Senpai wa Otokonoko – Glossary

    Licensed translations of Senpai wa Otokonoko are available in six languages. This page will be updated as additional translations are released.

    LanguageCountry/RegionPublisherPublication Date
    JapaneseJapanLINE MangaDecember 7, 2019
    Traditional ChineseTaiwanLINE WEBTOONDecember 25, 2021
    Simplified ChineseChinaDongman ManhuaDecember 27, 2021
    ThaiThailandLINE WEBTOONFebruary 13, 2022
    KoreanSouth KoreaNAVER WEBTOONFebruary 18, 2022
    FrenchFranceWEBTOONMarch 28, 2022
    GermanGermanyWEBTOONMay 28, 2022

    Series Info | Glossary


    Title

    Localized logos in each language, as shown in Chapter 2
    LanguageTitleMeaning
    Japanese先輩はおとこのこ
    Senpai wa Otokonoko
    [My] Senpai is an Otokonoko/a Boy
    Traditional Chinese前輩是偽娘
    Qiánbèi Shì Wèiniáng
    [My] Senpai is an Otokonoko
    Simplified Chinese前辈是男孩子
    Qiánbèi Shì Nánháizi
    [My] Senpai is a Boy
    Thaiรุ่นพี่สุดสวยคนนี้เป็นผู้ชาย
    Runphi Sutsuai Khonni Pen Phuchai
    This Gorgeous Senpai is a Man
    Korean선배는 남자아이
    Seonbae-neun Namjaai
    Senpai is a Boy
    FrenchMy crossdressing crush
    GermanMy Crossdressing Crush

    The Japanese title writes おとこのこ otokonoko in hiragana phonetically, so it could be interpreted both as 男の子 “boy” or as 男の娘otokonoko” (a boy who acts femininely, such as by crossdressing). The Traditional Chinese, French, and German translations go with the “otokonoko” interpretation, while the Simplified Chinese, Thai, and Korean translations go with the “boy” interpretation. Note that the Thai logo has an exclamation mark at the end that is not present in the text title on WEBTOON.

    The title is presented from Aoi’s perspective, with her senpai being Makoto. In Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, pronouns do not have to be included when they can be inferred, so “my” does not have to be included explicitly. In English, French, and German, pronouns must be included for it to be grammatically correct. The French and German translations refer to Makoto as her “crush” instead of as her “senpai”, likely to avoid using the Japanese word directly. Note that the French logo is in title case while it is in sentence case for the text title on WEBTOON.

    It’s common for media such as manga and webtoons to use English titles in France and Germany, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the French and German titles are in English. This can be because the licensor specifies what title international releases should use (typically one in English), or because the licensee wants to keep an English title for mass market appeal or stylistic reasons.


    Characters

    Main characters Makoto Hanaoka (center), Saki Aoi (right), and Ryuji Taiga (left)
    LanguageMakoto HanaokaSaki AoiRyuji Taiga
    Japanese花岡まこと
    Hanaoka Makoto
    蒼井咲
    Aoi Saki
    大我竜二
    Taiga Ryūji
    Traditional Chinese花岡真琴 / 花岡眞琴
    Huāgāng Zhēnqín
    蒼井咲
    Cāngjǐng Xiào
    大我龍二
    Dàwǒ Lóng’èr
    Simplified Chinese花岗真琴
    Huāgāng Zhēnqín
    苍井咲
    Cāngjǐng Xiào
    大我龙二
    Dàwǒ Lóng’èr
    Thaiฮานาโอกะ มาโคโตะ
    Hanaoka Makhoto
    อาโออิ ซากิ
    Aoi Saki
    ไทงะ ริวจิ
    Thainga Riochi
    Korean하나오카 마코토
    Hanaoka Makoto
    아오이 사키
    Aoi Saki
    타이가 류지
    Taiga Ryuji
    FrenchMakoto HanaokaSaki AoiRyûji Taiga
    GermanMakoto HanaokaSaki AoiRyûji Taiga

    まこと Makoto is a unisex name. It can be more clearly gendered when written in kanji, with names like being more masculine and names like 真琴 or 麻琴 being more feminine.

    Their Chinese names are simply their Japanese names read in Chinese. Note that Makoto’s name also has to be written using Chinese characters, so it’s given the kanji 真琴, which leans feminine in Japanese. The primary dialogue font of the Traditional Chinese translation uses the traditional form of the character zhēn, but it makes no difference in terms of meaning.

    Their Thai and Korean names are fairly straightforward transcriptions of their Japanese names. Taiga is typically transcribed as ไทกะ Thaika in Thai, but since /g/ can be pronounced as a ng sound [ŋ] in the middle of words, this spelling also sees some use.

    Their French and German names are romanizations of their Japanese names, presented in Western order (given name then family name). The circumflex (^) indicates a long vowel, much like the macron (¯) does in Hepburn. For French and German speakers, vowels with a circumflex are typically much easier to type and more likely to be included in fonts than vowels with a macron.


    Honorifics

    Language“Aoi-san”Meaning“Senpai”Meaning“Shisho”Meaning
    Japanese蒼井さん
    Aoi-san
    Ms. Aoi先輩
    Senpai
    Senior,
    Upperclassman
    師匠
    Shisho
    Master,
    Instructor
    Traditional Chinese蒼井同學
    Cāngjǐng tóngxué
    Classmate Aoi前輩
    Qiánbèi
    Senior,
    Senpai
    師父
    Shīfu
    Master,
    Teacher
    Simplified Chinese苍井同学
    Cāngjǐng tóngxué
    Classmate Aoi前辈
    Qiánbèi
    Senior,
    Senpai
    师父
    Shīfu
    Master,
    Teacher
    Thaiคุณอาโออิ
    Khun Aoi
    Ms. Aoiรุ่นพี่
    Runphi
    Seniorอาจารย์
    Achan
    Teacher,
    Instructor
    Korean아오이
    Aoi
    Aoi선배
    Seonbae
    Senior,
    Upperclassman
    사부님
    Sabunim
    Master,
    Instructor
    FrenchAoiAoiMakotoMakotoTaigaTaiga
    GermanAoiAoiMakotoMakotoTaigaTaiga

    Note that in Japanese, Makoto refers to Ryuji as りゅーじ in hiragana rather than in kanji, but this distinction isn’t retained in any of the translations.

    The French and German translations drop the honorifics most of the time, and have Aoi refer to Ryuji by his surname instead of as Shisho. In the line in Ch. 5 where it’s introduced, Aoi calls Ryuji a “genius” instead.


    Chapter titles

    Only the Korean release translated the chapter titles. While WEBTOON is technologically capable of displaying chapter titles, the other language releases don’t include them and refer to the chapters by their chapter number only. Most of the time the title is just a phrase plucked from the body of the chapter itself, but there are a few exceptions where the title adds something extra that does make this unfortunate.


    Note on typesetting

    In the original Japanese version as well as the Chinese, Thai, and Korean translations, standard dialogue is in the color black. The panel outlines and the hand-drawn line art, bubble outlines, SFX, and asides are all in the same shade of brown (#41262E).

    In the French and German translations, dialogue is also typeset in that particular shade of brown. While they both use WildWords for it, the German translation also chooses to use the same font for asides and the similar-looking Kiss and Tell for SFX. This makes all of the text seem very uniform to me.


    Specific chapters

    “Otokonoko” (Ch. 2)

    Aoi reacts to Makoto saying that he is actually a boy in Ch. 2
    LanguageWordMeaning
    Japanese男の娘
    Otokonoko
    Otokonoko
    Traditional Chinese偽娘
    Wèiniáng
    Otokonoko
    Simplified Chinese伪娘
    Wěiniáng
    Otokonoko
    Thaiสาวดุ้น
    Saodun
    Otokonoko
    Korean오토코노코
    Otokonoko
    Otokonoko
    FrenchQueerQueer
    GermanTransgenderTransgender

    The word 男の娘 otokonoko is used in Ch. 2 by Aoi, the only time that specific phrase is used in the entire series. Later comments on Makoto’s crossdressing generally use the word 女装 josō “dressing in female clothing, crossdressing (for a male)” instead.

    The Chinese translations use the word 偽娘 / 伪娘 wěiniáng, which was specifically coined to refer to the Japanese concept of otokonoko. The Thai word สาวดุ้น saodun can refer to both futanari and otokonoko. The Korean translation writes “otokonoko” phonetically, and includes a translator’s note in the bottom-right, giving a definition of what it means.

    The French translation translates otokonoko as “queer“, set in italics most likely to indicate that it’s an English loanword. The German translation translates it as “transgender“. Let’s take a closer look at her entire set of lines:

    LanguageTextBasic Translation
    Japanese…ひどいです
    もっとはやく知りたかった
    まさか
    先輩が
    男の娘!!
    (ONAKA..)
    最っっっ高じゃないですか!!
    つまり男バージョンの先輩と女バージョンの先輩をたのしめるってことですか!?!?
    …How cruel.
    I wish I’d known sooner.
    To think…
    …that you were…
    …an otokonoko!!
    (Your belly…)
    Isn’t that just the beeest!!
    Does that mean I can enjoy the guy version of you and the girl version of you?!?!
    FrenchC’est pas vrai…
    Si seulement je l’avais su plus tôt…
    Alors…
    du coup…
    t’es un queer !
    (Je pensais que t’étais… / une fille !)
    Mais c’est trop biiien !
    Ça veut dire que j’ai le droit à deux version de toi pour le prix d’une ?!
    That can’t be true…
    If only I’d known sooner…
    So…
    then…
    you’re a queer!
    (I thought you were… / a girl!)
    But that’s sooo cool!
    Does that mean I get two versions of you for the price of one?!
    GermanDas ist nicht wahr …
    Hätte ich das nur früher gewusst …
    Also …
    … dann …
    … du bist transgender?!
    (Ich dachte, du wärst … / … ein Mädchen!)
    Das ist ja echt toll!
    Bedeutet das, dass ich zwei Versionen von dir zum Preis von einer bekomme?!
    That can’t be true…
    If only I’d known sooner…
    So…
    …then…
    …you’re transgender?!
    (I thought you were… / …a girl!)
    That’s so cool!
    Does that mean I get two versions of you for the price of one?!

    I find it interesting how similar the French and German translations are to each other, especially with the translation choices they made compared to the Japanese. Things like the rewrite of the “ONAKA…” aside and the play on the idiom “two for the price of one” make me think that they were both translated from the same script in an intermediate language. According to the French translator’s LinkedIn, she translated it from Japanese to French, so it’s most likely that the German translation was via French instead.

    I’m not sure why they didn’t just refer to Makoto as a “crossdresser” or the like given that that’s what’s in the title, much like how “otokonoko” is in Japanese. Ultimately, I don’t think this scene is too important, since it’s just Aoi’s first impression of Makoto after finding out that he crossdresses. Nothing later on references this scene, and whether she assumed correctly or not doesn’t matter.

    “Boku”/”Watashi” (Ch. 6/Ch. 14)

    Makoto mostly uses the feminine-leaning personal pronoun 私 watashi while dressing as a girl and the masculine-leaning 僕 boku while dressing as a boy and in his thoughts from the start of the series until Chapter 14, after which he no longer uses watashi and uses boku even when dressing as a girl. (Ryuji uses 俺 ore and Aoi uses 私 watashi.)

    LanguageTextMeaning
    Japaneseおやすみ 私
    さよなら 私
    Good night, me (watashi).
    Goodbye, me (watashi).
    Traditional Chinese晚安,我自己。
    永別了,我自己。
    Good night, myself.
    Farewell, myself.
    Simplified Chinese真琴,晚安。
    真琴,永别了。
    Makoto, good night.
    Makoto, farewell.
    Thaiราตรีสวัสดิ์นะตัวฉัน
    ลาก่อนฉัน
    Good night, me.
    Goodbye, me.
    Korean(TBA)(TBA)
    FrenchBonne nuit, mon autre moi.
    Adieu, mon autre moi.
    Good night, my other self.
    Goodbye, my other self.
    GermanGute Nacht, mein anderes Ich.
    Leb wohl, mein anderes Ich.
    Good night, my other self.
    Goodbye, my other self.

    Chinese and Korean don’t have gendered first-person pronouns. Thai does have gendered first-person pronouns, but it looks like Makoto uses ฉัน chan for both boku and watashi. It appears that it’s more commonly used by women, but some men use it too. The Chinese and Thai translations don’t keep the distinction and have Makoto simply refer to “watashi” as himself. However, this translation choice adds the implication that Makoto is hiding and discarding himself as a whole.

    French and German also don’t have gendered first-person pronouns. The French and German translations translate it as “my other self” in the final lines of Ch. 6 and Ch. 14. I think this translation is nice with how it keeps a distinction between the two selves, but it also marks the “other self” as being secondary or less important. For an example of what I mean, would you rather be introduced by someone as their “friend” or as their “other friend”?

    Ultimately, which of the two treatments is better comes down to personal preference.


    That’s all for now, but if you have any suggestions for other scenes I should take a look at, let me know on the Discord. I’ll be updating this page as more chapters and translations come out.

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