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mizuno_youko

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Food for thought [Jul. 22nd, 2010|01:55 pm]
mizuno_youko
Why is it that I can hear "Big Sis" used on Greek and not bat an eyelid, but the thought of using it for Marimite makes me cringe? They're the exact same sort of mentorship system, so it's as valid an English equivalent as it would be if they were actual sisters. Yes, it's casual, but it can also be affectionate, and I could see a formal speaker using it if it were a standardized part of the system. Maybe it's that I never actually heard it used that way until Greek (I've never been in a sorority and aren't close to anyone who is), which was only just recently, long after I first saw and read Marimite. Or maybe it just doesn't fit with the atmosphere at Lillian. Thoughts?
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[User Picture]From: tabimendou
2010-07-22 06:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think there's something a bit informal about 'Big Sis' that doesn't really work? It sounds like something you'd call, like, your actual sister rather than your elder partner in a sorority, though I suppose it depended on what said sorority was actually like... for Marimite at least, it would really grate XD
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[User Picture]From: izuko
2010-07-22 10:13 pm (UTC)
May I propose that it's not so much the formality, but that oneesama is a -softer- word?
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[User Picture]From: mizuno_youko
2010-07-23 12:01 am (UTC)
That's a good point. If "Big Sister" were actually in use, that would be more of a logical equivalent. "Onee-sama" can be very affectionate as well, but there's definitely a difference in the level of respect between, say, "Onee-sama" and "Onee-chan."
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[User Picture]From: melengro
2010-07-22 06:46 pm (UTC)
It doesn't fit in with the atmosphere at Lillian. I can imagine somebody like Sei or Rosa Canina using it. I cannot imagine Sachiko, Shimako, et al using it or standing for it being used.
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[User Picture]From: mizuno_youko
2010-07-23 12:01 am (UTC)
I couldn't see Sachiko using it on her own, but I could see Youko getting her to come around.
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From: wille_zur_musik
2010-07-22 07:59 pm (UTC)
From what I know having a sister in a sorority, it isn't quite the same relationship. Big sis[ter](s) is less of a hierarchical system in sororities, and DEFINITELY less formal. It seems to be designed more around keeping the unit together through a web of "family" relations than it is defining an individual 1-1 relationship.
I think part of it is that Lilian has an air of exclusivity to the relationships (not just for dramatic purposes) that really makes "sis" sort of a loose translation at best...
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[User Picture]From: mizuno_youko
2010-07-23 12:04 am (UTC)
In the fictional sorority I'm talking about, while everyone called each other "sister," there were specific Big Sister-Little Sister pairs (with the Little Sisters being the pledges to the sorority). The only girls the pledges called "Big Sis" were their Big Sisters. But it was a much smaller and tighter-knit group of people than the population of Lillian, so it's definitely a bit of a different feel, yeah. Thanks for the insight!
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[User Picture]From: kat_chan
2010-07-22 09:57 pm (UTC)
Using "big sis" seems entirely too informal for most relationships in Japanese culture. From what I've been able to tell, familiarity seems to be reserved for the closest of one's friends. And it's possible over time that a soeur pair could develop that level of intimate friendship. However, the society as a whole is more formal than ours and so I am not sure that use of "big sis" in the English translation of Marimite would be appropriate.
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[User Picture]From: izuko
2010-07-22 10:13 pm (UTC)
It has a different feel - not just formality level, but all the connotations, intonations, and memories that go with it. As with most words, it has its own culturally-derived feel. Plus, it would make a better parallel for Aneeki.

A better question would be, why can't America produce sapphic content of the quality of Marimite, Aoi Hana, or Sasameki Koto?
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[User Picture]From: mizuno_youko
2010-07-23 12:15 am (UTC)
Plus, it would make a better parallel for Aneeki.

Do you mean "Aneki"? I think I have seen some translations that use Big Sis as an equivalent for that, yes. Also "Onee-chan."

A better question would be, why can't America produce sapphic content of the quality of Marimite, Aoi Hana, or Sasameki Koto?

This seems like a personal preference thing to me. I've seen a number of American/Western f/f movies (and the occasional TV show) that I think are better than SK, and a few on the level of Marimite and AH. I also appreciate the variety of settings and character ages, which is extremely rare in romance-focused yuri anime.
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