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Writing a Letter to Makoto Shinkai

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Hi, I am new here. :)

I wanted to send a letter to Mr. Makoto Shinkai, but he's said in interviews he doesn't speak English. With the help of a friend and a lot of Googling (NOT Google translate) I have tried my best to translate my letter into Japanese.

I understand that all translations done here, are out of kindness and free-time. I do not wish to waste anybody's time, so I wanted to put in the work first. I would be very grateful if somebody could check the accuracy of the translation; I'd also like to be formal and respectful so that I do not come across as rude in the letter, if that makes sense, so if there's something I said that might inadvertently be disrespectful please let me know and give me an example of how I can fix it, so as to not repeat the mistake.

First I will give the Japanese translation, and below that I will put the originally intended English version.

新海先生、こんにちは!お元気でいらっしゃいますか。アメリカ人のカイルです。日本語が下手ですみません。新海先生の「君の名は」という映画が非常に好きだと言いたかったです。「君の名は」のおかげで私の人生が変わって、喜びと悲しみで涙を流しました。いつの日か、それほど美しいものが書けたら嬉しいです。ライター同士の私に何かアドバイスをしていただけないでしょうか?

お体を大切に。

-Kyle

---

Hello Mr. Makoto Shinkai! How are you? My name's Kyle, and I'm from the United States. I am sorry I am not very good at Japanese. I wanted to tell you I really liked your film "Kimi no Na wa". It changed my life, and I cried from sadness and from happiness. I would like to write something as beautiful one day. Would you be willing to give any advice to a fellow writer?

Please take care of yourself,

-Kyle
 
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nice gaijin

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Your letter is perfectly understandable, and I wouldn't bother changing anything except maybe the closing salutation. odaiji ni would make sense if the recipient was maybe dealing with some kind of known ailment, but otherwise I would probably just use これからもよろしくおねがいします。
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, it's undarstandable enough, but if I were you, I would write;
アメリカ人のカイルです。
アメリカ人のカイルと申します。
(です is for acquaintances.)

新海先生の「君の名は」という映画が非常に好きだと言いたかったです。
新海先生の「君の名は」という映画がとても好きだとお伝えしたくて、お手紙を差し上げました。

いつの日か、それほど美しいものが書けたら嬉しいです。
いつの日か、私にもあれほど美しいものが書けたらと願っています。

ライター同士の私に何かアドバイスをしていただけないでしょうか?
What kind of writer are you? Writing scripts or novels?

I would end the letter with;
末尾ながら、これからもますますのご活躍をお祈り申し上げます。
 
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Your letter is perfectly understandable, and I wouldn't bother changing anything except maybe the closing salutation. odaiji ni would make sense if the recipient was maybe dealing with some kind of known ailment, but otherwise I would probably just use これからもよろしくおねがいします。
Oh yes, I now see how that could be taken out of context. I'll be sure to change that then, thank-you!

Yes, it's undarstandable enough, but if I were you, I would write;

アメリカ人のカイルと申します。
(です is for acquaintances.)


新海先生の「君の名は」という映画がとても好きだとお伝えしたくて、お手紙を差し上げました。


いつの日か、私にもあれほど美しいものが書けたらと願っています。


What kind of writer are you? Writing scripts or novels?

I would end the letter with;
末尾ながら、これからもますますのご活躍をお祈り申し上げます。
Hey Toritoribe!

I write novels and poetry. But in terms of storytelling and writing as a whole there are things that apply across mediums. If you think it would be helpful to specify though in the letter, please show me how. :)

I'll be sure to change the first sentence you quoted, since we're not technically acquaintances. I presume your version of that sentence conveys the same thing, except more formal?

Regarding the other suggestions you made, do those have to do with grammatical structure?

And may I ask what the English translation is of that salutation? Just to make sure. I agree that the salutation needs changing; nice gaijin said the same thing above. ^_^
 
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nice gaijin

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@Toritoribe touched up your letter into polite, natural Japanese. I would recommend using it as a reference for improvement but leaving your original attempt mostly unchanged, as it is (I think) a better representation of yourself. I would only edit things that may cause confusion or miscommunication, and your letter doesn't really call for it.

If you want to say novelist specifically, you could use 小説家.
 

Toritoribe

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I presume your version of that sentence conveys the same thing, except more formal?
と申します is used for self-introduction when meeting for the first time. です works fine if you meet him face to face even for the first time, but it means that he already knows your name in the letter.

Regarding the other suggestions you made, do those have to do with grammatical structure?
It's for the naturalness and politeness, as nice gaijin-san wrote.

And may I ask what the English translation is of that salutation? Just to make sure. I agree that the salutation needs changing; nice gaijin said the same thing above.
"I wish you continued success in the future" or like that. これからもよろしくおねがいします is more suitable for business partners.:)

ライター同士の私に何かアドバイスをしていただけないでしょうか?
実は私も小説を書いているのですが、もしよろしければ何かアドバイスをいただけると大変ありがたいのですが。
(I think it's better to specify what kind of advice you need, for instance how to build a plot.)
 
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Thank you so much Toritoribe-san and Nice Gaijin-san! I know next to nothing about speaking Japanese, although I would like to learn. My original version of the letter was pieced together with a lot of Googling, but I knew it would be frowned upon if I didn't even try before I posted here for help (as it should be!)

I have taken into account your suggestions and this is the new version. Oh, and sorry I did not get back to you sooner, I just started a new job. :)

新海先生、こんにちは!お元気でいらっしゃいますか。アメリカ人のカイルと申します。日本語が下手ですみません。新海先生の「君の名は」という映画がとても好きだとお伝えしたくて、お手紙を差し上げました。「君の名は」のおかげで私の人生が変わって、喜びと悲しみで涙を流しました。いつの日か、私にもあれほど美しいものが書けたらと願っています。ライター同士の私に何かアドバイスをしていただけないでしょうか?

末尾ながら、これからもますますのご活躍をお祈り申し上げます。

-Kyle
 

Toritoribe

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The reason I used 実は私も小説を書いているのですが instead of ライター同士 is that it means you rank him in the same level with you, and it could sound rude or arrogant in Japanese even if you are really in the same level.

I would say, for instance 実は私も小説を書いているのですが、もしよろしければ物語を作るうえで何が一番必要かアドバイスをいただけると大変ありがたいのですが。 (Would you be willing to give an advice about what the most important point on creating a story is?).
 
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Oh I see. Yeah, definitely not on the same level! I look up to him haha. :D

I have included this change below. Let me know if it all reads okay.

新海先生、こんにちは!お元気でいらっしゃいますか。アメリカ人のカイルと申します。日本語が下手ですみません。新海先生の「君の名は」という映画がとても好きだとお伝えしたくて、お手紙を差し上げました。「君の名は」のおかげで私の人生が変わって、喜びと悲しみで涙を流しました。いつの日か、私にもあれほど美しいものが書けたらと願っています。実は私も小説を書いているのですが、もしよろしければ物語を作るうえで何が一番必要かアドバイスをいただけると大変ありがたいのですが。

末尾ながら、これからもますますのご活躍をお祈り申し上げます。

-Kyle
 

joadbres

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I would recommend using your full name in the letter, rather than just your given name. Perhaps you have already done that, but didn't want to include your family name in the draft version you posted on this forum.
Using only a given name seems rather informal to me, especially when communicating with Japanese.
 
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I would recommend using your full name in the letter, rather than just your given name. Perhaps you have already done that, but didn't want to include your family name in the draft version you posted on this forum.
Using only a given name seems rather informal to me, especially when communicating with Japanese.
You're right, I just kept it out for privacy sake. At the end of the letter will be my full-name in english, which should hopefully be okay.

My last name is actually in the top five most common in the United States, so really I'm not too concerned. If you think it'd be a good idea to include a translated version of it, maybe I could send you or somebody else a private message? :)

None of my other information is on here anyway, beyond what's in this letter, so it wouldn't be a big deal sharing that by my estimation. I just don't want to infringe on any forum rules, is all.
 
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joadbres

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At the end of the letter will be my full-name in english, which should hopefully be okay.
I recommend also including your family name, in katakana, in the body of the letter, following your given name. You can put a dot between the two in this manner: エイブラハム・リンカーン.

Given the skills you have already demonstrated in composing your letter, there is no need to PM one of us for help with transcribing your name; you should have no trouble finding the katakana version of your family name on the web. One simple way to do so is to call up a Wikipedia page for a very well-known person with the same name, and then view that page in Japanese. Feel free to PM me if you have any trouble.

It is not as common in Japanese correspondence as in English to include one's name in the closing portion of a letter (but it is OK to do so, as you have done), so also including your full name in the body of the letter in easy-to-read (for Japanese people) katakana is preferential.
 
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I recommend also including your family name, in katakana, in the body of the letter, following your given name. You can put a dot between the two in this manner: エイブラハム・リンカーン.

Given the skills you have already demonstrated in composing your letter, there is no need to PM one of us for help with transcribing your name; you should have no trouble finding the katakana version of your family name on the web. One simple way to do so is to call up a Wikipedia page for a very well-known person with the same name, and then view that page in Japanese. Feel free to PM me if you have any trouble.

It is not as common in Japanese correspondence as in English to include one's name in the closing portion of a letter (but it is OK to do so, as you have done), so also including your full name in the body of the letter in easy-to-read (for Japanese people) katakana is preferential.
Hi, terribly sorry for not responding in so long!

Would this be correct? I have made my last name bold in the letter so you can tell where I made the change.

新海先生、こんにちは!お元気でいらっしゃいますか。アメリカ人のカイル・スミスと申します。日本語が下手ですみません。新海先生の「君の名は」という映画がとても好きだとお伝えしたくて、お手紙を差し上げました。「君の名は」のおかげで私の人生が変わって、喜びと悲しみで涙を流しました。いつの日か、私にもあれほど美しいものが書けたらと願っています。実は私も小説を書いているのですが、もしよろしければ物語を作るうえで何が一番必要かアドバイスをいただけると大変ありがたいのですが。

末尾ながら、これからもますますのご活躍をお祈り申し上げます。

-Kyle
 
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Seems perfect. I personally don't feel so bad even if it's just カイル, though.
Awesome! Glad to hear, couldn't have done it without all of you! I really do appreciate it.

If him and I have future correspondence, maybe then I can get away with just using my first name! :laugh:

In the meantime, I just quickly want to share how excited I am! Because omg it's finally available for pre-order!

I'm not sure if I can post links on this site so I'll just play it safe. But "Kimi no Na wa" is available on Amazon! :D :D :D :D xD xD xD Seriously fan-girling so hard; I'm going to get the collector's limited edition for sure.

Thanks again for the assistance everybody! Hopefully I hear back from him. :)

-Kyle
 
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