Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena
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Review Rednesday...sort of

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for a review! ...Or it would be, if anything we translated had come out this week. We're all caught up on all our translations that have been released! So we don't have any reviews today. Or rather, we actually have a bunch of yet-to-be-posted reviews, but none of them are relevant. In fact, we should write a new one today (just turned in My Little Monster 11!), but again, not yet relevant.

So instead, we'll do a different kind of review! Viz's new version of Maid Sama! hit bookstore shelves recently, and people have been reviewing it. We haven't read it because we don't have time (or the money to spend on that kind of thing), but badtzphoto was kind enough to post a comparison on her journal...and hopefully she won't be too upset if we steal it. She knows the code to post them in side-by-side columns, but I do not, so you'll just have to scroll up and down (or hop on over to her journal to look at the side-by-side comparison).


Here's what the two different translations look like on page one.

Tokyopop:
1) Great work today!
2) H-hey, I warned you the parfait was gonna fall, didn't I?!
3) Huh?! You wanted that much movement?!
4) Well don't go wasting natural resources just for effect!!
5) Lookie, lookie, Miss President! I tied it in a knot!
6) The cherry stem, that is.
7) Do I look like I care?!

Viz:
1) Thanks, everyone!
2) I ... I told you I'd drop the parfait!
3) What?! That's all you wanted?
4) What a waste of time!
5) Hey, look at my cherry stem!
6) I tied it in a knot.
7) Nobody cares!
Note: Edited to reflect the adapter's comments on punctuation.


With just that to go on, I would definitely agree that the Viz translation is better. It's less clunky, flows a little better, not too wordy...and I think those are just three different ways of saying almost the same thing. But the differences on some of the lines (most notably line 4) had us wondering what on earth the Japanese said to create those differences. We said as much to Badtz, and she wondered the same thing, so she scanned page one of the Japanese version for our reference.

So here's how we would translate it, with detailed explanations. Of course, now that we've seen two other translations, they are going to affect our translation, but I want to say that's a good thing because it shows we're willing to acknowledge other's good choices? We'll see. Anyway.

1) Aaand cut. Good work, everyone! That's a wrap!
I think this is how we had it when it showed up in the volumes of Maid Sama! we translated. We grew up around Hollywood, watching cartoons that constantly make fun of Hollywood, so we like to pretend we know how people talk in Hollywood. The "and cut" comes from an aside which either wasn't included in the comparison (maybe it was the same in both of them), or the editors of both versions decided to leave out. But anyway, "that's a wrap" is something we seem to remember hearing whenever they were doing a filming or photo shoot on the TV shows and cartoons we like. The Japanese was "otsukare-sama deshita!", which is a ritual expression meaning roughly, "I'm sure you're all tired after having worked all day!" and can be translated a myriad of different ways. The sentiment is "we're done now, thanks!", so we go with "that's a wrap," because we think it makes us sound smart and like we know how people do things "in the biz."

...Or we were going to go with that until we noticed another aside that seems to have not made the cut into either of the final translated volumes. The fact that both asides were missing indicates that Viz's translation was done similarly to how we did the Negima! omnibuses: they based it off of the TokyoPop one but changed the lines they felt needed changing.

2) I...I told you I would drop the parfait! (Alt: See? I told you I would drop the parfait!)
We liked the Viz version, but for some reason felt like it would be ever so slightly better without a contraction. The alternate version is because Misaki's attitude doesn't really work for stuttering in English, but we hate to remove stutters unnecessarily. Another alternative would be "Ugh! I told...", because stutters often get translated to grunts and other similar noises when a script goes from text-only to voiced, even in Japanese (we play a lot of Japanese video games).

3) What!? You wanted< it to be "dynamic"!?
In this case the TP version was more accurate. The Viz translation might have come from the "are kurai," which literally means "that much," but "kurai" usually has the connotation of "only that much." In this case, it doesn't--it means "you wanted that extent of movement?", as in "you wanted to go that far?" But we felt like "that much movement" sounds a little funny, and doesn't give the reader a sense of what the director was going for (as indicated by the fact that two out of two people who compared the translations like Viz's version better). So we went with "dynamic" because that sounds like the kinds of things we heard when watching America's Next Top Model that's what the movement is for: to make the picture look dynamic. (Dynamic means something to do with movement, right? If we were doing this professionally, we'd look it up.)

4) That's no reason to waste resources!!
Once again, TP's translation was more accurate. A more literal translation would be "don't waste resources for something like that!" My first thought was to make it "waste food," but then she probably would have used a word for food. Misaki is conscientious about money, and the parfait is what the cafe uses to earn money--a resource. Our main guess as to how the Viz translation ended up as "waste time" is that maybe they have an adaptation writer going over the TP version and adapting it with limited knowledge of the Japanese, which I think they've done before. (That also negates the theory that "that's all you wanted" came from the Japanese, so the clues don't all necessarily fit together.)

For the rest of it, just go with the Viz version. It's important to switch the order of clauses sometimes because Japanese word order doesn't work the same as in English. (Although we did just turn in a My Little Monster translation with a line or two that have similar constructions to the TP version, because the first part was in a speech bubble and the second part was outside the speech bubble as an aside. But we do talk like that in English sometimes. Splitting sentences, I mean.)

One minor change to the last bit: we'd definitely keep at least one exclamation point on Misaki's "Nobody cares!", because she's way too worked up to speak with periods.


And there you have it. It's fun to do these sometimes, but there's no way we could do it with the whole series. We would never have that much time.

Today I'm thankful for managing to finish our My Little Monster translation today, getting to watch lots of Freakazoid! last night, Badtz scanning that Maid Sama! page, amusing intellectual exercises, and not being dead after yesterday's workout (Core 2; I didn't think planking could be that hard).
Tags: language geekiness, maid-sama, translating
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