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Alethea & Athena
Here we go again 
20th-Mar-2018 09:40 pm
Work seems to be going well! We think that if Gaston only takes up one day of our week, we will be in great shape! Of course, Gaston has a habit of taking up more time than we can reasonably give, so we have to be prepared for that, but for now, it looks like we can meet our deadlines without losing sleep. We did take a risk to watch an episode of anime before bedtime, but it was work-related, too, so maybe it's okay.

Anyway, we don't often let ourselves give in to distractions during work, but we did today. I don't know why; it just happened. And it may have been a mistake, because not only did we not find the information we were looking for, but we came across a prominent Sailor Moon fan ranting about the use of Japanese name honorifics in translations, and how the translator for Crystal was so smart for not using them.

We were annoyed on many levels, because, as longtime readers know, we are very much in favor of retaining Japanese name honorifics, and I thought about doing another post on that, but then I realized I've already done a bunch of much better ones, and I don't have the time to come up with new examples of why it's a good idea. Also, this fan says translators who leave the name honorifics in are lazy, which was infuriating. We were like, "I dare you...I dare to read Noragami and then tell me to my face that I am a lazy translator." And since we've been looking at other translators' works for other work-related reasons, we've seen at least a couple of series where the translator was "clever" enough to remove Japanese name honorifics, and those translations seemed pretty lazy to us...

The other annoying thing was that the fan didn't give any examples of the clever way the Crystal translator used vocabulary choices to indicate the dynamics usually expressed by name honorifics. I was frustrated, because I was like, "Okay, fine. I'm willing to say that a good translator should be able to do that, but can't you show me how?" (Actually, my opinion is that the Japanese sentences also use vocabulary and conjugation and intonation and anything in addition to name honorifics to show relationship dynamics, and sometimes you put them all together and get something very complex, for example someone using teineigo and high honorific titles but very rude content. Like a Japanese version of Fresh Prince of Bel Air's Jeffrey the butler.)

So we were like, "Okay, we know how Sailor Moon goes. We'll pull up the dub of Crystal episode two where Usagi meets Ami and see how they deal with the honorific situation there, since Usagi at least as the decorum to not just straight to calling her Ami-chan." To be fair, we only had a few minutes to spare, because we were letting ourselves be distracted from work, so we only watched about thirty seconds, maybe a minute total. But it basically looked like Usagi was talking to Ami the same way she talks to everyone, but calling her Mizuno instead of Ami. And then, just to be sure we were all talking about the same translation, we also checked the subtitled version. Pretty much the same deal.

And now I want to rant about how just taking the -san out takes pretty much the exact same amount of effort as leaving it in (but now you don't have to type it, so it's actually lazier), but we really should go to bed. I just wish we had some more solid examples of this "translating honorifics through vocabulary" that people seem to keep claiming is a thing. (I'm especially annoyed because we had an editor tell us to do that about a particularly difficult honorific. We interpreted it as, "So just take it out. Fine.")

And I think what it all boils down to is that I want to rant and rave because I'm afraid Sailor Moon fans will reject the Eternal Edition out of hand just because we kept the Japanese name honorifics. We wrote a note about it, though! I wouldn't have wanted to take them out anyway. (In fact, I think we even asked our editor if we should, since we knew prominent Sailor Moon fans don't like them. But if we're keeping Chibi Moon, why not keep name honorifics? (We didn't keep all of them, though.))

Today I'm thankful for work going well, getting to watch an episode of anime, Page being cute and intrepid (even if it's probably because she's restless from the fleas (we ran out of treatment and the new batch we ordered hasn't come in yet!!), people who aren't opposed to using Japanese name honorifics in Japanese settings (maybe one of these days I'll talk about the headaches we got from Hozuki honorifics), and getting to watch Soul Eater.
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