Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena
double_dear

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Stray Nora

I remembered a story that would have been way better for yesterday when I wanted to change the subject. I think I may have mentioned the little girl in Primary who refuses to sit in her seat before. Well, yesterday she was up to her usual shenanigans, wandering around the Primary podium just because she could get away with it, even though there were grownups trying to give a fun Sharing Time lesson. Well, at one point, another kid got up and started wandering around, too, and I thought, "Oh boy, her influence is spreading." Soon after that, I hear her approach the second wanderer and say, "Stop that! Go back to your seat!" He did, and she continued her shenanigans.

And that reminds Athena of the story of Logan that we forgot to tell. This was back at Logan's birthday dinner, and neither of us remembers what started it, but the important back story is that, as Logan was growing up, and before he had a brother and cousin, his grandmother had gotten into the habit of saying to him, "Logan, you're the best grandson ever." It was perfectly fine when he was her only grandson, but now we find her about to say it again. She got as far as, "Logan, you're the best grandson--" when she remembered that she had two other grandsons in that very room. She paused, trying to come up with a way to fix this, when Logan finished the statement for her, "Ever!" So cute♥ (Personally, I think she can still say that about Logan, as long as she says it just as frequently about Logan's brother and cousin.)

Anyway, we're back to work on Noragami today. We have until the end of September or the beginning of October to finish it, but since we have two other books due at about that same time, we figure it's okay to get a head start. The problem is, now that they're talking about the stray more frequently, we're second guessing our decision to translate the name. Only a little, but I think it deserves consideration.

It's mostly a problem of phonetics. Nora sounds better as a proper noun, but the word is used as kind of a proper noun and kind of a common noun, since "stray" is used to describe a category of shinki, but is also used to refer to one specific shinki (so far). Probably the biggest problem is when the subject of "nora" gets brought up in front of Kazuma, and he says, "Don't say that name!" Tenjin's shinki refer to the term as a name, as well. And for a name, Nora works better.

On the other hand, because it's also a category of shinki that has an English equivalent, when we were watching the anime, we always thought it would be better to translate it, especially because then it sounds like she doesn't have a proper name, which is kind of the point. Also, it's a little more accessible to English-speaking readers, because they can read the word "stray" and immediately have an image that comes to mind. This might not be so important, though, because, like shinki and ayakashi, the term is explained in the context of the series.

However, there's also the matter of the title of the series: Noragami. It can't be an accident that the title has strays and gods in it. So for the juxtaposition, since we translate kami, it makes sense to translate nora, too, right? Kodansha USA includes the English translation in the title (Stray God), too, so English-speaking readers will easily make that connection.

So we think we'll probably keep translating it. Volume one went to print long ago, so we can't change that reference anyway, but the more obvious one in volume two can probably still be changed if we decide we should. But unless someone has some convincing arguments otherwise, I think we probably will keep using the English word "stray." I mean, it doesn't really sound like a name, but that's just because we're not used to using it as one, right?

Today I'm thankful for getting to work on Noragami again, getting our books from Kinokuniya, getting to try Pepperidge Farm cracker chips, the yummy peanut butter cookies we had last night, and brown widows turning out to be not quite so scary after all.
Tags: family stuff, noragami, primary
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