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"Retrovertigo" in Kanji

Lakeface

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Hello, I've been studying japanese for a while and I stumbled upon this word that I wanted to represent in Kanji, but I had no idea how to even start looking for it. With the help of a quick google search this forum popped up and I think it's a good starting point. So here it goes:

There's this song that I like a lot called "Retrovertigo" by Mr. Bungle. That's not even a valid word in English, as if the band created it themselves... Its idea is very cloudy and open to interpretations, but for me it represents a dizziness caused by looking backwards, in space or in time (I don't know if the ambiguity is still possible in this case, if not I think 'time' would fit better).

Is there a way to represent this idea with kanji? If there isn't, would be possible to "create" it the same way the band did to the "English" word (as long as it makes sense to someone who can read kanji)? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!
 

Majestic

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Retro = 復古、レトロ、
Vertigo = 眩暈
Retro+vertigo = 復古性眩暈 (makes no sense whatsoever)
Dizzyness caused by looking backwards = 見返り眩暈 (hmm, no).
レトロヴァーティゴ = typical way this would be rendered into Japanese, keeps the ambiguity and fluidity of the original title.

So this is the long way of saying the ambiguous nature of this made-up word doesn't lend itself to an economical ideographic interpretation. It is better left in katakana.

Is it possible to make up a kanji? Well, no. That would be something like saying, "could I make up my own alphabet letter?" I mean, as a thought exercise you could do it, but is it really a letter? Or is it just a scribble that you are calling a letter.
 

Lakeface

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Retro = 復古、レトロ、
Vertigo = 眩暈
Retro+vertigo = 復古性眩暈 (makes no sense whatsoever)
Dizzyness caused by looking backwards = 見返り眩暈 (hmm, no).
レトロヴァーティゴ = typical way this would be rendered into Japanese, keeps the ambiguity and fluidity of the original title.

So this is the long way of saying the ambiguous nature of this made-up word doesn't lend itself to an economical ideographic interpretation. It is better left in katakana.

Is it possible to make up a kanji? Well, no. That would be something like saying, "could I make up my own alphabet letter?" I mean, as a thought exercise you could do it, but is it really a letter? Or is it just a scribble that you are calling a letter.
Thank you very much for answering so quickly and so clearly! Cheers!
 

joadbres

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There's this song that I like a lot called "Retrovertigo" by Mr. Bungle. That's not even a valid word in English, as if the band created it themselves... Its idea is very cloudy and open to interpretations, but for me it represents a dizziness caused by looking backwards, in space or in time (I don't know if the ambiguity is still possible in this case, if not I think 'time' would fit better).

Is there a way to represent this idea with kanji? If there isn't, would be possible to "create" it the same way the band did to the "English" word (as long as it makes sense to someone who can read kanji)?
The way I would express the concept in kanji (i.e., coin a new word using kanji) is to start with kanji for 'vertigo', and add a prefix (single character or two-character word) that suggests looking back.

めまい can be expressed in kanji in at least three ways, including 眩暈 and 目眩. I prefer 目眩, as it most closely matches the meaning of the original word (めまい derives from the meaning 目が回う). I also think that an average Japanese person would have an easier time guessing the meaning of 目眩, as opposed to 眩暈.

The English prefix 'retro', in the sense of 'going back' is expressed in several ways in kanji, depending on the word, including:
retrogress 後退 (key kanji: 後)
retrograde 逆行 (key kanji: 逆)
retroactive 遡及 (key kanji: 遡)
retrospection 回顧 (key kanji: 顧 or both)

Note that, of these, the single kanji 顧 expresses well the idea of 'looking back'.

With all of this in mind, I would coin a word by doing either of the following:

A. use 顧 as a single-character prefix and attach it to vertigo: 顧目眩.

B. place the full word 回顧 together with vertigo: 回顧目眩.

I think that either of these are fine. I think that both of these would "make sense to someone who can read kanji" as well as anything else you could come up with, and is as understandable as 'retro vertigo' is to a native English speaker.

Options: If you prefer the meanings of 後, 逆, or 遡, you could use any of these as a prefix instead. If you prefer 眩暈 to 目眩, you could use that instead.
 

Lakeface

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The way I would express the concept in kanji (i.e., coin a new word using kanji) is to start with kanji for 'vertigo', and add a prefix (single character or two-character word) that suggests looking back.

めまい can be expressed in kanji in at least three ways, including 眩暈 and 目眩. I prefer 目眩, as it most closely matches the meaning of the original word (めまい derives from the meaning 目が回う). I also think that an average Japanese person would have an easier time guessing the meaning of 目眩, as opposed to 眩暈.

The English prefix 'retro', in the sense of 'going back' is expressed in several ways in kanji, depending on the word, including:
retrogress 後退 (key kanji: 後)
retrograde 逆行 (key kanji: 逆)
retroactive 遡及 (key kanji: 遡)
retrospection 回顧 (key kanji: 顧 or both)

Note that, of these, the single kanji 顧 expresses well the idea of 'looking back'.

With all of this in mind, I would coin a word by doing either of the following:

A. use 顧 as a single-character prefix and attach it to vertigo: 顧目眩.

B. place the full word 回顧 together with vertigo: 回顧目眩.

I think that either of these are fine. I think that both of these would "make sense to someone who can read kanji" as well as anything else you could come up with, and is as understandable as 'retro vertigo' is to a native English speaker.

Options: If you prefer the meanings of 後, 逆, or 遡, you could use any of these as a prefix instead. If you prefer 眩暈 to 目眩, you could use that instead.
Thanks for reading my ideia and going so deep in it!

As Majestic said in his post, I think レトロヴァーティゴ would actually be the easiest and most correct way out... But if I'm allowed to waste a little more of your time...

Would using something like 顧目眩 be considered as "artistic freedom" or just "bad use" of the language? I don't want to be disrespectful in any way.
Also, one more thing: What would be the "best" reading (your opinion, of course)? I'm guessing こめまい (a distant guess, maybe hahaha)...

I hope to have knowledge someday to help someone the same way you guys did here, it doesn't matter how crazy (or nonsense) the idea. ありがとうございます
 

joadbres

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Would using something like 顧目眩 be considered as "artistic freedom" or just "bad use" of the language? I don't want to be disrespectful in any way.
Also, one more thing: What would be the "best" reading (your opinion, of course)? I'm guessing こめまい (a distant guess, maybe hahaha)...
Coining new words is not disrespectful; new words are made all the time in all languages. When doing so, though, it is best to try to preserve the grammar, customs, etc. of the language as much as possible, though. If you deviate too much from that, it could be considered "bad use".

Yes, 顧目眩 would be read as komemai. Thinking about it further, though, 顧 is not among the set of kanji commonly used as a prefix, so 顧目眩 is not such a great choice, as it doesn't seem fully natural. Of the various single kanji I mentioned, only 逆 (gyaku) is commonly used as a prefix, but it doesn't exactly convey 'retro', so is not such a great choice, either, but is an option if you feel it is a close enough match.

めまい is a word of native Japanese origin (i.e., it would be classified as 和語, and the word reading considered kun-yomi), so it is nice, but not essential, to balance it with another kun-yomi component. You could do that with this word: 顧み目眩 ('kaerimimemai' : 'kaerimi' + 'memai': ), but the pronunciation is rather unwieldy.

You could also try the similar-sounding 返り目眩 ('kaerimemai'), where 返り conveys the meaning ('return to the starting point') which is kind of similar to the meaning of 'retro', but not an exact fit. It is up to you to decide if this is a good enough match with your interpretation of the meaning of 'retro vertigo'.

I still think that 回顧目眩 is a good choice, too.

Knowing how you intend to use the word (e.g., mostly in a spoken form, or mostly in a written form) would probably help us give the best answer.
 

Lakeface

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Knowing how you intend to use the word (e.g., mostly in a spoken form, or mostly in a written form) would probably help us give the best answer.
Written form, for sure, but it'd be cool to know how to read it!

I think 顧目眩 is the closest to what I was looking for in the beginning, but the fact that it doesn't seem fully natural makes me wonder if it's best to just make it a little bigger and use 回顧目眩 (かいこめまい?)...

...or if I stick with a better pronunciation and close enough meaning of 返り目眩.

I guess for written form 回顧目眩 would be a better choice, because I like the "retrospection" bit a lot!
 

joadbres

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I guess for written form 回顧目眩 would be a better choice, because I like the "retrospection" bit a lot!
I think it's a good choice. The decision is yours, though, of course.

Perhaps other regular forum visitors will offer their opinions within the next few days.
 

Toritoribe

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If you don't mind using hiragana, not kanji only, 振り返りめまい can be another choice. 振り返り is a noun form of the verb 振り返る, and this verb can be used both for a physical action (e.g. 後ろを振り返る "to look back") and a mental action (e.g. 過去を振り返る "to look back on the past"), so this word can have the ambiguity you want to imply.
 

Lakeface

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If you don't mind using hiragana, not kanji only, 振り返りめまい can be another choice. 振り返り is a noun form of the verb 振り返る, and this verb can be used both for a physical action (e.g. 後ろを振り返る "to look back") and a mental action (e.g. 過去を振り返る "to look back on the past"), so this word can have the ambiguity you want to imply.
Thanks for the suggestion! I like the ambiguity being kept but it got a little too big! I was hoping for something smaller... You guys helped me a lot and I'm learning as it goes so I'll let the research go a little further!

Also, I'm sorry for the trouble of you having to move the post, I guess I could've paid more attention to that... Won't happen again!
 

Toritoribe

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振返り目眩 can be an alternative, if you prefer a shorter one. The reading and meaning are completely the same as 振り返りめまい.

Also, I'm sorry for the trouble of you having to move the post, I guess I could've paid more attention to that... Won't happen again!
No problem. I just judged that it's better to create a new thread. No one can know how many replies are posted previously.;)
 
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