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Alethea & Athena
The Christmas program 
17th-Dec-2017 08:07 pm
twins
Well, nobody at church today seemed too upset at us for not showing up to help with the Primary kids singing at the party last night, so that was a relief. Bishop did get on our case about all the great food we missed out on, so we said, "Yeah, we were working, but thanks for rubbing it in." We're getting cranky these days.

Anyway, today was the big Christmas music program that originally I was supposed to play six pieces for. As it turned out, a member of the bishopric saw the script and was like, "Uh, yeah, this is way too long for sacrament meeting," so they pared it all down and took out all the choir numbers, which meant I was almost no longer needed. I accompanied one duet and all the congregational hymns, except for one where they had a fancy piano/organ duet going on (that was obviously written to show off the skills of the pianist, because the organ part was straight from hymn book and the lady playing the organ didn't use the pedals at all). And that parenthetical will tell you what my attitude was throughout the whole thing--mostly just sitting back and being critical of everything. I don't know if it makes it better or worse that at least I realize I'm a snob. The songs were all very nice, though. And the Primary kids did get to sing this time, and they were super cute.

In other news, I actually had a dream this morning where some random guy criticized our translation of Land of the Lustrous by saying we used too many quotes from TV or something. We didn't in real life, but this was a dream; I took it to mean he felt we took too many liberties with the translation, so I started lecturing him on how there's no such thing as a one-to-one translation. My dreams are so mundane.

Today I'm thankful for getting to sing a bunch of Christmas songs (actually, I played them on the organ (I don't use the pedals, either) and piano mostly, but I did get to sing the one congregational number), the Primary kids actually singing loud enough for people to hear them, getting to open up our copy of Japanese the Game (we ordered it kind of on a whim over a year ago, and now that we have it, our mom's learning Japanese!), and actually having a use for this game.
Comments 
20th-Dec-2017 05:22 pm (UTC)
Translators who insist on only one meaning had better have a darn good reason to exclude the other potential meanings. Japan has been using double+ meanings in poetry for centuries. As we like to say, if the question is,"Does it mean A or B?", the answer is almost certainly, "Yes." Also, I feel like things such as nail polish peeling off have been used as metaphors for the facade being removed and people showing their true colors even in English writing for a long time...but I don't have any examples, so I couldn't say for sure. Still, it really doesn't seem like a far-fetched conclusion.

As for the Powa thing, wow, they really seem to know a lot of stuff. Again, we would say it's not necessarily Tibetan masquerading as English, so much as doubling as English, because both meanings work in the context.

Anyway, it's neat how so many Japanese things incorporate elements of other cultures and mythologies.
21st-Dec-2017 04:47 am (UTC)
Definitely. Rule of thumb with Japanese tends to be: is each permutation valid in context? Then it’s intentional. Now try to fit that into the translation. When playing with Sakurai translations, I’ve ended up resorting to color coding the layers to make them easier to follow. That must be difficult to handle in your line of translation work.

Yeah. I wish more of that over here... the US rather expects the world to come to them and adapt, and doesn’t like to flow in the other direction much... especially in entertainment and the arts.



___________________

On the side...

There’s one that particularly blows my hair back translating- 道化師A from their 十三階は月光 album. Two of the distinct layers bear no resemblance to each other. One is a lush romanticized carnival sideshowy reworking of centuries old tale of Pierrot the clown murdering his wife, this time at the behest of his mirror reflected narcissistic subconscious in a schizophrenic break (traditionally he Freudianly makes her laugh to death in bed); the other layer is intensely autobiographical, a bitter wallowing in what the notoriety of stardom has been like. The whole thing is profound... absolute genius writing.

21st-Dec-2017 06:08 am (UTC)
Fortunately for us, we don't deal with a lot of poetry. Even now that we're doing anime, the higher-ups tell us to just give the most literal translation of the theme songs possible. We tried once to translate a song like we usually do, incorporating English versions of the kotowaza that were used instead of a straight translation, but our boss was like, "No, don't do that."

The worst we had to deal with was a couple of tanka that played off of each other in volume 12 of Noragami. We ended up writing translation notes that gave alternative translations to each of the poems, because there was just no way to fit all of the relevant meanings into one translation. Fortunately, in most instances, we find it's surprisingly easy to get the double meanings to work, unless there's also a visual component.

I get the feeling it's less of the US expecting the world to adapt and more US creators being too lazy to research anything, so they just come up with their own original stuff. Or based everything on their own favorite entertainment...which of course was made in the US.

Wow. Those lyrics sound intense, in more ways than one. Kinda makes me want to read all the classics (like, all of them) to help me be smart like all these people...
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