-22-2003, 05:23 PM
Deus,

You explained it the way I would'vd done it. Glad to know I'm on the right track. Thanks.

NikeeGoddess
04-22-2003, 05:34 PM
I have a copy of Traffic and they do NOT put (in Spanish) under the Spanish spoken dialogue and atleast 1/3 of this film has English subtitles. But, I'm guessing that when you have a lot of non English speaking that it would get tiresome and redundant for the reader to see this over and over.

Fortean
04-23-2003, 12:06 AM
A Japanese daughter may address her parents and family in an informal manner, but, in speaking with officials and strangers, (teacher, ticket agent, security agent, etc.), her speech may be in a formal manner. If she speaks with a number of people, besides her family, you may wish to note this when you write the English dialog and in the parentheticals, (in informal Japanese) or (in formal Japanese).

kahaokamoku
04-23-2003, 05:06 AM
I wrote a script with german and english in the script which i sent to a german company. no, it is not going any where.

when one spoke german . . . i wrote it in german or english and wrote it that way, but I am in germany so . . .

Could one split and parallel the dialogue? just for information.

I have seen script where one write in (...) if a different language is spoken, but when one is using "slang or dialect" like I used in german; the (...) do not help.

Deus Ex Machine
04-23-2003, 10:52 AM
If you are selling it to English speaking buyers, write the script in English. If you are selling it to German speaking buyers, write it in German, though I have sent many English script to German production companies and it's never been a problem. Using dual columns or brackets for non-English dialogue is the same as adding a lot of gibberish to fill up your page.


...............JAY................................ .....JAY
this is me talking in English..........$%^&*($#@()*&^$%$#%^
It looks like gibberish beside.........^%&*(...<>LP)((*^HR%$#K
this because I don't read the.......K&$%*GYT$#$@^*976*%^
language it's written in. The........OUNP^%*Y&%&*GH*&^*()
use of the foreign language.........OI&*^%%*(U(&*^%#!@!*(
only shows those who can ..........(*&HUTR^RFV(&%&*()*^%
read it that you know how...........(&*HJT^$$^&()UIHJI*&()*(
to write it. It adds nothing..........OUYYN&^*U(&^&$$^F**Y(
tot he story, it only repeats.........O(U((&^%#@#$%&^HHUI(
what is said here.


.................................JAY
..............The same goes for writing a script
..............in this format because you are again
..............only repeating what is said, which is
..............always bad for a script, and only those
..............few who can read the foreign language
..............will be able to understand it. 99.99%
..............of readers will just see gibberish.
..............(IJ(&*^%%#$%RG*U(&(*)*^&G%%(
...............*&^&^%^*&&^%^(^^^(^(^($%$$
...............*^%^$!#$%&^%##@@@$%&^&*&%
...............&^&*%$$*(^(^%$#$#$%)


..................................JAY
.........................(In Spanish)
.................The only way to avoid the repetition
.................and filling the page with gibberish is
.................to write it in the language the reader
.................uses, in almost every case that is English,
.................and indicate the actual language being
.................spoken by the character in parenthetic or
.................in the narrative when t he characters are
.................introduced and let the actors and director
.................worry about the translation and how it
.................is presented in the film. It's more important
................for you that the script be easily understood
................by the reader so it can be moved up the
.................chain of command and hopefully sold and
.................produced.

rcdiggs
04-23-2003, 06:00 PM
nikegoddess,

re: traffic scipt - how the heck did the character know when speak Spanish or English? I mean wasn't Benecio Del Toro's character bi-lingual? Was the rule when in America speak English - south of the border speak Spanish? When talking to a drug dealer, speak Spanish, when addressing an DEA agent/superior/cop, speak English? How confusing.

rcdiggs

rcdiggs
04-23-2003, 06:07 PM
fortean,

Thanks for your advice. I'm working with a Japanese foreign exchange student on this project. Her input is invaluable. Most definitely, the character's dialogue will move from the informal and formal with each situation.

wsponge
04-29-2003, 10:44 PM
I think a certain amount of Spanish is acceptable. A lot of people have some Spanish - and the words kind of sing on the page in the right situation. Like this look dumb:

JOE
(in Spanish)
You're dead, gringo.

Up to four linesof rat-tat-tat dialogue looks cool too. It gives the characters some flavor.

French maybe the same, but I'd say even less French is acceptable.

Obviously the content of the dialogue, if you're not gonna write it in English, has to be unessential information, in which case some people will wonder why it's in there in the first place.

Japanses is a no brainer - unless you got a keyboard with Japanese characters on it it's kind of a silly question in the first place. Of course, there are no silly questions, really.

Fortean
04-29-2003, 11:53 PM
Japanese words can be spelled out with the Roman alphabet. This form of Japanese writing is known as Romanji. The same is true of Chinese, with Pinyin.

Romanji has evolved over time, so you may see "Tokio" or "Tokyo," (or even its old name "Edo").

It may be useful to indicate in the screenplay which Japanese words are spoken, to indicate the situation or the formality of the speech. For example, with strangers or authority figures, a "thank you" may be a formal "domo arigato gozaimasu," but, among friends and family, it could be a less formal "domo." Using informal speech to a stranger or authority figure would be about as welcome as a "Hey Dude" or "What'sup Bro'" would be to someone in an American city. The development of a character may be marked by the change in the speech from formality to informality, as friendship and familiarity grow.