There is something about myself that for many years now I’ve been fighting, trying to fix, and eventually I just had to learn to accept. I’m terrible at spelling. Point to any word and I can think of at least three different ways to spell it. All of which would be wrong! Though I love writing, and thoroughly enjoy finding the exactly right word to use to express my feelings, I also lean heavily on spell checkers to make my words intelligible. For nearly every single post I write, part of the process is to go through the post line by line and investigate each of the words that has been marked with a wavy underlined in red to see how I was supposed to write it.
And that’s how I started noticing an odd little quirk of being an anime blogger. Most spell checkers can’t understand Japanese. To get around this issue I tend to just google the anime or specific Japanese word I’m trying to write and can usually find a website that can help me with the proper spelling (yay, anime fans helping anime fans!). This little problem is something that is very unique to the anime/manga/Japanese cultural blogger experience. Not only do spell checkers often tag correct Japanese words (written in Hepburn standard romanization) as wrong, but sometimes it also comes up with the most bizarre suggestions on how to spell words.
Like for instance, when I was writing my post about anime’s pro shoppers, every time I referred to the characters in the anime Tanaka kun is Always Listless, the ever vigilant spell checker suggested that I use katakana instead of Tanaka and Tattoo instead of Oota! And that isn’t even the strangest suggestions the spell checker has made. In my post about traditional Japanese wooden sandals, the paragraphs lit up like a bright red Christmas tree. And some of the “corrections” were certainly interesting. For geta the spell checker recommended feta as in the cheese, and for zori the spell checker thought Cory would be a better fit. Though these posts had some eyebrow raising improvements offered by the spell checker, above all the others the post with the most red underlines has to be the Anime Exclamations page. From Hawaii instead of kawaii to mohair instead of Ohaiyo this one is filled with some bizarre corrections!
Though I often get a kick out of seeing what silly suggestions the spell checker has come up with to improve my Japanese words, I have noticed that spell checkers in general have been getting quite a bit better at dealing with non English words over the years. I imagine as anime, manga, and Japanese culture become more main stream in English speaking countries, more and more Japanese words will be incorporated into the online dictionaries that spell checkers refer to when checking the spelling of a word. Hopefully, maybe one day in the near future when I type out a post, when the spell checker red underlines “wakkata” it with suggest wakata instead.