This past weekend, I had the pureejaa of watching several critical innings of a 3-game series between the Tokyo Giants and the Hiroshima Carp. (I always root against the Giants, who have dominated Japanese baseball for as long as I can remember.)
The broadcasts were not subtitled, but they hardly needed to be for those who know a little bit about baseball and can recognize English terms in Japanese pronunciation. So I thought I might share some of those terms with readers who know more baseball than Japanese. My principal source is A Slightly Askew Glossary of Japanese Baseball Terms by professional translator Steven P. Venti, but I’ll concentrate only on the terms of foreign origin written in katakana, the Japanese syllabary primarily used for foreign terms (somewhat like italics in English). (See also Latham’s Guide to Japanese Baseball.) I’ll use uppercase to render portions written and pronounced as Chinese characters.
Teams and schedule
se riigu ‘Central League‘: Giants, Dragons, Carp, Swallows, Tigers, Bay Stars
pa riigu ‘Pacific League’: Hawks, Lions, Marines, Fighters, Blue Wave, Buffaloes (the last two about to merge)
DAI (= meejaa) riigu ‘Big (Major) League‘ (North American MLB)
shiizun ofu ‘off season’
naitaa ‘night game’
See Frank Liu’s Far East Heroes page for Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese players in MLB.
Next up, in the ueetingu saakuru (‘on-deck circle’): hitting terms.