The Japanese script for The Matrix

One day, inspired by the good Mr. Khatzumoto over at All Japanese All the Time, I decided to have some fun with my studies and rip the audio from the Japanese dub for The Matrix. It was actually quite entertaining, with some surprisingly adept localizations. It then occurred to me that some of you may enjoy using it as a learning resource, so I began transcribing the dub and posting it online, annotated with my fiendishly clever linguistic notes.

If you want to compare this to the English, the script is freely available online, such as here.

This will not be a 100% complete transcription. The Matrix has a lot of action, and the benefit of transcribing a scene that has “Freeze!” or “No!” as its only dialogue would be negligible. But all the “talky” scenes, the juicy dialogues from Morpheus or Smith, will be here.

The timecodes are direct from the DVD, starting from the second the WB logo appears and the movie begins. Enjoy.

1 – The One ・ 「そう」
Timecode: 0:42 to 1:18

Trinity (トリニティ) places a phone call to Cypher (サイファー), and their conversation is picked up by a detection program.

  サイファー
あぁ?

  トリニティ
全て順調?

  サイファー
あんたの番じゃなかったろう

  トリニティ
そうだけど、働きたい気分だったの

  サイファー
やつが好きなのか。見てたよな

  トリニティ
馬鹿なこと言わないで

  サイファー
やつを殺すことになるぞ

  トリニティ
モーフィアスは彼が「そう」だと信じてる

  サイファー
あんたは?

  トリニティ
あたしの考えは関係ない

  サイファー
信じてないのか

  トリニティ
今の聞いた?

  サイファー
何だ?

  トリニティ
この通信、盗聴されてない?

  サイファー
大丈夫だよ

  トリニティ
もう切るわ

NOTES
And there you have it. There’s nothing too terribly exciting about this scene, other than the fact that it introduces some of the sorts of contractions found in everyday-use Japanese. Cypher’s じゃなかったろう shows how じゃ(itself a contraction of では) leads into a contraction of the phrase なかっただろう. We also see the usage of あんた, a contraction of あなた that can sound either endearing or needlessly gruff depending on context (and dialect). Similarly, we see progressive tenses clipped, with 見ていた becoming 見てた and 信じていない becoming 信じてない.

This scene also introduces us to one of the several ways that will be used to refer to Neo. Throughout the film, he will be called 「そう」 (“it/that”), 「選ばれし者」 (“the chosen one”), 「カレ」 (“him”) and 「救世主」 (“Messiah/savior of the world”).

In the subs, dub and published Japanese-language screenplay (the last of which is an entirely different translation, one that is far too literal and not at all reccomendable), Morpheus’s name is consistently rendered as it sounds, モーフィアス. However, this name already exists in Japanese in a different form: as モルフェウス, the god of sleep and dreams from Greek mythology.

2 – Juris-my-dick-tion ・ 管轄外
Timecode: 2:05 to 2:54

Police have just cornered Trinity and pointed guns at her, demanding that she make no sudden moves. Meanwhile, outside, Agent Smith (スミス) and a certain bad lieutenant (警部補) prepare to share a few choice words.

  スミス
警部補

  警部補
まいったな

  スミス
我々が逮捕すると言ったはずだが?

  警部補
こっちは仕事をしてるだけだ。管轄外だか何だか知らないが、私の知ったことじゃないね

  スミス
君たちの安全のためだ

  警部補
へへっ。相手は小娘1人なんだろう?

  警部補
2班も送ったんだ。もうすぐ連行してくる

  スミス
いいえ、君の部下は皆殺しにされている

NOTES
Another short-and-sweet scene, dialogue-wise. Some of the swearing gets a bit played down, with the “juris-my-dick-tion” pun getting lost for lack of a Japanese- language equivalent, and “cram it up your ass” becoming something like “I don’t give two shits.” Personally, I liked the version in the published screenplay a bit more, which went with 「管轄」なんてくだらないものはくそくらえ … though at the same time, the くだらないもの is sort of overkill.

In retrospect, I think I like this version more because it reminds me of the Japanese dub of the South Park episode “Chickenlover,” in which Officer Barbrady exclaims 読書なんてくそくらえ!, which means something like, “Reading can eat shit and die!”

Oh, yes. Now we’re learning Japanese.

3 – Go! ・ 行け
Timecode: 3:26 to 3:45

True to Agent Smith’s words, Trinity (トリニティ) has just killed all the police sent to apprehend her. She is now on her cell phone talking to Morpheus (モーフィアス).

  トリニティ
モーフィアス、通信は逆探知されたわ

  モーフィアス
知っている。ケーブルも切られた。急いで他の出口に向かうんだ

  トリニティ
エージェントが来てるの?

  モーフィアス
そうだ

  トリニティ
最悪ね

  モーフィアス
集中しろ、トリニティ。ウェルズ通りの公衆電話だ。君なら行ける

  トリニティ
分かった

  モーフィアス
行け

NOTES
In this scene, we have our first clear example of the dub being truncated for time constraints, with the phone booth at “Wells and Lake” becoming at simply ウェルズ通り, or Wells Street.

Something else we see in this scene is two different examples of the command form in Japanese. One of these is to change the word-final る of the verb form to ろ, as in 集中しろ above, a gruff command for one to concentrate. The second form is to keep the verb as is and simply end it with だ, as in 向かうんだ. The difference between the two, to give an example, is that if 「しろ」 is “Do it!” then 「するんだ」 would be analogous to, “You will do it.”

4 – The name is Neo ・ 名前はネオだ
Timecode: 6:12 to 6:30

Trinity has made a run for it, leaping tall buildings to the astonishment of the onlooking officers. (そんな馬鹿な, or “That’s impossible,” one of the officers exclaims). She makes it to the phone booth, and manages to escape just before the Agents smash it down. Said Agents are now talking amongst themselves in the vicinity of the wrecked booth.

  ブラウン
逃げられたな

  スミス
気にするな

  ジョーンズ
情報は正しかった

  スミス
そうだ

  ジョーンズ
次のターゲットも分かってる

  ブラウン
名前はネオだ

  スミス
早急に検索してくれ

  ジョーンズ
もう始めてる

NOTES
Not much to say about this scene, other than the lack of foreshadowing being lost with “The informant is real” being rendered as 情報は正しかった, or “The information was accurate.”

5 – Follow the White Rabbit ・ 白いウサギを追え
Timecode: 7:24 to 9:42

In this installment, we meet our protagonist Thomas A. Anderson, aka Neo. We’re also treated to some rather heavy-handed foreshadowing by one Mr. Choi, whose thick, straight-outta-anime style of speech is by far the most interesting part of this scene. We begin with Neo asleep in front of his computer, waking up to find that it has apparently been haxxored.

  ネオ
何だ?

  ネオ
何なんだ?

  ネオ
「白いウサギを追え」?

  ネオ
誰だ?

  チョイ
チョイだ

  ネオ
あぁ。そうか

  ネオ
2時間も遅れたな

  チョイ
分かってる。こいつのせいだ

  ネオ
金はあるか

  チョイ
2千だ

  ネオ
待ってろ

  チョイ
ハレルヤ! まさに救世主だ。俺にとっちゃクリストだぜ

  ネオ
もしそれで捕まっても・・・

  チョイ
あぁ、おめぇのことは話さねぇ。心配すんな

  ネオ
よし

  チョイ
どうかしたのか。今日はかなり顔色悪いぜ

  ネオ
俺のコンピューターが・・・。自分が起きてるのか夢を見てるのか分からないことってないか

  チョイ
ん~、しょっちゅうさ。メスカリンだ。ぶっ飛ぶには最高さ。おい、たまにゃコンピューターのプラグを引っこ抜いてみな。気晴らしも必要だぜ。どう思う、デュジュール?一緒に連れてこうぜ

  デュジュール
いいんじゃない?

  ネオ
いや、無理だ。明日は仕事だ

  デュジュール
ね、楽しいわよ。保証する

  ネオ
あ。そうだな。行くよ

NOTES
Not much in the way of linguistic notes this time around. Choi’s speech uses lots of contractions; for example とっちゃ instead of とっては and すんな rather than するな.

Also, in case anyone hadn’t clicked on this before, Choi and DuJour together comprise choi dujour, or “choice of the day.”

6 – “What is the Matrix?” ・ 「マトリックスとは何か」
Timecode: 10:10 to 12:02

Trinity’s message has prompted Mr. Anderson to follow his dubious associates to the club. Rob Zombie rocks out for a bit before Trinity introduces herself.

  トリニティ
こんばんは、ネオ

  ネオ
どうしてその名を?

  トリニティ
他の事も知ってる

  ネオ
君は?

  トリニティ
私はトリニティ

  ネオ
トリニティ・・・ あのトリニティ?国税局のコンピューターに浸入した・・・

  トリニティ
ずっと昔の話ね

  ネオ
そうか

  トリニティ
何?

  ネオ
何となく・・・ 男かと思った

  トリニティ
男はそう思う

  ネオ
あのメッセージは君か? なぜあんな事を?

  トリニティ
今言えるのはこれだけよ。危険が迫ってる。それを知らせたくて呼んだ

  ネオ
何のだ?

  トリニティ
彼らがあなたを狙ってる

  ネオ
誰がだ?

  トリニティ
黙って聞いて。なぜ来たか分かってる。あなたがしてる事も。なぜ眠れないかも。なぜあなたが独りで暮らし、毎晩毎晩コンピューターに向かってるかも。「彼」を探してる。私も昔同じものを探してた。でも見つけたら、本当に探してたのは彼じゃなかった。私は「答え」を探してた。私たちを駆り立てんのは「疑問」よ。疑問があなたをここへ導いた。その疑問が何か、あなたは知ってる

  ネオ
「マトリックスとは何か」

  トリニティ
答えはあなたの近くにある。あなたを探してる。あなたが求める。向こうから来る

(Mr. Anderson suddenly finds himself in bed, alarm clock ringing.)
  ネオ
あっ、しまった!くそ、寝過ごした!

NOTES
In this scene, we have several instances of the Japanese being truncated to match the mouth movements (or “lip flaps,” as they’re known in the biz) of the original English, as seen in Neo’s habit of leaving his J-verbs unspoken. Note that he also sounds a little gruff, using だ as in 何のだ? and 誰がだ? to add a bit of linguistic punch to his queries. As far as Trinity’s lines go, time constraints led to her omitting that it was Morpheus who informed her it was the question she was after. There are a couple other minor changes, such as Neo asking why Trinity gave him a message rather than how she did it, and him exclaiming “I overslept!” rather than the barrage of “Oh, shit!” in English.

7 – Part of a Whole ・ その一部
Timecode: 12:13 to 12:54

Neo has arrived at the office and is getting a lecture from his boss Mr. Rhinehart (ラインハート) about the nature of a corporation.

  ラインハート
会社というものは分かってないようだな。自分だけは特別で、規則などどうでもいいかね。それは大きな間違いだ。うちは世界でもトップクラスのソフトウェアメーカーだ。社員には自分がその一部だという自覚が必要だ。つまり、社員に問題があれば会社全体に響く。そろそろ決めてもらうか、アンダーソン君。今後は必ず時間通り自分のデスクに着いているか他の仕事を探すか、そのどちらかだ。意味は分かってるな?

  ネオ
よく分かりました、ラインハートさん

NOTES
A pretty good rendering of the English, with one interesting change; Rhinehart’s original opening statement of “You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson” becomes something like, “It seems you don’t understand what a company is.”

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14 Responses

  1. 懐かしい~! Oh, the nostalgia.
    I LOVE “the Matrices”. And I listened to the J-dub of this movie [and inadvertently memorized] a ton. LOADS of cool words and phrases therein were contained. Like “早急に其の計画を実施に移して呉れ給え”…the cool thing is that that’s straight-up salaryman vocab, too…

    Thank you and お疲れ様 on the transcription.

    …I hate people who mix languages in posts…but I am one of them…

  2. Whoa, a reply from the man himself! Thanks for stopping by. More nostalgia to come.

  3. Ohmygosh, this is so awesome. Thank you so much for doing this and please continue. This resource would be 10 times it’s weight in gold if it was finished. Seriously. You rule. Keep it up!

  4. Mwhaha this is great!

    I’ve looped this movie hundreds of time, but there were still some parts that I could never quite figure out…

    Thanks!

  5. Still have to get off my buttocks and get around to the rest of the film, but hope to get back to it soon. After I fish a couple old files off my old, dead computer…

  6. Is it a way I can get the audio? I really want to be hearing the script in my iPod like you did. Please if you can tell me where can I get either the movie with Japanese sub or the audio I would be really glad!

  7. I actually own the Japanese dub. I went through the entire movie a long while back and ripped the audio. I also cut out all the stuff that isn’t dialogue which makes it just an audio collection of the dialogue from the movie. All of it is still sitting in my iTunes library. I’d be more than happy to give it to you :)

  8. Think you’ll ever go back to this project? There’s some awesome stuff here and I really appreciate it, but you’ve just cracked the surface of this film. I just looked at the oldest dates on this entry, 08, so I’m guessing its pretty dead in the water. That’s a shame though, it would have been an absolutely AMAZING learning resource to have a complete transcription of a film that’s so freakin’ cool in every language.

    • Hi Eric,

      The quick answer is, maybe. Am trying to tie up some loose ends with this blog, and not having finished the script sticks in my craw. I lost a lot of transcribed scenes when my old comp died, though. Bleh.

  9. [...] be held responsible for the wanton sexiness of the Moë Sentence Pack. Must be over 18 (21 in some juris-my-dictions) to purchase and view. Void where sexiness is [...]

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