I have been a student of the Japanese language for quite sometime. Nowadays, when watching Anime, Drama or Tokusatsu, I always analyze the translations to learn and improve my own language capability as I myself would like to be a translator one day. Recently, I have been perplexed by the difficulty that people have been having with the translation of the phrase ‘キター’.
‘キター’ is said to have originated on 2ch and is used when something that has been eagerly anticipated has finally occured/happened.
‘きた’ or ‘来た’ is the non-polite past form of the verb 来る, meaning to come. Translated literally, it means ‘has come’ or ‘came’ or even ‘arrived’. For instance ’私の友達もうきた’ meaning ‘My friend is alreay here’.
We’ve seen many instances of this term’s usage in Anime and Drama.
So, that being said, I still have a hard time understanding why so many people are finding the term so difficult to translate. A perfect example would be Forze’s catchphrase ‘宇宙(space)キター’ from the currently airing Kamen Rider series.
Many people say that it can be translated as a lot of things, such as ‘Fuck Yeah’ or ‘Awesome’. The thing is, I don’t understand how this comes about.
I don’t see Why ’宇宙キター’ cannot be literally translated as ‘Space is here!’ or ‘Space has arrived!’. Gentaro shouting ‘Space is here!’ each time he transforms indicates that Forze (the power of space) has arrived on the scene, ready to kick butt. To me, him yelling ‘Space is Awesome!’ or ‘Space, Fuck Yeah!’ makes little to no sense in that particular context. ‘Space is here!’ makes perfect sense in English and it pretty much conveys what is intended by the Gentaro.
If you want to argue that ‘Space is here!’ doesn’t convey the excitement in the tone of voice itself, I’d have to disagree. The tone of voice itself need not always be incorporated into the translation choice as you can clearly hear the tone of voice in the dialogue/audio.
To illustrate what I mean, the word ‘Yeah’. It can mean agreement and acknowledgement ‘Yeah, okay.’ but it can also be an exclamation of joy or happiness ‘Yeah! Alright!’. The word remains exactly the same, but the meaning is implied or changes based on the tone of voice.
Lastly, just to clarify, I am not advocating leaving the word ‘Kita!’ untranslated (despite being a completely viable option), as I know that there are many people despise this. What I am advocating is just the accuracy of translation.
Also, I am not saying that I am an expert or translation vetren. I am just a humble student of the Japanese language and this is just something that I myself want clarified for educational purposes. If you have any opinions on the issue or are more knowledgable about Japanese slang or translation, do comment.