Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena
double_dear

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It's like cooking

Another day of work, work, work. There haven't been any new developments, really, except for the very important (yet uneventful) development of making sure Page will be taken care of while we're on the other side of the globe. So that's good.

But anyway, I figure now's as good a time as any to talk about the translation analogy I came up with several weeks ago. It was around the time we were working on Fire Force volume 7, so maybe it was about a month ago? It feels like so much longer...

Okay, so while we were living with Mom and Steve, they would regularly watch MasterChef, which is a reality show in which home cooks compete to be the best chef in America. I think the prize is to publish a cookbook and get a bunch of money or something? That wasn't important. The important thing is that there was one challenge where Gordon Ramsay (one of the judges and super famous chef) recreated...I think it was a pork soup of some kind. There was a story about him on a fishing boat in a storm in Thailand or Taiwan or Vietnam... I'm sorry; I don't always have a great memory for details. But anyway, it was the best dish he'd ever had in his whole life, so he figured out how to make it himself.

And for this challenge on MasterChef, he made the soup for the contestants who were left (they were down to about four by this time, but that's not really important, either), and the contestants then had to go and recreate it themselves without using a recipe. I mean, I'm sure if they had one, they could have used a basic recipe for pork soup, but they had to rely on their palates and their knowledge of food and cooking in order to recreate the dish the most faithfully.

Translating is something like that, I think. You have the original text, and if you look up the words in a J-E dictionary, you get the denotation (the literal, bare bones meaning of the word(s)), which is kind of like the main ingredients. If you look it up in Japanese language dictionary, you can get the connotation (what everyone thinks about when they hear the word, in addition to its literal meaning), which is part of the seasoning. Then there's conjugations, auxiliary verbs, intonation (which you actually can get to an extent in Japanese text), etc. etc. etc. In order to recreate the manga most faithfully, you have to learn to identify all the different flavors involved, and then you have to know how to cook them up in English to get just the right taste.

And there you have it! I thought it was a pretty good analogy, but when we explained it to Gaston he didn't seem to get it. So if it's confusing, let's talk about it!

Today I'm thankful for mostly finishing our work today, new socks, my orthodontist appointment going well, having a plan for Page's caretaking while we're on vacation, and having a lovely time watching anime tonight.
Tags: language geekiness, translating
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