sinnesspiel: (I don't even like this character.)
Sinnesspiel ([personal profile] sinnesspiel) wrote2013-08-05 06:17 pm
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Shiki Novel Translations 1.0 and notes

The prologue and chapter one are translated and linked here for convenience. Thanks to an anonymous commentator's suggestion, I'm providing translation notes for those less accustomed to Japanese media. They range from explaining honorifics most anime/manga fans are familiar with to the various festivals and traditions. I'm trying to think of a good way to organize them. By chapter? Alphabetical order? Sub headings?

Chapters are broken up into sub-parts as listed in the book:

Links to chapters:
Muroi Seishin's Essay
Prologue
Chapter 1 - 1
Chapter 1 - 2
Chapter 1 - 3
Chapter 1 - 4
Chapter 1 - 5

Notes:

General

Names - In Japanese, names are typically given last name first. The character written as Muroi Seishin's first name is Seishin. They will typically write Western names in Western order, however (nobody calls John Smith by Smith John in Japanese, not even in formally written history books). In Japanese, people are more commonly than in English referred to by their last name, usually with an honorific. Referring to someone by their first name tends to imply either an adult talking to a child or familiarity/closeness (childhood friends Maeda Motoko and Yano Kanami; Ozaki Toshio and Muroi Seishin; current friends Mutou Tohru and Yuuki/Koide Natsuno, etc. do this, though in Natsuno's case there are special circumstances regarding his last name). Likewise, using no honorific either on a last name or a first name is either very brusque and rude or rather intimate.


Honorofics - Most honorifics can be applied to first or last names, with the last name being the more formal choice. Not all are necessarily strictly to denote respect, as you will see, but declare relationships to people.

-san - Respectful. Closest equivalent is the English Mr./Mrs./Ms., and it applies across all genders. It's used much more frequently than in English; fellow students who can and do refer to each other by lastname-san, whereas in English, referring to your classmate or in most situations even your coworkers as Mr./Mrs./Ms. last name would seem overly formal. It can also be used with first names. This is a major reason I've kept it as -san rather than translating it as Mr./Mrs./Ms., as well as because the other honorifics don't have English equivalents even as close as that, necessitating the use of honorifics in general unless one just wants to lose that information in translation for no particular reason beyond laziness.

-kun - Most commonly used towards boys the same age or younger. Used on males the same age by either other boys or girls, it indicates less distance than -san without crossing into the brusque feel invoked by using one's name raw, without any honorific. Many teachers (and other adults) refer to older (middle or high school) female students as lastname-san and male students by lastname-kun, but it's not remotely unusual for girls to get the -kun treatment, especially in higher education (college, graduate school, etc.). In primary school or perhaps the first year or two of middle school, girls may be addressed as -chan depending on the teacher. Girls being referred to as -kun by their peers is fairly unusual. Girls are most likely to be -kun in specific situations, such as scientists in laboratories or other particularly professional but not necessarily formal environments. It's almost always lastname-kun in this context, though in general, particularly with boys, it can be used with a first or last name.

-chan - Diminutive, usually used on young girls and young boys, with the acceptable range for referring to boys with -chan being much younger. It tends to imply cuteness, so think of it as appropriate for the age range at which being called cute is still a compliment; most 10 year old boys don't really want to be thought of as cute, but a 19 year old girl would still probably be happy. What age range 'young girl' refers to varies as much between people as what age they'd say one should refer to people with -chan. The older the one referred to it gets, the closer one's peers should be to use it with them. Adults will refer to younger girls with it as they please if they've known the target since they were very young. Given everyone in Sotoba knows everyone in passing, most adults will be calling most young girls with -chan. Usually used with first names, given its nature usually comes with first name level intimacy, but it's not particularly strange for it to be appended to the last name. A boy who lets himself be referred to by this is either very childish or very easy going. Almost exclusively in fiction, some boys will go by it to put off an air of being extremely approachable (Tohru in Shiki, Momo-chan-sempai in Prince of Tennis).

Nurse Ritsuko has her name shortened to Ricchan which lacks the hyphen due to a slight pronunciation difference. Ri-chan becomes Ricchan, which sounds almost the same beyond a slight hiccup of a pause between the i and the ch sound, based on the fact that it flows from the mouth more easily. It's written to denote that pronunciation difference, as Japanese is a phonetically written language, so I carried it on over thusly.

Those of you not familiar with the anime/manga to give you a mental image of each character will still probably be able to tell which nurses are younger based on who's -chan'ed.

-sama - Very respectful or reverent (or very sarcastic). Used by servants towards masters, appended to god's names, though also used by rabid fans about, say, their favored idol or celebrity.


-sensei - Denotes a professional, generally in a highly learned field. I'll usually translate this since translating it when used on Ozaki as 'Doctor' or a teacher as 'Professor' is entirely appropriate and natural in English with no information lost. It refers to anyone who's a professional in certain respected fields, particularly doctors, authors, etc. This includes manga artists, as in Japanese comics most writers are also the artists as opposed to Western comics where writers are not necessarily illustrators and vice versa. Ozaki is commonly referred to as Waka-sensei or Young Doctor (translated as Junior Doctor along with Seishin's waka-gouin becoming Junior Monk, because I think it sounds better and denotes that most of the village still thinks of them as son-of-predecessor more than having necessarily come into their own, a connotation ironically lost if left untranslated). Some just call him Sensei, which is translated as Doctor. Ozaki-sensei is translated as Dr. Ozaki. If anyone ever refers to Muroi as Muroi-sensei or sensei in regards to him being an author, I will keep it -sensei since English has no particular form of address used for authors.

-shi - Authors or other professionals are also referred to with -shi, but usually only when talking about them in a distant, remote sense. Very academic and stuffy, usually used for professional writing/analysis of a writer's works, citations, etc.

- Onee-san (Big Sister), Onii-san (Big Brother) - While in English it's uncommon to refer to one's parents or grandparents by name, in Japanese it is also unusual to refer to one's older siblings by name. Just as in calling one's parents Mom and Dad, in Japanese it's more common to address older siblings with their title as well. These can become Onee-chan and Onii-chan instead, too, carrying the connotations of greater familiarity and warmth with -chan, but more respect and propriety with -san. Mothers and father's forms of address have these too, but they can be more or less translated with variations on Mother, Father, Mom, Dad, etc. There's also the more uncommonly used Aniki (big brother) and even more uncommon still Aneki (big sister), which are either old fashioned and precise without being formal or a bit abrupt; they're common yakuza terms and thus tend to imply a tougher (but respectful towards the 'sibling') class of speaker. Aniue and Aneue (Brother, sister) are highly respectful, proper terms of regard. To refer to one's older sibling by name is rather cheeky.

However, the terms for little brother or sister, otouto and imouto, are not used as address so much as to designate relationships; "My little brother", or "my little sister." One could call their little siblings by those terms, but it will sound condescending and arrogant, or on occasion poetic/literary. "Oh, little brother, find happiness!"

- Baa-chan/ Jii-san - Commonly affixed to an old person's name, or used as a replacement for their name. These are the terms for grandparents, but are also used on non-related old people. The Baa terms refer to older women, the Jii groups to older men. While the -chan suffix is diminutive of names, it's more informal and/or friendly on the referential old person suffix. Baa and Jii are never used without a suffix -san, -chan, or -sama, though it can be doubled and used plainly to be particularly rude; Baba, jiji for old hag and old fart. The O prefix is respectful, but can still be used with -chan for a mix and match of both polite and friendly. Originally I was translating it as the grandmother/grandfather/granny/grandpa/old woman/old man/old lady, but I'd like some feedback on readers if I should continue trying to do it that way or just give in and keep it Japanese.


School - In Japan, primary school is 1st - 5th, middle school is 6th - 9th grade and high school is 10th-12th. I'll probably just translate them as their class year rather than "first year middle school" and whatnot, but sometimes there's only a vague mention that they're generally in middle school or high school, so these are the ranges for that. Classes are Monday through Friday with a half day on Saturdays. Also, summer vacation is usually from mid-July to the end of August; the school year doesn't start and end around this break, in Japan. Graduation and a new school year starts in March/April.

Family Register
The family register fills the roles of birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, and the census in Japan. Statuses outside of death and birth, such as marriage and paternity, are not official until recorded in the family register. In the past, registrations were managed at Buddhist temples and to register with the state, it was required to register with and thus fund the temple. There were separate registers for different classes and certain outcast classes were not allowed to register. After the Meiji Restoration, all citizens were required to have last names (previously reserved for elite classes), the register was for all citizens, and registration was no longer tied to temples.

Japanese Faith/Spirituality Notes

Ono Fuyumi's degree is in Buddhist studies, which may or may not play a part in its heavy presence within the story. You won't be earning any degrees in Japanese religion by reading Shiki, much less with my meager cultural notes, but if I can explain it enough to foster less confusion and greater enjoyment, I've done my job. If something is unclear, I haven't, so let me know and I'll endeavor to better detail it.

Buddhism, Shintoism, Temples, Shrines - An extreme simplification of Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan.

Japan has a long history of blending their native religion, Shintoism, with Buddhism. Shintoism is primarily focused on gods or kami who are supernatural spirits residing in nature, in events such as lightening or rain storms and even in man-made goods such as cups or tools; different spiritual beings warp based on various circumstances and legends into forms of monsters or supernatural creatures such as wily foxes or tengu. Despite a national ban on blending the faiths that lasted for a period, the two faiths are deeply entwined in daily Japanese life and in common practice and belief. The Buddhist establishment is called a temple in translation, the Shinto establishments Shrines. There is no conflict in attendants of the Buddhist Temple also taking part in Shinto Shrine maintenance and activities; rather, doing one and not the other would be seen as slacking in faith-based activities. The Jizo, which have a Buddhist basis, are often in Shinto-based hokora. This is an extreme simplification, but there is much blending and feedback history between faiths to make for many variants of traditions and ceremonies.

For details on Shinto shrines specifically, see this entry in Chapter 2 regarding parts of a shrine.


Sotoba 卒塔婆 - Wooden grave markers of various heights ranging from the size of a child to taller than a grown man. Include a Buddist sutra and a posthumous name determined based on the life of the person, usually determined by a Buddhist priest. Sample from Wikimedia Commons.

Sotoba 外場 - The village. The first kanji means outside, the second means place or field. Generally read gaiba to mean a field outside an area, the first kanji can also be read soto, so the town was named with that pun.

Essay

The other shore (Higan) - Seishin's essay, the pre-prologue writing, mentions Higan, translated as 'the other shore.' In Japanese Buddhist lore there's the Sanzu river, the equivalent of the River Styx more well known in the West, that one crosses to reach the afterlife and must pay a six coin toll to pass. Higan is the shore of enlightenment.


Chapter 1 - 1

Shiki - A made up term. Shi for corpse, ki as in oni or ogre or demon.

Curse - The Japanese concept of a curse is at times a bit different than the common English use. In English, and at times in Japanese, it's a magic spell to make bad things happen. In Japanese, it is also frequently used to refer to the result of a strong emotions having a supernatural effect on the real world, for example, a dead person's obsession with someone causing the dead to come back or manifest as a spirit, perhaps not acting as their full and sane self, would be called a curse. In Shiki, a prayer with a gruesome ritual (burning the Bettou) is used to point out how similar a noroi (呪い) curse is to a majinai (also 呪い) which is a charm or not-necessarily-evil magic spell, though a curse is technically always bad and a charm not necessarily so, that's quite subjective.

Japanese writing paper - Novel mentions that Seishin still writes with this. It has squares that you fill in vertically. Sample from Wikimedia Commons.




Chapter 1 - 2

Hokora - Small shrines, varying from the sizes of smaller than a dog house to the size of a modest shed. While major gods or spirits are generally housed in the large shrines, hokora tend to be for minor, local or folk gods. They can be located at road sides or on the grounds of shrines established for more major gods. There are many variations based on the god or gods housed; common features include stone figures such as Jizo or large stones with various meanings. There are also occasionally boxes for monetary offerings, or offerings of goods, food, drink, etc. can be placed about the hokora. Example from Wikimedia Commons.

Jizo - A stone representation of the Bodhisattva seeking to guide people in the physical and spiritual world, often placed at road sides to encourage choosing the right path. Commonly known as the guardian of children and pregnant women. Stones are commonly piled by the statues in the idea of lessening the burden on children who must stack stones in the underworld for good karma either for themselves or their parents. Stacking stones is said to represent building a stupa, a Buddhist symbol to help develop good karma; Sotoba gravemarkers are based on the concept of stupa, as well. Sometimes a serene faced statue, other times a simple stone representation, often with a bib, Jizo have taken on many forms and purposes, not all of them necessarily representing the Bodhisattva but also representing gods at times. An example of a Jizo in a Hokora from Wikimedia Commons.

Oni - Supernatural beings of Japanese folklore, usually humanoid but with monstrous teeth and ogre like faces, usually colored red or blue. Usually bringing calamity and mischief, they can also be thought of as good luck in some contexts, and they're often placed in front of construction sites or buildings much like lucky gargoyles in the west. Men dressing up as them for ceremonies and parades to ward of bad luck is common.

Keyari - A ritualistic thrusting spear with feathers. Example image from nihontou.

Mushiokuri - Explained in detail in the text. Saitou Betto Sanemori became a vengeful spirit of insects eating rice plants due to his fall in battle being based on one of such plants in the fields. The story of Saitou Sanemori is also given quite a bit of detail in text, and there are many Noh plays about him. Relevant to this story is the Noh play of the monk Tawami (the 14th Yugyou or successor to Ippen, the founder of a the Ji sect of Japanese Buddhism). Tawami and two attending priests are performing ceremonies/chanting sutras at Shinohara, where two hundred years ago Sanemori died when his horse tripped over a rice root, leaving him open to enemy attack. He had lingered there at Shinohara as the image of an old man only Tawami could see. The priests perform a ceremony to help him release his shame and regrets to pass on.

Bettou - It'll be a lot easier if you just think of this as 'lord', an honorific title with specific historical connotations, and go about your business. For those with a little more time:

Originally a term used in the feudal Japanese system of government to denote a government official who temporarily took on all of the duties of governing for another territory. Eventually came to simply mean the highest order of director or overseer in various government divisions from the Department of State which handled all secular affairs of government to the Department of Divinities. Due to the latter, in religious contexts it frequently refers to a monk/priest with administrative status. Other court members not related to governing would get the same titles for their courtly ranks in each specific division, including musicians, etc. so there could be many, many bettous in various fields and territories. Saito Sanemori was also known as 'Nagai Bettou' due to his stronghold being in the city of Nagai in the Musashi providence.

Yugyou shounin - Literally Wandering Saint. It can refer to any wandering monk, but is strongly associated with the Toutakusan Muryoko-in Shoujoukou-ji sect of Buddhism, most often called the Ji sect, or Yugyou-ji for the 'wandering temple'. Yugyou Shounin is often another name for Ippen, the founder of said sect, such that he would be the wandering monk rather than a wandering monk, but his successive heads would also be called this at times. The wandering monk Taiku who attended to Sanemori in the Noh play of Sanemori was also called a yugyou shounin.

Yuge-shuu - Based off of the term yugyou shonen, the first kanji 遊 is also the symbol for play, also the first symbol in the word game, a word with special meaning in Buddhism. Game is said yuugi in standard talk, but the Buddhist meaning is pronounced yuge. Bodhisattvas, those who wish to save others before becoming attaining enlightenment themselves, freely choosing to save others and enjoying themselves in doing it. Despite having reached enlightenment, they "play" in the mortal realm to help others as it brings them happiness. In this way, to do something as play and to do something freely have similar meanings. In some sects of Buddhism, disciples and monks are encouraged to wander freely teaching and saving others, with a mindset like play. Thus, the reading for the mushiokuri act is Yuge-shuu, a play wanderer. The word yuge also means steam or vapor, making it a pun of sorts for the names of those 'smoking out' the village of insects.



Chapter 1 - 3

Obon, Bon - A blend of Japanese Buddhism and folk traditions, it is a holiday for honoring the dead, set at different dates depending where you are in the country, from the middle of July to the middle of August. It can be called Bon or have the 'O' formal honorific added to it to become Obon. Some consider the Bon season to last a full month with earlier preparations, grave cleaning, etc. being included. In Sotoba, it is stated to be from August 13th to the 16th.

Many travel to their home towns to celebrate Bon, just as in New Years. That can be rather inconvenient though, so it's not unheard of just not to bother.

The exact nature of the celebrations vary from region to region, just as the dates, though universal factors include opening on the first evening, (Mukae or welcome) with fires made of burning hemp welcoming ancestor spirits home or going to the graves with bon lamps and leading them to the family altar which has been prepared in advance, bon dancing (Odori or dance), and a send-off (Okuri or send off).

A common tradition with great variability is the construction of cucumber horses and eggplant cows. In some regions, they are both put out, facing the house, for the spirits to ride in on. In others, the horse is put out during Mukae-bon for a fast return and the cow during Okuri-bon for a slow return. The opposite also occurs, to express fear/respect of a lingering unsatisfied spirit. Example image from Musashi Restaurant.

Families tend to ancestor's graves and presenting offerings before and during the main festival celebrations. As it is a religious festival, praying is a large part of it and some go house to house praying, or have monks come by to pray at the altars. It ends by floating lanterns down the river as if seeing off the visiting dead spirits. Sometimes, offerings are sent into the river with them. Whether these include the horses and cows differs by region; sometimes they're just left at the riverside.


Shinkousai - A Shinto festival for when the gods come visiting, literally meaning "The festival of the pleasing of the gods." Parishoners carry three portable shrines said to house the gods for the duration of the festival around town to celebrate and please them, to ward off disaster. Takes place on July 17th.



Chapter 1 - 4


Radio Exercises - In Japan there were, and still are though they're not as popular now, radio broadcasts that people, especially old people and kids, exercise to, often in a public place where they get a stamped card each time they go. Especially popular in the summer when there's no school in session.

Japanese License Plates - Just like American plates have the state the vehicle was registered listed on the plate, Japanese plates have the prefecture or municipality where the license was issued listed on them. They also have serial numbers, three on top, four on bottom; the old people in Sotoba memorize them to identify cars from the village, same as one could presumably do with any other nation's set of plates. Sample from Wikimedia Commons.

Tengu - From Shinto folklore, classified as either gods or demons, they are monstrous supernatural creatures associated with wars and less dangerously, mischief. Tied into Buddhism as well, they're seen to primary target the cocky, as egotism does not mesh well with Buddhist principles. They are commonly seen in two types, a crow type that looks like a human-crow hybrid and the mountain type mentioned by Ozaki. Mountain tengu are said to be priests, specifically mountain aesthetics, who were corrupted by pride; they may still be basically good and repenting, or out to cause havoc.

Chapter 1 - 5


Kiyohara Natsuno - Natsuno remarks that he was named after a Heian era (794 to 1185) noble; this refers to Kiyhoara Natsuno (Kiyohara no Natsuno), a prince and politician from the Kiyohara clan. He was well trusted by the people and was heavily involved in writing the Ryo no Gige, a commentary on administrative code and government.

Takasago Pine - There's a famous Noh play and legend about a monk who saw an old couple beneath a pine. The old man was raking up and saving the pine needles, representing good fortune, and the old woman was sweeping away the trash and unwanted debris, representing the bad things in life. The old couple tells the head monk that the trees at Takasago and Sumiyoshi are twin pines despite the distance between them, and that it symbolizes the far reaching imperial reigns as well as the flourishing art of poetry that will live on because all things from people to trees are at the heart of poetry. The pine is green throughout all seasons and is said to be especially auspicious. It is soon revealed the old couple are the gods of the respective shrines where each of their pines reside, he at Sumiyoshi, she at Takasago. The man was Jou, the son of Izanagi, who fell in love with her, Uba, the maiden of the Takasago shrine. They died within minutes of each other and their spirits went into the two twin pines, where they continue to bless the shrines, poetry, and married couples, showing how love should flourish together into old age. The pair and the legend are fairly famous and seen in many works of art and traditional songs, particularly ones sang at weddings.

Example Crest Image from Nanjai. Example image of an actual pine at Takasago from Wikimedia Commons.

Gateball A game similar to croquette, where players hit balls with a mallet through goals on a field towards a center pole. Commonly associated with the elderly, also like croquette.

(Anonymous) 2013-08-07 03:08 am (UTC)(link)
Yay, finally done with the first chapter! How many are there total? I think there's five novels, right--how many chapters are there per novel? My local library actually has a copy of the first book, and it doesn't look that long. Don't rush, though. It does not matter how slow you go, it matters only that you do not stop. -my homie Confucius

Okay, I might be like one of the only readers here, but I really appreciate the translation notes! I'm an anime fan, but I can't possibly know all of those, and it helped a lot. The more you understand the context, the better the reading experience amirite.

[personal profile] airlynx 2013-08-08 11:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Hey--it's the same Anon, but I was like, what the hell and made an account because I wanted to have a voice and not just be a random anon idk.

Anyway, I forgot to comment on how you should organize the translation notes. I think by chapter would work pretty well, because then the reader would be like "oh I'm on chapter 4 and I don't understand this, I'll go look it up"
I would have said alphabetical order is better, because then it could be like a Japanese > English glossary only with an better explanation, but I think it'd be hard to organize some things (Like some might not think to look under 'H' for Honorifics).

Actually, you could, in addition to the notes by chapter, also make a 'general' sort of list that can apply throughout the story (b/c honorifics aren't limited to just one chapter, to name an example)

[personal profile] airlynx 2013-08-12 11:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, now that I'm here I'll have to find something interesting to write about. But I can't translate cool books because I don't know Japanese :( I can translate Russian books though, since I do know Russian. If I wanted to. Siiiiigh, we'll see. I'm planning on sticking around for a while (like 2.7 years) so might as well get comfortable!

I was wondering if many Japanese books have sub-chapters? I've never seen anything like it in English or Russian books, so is it a cultural thing? Honestly they're long enough to be full-on chapters, but that's okay.

Really, thanks for going that extra mile! I've noticed the translations are getting a lot more thorough and organized. In particular, I really like how at the end of the chapter, you made a post linking all of it together, so you should keep doing that because I like being organized.
So, I'm gonna say it again: it's a lot of effort on your part, and I reeeeally appreciate it!
I was so happy to find your translation, I was like "oh, what if they stop" so I decided to cheer you on. Because if I was doing it and nobody was reading, I'd probably get discouraged and stop eventually.

I'll ask if I ever need clarification on something. I actually have a small question right now: if you have a friend that you -san but you want to really take the next step and -chan her, are you supposed to ask first? Or does it just flow naturally? I always wonder how you know to use the correct honorific.

[personal profile] airlynx 2013-08-13 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm always tempted to start reviewing anime series that I like, but I never really know where to start. Oh, don't get me started on Tumblr fandoms...I have a Tumblr, and occasionally I see how fandoms 'ruin a hipster post', like for instance if it's a monochrome photo of the London skyline, there WILL be a long string of SuperWhoLock gifs and then "4n0th3r h1p5t3r p05t ru1n3d xD". It's so annoying! I actually watched and liked Sherlock the BBC series, but going on Tumblr has made me ashamed of enjoying it.
I've never roleplayed, but it's on my bucket list. Maybe this is a good opportunity to start.
In my mind, I've separated Russian fiction into 3 categories: Pre-Soviet fiction (written in Old Russian and mostly sonnets that I won't touch), Soviet fiction (which is mostly science fiction; this is the fiction that my parents usually made me read, and it's kind of grown on me) and Modern Russian, which is...not Russian. What I mean by that is, there's so little new Russian literature coming out nowadays. When I visited Russia last time, book stores are chock-full of popular English books translated into Russian, so you'd be hard-pressed to find some original Russian works. What I've mostly read are science fiction stuff like the Strugatsky Brothers and some detective books (those were also popular). My favorites were Master and Margarita by Bulgakov and Viy by Gogol...but those are both translated into English already. Translating something is a good idea, because my Russian is rusty and it would force me to pay attention to the language and get a better understanding of it.

I own a light novel series too, but it's translated into English. It's called 'Kieli' by Yukako Kabei, have you read it?
I don't really get the whole sub-chapter thing, like why not just make them into separate chapters? Or just one big chapter.

It was thanks from the bottom of the kokoro!

I had to look up what Tokimeki was! I'm so thankful that we don't have to deal with that in English, but I guess if you're Japanese and you've been doing that your whole life then the Western lack of honorifics would seem rude and personal in comparison. So, what do you do if you don't like the honorific someone uses on you? Could you ask them to stop, or would that be rude?

[personal profile] airlynx 2013-08-14 10:28 pm (UTC)(link)
It all depends on what part of Tumblr you go to; you have the fandom bloggers (...no), the hipster bloggers (which are really just cool pics of scenery), the social justice bloggers (talking about equal rights and all but they go overboard), and I usually just follow humor blogs with like jokes and funny pictures and stuff. And RP blogs do exist! So you could seek them out if you were so inclined.

I have read neither of those works! Well, I'm sure that there ARE some new Russian books. I know that there's a series about people living underground after a nuclear war that is pretty recent, so maybe I could try to get my hands on that and translate it. Since it's so new, I really doubt anyone would bother translating it into English officially.
Heeeeeeeh, I don't think I'll be translating anything INTO Russian anytime soon! I don't have a big enough vocabulary to provide good translations--and Shiki has such beautiful language, but also, if I were to translate stuff, I'd probably type it, and I can type fast on an English keyboard. On a Russian one, not so much! It'd take longer to find the right letters than to actually do the translation.

Kieli was a manga first. And it's really underground! I don't understand how a series nobody really knows about can get an official English translation, and Shiki, which has an e n g l i s h d u b b e d a n i m e , does not!

-chan'ing Tohru really fits with his friendly personality. That's kind of weird though, for a guy. I can only imagine how the conversation went when he asked people to call him -chan:
"I'm Tohru, but you can call me Tohru-chan!"
"You're going on 20..."

[personal profile] airlynx 2013-08-19 08:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Social justice is all well and good but people being like "what an unfair world we live in" and all that cynicism just pisses me off to no end. I mean, injustice is going to be there wherever you go, and nothing will change by whining on it on Tumblr. Seriously, at least we don't have human sacrifices and have public education amirite. Like, by all means, guys, change what you can, but blogging about it won't help!
Yeah, I don't get the whole hipster pic deal...they're just nice photos? They're pretty! How is that hipster? Another thing about that website is the reaction gifs D: I prefer to express myself in words and not gifs. They don't even say anything, but it's just my opinion of course, other people might like that and that's okay...but I don't!
Oh man, another thing about Tumblr is that it takes up a lot of time, especially if you have the app. Then you just sit there listlessly scrolling down stupid stuff and before you know it you don't have time to do what you wanted to get done.
Overall, Tumblr would be a lot more user-friendly if it just changed its format a little. Who knows, maybe in the future it will?

Well, Bleach is pretty Japanese-themed, yet it's reeeeally popular...but that's probably just an outlier because most popular shows here ARE Western-oriented now that you mention it. Kieli, I don't know, it's kind of steampunk and most of the characters have English names, but I wouldn't call it especially Western-oriented. It takes place on a different planet, and it has some quasi-Catholic elements. However, pretty much nobody I've ever talked to knows about it, so I wonder how it made it. Not that it doesn't deserve to--it's a great book, in my opinion--it's just nothing like most popular works. It's really slow-moving and has like no romance or action, either (well, the back cover says that it's a romance story but it's really not)

I've tried the auto-input thing, like with Google Translate sometimes just to play around, and it's really hard to work. Russian is a phonetic language as well, but it has lots of little letters and sounds that are hard to replicate with English letters, so it's a really roundabout process to get the correct spelling.
I've looked around for some books I could translate, and I found some mystery novels that look easy. I might try a few chapters and see if it feels like something I can commit to?

OH GAWD MASAO!! I can't wait until he appears in the story.

[personal profile] airlynx 2013-08-26 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
I like to complain too, and there's nothing wrong with putting your opinion out there...unless it's on Tumblr. I don't know why, I just hate how most of their complaints are written. Along with having a super pretentious, 'I know more than thou' motif, they're also poorly informed and if the posts contain any facts at all, they're hella exaggerated. Another problem with Tumblr is that if you want to chat one on one with someone (not so the whole world can see it) you can send private messages, but it won't let you see what you sent, so it's really inconvenient!

Phones are fun, but they are very distracting. I'm tempted to get a flip phone because I do need one but perhaps not one that takes up so much time. Plus to hang up I'd just have to flip it shut like 'whatever I'm done'

I really need to watch Evangelion and FMA one of these days. They both seem so good but I never seem to get to them! Yeah, Kieli's a great book, I'm really really glad that I had the opportunity to read it, I wish it was more popular, though D:

Starting's the hard part! Once I get going it probably won't be so bad. It's always complicated to switch my brain from 'English mode' to 'Russian mode'.

[personal profile] airlynx 2013-08-30 08:20 pm (UTC)(link)
It's just not the same with a touch-screen. In addition to badassery, it protects the screen from scratches because it's closed and there's no way you're going to accidentally scrape it against a coin or whatever!

Ooh, I've never heard of that before! I hope so. I'm really, really bad at deductions and figuring out clues. Even when I'm reading one of those mystery novels where you could theoretically figure it out yourself, before the detective does, I never get it until the very end. I couldn't be a detective. :'(