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okama

English translation: 'drag queen'

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18:23 Oct 24, 2001
Japanese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Japanese term or phrase: okama
what does okama mean in English?
Ate
English translation:'drag queen'
Explanation:
The word 'okama' can imply 'gay man', but there are other words existing for 'gay man'; this has further connotations. It is commonly used in much the same way as the phrase 'drag queen' is used in English, and should not be used to mean any gay man. It does not mean purely 'tansvestite', but is maybe the closest word for this in Japanese.
Selected response from:

Carla Rohde
Local time: 18:17
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2A guy who seriously talks, behaves and/or thinks like a girlmimichan
5 +2'drag queen'Carla Rohde
5Homosexual
Amy Kasuga
5"faggot"NickSakai
4Gay manErik Anderson
4camp (poof, wendy, fairy, woofter, effeminate)
Timothy Takemoto
5 -2Homosexualxxxvrede


  

Answers


39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -2
Homosexual


Explanation:
It can also mean "sexual perversion"


    Own knowledge of the languages involved.
xxxvrede
Local time: 15:17
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Erik Anderson: Never heard it used to mean "sexual perversion," though.
2 hrs

disagree  xxxFumiko: Its more of slang. Never heard it as being peerverse.
13 hrs

disagree  mimichan: You can forget about sex when you discuss okamas
7 days
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40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Homosexual


Explanation:
Okama, used in reference to a man, means "Homosexual" (slang).
But, it's difficult to give you the exact translation for this word without having some context to go by.

Amy Kasuga
United States
Local time: 13:17
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Erik Anderson
2 hrs

disagree  mimichan: Japanese people call homosexuals "homo" or "douseiaisha" which is more formal
6 days
  -> Not where I lived!!
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Gay man


Explanation:
The word is used as slang for a gay man. It also literally means a pot, as in pots and pans. The slang for a lesbian (at least in places I've been, i.e. Tochigi and Iwate prefectures) is "onabe," or pan.

Erik Anderson
United States
Local time: 10:17

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxFumiko: Its a slang.
10 hrs

disagree  mimichan: Okamas don't necessarily have to be gays
7 days
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
'drag queen'


Explanation:
The word 'okama' can imply 'gay man', but there are other words existing for 'gay man'; this has further connotations. It is commonly used in much the same way as the phrase 'drag queen' is used in English, and should not be used to mean any gay man. It does not mean purely 'tansvestite', but is maybe the closest word for this in Japanese.

Carla Rohde
Local time: 18:17
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Graded automatically based on peer agreement. KudoZ.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Erik Anderson: Perhaps more along the lines of the US English "flamer," then?
3 hrs

neutral  Amy Kasuga: Also Misutaa Reidei for Drag Queens
6 days

agree  Timothy Takemoto
108 days
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23 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
"faggot"


Explanation:
This is definately a deragetory terms aimed at homosexuals. I'm sure some people would desagree but there are many more polite forms of word meaning homosexuals in Japanese. Do not use this towards gay people. I promise that you will offend them. Note: This word is not used for lesbians.

NickSakai
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7 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
A guy who seriously talks, behaves and/or thinks like a girl


Explanation:
Regardless of what his sexual orientaion is, okamas seriously talk like girls, behaves like girls or think like girls without pretending or joking. Let me give you some examples.
Example 1
Once, there was a guy in class who always played with girls instead of boys because he liked to play with barbi dolls, the stationary he owned were all girls' stuff, all the toys he owned were girls' stuff which were dolls, a cooking set and didn't have a single toy for guys, chatted like a girl, and cried very easily. He never wore a dress to school. He only used the mens room. He only fell in love with girls. In this case the major reason why he starting acting like a girl, and developing tastes similar to girs was that at an early age, he gave up playing with boys because he got bullied by boys too much and started playing with girls. As he developed friendship with girls, his tastes became similar to the friends around him. I hear that he still only falls in love with girls, probably because of the bad experience he had guys since his childhood.
Example 2
There was a guy TV character who always wore a dress,heavy makeup, and had long hair. At first, noone thought that he was doing that seriously and was doing so just to gain fame. Lateron, it turned out that he was really a okama whose tastes were similar to girls and. It is unknown whether he falls in love with men or not. Even though he would only fall in love with women, as long as he is seriously dressing like a girl not just to make people laugh, he would still be an okama.

Examples of people who are not okamas
Example 1
There was a homosexual guy who never talked or behaved like girls or developed tasetes that were for girls. The games he liked to play were guys' stuff. His hobby, the way he dressed and everything. But noone thought he was an okama. If someone asked his friend whether he was an okama, they would all say, "not an okama but a homosexual."
Example 2
Kabuki actors who dress and act like women are not okamas because they act like women just for the purpose of performing on the stage.
Most of the explanation is based on the experience of meeting okamas and other different types of people.

mimichan
Local time: 13:17
Native speaker of: Native in JapaneseJapanese
PRO pts in pair: 23

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  LEXICON KK: Of all the answers, I think this is the best, and closest.
5 days
  -> Thank you so much. I wrote what I really believed to be true.

agree  xxxXX789
20 days
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108 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
camp (poof, wendy, fairy, woofter, effeminate)


Explanation:
Mimitaro's explanation is good but if you are looking for a translation it is a bit long! Also I was not aware that the first example of the boy that Just played with girls and was like a girl would be called a okama. For example are "new ha-fu" (New half, modern trans-sexuals) called Okama? They might be...but I think that a transexual man that simply really looks and behaves like a man is not usually called a okama unless he is emphasising femininity.

I would go for the adjective "camp," which is a bit out of date, but it refers to someone who is putting on and emphasising the affectations of a woman.

Also all the "okama" that I have seen have been men that are not merely feminine (like you can't tell the difference) but actually camp in the sense that they are emphasising the female mannerisms.

Poof and Woofter (UK English) generally refers to a homosexual but it can also refer to a camp man.

Wendy and fairy are (rarely) used to describle a weak and effeminate man, which is somewhat different.




Timothy Takemoto
Local time: 03:17
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 65
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