Re: [gundam] Lost In The Translation

Chien Ting Chin (
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 00:48:41 -0500

On Mon, 15 Mar 1999, -Z- wrote:
> At 11:12 3/15/99 -0500, you wrote:
> >But then, could it be Japanese is just a tough language to translate?
> As with their artwork and architecture, where the unused or empty spaces
> are as much a part of the whole as that which is used, Japanese language

Again, this part is the same as Chinese, there so much social conventions
that everyone understands, that it would be very rude to say things that
are supposed to be understood. But somehow this cultural gap is much
wider between Japan and the west than, between Hong Kong or Taiwan and the

> leaves as much unsaid as otherwise. The story is not so much the lines
> themselves, but what's left for the audience to read between the lines.
> It's not what's said but what's implied by what's said.

I've often get the feeling that Japanese anime fans get an extra kick out
of figuring out these "blanks". This may also explain why bad animes are
so outrageously illogical. But there must be a way to translate these
dialogues without removing that puzzle solving part?

I think it should be possible, because I have read some kick-ass Polish to
English translations, jokes, puns, satire and all.
> I once saw a wonderful play about an American visiting Japan who gets into

Sounds very interesting.

Of course I went through the same process (adjusting to American
"bashfullness") coming from Hong Kong. Some might say I've over-
compensated :-)

CHIN, Chien Ting
Dept of Medical Biophysics, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
... o O *
Man is a bubble

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