July 22nd, 2011


What in the...?

We scared Page today. This isn't really news, because Page can be very jumpy, and she's easily startled, but today it was especially amusing. We were translating the shark attack scene in Negima! 7, and we started making lots of crazy noises. Athena already reads everything out loud, and then we discovered that the first English version of the manga chose to use the Jaws sound effect, and we thought that was a great idea! So we were singing that, and nothing alarms Page more than singing. We're not sure why this is, but it's true. I hope it doesn't mean we're terrible singers... (Though I'm pretty sure a few people we could ask would tell you that we are...)

Anyway, that and all the laughing (that scene is hilarious) got her to run away (but not too far away), and she would jump if we so much as looked at her. It was adorable.

Speaking! of Negima! volume seven! Awoooo... There's one thing that we've noticed that is kind of driving us crazy and that's this: none of the sentences are complete!

Okay, that's not true. Probably at least 40% of the sentences are complete. Maybe even up to 70%. It's just so weird. Almost every time we check what the first version had, there's an incomplete sentence! And we're not talking sentence fragments. The grammar is fine (sometimes it's weird for dialogue-y reasons); they just trail off or cut off for bizarre reasons. At first we thought maybe it was because of the ellipses.

Most of you probably already know this, but the Japanese end a looooot of sentences in ellipses. In English, apparently there's a rule to only use ellipses to indicate a pause or missing words, which means if a sentence ends in an ellipsis, those last words must be missing, right? In Japanese, they put more emphasis on the "pausing" thing--the intonation, as it were. All their punctuation, including hearts, stars, and music notes, is to indicate the tone of voice a sentence is expressed in. That's why you'll find so many non-interrogative statements ending in question marks (we got really confused about that when we were just starting out). We figured it was a good idea, and that's why we keep getting in trouble for using too many ellipses. We've trained ourselves to believe that an ellipsis at the end of a sentence means uncertainty, or basically softens it, kind of the opposite of an exclamation point.

That being the case, we thought the non-ending sentences were a product of too many ellipses in the translation--the adapter may not have realized that a sentence doesn't need to lose words to end with an ellipsis in Japanese, and the translator would have just been copying the punctuation. But then we would find non-ending sentences as translations of sentences that had no dash or ellipsis! What's going on!?

We thought maybe it just developed into a habit after so many ellipses in the Japanese version, but there were whole, complete English sentences followed by ellipses! So they must have tossed that rule out if they ever used it. Then we thought it might be to help fit stuff in the speech bubbles. We never bought into that, because with computers, you can always shrink font size. (Seriously, the original Negima! has fonts that we need a magnifying glass to read. I'm not exaggerating.)

We ultimately decided that it's because the script is so darn long that the adapter was pacing herself. You can only handle so many words at a time, after all. So leave a bunch of them off, and you save a bunch of stamina! Tadah! ...Or something.

Today I'm thankful for Page and her cute jumpiness, Oreo being such a nice kitty that he went and lied down somewhere else so as not to bother Page (she was lying by the closet, and he wanted to sit on the box in the closet behind her; they stared at each other for quite a while as we tried to tell Oreo he could go around the other way, but at any rate, he's such a nice kitty, and I hope one day Page will stop being scared of him so they can play together), plans to sleep in tomorrow, getting to listen to our Gundam Seed Suit CDs, and remembering to turn the air conditioning back on.
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