Chien Ting Chin (chinc@sten.sunnybrook.utoronto.ca)
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 01:10:37 -0500 (EST)


Salamangka wrote:
> For some reason, the Filipino Subtitles actually got the inflection
> and some of the lines better translated thatn english -- the problem
> being that they had to use formal Filipino rather than the normal
> street language that theyb used for

That's it! Let the Wing Boys speak Shakespearean or Austenian English.
Sure beats cussing. Don't understand why the British/American subbers and
dubbers make the anime characters so foul-mouthed. Esp. considering
Japanese are usually so polite.

Mirai Y wrote:
> For example, Quatre's "Uchu no kokoro" line. I usually see this
> translated as "heart of the universe" when the true meaning is "heart
> of space", and

Uchu sounds awfully like Cantonese (Chinese) for universe. Are you sure
it's space not universe? Space in Cantonese is taihon, I think Japanese
use the same kanji as well. Your comment on heart the organ vs. heart the
soul is also interesting. Chinese also have different terms to distingish
the two.

[BTW, Z, both Chinese and Japanese make clear distintion between planets
and stars. Sei is "star" only in the pre-Copernicus sense or the modern
non-astronomy sense. We have 3 seperate terms for (1) planets (wandering
star), (2) stars in the astronomy sense (permanent star) and (3) "bright
dots on the sky". It's English that mixes (2) and (3) in the same word.]

Mmmm, I disgress. You mentioned the poetic language before, but I didn't
reply then, because I find it hard to express myself. If the attaction of
GW is in the flowery language, then you translate by maintaining the
flowery aspect and throw away both "literal" translation and "liberal"
translation that Z was talking about. It's not a new problem, Dangerous
Liaisons, Victor Hugo and Stanislaw Lem's books are the same way.

English translation of Lem's books are particularly impressive, all the
linguistic jokes and word plays somehow are translated successfully from
Polish, French or German. Many of the jokes and word plays are very
specifc to English, so I think a lot of the superfiscal meanings are
changed in order to transmit a deeper meaning. On the other hand,
Shakesparean English may not draw young American girls like the way poetic
language draws Japanese women. So it won't make financial sense to hire
the translator and the voice actors who can carry it off. I guess my
point is that it is possible to translate linguistic finery and poetry, if
sometimes at the expense of literal or actual meaning. To make an extreme
example, "uchu no kokoro" may perhaps be translated as "Divine Word" (of
course it's wrong, I am just exeggerating my point)

It's really a shame no one takes anime seriously enough to do some proper
translation. After months of learning from the GML, I thought I'd finally
learned all I can about 0079, now thanks to you Mirai, I realize ther's a
level of 0079 that I haven't touched yet, and probably never can
understand completely. :(

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

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