Howl film

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Wed Aug 22 04:22:09 EDT 2001

Lizzie wrote:

> now I'm wondering how precisely Howl learned the language of Ingary, which
> I had sort of assumed to be English, as the book is written in English,
> Ingary sounds sort of like England, and other places in the books seem to

I had assumed that Ingary was the land where they spoke Inglish :-)

Sophie seems to talk the same language as Megan.  So unless Howl worked a
translation spell at the same time as altering the clothing, I think it was
English that they spoke.

> parallel other places here (I can't remember if anything is said about
> Abdullah and Flower in the Night speaking a different language in Castle,
> and all the princesses understood each other, didn't they?  Unfortunately,

Nothing is said about other languages, but in the language they do all speak,
some princesses have very strong accents.  I got the impression that it is not
the native language in Tsapfan, for instance.

Likewise Abdullah, having been brought up in Rashpuht, finds the Northern
(Ochinstani) mercenaries have a strong accent, and he realises he is in Ingary
(Ochinstan) when the woman in the pub has the same accent.

> I don't have a copy, so I can't check).  Only as I think about it, I come
> to the conclusion that it's not English, exactly, but it is given in
> English as a whole, with the characters speaking in the same language that
> the narration is given in.  Which is why I can see the whole thing
> happening quite easily completely in Japanese.  I can't see Ingary looking

I have no problem with that.  It is a normal literary convention to write almost
everything in one language, even if it's set in a country where they speak other
languages, after all.

> like Japan, but as someone (sorry!) mentioned, Miyazaki has been known to
> have European-y settings, like in Kiki's Delivery Service.  As for Howl
> having a Welsh accent--I sincerely doubt that will work in Japanese--can
> you imagine Japanese with a Welsh accent?  I think that, in anime, the

Well, I don't know any Japanese, but I don't see why one couldn't have a Welsh
accent and still speak it.

> most common accent you hear is the Osaka dialect, usually spoken by men
> who are sort of, well, rough, or manly (Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi,

That's like saying that the most common accent in Western animated cartoons is
{whichever American accent it is}.  That doesn't mean it's the best accent for
the part!

> anyone?).  And my friend who speaks Japanese vocalizes u's that are often
> silent, which is also a dialect thing, but I can't remember where from.  I
> guess what I think is this--if everyone in the Ingary universe understands
> each other, or if Howl learned the language there by magic (but Sophie
> understands when he's speaking English to the people there. . . .), he
> could get away with not having an accent.  It'd be nice to have a Welsh

In the Japanese version, he probably could get away with having the same accent
as everyone else.  Whether Welsh is appropriate depends on how they translate
Wales - to get the same cultural impact in Japan that Welshness has in Britain,
I would have thought they should pick one of the smaller, out of the way
Japanese islands...

> actor do his voice in the English-speaking version, but the only actors I
> can think of who I know are from Wales are Rhys Ifans (is that his
> name?  The roommate from Notting Hill?) and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  I think

I'm not at all up on names of actors, I'm afraid, but I'd be surprised if there
weren't plenty of welshmen around.  He could be a radio actor, or even a
presenter, rather than a stage or screen actor, after all...

> I'll be okay as long as they don't, during the Americanization process
> (yeah, Disney!) make Howl from Brooklyn or something, just for. . . just
> because they're Disney.

Aaugh!  Perish the thought!

> Lizzie, who loves anything animated.  Except Pokemon.

I like animated things too - but wholehartedly agree about Pokémon!  But I'm
only really a fan of Oliver Postgate.  (Now there's a thought.  Ivor the Engine.
I wonder what Postgate is doing nowadays...)  And Felix the cat, if I get to
wind the projector myself...


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