Best-Seller Goes Cellular: An English Translation and Analysis of a Japanese Cell Phone Novel.
Walker-Giles, Whitnee M.
- The Cell phone novel is a new kind of literature that emerged in Japan around 2001 but which did not receive full recognition until a few years later when several titles were published into book form and sold hundreds of thousands of copies nationwide. The cell phone novel is uniquely modern as the authors tap out their works on the keypads of their cell phones, which they later upload onto the ne... read moret for readers to comment. The language and structure of a cell phone novel resembles that of a text message; sentences are short, random, non-descriptive, laden with slang and acronyms. It is for this reason that the cell phone novel became grossly popular among the younger Japanese generation allowed it to establish itself as a whole new genre. The popularity of the cell phone novel has crossed international borders into countries like China, Korea, and Taiwan, but the new fad has yet to reach Europe or the United States. This partly due to the fact that no cell phone novel has been officially translated into the English language. It is no surprise though, as the Japanese languages is often proves extremely difficult to translate into English since subject and object are mandatory in English to complete a sentence whereas in Japanese they are not. Plus, with the cell phone novel deeply rooted in popular culture it is necessary to have thorough knowledge of Japanese school life and American popular culture in order to preserve the essence of the original text. This paper includes a full English translation of If You and a introduction that explores and evaluates the difficulty of Japanese-English translations as well as the potential of US recognition. If You is a 142-page novel written by 21-year-old Rin that follows two childhood friends as they encounter high school, love, and the harsh reality of HIV. The book ranked #5 on the Japanese best-seller list in 2007.read less