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Alethea & Athena
Translate everything 
6th-Apr-2018 09:48 pm
Well, things are happily ahead of schedule, but maybe not as far ahead of schedule as they need to be for us to accomplish all our purposes. It's tough to say. But we reached our "this is a stretch, but it would be nice if..." goal today, and we even had time to watch a couple of episodes of B: The Beginning. Should we have worked some more? If we wanted to get more work done, absolutely. If we wanted to consider the idea that maybe getting some rest is a good idea, I think it wasn't the worst thing to stop and watch anime.

In the meantime, we keep ourselves up at night talking about translating and how to not be lazy about it. I think I mentioned a while ago that we came across an old blog post stating the opinion that translators who leave the Japanese honorifics in are lazy. We've been having a hard time letting it go. So we talk about all the thought and research we put into stuff, which is also kind of a fun way to reminisce.

Recently, I remembered back in college when our professor told us about a literature translator who wanted to translate everything, so when tabi socks were mentioned, he translated them to "bifurcated footpads." It made me think about "translating" honorifics (which I still have yet to be convinced is not simply removing them), and I thought it could be neat to come up with a list of alternatives so we can take out all of those pesky Japanese words and have a fully English experience. But I'm too busy and tired to come up with anything, so right now the only thing on the list is bifurcated footpads. Maybe someday we'll have more. But for now, it's the weekend, and we intend to take full advantage of it.

Today I'm thankful for meeting our work goal, having time to watch anime, Yuki Kaji finally having a decent amount of speaking time in this show (still not the ideal amount of speaking time, but much better than previous episodes), the term "bifurcated footpads," and having some time to lie down today.
7th-Apr-2018 05:34 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, that particular philosophy of translating everything could lead to further problems with readers whose English-language vocabulary isn't as extensive as it could be. Not to mention risking making the characters sound like the Powerpuff Girls villain Mojo Jojo, who often appears to be trying out every verbal locution in the thesaurus. And, with "bifurcated footpads" specifically, people who read a lot of Regency romances and/or old-fashioned adventure stories would probably picture robbers split in half before socks with two separate sections for toes.
7th-Apr-2018 06:57 pm (UTC)
I would imagine that readers with poor English vocabularies would either be reading in their native language or, if you're talking about native English speakers, it would serve them well to expose them to a larger variety of words.

As for the Mojo Jojo scenario...well, that was kind of the point. I'm not sure if you could tell I was joking. Alas, this is the problem with only having one example. I thought it would be okay, since I thought I'd made it clear in past posts (and I hinted strongly at it in this one) that I think "translating" honorifics is unnecessary. I've never said it in so many words before, but I think it's just a benchmark set by people who don't have a super great understanding of Japanese, as an easy but uninformed way to judge translations.

And as for the footpad problem, well, I would hope the reader could figure it out from context, especially since we're talking about manga, where there would also be pictures.
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