Mada mada dane

Kanji: -NA-
Hiragana: まだ まだ だね
Romaji: Mada mada dane

This is Echizen’s catchphrase. Canon-wise, it’s been translated as “You still have lots more to work on.”

Now, I am aware of how contextual Japanese language can be. So, like “Yudan sezu ni ikou”, I’m very unsatisfied with this version of translation.

I know I indicated there’s no kanji above. But some digging around produced what could be the origin of the phrase.

未だ 未だ – imada imada

未 – mi or ima- or ma-, carries the meaning of ‘not yet’, ‘still not done’
E.g 未婚 – mikon – meaning single, literally means not yet married

まだ まだ – mada mada – can mean ‘not yet, much more, still more to come, not done’

だね – dane – this is a suffix to a sentence. It carries the meaning of ‘isn’t it?’, softening the statement or looking for confirmation/agreement from the listener. The proper polite form is ‘desu ne’. St. Rudolph’s Yanagisawa used this so often, it could get annoying.

Now, Echizen used ‘mada mada dane’ in many places. When he was in Muuga, he spoke in English “You have lots more to work on”, which Fuji translates back to Japanese as “mada mada dane”. This is the reason, I believe, the phrase becomes mistranslated in many other places. You see, in that one situation, where Echizen used “You have lots more to work on”, the meaning of ‘mada mada dane’ was intended to mean exactly that. However, in Japanese, ‘mada mada’ does not contain pronouns. Echizen uses ‘mada mada’ to mean different things in different context. Not all of it mean “You have lots more to work on”.

The way I see it, the best fit for general blanket translation is “not yet”.

Context 1: Echizen just defeated an opponent and says “mada mada dane”. This pretty much tells the opponent he has not yet mastered the sport.

Context 2: Echizen gets trounced by a better player or technique. There are two ways to interpret this. He still says “not yet”, but it is directed to himself. The first is a sort of self-talk (esp Echizen vs Sanada) to tell himself the match is not yet finished or decided. Alternate version of ‘never give up’. The second is telling himself that he has not yet mastered the sport. Like telling himself he needs more practice or trial and error to get it right.

Context 3: Echizen says that from sidelines as commentary to another player’s game. Here, he could mean that the player has not given up yet or has not shown all his techniques/potentials yet.

Context 4: General conversation. This is highly contextual, by in general, seems to implied that the speaker is immature or have not given complete thought or get the full picture.

So, not all the usage of “mada mada dane” is as arrogant or rude as it first appears.

Variations:
– mada mada daze (by Nanjirou)
– mada mada dana
– mada mada desu ne
– mada mada suyo (transcribed directly from sound, so I’m not too sure of the correct romaji)
– mada mada (various major and minor characters)

References:
http://www.jref.com/language/japanese_grammar.shtml
http://oldnihongo.j-talk.com/parser/search/index.php

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2 Comments »

  1. Salivia Baker said

    you’re right mada means “yet, still, more” i.e. in まだ八時 which means “still 8 o’clock”.
    So that “mada mada da ne”. (with the repetition you gain emphasize) means it’s still or it’s yet. And only the context determines what you speak about. The translation with “you’re still not there yet” even when it can means something different is in order to preserve the catchphrase character

    as for the kanji. yes you can use the kanji but mostly it is not used when mada is an adverb and not part of another word (like 未婚 you mentioned)

  2. Thanks loads for this. I am studying Japanese and this was helpful 🙂

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