Question

Is the word 'Otaku' seen as negative in Japan?

Kass Yassin Kass Yassin (0) on 25/10/13

Is calling someone 'otaku' offensive?

Is it just about being obsessed with manga/anime, or is it anything geeky?

And what would someone that is proud of being a geek or hacker call themselves?

Answers

1

If you call a person you don’t know very well as "Otaku", it might be rude.

However, personally, I think that calling friends as "Otaku" is not so much offensive.

あまり知らない人を「オタク」と呼ぶのはちょっと失礼かもしれませんが、個人的には親しい友人などの間で「○○オタク」と呼び合うのは特に失礼でもないと思います。。。

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>Is calling someone 'otaku' offensive?

Yes, I can say it's offensive. lol

はい、それはちょっと失礼なことかもしれませんね。

>Is it just about being obsessed with manga/anime, or is it anything geeky?

It's not only enthusiastic manga and anime fans but also people who love video games, idols, vehicles, computers and military things or people who are just introverted and unsociable even though they don't really have those interests. Of course, the word "otaku" includes the meanings of geeky, nerdy, and sometimes, creep and weirdo. Others are better to avoid calling them "otaku" if you don't intend to offend them.

「オタク」と呼ばれるのは熱心なアニメやマンガファンだけでなく、ゲーム・アイドル・乗り物・コンピューター・軍隊が好きな人たち、また特にそういった趣味がなくても内向的あるいは非社交的な人たちもそう呼ばれる傾向があります。もちろん「オタク」という言葉には英語の「geek, nerd」という意味や、ときどき「気味が悪い、変なやつ」といった意味も含まれます。もし、その人のことを悪く言うつもりでなければ、他人のことを「オタク」と呼ぶのは避けた方が良いかもしれません。

>And what would someone that is proud of being a geek or hacker call themselves?

Hmm, it's a little difficult question. I wonder if otakus are proud of being geeky because I haven't really seen those people and as for me I don't care about it(being geeky) but I'm not really proud of it as well.

I think they often call themselves "otaku". If others call them "otaku", it would be offensive but if they just call themselves "otaku", it doesn't mean anything.

As for the hackers, the word "hacker" sounds something cool and intelligent, so they just call themselves "hacker". We don't really have a negative image for the word "hacker", but we have it for "cracker". I think those people tend not to reveal that they are so, though.

これはちょっと難しい質問ですね。「オタク」と呼ばれる人たちがそのことを誇りに思っているかどうかは、私には少々わかりかねます。しかし、おそらく彼らは普通に自分たちのことを「オタク」と呼んでいるでしょう。誇りを持ってかどうかはわかりません。多分、あまりそのことに関心がないと思います。さきほど「オタク」と呼ぶのは少し失礼なことだと言いましたが、自分でそのように呼ぶ場合は特に問題がないと思います。それほど深い意味はありませんから。

ハッカーに関して言えば、彼らは自信を持って「ハッカー」と名乗っているでしょう。あまり「ハッカー」という言葉には否定的なイメージがありませんし、むしろ、少しかっこよくて知的な響きがあると言ってもよいでしょう。「クラッカー」という言葉には否定的なイメージがあります。しかし、彼らはあまり自分たちのことをクラッカーだとは明らかにしない傾向があると思いますので・・・。

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I don't think it's really more that offensive than calling someone a geek or nerd in English. Interestingly, the vast majority of Japanese learners I come across are Otaku. Of course, everyone learning Japanese is familiar with manga and anime to an extent, but there is more to Japanese culture than that.

As for calling people things, in Japanese just call them by their names. I can imagine someone being offended if you run up to them and go "oh, you otaku you!" Its probably obvious if someone is an otaku, so there probably would be no need to call them otaku anyway. Japanese people don't really like bluntness and stateing the obvious.

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