One question I’ve encountered in the past is why I would (want to) consume material in Japanese when there’s an English counterpart available. One reason is subtle changes to appeal to a Western audience mean nuance is lost (such as dropping name endings and having everyone refer to each other by first name).
In this week’s reading, I found an example where you get a good feel for just how much can be lost. I think the English release’s dialogue here is fine, as context fills the dropped 手伝って, but you really do miss out on the dropped くれて.
Just edited to put this in here since it got long and I wrote it while I was tired and it easily could be misinterpreted(so now people can just scroll past and continue with the posts relevant to the reading :) )
That just seems like a weird thing to even ask in the first place to me Even if we ignore how some translations just are pretty awful, translated books often have things that sound kind of awkward or non-natural or at least make it clear the book is a translation, even for relatively good translations. I’m guessing someone who doesn’t read a lot and only knows one language maybe would think just reading the translation would be good enough, but still…
well, I guess I’m either just fundamentally too different from a person who’d think so, or maybe I’m overanalyzing something someone just didn’t put much thought into…
If I had a point, I lost it somewhere along the way. It just seems strange to me to think that the translation would be equally good, I guess. To somewhat stay on topic, that’s a nice example
(though, I don’t remember which one, but there was a book or a manga or something I looked at where the translation did stuff like change the pronouns used for a character, and I know I’ve seen some translatios in the past that made changes that just made no sense, not translated from Japanese though - that’s something that immediately comes to mind for me when it comes to examples of bad translations)
Now that I think about it, I’ve never been asked anything even close to that, but it probably mostly has to do with living somewhere where it’s very normal and common to learn at least one or two more languages, at least to some extent.
Btw, do you guys have any tips on how to read the manga without registering the furigana?
I feel that whenever I read a manga in Japanese, I always get what the general gist is about, but don’t even realize where unknown words or difficult grammar is hiding. Kanji are just skipped with furigana (as I know the vocab by sound), grammar is skipped through context…
Here in the USA, even though it’s required in many high schools to take a secondary language class (I was lucky that Japanese was available back then), most people only fluently know English (and maybe Spanish).
Also, my experience is that many people don’t really read much (outside of social network postings). And when they do encounter a translation, there’s on interest in what may have been lost along the way.
In this case, it was someone inquiring about something that lead to mention that I’m learning Japanese, and I’ll probably mostly use it to read comics.
Regardless of minor translation issues, I’m glad “One Week Friends” is available in English for everyone interested in the series who doesn’t speak Japanese, and I will probably continue to read through it in English (three volumes in) for so long as the Japanese is still beyond my ability to read comfortably without looking up every other thing =)
Get an index card and hold it over the furigana when reading. Since the comic reads right to left, you may want two index cards so you can cover the furigana on the right without seeing furigana for the next line on the left. This can be difficult when reading a physical book, though, so hopefully someone else has a better suggestion.
If reading the ebook release, another option is to screenshot the page, paste it into an image editor, erase the furigana, then save it to try reading later (so the furigana isn’t fresh in your mind). This is of course not an idea solution either.
Q (P10): How do 終了 and 終わり differ? Their direct meaning seems to be the end. I’d say 終わり is more final, but Hase used it earlier regarding being tired from math… so that’s not really fitting.
Q (P11): Hase says 俺と友達になってください … as far as I know the context of と it means and? In my head the literal translation is something like me and friends become, please which sounds really funky and wrong. Is there another rule regarding the use of と? Or is it just the funkyness of japanese sentence structure?
Phew, yea, that sounds difficult for my copy. The writing is sometimes small as it is (i snap closeups of panels to be able to zoom into the handwritten tinyness )… but the idea per se is really good
Hm, I think this is quite an interesting (and deep) topic, actually. It’s just my opinion, but I wouldn’t read too much into that くれて. I know it literally means “give (to me)” or “do something (for me)”, but it’s a well-known fact that Japanese tends to use such markers, as well as forms of politeness and honorification, to show roles in the conversation (who does what), not unlike how we use pronouns, in a way. Especially in a phrase such as くれてありがとう, it’s so conventionalised that I don’t think it carries much meaning at all.
After all, we say “thank you” in English, but “you” adds almost no meaning, and I imagine over there in Japan, somebody could be similarly bothered by the fact that in ありがとう there is no mention of who you are explicitly thanking, so how could it translate “thank you” precisely? It would be pretty funny, but I think English is so pervasive nowadays that such a thing probably wouldn’t happen.
While there’s no question that I agree with you regarding the value of learning a language—I mean, we wouldn’t be here talking about Japanese, otherwise —I know quite a few people (in fact, myself included) who read translations even though they are proficient in the source language. It’s probably untrue for your average fan-translated piece of Japanese pop culture out there, but, these days, I sometimes find myself wondering if I wouldn’t enjoy a good translation into French more than the original in English, for example.
It may sound silly, but the more time I spend abroad, the more my English improves (though it does so at a snail’s pace nowadays), yet paradoxically, the more it makes me realise that it will never be anywhere near as good as my French. I recognise that it is not my job to be fully immersed in Britsh or American (or Australian, etc.) culture and language, and I don’t necessarily mind having someone qualified spend time on the details and do the adaptation for me—where if I had read the original by myself, I would likely just have skipped over the subtleties and references (as we discussed in the Haruhi thread just today). It is, obviously, not a clear cut issue: sometimes I might decide that I care enough to investigate by myself from the source; some other times I want to read a well-polished story in the language I know best; and at yet other times I may just read the original anyway because I don’t care enough to be bothered if I miss anything.
Anyway, just thought I’d chime in with a different perspective!
(Incidentally, this reminds me of people who say their translation skills are better from Japanese to English than to their own native language—I think people are just underestimating their mastery of their own primary tongue. )
Not anything special about this, but it got long and is half off topic, so I'm putting it in here
First of all, I don’t necessarily think we disagree. I think it’s better to read the original version if you’re good enough at the language to enjoy the parts that would be lost in a translation, even if I maybe didn’t make that last part clear enough, and as far as I can tell you’re saying that people may want to read a translation instead of the original because they feel like they would be missing more things than the translator if they read the untranslated version.
That said, this will probably come across as way too arrogant, but (at least for translations from English) I usually feel like I have a better understanding of nuances and references than what most translators(that translate mainstream media into my native language) have. So, for me it makes more sense to read the things in English then. It might just be that the translations I’ve tried reading were especially bad though, or maybe there just aren’t very many good translators who do English to Swedish (which would make sense, since most people who are interested enough just would read whatever they’re interested in in English anyway, and most things aren’t actually translated to Swedish in the first place). I don’t know french though, so I have no idea what it’d be like in that case or how good or bad French translators are
Regarding the last thing, I don’t really think those people necessarily have to be wrong. We’re learning Japanese through English and not our native languages, so it makes sense that English words would be the ones that came to mind if we actually tried to translate Japanese. On the other hand, it’s very possible that it wouldn’t take too much extra effort to change that and become able to translate better into our native languages though, which I guess might have been what you were thinking of. I have personally probably only read a couple dozen books in Swedish but a few hundred in English, so I’m not really sure if I’d actually be able to translate into Swedish more easily than to English(That said, there are definitely a lot of people who overestimate how good they are at English(that I’ve met in real life, not from these forums), so maybe you’d be right in most cases. Probably hard to actually test though.)
Finally, I’m just going to add the disclaimer that all of this is based on my perception of things and my perception of things could be wrong.
Anyway, to stay somewhat on topic, I don’t think I said anything about what I think about the book
so far earlier, so let’s do it now instead.
While we’ve just read a few pages so far, I’d say those pages were fairly enjoyable and at some points slightly amusing, so I’d say I like it so far. It’s also much easier than the other stuff I’m reading, so that kind of helps from an enjoyment perspective (and probably makes it a good pick for the beginner club)
Alright, finished this week ^^ I was finding it a bit text-heavy to start with but it lightened up around page 9 or 10.
Interestingly I felt a bit disoriented coming back to a manga after reading a book for the past few months the dialogue-based text somehow felt harder to parse than prose.
I think I’m just having a total brain fart, but what is going on with the grammatical construction of 行きなよ? It seems to be a stem + ない…?
Next panel down: 先生にいいように言っといてくれない？
I’m not sure what いいよう means here; my guess for the meaning of this phrase is something like “could you say so to the teacher for me?” but that’s just inference. I’m also not sure what’s going on with 言っと - if the 言 is part of the ‘quote’ she’s asking Fuijimiya to say to the teacher (like “could you tell the teacher I said that”), why do we only get the stem like that?
Think I basically worked this out, but last panel: 先にメシくって寝よう
メシ is just 飯 and くって is 食う, right?
Another I worked out but figure I may as well share in case it helps someone else. Last panel again:
作るなって is 作る in the negative imperative (i.e. “don’t do X”), with って as the quotation particle. Negation of the imperative is formed by adding な to the dictionary form of a verb. So “were you told by somebody not to make [friends]?!”
Verb stem + な is one way of making an Imperative (go!) - I think of it as a shorter version of 行きなさい to not confuse it with 行くな, which is a negative imperative… (don’t go!) it’s pretty informal outside of (in) direct quotation.
Hey, hurry up!
I’ll leave the いいよう to someone else.
言っといて is a contracted form of 言っておいて.
てform+おく means to do something in advance, in preparation for something else.
In this case I think she wants 藤宮 to tell the teacher about this thing she didn’t do, right? So she won’t be in trouble later/be called on later or something like that?
I don’t remember exactly which panel that was, but I’d guess it’s this word based on that part of the sentence: https://jisho.org/word/連む
(I think that may have been the panel where the guy says he thinks people can choose for themselves who they want to or don’t want to hang out with, but that’s purely based on memory, but in that case I feel fairly confident it’d be that word)