Ah, I didn’t mean- Just saw your edit, no worries hah.
I completely forgot everything about the anime so I don’t remember how they translated it, so yeah I was just noting that it might be intentional that it came out to be SOS. Kinda fits if you think about how Haruhi thinks the whole world is screaming for her help to save it from the boredom.
Wait, actually, reading it a dozen times did nothing but now that I wrote it here I got an idea.
Is it something like “Would she (Haruhi) think it’s fine if it was her chest being grabbed?”
Obviously the translation is not literal at all and I’m not sure how the のに and the も are working there but this is my best shot.
Aside from the straight-up theft which I didn’t particularly like in the first part of this week’s section, the rest of it(that is, the website making and stuff) was kind of nice. Interesting that Haruhi seems to respond to things that aren’t explicitly marked as dialogue though (I don’t remember if any of the ohter characters have done that)
I’ve also just finished today and ugh… uh. I think I’m inclined to agree with @Naphthalene after all… it was really a slog (and she seemed to imply next part wasn’t much better).
I won’t dwell on the thematic problems everybody has raised but if I’m to speak honestly, I’d say the main other issue for me right now, that makes it hard to read, is that the plot (or is it the writing) so far is really weak. There was some tension building around Haruhi, with a mix of fear and attraction to her mystery (and her girly appeal) from the narrator, but that was basically annihilated the second she started dragging the protagonist around. The characters are cliché, I get it, but even then, the execution is IMHO weak: their motivations are basically nonexistent save for Haruhi, who’s just in it for the lulz because she’s bored, basically, as far as I can tell.
Another thing is I feel the quality of the descriptive prose has somewhat fallen: I didn’t particularly like the ongoing commentary in the beginning, but at least that was something. Now, we only get a few sentences of description here and there, mainly focused on how gorgeous the girls look. I thought Nagato’s introduction was OK, but overall, it’s lacking in… suggestiveness?
Indeed, one of the only passages I kind of liked was the introduction of Nagato… but maybe that was the week before this one. I actually translated that passage (into French, sorry…), as an exercise… I should translate more, it’s good practice, though I’m all rusty.
Translation, in case anyone cares
Elle ne remuait que parfois une page, tournée du bout des doigts, et du reste ne fit pas le moindre geste, n’accordant à notre existence aucune attention. Ainsi, c’était une fille étrange. […] Sa peau blanche, son visage dénué d’émotions, le mouvement mécanique de ses doigts. Ses cheveux, plus courts qu’une coupe au carré, parvenaient toutefois à obscurcir les traits fins de son visage. Et ses lunettes, j’aurais aimé la voir sans. Ses airs de poupée lui donnaient une présence vaporeuse. Pour parler sans détour, elle était en somme de ce genre que l’on disait mystérieux et impassible.
Les yeux rivés sur elle, je me demandais ce que mon regard suscitait à son esprit, quand, sans prévenir, elle leva la tête, soutenant du doigt la monture de ses lunettes. Derrière ces verres, des prunelles d’une couleur ténébreuse m’observaient fixement. Ni ces yeux ni ces lèvres ne marquaient d’émotion quelle qu’elle fût. Une inexpressivité du plus haut degré qui différait de celle d’Haruhi, car celle-là, dès le début, ne s’était encombrée d’aucun sentiment, inexpressive par défaut.
« Yuki Nagato » nous dit-elle.
Cela ressemblait à un nom. Et l’ayant entendu, il n’aurait fallu que trois secondes pour oublier complètement sa voix monocorde qui quittait aussitôt l’oreille.
Indeed, the next part was worse in every aspects compared to week 5.
At the same time, it could be that we’ve been told that this part was one of the worst, so I actually steeled myself beforehand, while the next part caught me completely off guard.
I completely agree. I guess (hope?) the plot picks up at some point, otherwise I really cannot figure why this became such an iconic element of pop culture… On the other hand, since others (mostly @QuackingShoe and @AnimeCanuck) have been speaking so highly of it, I assume it will be indeed the case. It better come soon, though.
Right, as far as I am concerned, she went from being an interesting protagonist to being just an annoying character. I’m starting to wonder if there’s a plot twist where she actually is the antagonist or something.
Yes, I also felt like the writing became much more bland from around week 3 or 4.
Well, I’m not a professional translator but it sounds really good!
The only comment I would have is about the use of “remuer”, which sounds (to me) like moving around or back-and-forth (e.g. “remuer la tête”). I have no idea how to write it better without altering the structure, though. (Maybe just “bouger”? )
I understand that it was just for yourself though, so feel free to ignore me.
As someone who’s partial to the series (I don’t hate it, I don’t really love it, but I respect and appreciate it), my opinion is that once the real plot kicks in, things start making more sense. Can’t speak for the writing or whatever’s happening, but note that what we’ve read till now is not a lot. I agree with everything that has been said, but I’ll wait to read the whole book before forming my honest opinion!
Yeah, the plot does pick up - keep in mind, we’re five weeks in (or six, really) and we’re still only just meeting all the main characters. I mean, ideally we’d be reading a whole chapter a week at least so we don’t lose the flow, but if any of us tried to read at that pace, we’d probably explode. (Also, I find some of the later books a whole heap of fun.)
I slightly feel we’ve bitten off more than we can chew.
At least I won’t be caught off guard, then. I’ll probably make an exception to my usual careful reading and just speed through, though…
I really hope so, too. It’s true that it is only the beginning, but at the same time, it’s not just “incidentally bad”; all these shenanigans seem pretty deliberate on the part of the author, as you’ve remarked yourself. Oh well, we’ll see.
Funnily enough, in places where I’d “conventionally” expect a descriptive insert, there were none. E.g., When Asahina was crying, I fully expected some trite description of how her hair was messed up or her eyes were red, and yet/all the more she seemed pretty… but there was none. It’s not a bad thing in itself, though.
I agree with you. Also, the structure at this point is a bit interesting. To contribute something more positive to the thread, let’s talk a bit about translation!
More translation digressions (in English, don't worry, folks)
The way I constructed that paragraph (and the one before what I actually pasted above), the sentence should start with elle (she), but there are obviously other options. If we look back at the original:
It starts with Haruhi (こいつ), then contrasts with the narrator (俺は ‘but as for me’), then we follow his gaze starting with the table, up to the book, then stops at the reader. There comes a quick superficial description (still following the eyes of the narrator), which importantly ends with the girl as a sort of postposed theme (少女である), which then becomes and stays the topic of the next two sentences.
I feel there are (at least) two ways to translate that effectively. My solution was to keep a single theme (the girl) throughout the last three sentences, which emphasises flow. In Japanese, the topic stays the same, so it is not entirely incongruous. In this case, the last sentence needs to start with elle (she) instead of, say, le mouvement (the movement). Another view would be that the actual sentences start with これだけ and たまに, which we could translate with a pair of adverbials opposing the great extent of Haruhi’s actions with the very minimal behaviour of Nagato; that would also work IMHO and would emphasise contrast instead.
I also wanted to keep the parallel between the movement of the page vs the non-movement of the rest, but I think if we let go of that first, something like the following could work : « Elle saisissait parfois une page, qu’elle tournait du bout des doigts, mais du reste ne fit pas le moindre geste […] » We’d also abandon the restrictive ne/que (only), but the sense should already be apparent.
Not at all, thanks for reading. And I appreciate your feedback!
I was actually wondering about that. Reading quickly, you would get the full brunt of it all at once.
Pacing ourselves means that we have time to recover before the next “event” happens.
I do not know which one is easier to deal with.
Plus, the deadline pushes me forward, while, reading at my own pace, I would have probably put the book down until “later” (with later \rightarrow \infty)