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Saw this on twitter:

MC挟んでいいなら♪( ´▽`)RT @miri_sid: @mao_sid マオくんは全曲連続で歌えますか?(^-^)

Can't find the Japanese definition of MC anywhere. What does that say?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

MC in Japanese nowadays most commonly means a talk (by a singer) in between songs at a (pop) concert. It is a 和製英語 (wasei-eigo) under this meaning. It seems to have derived from the phrase 'master of ceremony'. In a broader context, it simply means a talk at some event.

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MC is not 和製英語. It's been around for quite a while in English. wordswarm.net/dictionary/emcee.html –  istrasci Jul 25 '11 at 1:35
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It's 和製英語 in the sense that Sawa is describing it, since no native English speaker would describe between-song banter as MC'ing. –  moai-kun Jul 25 '11 at 2:31
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@DaveMG: Does the word “MC” ever mean between-song banter in English? As I understand it, rapping is rhythmic lyrics without a melody in a song and very different from between-song banter. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 25 '11 at 23:54
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Dave: I think you're misunderstanding me. The term MC is from English, but no one would ever use it to describe musicians speaking to the audience between songs. It gained that meaning in Japanese. I'm both a musician and a native English speaker, so I think I should know! –  moai-kun Jul 26 '11 at 1:38
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@moai-kun - MC is still used native English but its usage depends upon where you are, in some native English speaking countries it has fallen out of use were as in others is of limited use to concert performances. –  rob Jul 27 '11 at 13:56
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In hip hop or dubstep events, the MC is the person rapping using the microphone, besides the DJ. I have used the term only in Japan, but it seems to exist in other countries as well:

In the 1970s and 1980s, the term MC (short for Master of Ceremonies, and sometimes misrendered emcee) was generally associated with what is now called rapping in hip hop music. MC has also sometimes been reported to stand for Microphone Controller, but this appears to be a backronym. This uncertainty over the letters' expansion may however be evidence to the ubiquitousness of the acronym: the full Master of Ceremonies is very rarely (if ever) used in the rap scene.

There are a lot of small parties in Tokyo with open MC where anybody can take the microphone and rap in accordance with the DJ.

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That's right. There is a famous rapper called MC Hammer. –  sawa Jul 25 '11 at 2:51
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As pointed out in the comments to @sawa's answer, "MC" is a well-established English word that predates its rap/hip-hop meaning by a good margin (the same way DJs used to be primarily people who would put on discs and introduce the next part of a radio program)... Its Japanese meaning is, until proven otherwise, roughly identical... –  Dave Jul 25 '11 at 21:30
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In English, MC means "Master of Ceremony" -- not just a person talking, but the MAIN person doing the talking to the audience at any live event, not just musical. The MC is kind of like the "announcer" for an event but an MC is typically someone the live audience can see whereas an announcer may just be a voice over a loudspeaker. Also the MC does not just announce the performances but does other talking like interviewing performers, generating crowd excitement, and giving the audience additional information related to the performance. There can be more than one MC at an event if two or more people are fulfilling that role. The MC is not typically performing in the event. The MC typically has a certain notoriety and brings some of their own personality to the event.

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The question asks what MC means in Japanese. The point of the question is that it has a different meaning from what it means in English! –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 6 '12 at 0:32
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I think this answer was submitted as a response to the rather remarkable level of confusion over the MC term in the comment thread under sawa's answer. I agree it doesn't actually talk about the the Japanese adaptation of the word, but it does actually explain the word's origins. –  jkerian Jul 9 '12 at 18:54
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@jkerian: If that is the intent of this post, it should be clearly stated that this is not an answer to the question being asked. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jul 14 '12 at 23:15
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