October 21st, 2005


Thoughts on translation

I'm really not sure what made me think of it, but last night I was thinking about the DN Angel anime. I wasn't really thinking much about the anime overall, just about this one line in the first episode. It's when Satoshi shows up on the crime scene, sees Dark, and says, "Hajimemashite... ja nai desu yo ne."

For those of you who don't know, "hajimemashite" is a ritual phrase that loosely translates to, "it's nice to meet you." You usually only say it the first time you're meeting someone, because it probably comes from the verb "hajimeru," which means "to begin (transitive)." The "mashite" makes it polite, and gives it the more literally meaning of, "beginning [our relationship]..." Or something. This is all stuff I came up with last night, so I don't know if it's accurate. Seems right though.

"ja nai" is a negation, to say, "it's not hajimemashite," the "desu" makes it polite, the "yo" makes it emphatic, and the "ne" indicates that Dark knows just as well as Satoshi that that is the case. This is probably why I seem to remember it being translated as, "This isn't the first time we've met," or, "This isn't the time to say 'nice to meet you'," or things like that.

There's really not a whole lot wrong with these translations, and I remember seeing the episode and thinking how much of a pain it would be to have to be the one translating that. I also remember thinking that we would have to translate it similarly and just be sad that all the non-Japanese-speaking viewers would have missed out on a really cool line.

But, since we had had aspirations of being people in charge of translating the DN Angel anime, as well as the manga, we thought about it. And then Athena came up with the most brilliant translation of it, and we're a little sad that the translators at ADV didn't come up with it, but a little too proud of ourselves that we did.

"It's nice to meet you... again."

Or even, "Pleased to make your acquaintance... again," but that's a little wordy. So anyway, it's true what someone said on the Honyaku mailing list: a translation is never complete--it's only the deadlines that make you stop. Sometimes, a direct translation is not always the best one.

I feel like it's way too late to be updating

And yet here I am anyway. And it's really not that late, either. Not even midnight yet. Still a minute away! And there it is. Eheh.

Anyway, today they showed one of the Walker episodes of Danny Phantom. Every time I see one of them, I wonder why James Arnold Taylor (voice of Walker) played Tidus and not Auron or Jecht. Based on Walker, it sounds like he could have done so much better as one of those characters. Ah well.

We started playing through FFX back in February to show it to Celeste since she was watching us play X-2 despite having not seen X (except for a few scenes Jonathan showed her because he's obsessed, because he's Jonathan, who really is Tidus (and I don't say things like that about many people)). Anyway, I was complaining because Tidus's voice was bothering me, especially because he sounds so much older in his narrations. Then Celeste pointed out that obviously he's probably telling the story at a much later date. Eheh.

Also, we watched Gunparade March today. I'd been wanting to see it for a while, because apparently the manga is done by Akira Ishida the manga artist, who we're almost completely sure is not Akira Ishida the voice actor, who plays the main guy. We had seen the first episode a long time ago, but we didn't stick with it, for some reason. Probably because we had a lot going on, and it was a war series, and those are always harder to follow.

But now that we've seen more of it, we like it a lot. Nonomi is very very cute. And it's not very often you get to hear Ishida-san playing an incompetent. Not that Atsushi is incompetent, just that he's extremely average--like Daisuke Niwa, only without the kaitoh thing. So now of course we start going through all the Ishida-san characters in our head, and we're like, "Competent, competent, competent..." Gokudo...is... not incompetent, necessarily. He just doesn't try hard enough.

Oh!! We think he played a guard at some point in HaruToki, and as we all know, castle guards are incompetent by definition. So there you have it. Two incompetent Akira Ishida characters.

Also! There was another guy who had about two lines in the third episode of Gunparade March played by Hiro Shimono! U-reshiii! And! The theme is sung by Yoko Ishida, and the lyrics were written by the same woman who wrote the lyrics to almost every Saiyuki song in existence. Not that lyricists matter if you can't understand Japanese. And! The one chick has the same birthday as us, only she was born in 1984, and she's totally going to be paired up with Atsushi. Probably.

I like their uniforms. We should do a cosplay group!!

And tonight I'm thankful for Gunparade March, peanut butter cookies with miniature peanut butter cups in them, the Fairly OddParents School's Out musical (the duet with Cosmo and Wanda was beautiful!), reruns, and Yoko Ishida.

EDIT: We just looked up the voice of Nonomi, and she's Elicia Hughes in FullMetal Alchemist!! Cute!!!!