December 15th, 2020

hercthinking

Hysterical what now?

Our little sister was texting us about this Japanese show she's watching on Netflix, asking about the Japanese school system for some better clarity on what's going on, and after everything is cleared up, I tell her we'll have to check it out sometime. Her next text felt kind of like an, "Okay, but you should know because this isn't everybody's cup of tea..." sort of thing (which I might be incorrectly projecting) as she informed us that it's basically a romcom in series form. And we're like, "...How does our family not know we live for shoujo manga?" (Which of course is what this is. It's based on a comic from Ribbon.) And I just...wonder what is going on with my life.

But speaking of translation. Yesterday we read the ANN review of the most recent episode of Fire Force (which we haven't seen yet, because we don't want to deal with the Crunchyroll app (maybe it's better now that they've been bought out?)), and we read some of the forum comments, and people mentioned the hysterical strength of the fight-or-flight response more than once. And it bothers us. It's actually not even the first time people have complained about it--somebody actually messaged us on our practically dead Twitter account to ask about it. Somebody on the ANN forums said it sounded like a machine translation. (To which our reaction was, "No, no. There's no way a machine would come up with that.")

So I figured I ought to explain ourselves somewhere and this is going to be the place. The Japanese term is "kajiba no bakajikara," which literally translates to "the stupid strength of a fire scene." It's a real scientific phenomenon that's explained in Fire Force and other manga, as well as places like Wikipedia and stuff. I think it's been in American shows, too. That thing where a woman can lift an entire car unaided to save her baby or whatever.

The Japanese term for it is perfect for a series that focuses on firefighters, because of the literal translation already mentioned. The English term for it is (you guessed it) "the hysterical strength of the fight-or-flight response." When we looked it up, we were like, "Oh, no." I mean, it makes sense that scientists wouldn't always have the best naming sense--they're focusing their talents on other things. But dang if it doesn't make this supposed-to-be-super-cool thing in Fire Force sound clunky. We also had to work in the fact that the Japanese term specifically mentions fire scenes, because of course that ties in to the situation they use it in in the manga.

...And I guess that's all we have to say. Just that if there's anything in the choice of terms that can be blamed on us, it's that we decided to go with the one that's already in use instead of trying to revamp it somehow. I couldn't say what led to that decision; we translated the volume where it first shows up approximately a million years ago.

Today I'm thankful for finishing work early, being done doing laundry, getting Grawp to help us catch Regigigas, Grawp's insistence that we try having pancakes for dinner, and having our Christmas travel plans finalized (they've been canceled; it will be a bummer not to see people in person, but travel is stressful, so we're okay with it).