Japanese dictionary makers have given no more than sporadic coverage to the numerous words that are generally regarded as impolite or vulgar, and have thereby helped to foster the widely held misconception that Japanese is deficient in those important areas of vocabulary. Japanese Street Slang will leave no doubt in any reader's mind that Japanese is as rich as any European language in words that refer raunchily to all known forms of sexual activity, that refer contemptuously to mental, moral, anatomical, and physiological shortcomings of other persons [...]
Much of both the value and the fun of Japanese Street Slang comes from Constantine's extremely apt English translations, which reproduce with remarkable accuracy not only the content of each Japanese example but the connotations of nonchalance, flippancy, annoyance, anger, or disgust that are apparent in it. It is a shame that earlier dictionaries did not have on their staffs a writer/translator with Constantine's formidable skill at conveying the "register" of a translated example; perhaps then the 1927 edition of Kenkyusha's Japanese-English Dictionary would have translated Kuso demo kue not as "A fig for you" but as the far more accurate "Go fuck yourself."
Take the word 貴様 ("kisama"). It literally has no definition other than "you," and in fact is a very polite formulation. And yet, the only way to translate it into English while keeping its connotations intact is as "you fucking bastard."
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