Friday, September 21, 2007

Sorry, Tobihi and Densenseinoukashin denote NOT scabies but impetigo

Sorry, Tobihi and Densenseinoukashin denote NOT scabies but impetigo

Daugher Cornucopia saw the doctor on Friday and was told to come back Tuesday evening, meanwhile to stay in a cool dry place. No daycare, no hospital.

In a dinner table discussion, my wife pronounced herself unsure as to whether I had correctly identified the Japanese terms tobihi and densenseinoukashin as being equivalent to English scabies, so I went online to look.

I first tried to Google "translate English Japanese" and decided to give the Babel Fish site a shot:

I tried to translate this:

"My daughter has scabies which is caused by a mite."

This failed because the site did not know the word "scabies," which it left in English.

I tried another site:

This also failed:

"Sorry, translation is taking too long. Please try again later."

I tried just the one word, "scabies."

Same response.

My next try was at this site:

It has an English to Japanese option so I tried "scabies" and got the response "Temporarily offline - the database backend is not responding or the server is too busy."

At this point I was starting to get the impression that the age of efficient machine translation had not yet arrived.

Okay. Next site:

The next one promises romanised Japanese to English ande vice versa, and is:

Okay, it pops out this term: kaisen.

I then tried it on this:


Going from Japanese to English it gives "flying sparks, leaping flames," which is a possible translation but not the desired one.

How about densenseinoukashin?

"No match found."

I next tried this:

English to Japanese: scabies.

This is far and away the best. It gives an answer using katakana, hiragana and kanji, which display okay on my computer because I have East Asian Fonts installed under Windows XP, and also have my browser set up to display any Japanese that it encounters.

It seem that "scabies" is "kaisen."

I then tried "tobihi," going from Japanese to English, but didn't get a usable result. Densenseinoukashin? Again, I didn't understand the result.

I then tried an Internet search for "tobihi" and got "impetigo" from this site:

Searching the page I found the following quote, which I put here in square brackets:

[By Kit Nagamura on Thursday, January 10, 2002 - 3:52 pm:

Dear Victoria,

Impetigo is "tobihi", or "jumping fire" in Japanese; my child has had it, and it is very different from mizuibo, which we've also been unfortunate to encounter. I haven't been able to find a translation of mizuibo in any dictionary, and I have most of them by now, but it is a mild form of wart, or tumor (I've heard it called both) which is extremely contagious (mere skin contact will pass it along).
On some patients, the number of warts rapidly multiplies, and this is why most dermatologists pluck the little buggers off with a special tool as fast as possible; it's not pleasant for anyone involved, but a skilled doctor can be swift about it, and prevent an outbreak.
Incidentally, tobihi is also very contagious, and just as you described, with comparatively large blisters which crust over. ]

I then did a Google for "tobiko impetigo" and got about 17 results.

I then did a Google for "densenseinoukashin" and got just one result, which was for my own blog entry, which I now realise is erroneous.

I then went and checked Wiipedia to see if impetigo matched my daughter's condition.

From Wikipedia:

"Impetigo is a superficial skin infection most common among children age 2–6 years. People who play close contact sports such as rugby, American football and wrestling are also susceptible, regardless of age. The name derives from the Latin impetere ("assail"). It is also known as school sores."

Okay, so this is the infamous "school sores," which I'd heard about while living in New Zealand.

So I need to correct my earlier blog with this addition:

Sorry, the Japanese terms "tobiko" and "densenseinoukashin" do NOT mean "scabies." Rather, they denote "impetigo," which is sometimes referred to as school sores.


Blogger emily said...

Hi Hugh Cook,

I am Emily.I can suggest you one thing whenever we are trying to search anything in Google so
1-Google provide you some suggestion about that particular keyword
2-You can try Google translation
3-You can use another search engines like yahoo or Aol.

I hope it my suggestion will help you.


4:22 PM  

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