So this translator who has worked with Dark Horse a good amount did a piece on translating Japanese and how its nuances cant always come across and its pretty good. Alot of people dont understand how or why you cant direct translate languages and especially one like Japanese.
>Direct translation—translating words as-is—produces unreadable gobbledygook. Even reordering those words into proper English grammar results in uninspired nonsense.
>Part of that is the nature of the language. Japanese is not translation-friendly. It is a high context language, as opposed to a low context language like English. This means that Japanese can use fewer words, and relies more heavily on cultural context to communicate what is going on in the scene. It is sometimes said of Japanese literature that for every word on the page there are three unwritten. Readers are expected to fill in the blanks.
>My job as a translator is to take all that context and language and reshape it into something that reads as if it was originally written in English. The Japanese script is my raw material. Along with translating the words on the page, I add context and create bridge sentences that might not have been in the original. I fill in gaps that would have been apparent to Japanese readers. And sometimes I rewrite things entirely. That’s the Rule of Rubin in action.
Rest of it is here
> I add context and create bridge sentences that might not have been in the original.
I understand why they do this, but I really don't like it in fan subs or scans. I don't mind dry, uninspired language as long as I'm not reading an amateur translator's opinion of what the author was trying to say. I don't want to get the wrong idea of a character's personality or a relationship dynamic based on nuance they've added unintentionally. Puns and honorofics and things should be explained in translators notes if necessary, because it's assumed that the audience is already somewhat familiar with the medium.
It's a different story for professional translations, since I trust them to get it right and because their audience might be getting introduced to anime/manga for the first time through that work.
Commie-tier translator. I bet he inserts memes too.
>reading the text
Oh god, it's even worse than I thought.
You make very little effort to demonstrate that you could never understand why.
>I figured the closer I got to the published version, the better I was doing.
That's a pretty completely flawed mentality.
Right, so this is the guy who did Showa. Some of those fucking TL notes and the inconsistencies. I have to say I at least respect D+Q and Dark Horse for at least hiring people who aren't completely incompetent. But this guy still isn't even close to some of the better translators.
>You make very little effort to demonstrate that you could never understand why.
I wasnt saying he was good anon i was just talking about what he was saying. My Jap is pretty mediocre at best exaggerations
>Along with translating the words on the page, I add context and create bridge sentences that might not have been in the original. I fill in gaps that would have been apparent to Japanese readers. And sometimes I rewrite things entirely. That’s the Rule of Rubin in action.
This is good. As long as the original meaning of the author is kept.
>I add context and create bridge sentences that might not have been in the original. I fill in gaps that would have been apparent to Japanese readers.
So he is calling me a retard because he assumed I am unable to understand a medium that 85% of the time uses stock lines?
The whole thing was AWFUL.
If a Japanese joke doesn't make an American laugh, maybe it is because he is not a Japanese and there is nothing he can do about it. It is his job to make me laugh, his job is to enable me to understand a piece of a different culture.
The example he used makes the whole thing even more absurd, because he assumed every reader is more interested in laughing at a joke instead of reading a manga to learn something more about a culture he - the reader - is not part of.
It also assumes the translator has the best understanding of the author and work's meaning, which is something I would never bet on.
I wonder how he would localize in Japanese an American comedian's work, which requires an understanding or knowledge of political or cultural facts to be enjoyed. If he had to translate a joke about abortion or Vietnam in Japanese, how would he approach it? By making a joke about the Emperor and China?
I disagree, at least in most scenarios. If there is an obvious pun equivalent, then that's one thing (though I'd still like a note telling me what the original was), but if it's simply a cultural reference that someone in the West might not get, he should not alter that. I think an easy rule of thumb could be that if a reader's misunderstanding could occur in the same form if it were a book in their native language/dialect but from a different cultural background, then it is not something you need to translate.
I think we're talking semantics now. I basically agree with you, I'm saying that if a very strict translation turns even jokey characters into boors, a more loose translation would preserve characterization and tone better. I'd never advocate changing cultural references, and in fact the translator in OP preserves them (such as in Showa 39-44 pg 488, where he preserves a reference to graveyard scraps when he could easily have just used "food from the ground.")
>It is his job to make me laugh
By this logic you better start changing everything remotely politically incorrect into it's SJW format because there's definitely a lot of faggots waiting to rage on any material possible that triggers them.
Okay, yeah, I think we're agreeing. I guess I was just misinterpreting/overreacting to the translator's suggestion that it was his job to reshape cultural context. Syntax/exact wording is obviously up to his judgment as to what's essential for the sentence's effect.
I'm not sure how I feel about his mention of thesaurus-plundering for Oshii, though. I guess I should finally read Seraphim before really judging it, but something about that seems a little haphazard to me.
>I don't mind dry, uninspired language
So you don't actually care about whether you're going to enjoy the thing or not, only how "pure" you perceive the script to be?
It never ceases to amaze me how people who rely on translations to enjoy a work in a language they wouldn't otherwise understand completely fail to realize the importance of good writing in the translation itself when it comes to how much they're going to enjoy the work.
>he assumed every reader is more interested in laughing at a joke instead of reading a manga to learn something more about a culture he - the reader - is not part of.
Newsflash: Anime and manga are entertainment. Their purpose is to entertain people, not be Japanese culture and linguistic lessons for foreigners.
Manga translators are low tier translators no matter how big their ego is.
The real Japanese to English translators on the other hand work on translating shit like Japanese Medical or Law Books or work for the United Nations or extremely technical manuals.
Newsflash: Americans are not Japanese, it's normal and logical that they have different cultures.
Your enjoyment and your laughter doesn't excuse a process and method to erase the cultural roots of a work. "What is funny funny in Japan should be funny in America" is not a law of physics.
If you are not interested in reading a piece of another culture, then read comics. Those are written for Americans by other Americans and you won't need anyone to explain what you are reading.
No thanks, I'd rather consume well translated Japanese media instead. If you claim to be that interested in understanding the ~Japanese meaning~, then you should go learn Japanese and read the original untranslated work instead of demanding botched translations that lets you play make-believe about understanding a language that you actually don't.
>Your enjoyment and your laughter doesn't excuse a process and method to erase the cultural roots of a work
What? You clearly don't get what the translator was getting at. The times things are changed are the actual literal wording and maybe puns and shit. Actual cultural implications and background tends to get preserved, like anon points out here: >>138376120
What the translator is trying to emphasize is that translations, especially Japanese ones, are not actually presenting you with what the original writer wrote. Primarily because that's impossible. The only thing that's actually what the author wrote, is what the author actually wrote. An English translation needs to take into account differences in language and cultural understanding in order to get the same meaning and feeling across, which includes the cultural tones. No ones arguing about removing, say, the Japanese understanding bullying, around dating, around water melon smashing or whatever. But the ideas needed to communicate this concept may be different than literal, one to one word use.
Look at, say, Usagi Yojimbo. A western comic that is steeped in Japanese, if a bit historical, culture. It's entirely in English, aside from a few trivial sounds and the typical untranslatable term, and that's the original language too. But it's entirely possible to understand what's going on and why just from the work itself. Nor does it read like a literal translation of any Japanese written work.
> understanding a language that you actually don't.
It's about the culture, not the language.
I don't need to study Italian and German if I want to watch a European movie set during the '40s. And I assume you wouldn't like a localization that swaps fascists with KKK and Slavs with black minority.
The quality can vary from chapter to chapter, but it's a very solid wandering Samurai story. Lots of HONOR and fights and character motivational conflict. The side characters that show up, even those just for a single story, are all great on their own too. It can also get pretty humorous. The art style ends up refined after the first few volumes (Usagi's face becomes less detailed but more expressive, for instance). The first volumes also have a bit more weird stories than it eventually settles down into (there's a brief Godzilla parody that's entirely a set up for a pun on that name). While not every story ties into a plot, there is a consistent background going on and Usagi ends up moving into and out of various political shenanigans. There's also several stories that are "this is how such and such thing was done," like Sake or kite making because Stan Sakai is utterly in love with the period it takes place in.
If you can actually borrow it from your library, I'd recommend checking it out that way first.
Is this the same guy who brings up /pol/ and SJW shit constantly on /a/ in discussions where it is completely irrelevant or are there more than one of these site-ruining idiots?
How much do professional translators make anyway? I can't imagine having to go through an entire textbook. That practically demands that you live in the source country and keep up with the field in question.
>Look at, say, Usagi Yojimbo. A western comic that is steeped in Japanese, if a bit historical, culture. It's entirely in English, aside from a few trivial sounds and the typical untranslatable term, and that's the original language too. But it's entirely possible to understand what's going on and why just from the work itself. Nor does it read like a literal translation of any Japanese written work.
I remember reading Usagi Yojimbo and in one panel he and the Rhino guy drank sake together and said "kampai" and it had a little note at the bottom of the panel that explained that it means "cheers".