October 10th, 2007


"Itterasshai" revisited

Some of you may remember this entry I made back at the beginning of September about a certain blogger posting comparisons of the TokyoPop release of Fruits Basket versus his own translation. One of the things that was debated the most was the translation of "itterasshai." At the time the debates were going on, I realized that the only way to tell for sure how the whole thing would be interpreted by a Japanese person, and from there how it should be translated into English, would be to ask a Japanese person.

Unfortunately, we didn't see the blog post until the day after I had sent an e-mail to our Japanese pen pal, and I knew it'd be a while until he e-mailed back, so I just made a mental note to ask him in my next e-mail. Well, it took so long to hear from him that I got impatient (I think less from wanting to ask about this and more about wanting to get an e-mail), so I sent him an e-mail anyway. But before I allowed myself to do it, since usually when you check facts during a debate like this it's because you want to prove how right you are, I had to promise myself that I would post his response whether he agreed with me or not.

Of course, I have to add the disclaimer that Clay is not familiar with Fruits Basket, so you could argue that there's not enough context. And you could also argue that, as Clay points out, it's only his opinion, and the only way to find out for sure is to ask Natsuki Takaya herself.

My other disclaimer is that I forgot to ask Clay if it was alright for me to post this on LJ, so hopefully he'll forgive me if he ever finds out. I'm including the Japanese as well as my translation of it, so people can have the original, too. Not that it matters if they don't know Japanese.

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That...didn't take longer than expected, but it was still long. I think it was a very nice explanation, though. I'd sum up, but I think it speaks for itself. I guess from this you could say that Mr. Stephanides was right all along, in that the meaning of "itterasshai" is not what's important.


Anyway, that's taken long enough, so I'll end here.

Today I'm thankful for native speaker checks, having an awesome Japanese pen pal, getting our package from Play Asia today (whee!), getting a tiny bit of rain this morning, and Japanese IME.