sinnesspiel: (Wah-wuh wahnnnn...)
Sinnesspiel ([personal profile] sinnesspiel) wrote2015-11-10 12:23 pm
Entry tags:

Chocolate, Vanilla or Swirl?

So as I work with the Kakizawa video, I have a few problems. First and foremost, I don't know who to credit for the video; is the 4GB version a condensed version of the one by Magnet from AsiaFull? I used the torrent (and am uploading the 4GB version for DDL presently since I don't think one exists yet) but I don't know who originated the torrent to credit either. Got them credited properly now!

But the more pressing one at the moment is the translation matter.

It's natural you'd try to translate a line to the feel. But Kakizwa-Light happens to do the same lines with a notably rougher feel than Urai who was a preppy Light. I'm torn between leaving the lines the same unless it's a distinct script change and shifting them to fit this Light's verbal inflection. The latter is obviously highly subjective, but word choice for the initial script was too. Must I try to just think of the lines completely removed from either delivery and make a middle-of-the-road sub as I would with a novel? (Even with Manga, you get a feel from visual cues--which of course isn't always a perfectly safe choice as sometimes you get cases like Allen from DGM who picked up another character's speech style and whose speech style does *not* actually match his personality--and it's a plot point!) Or should I make SIX scripts; middle road (+Otaku), Urai Tone (+Otaku) and Kakizawa Tone (+Otaku)?

For a list of actual changes in what's explicitly said in the script, look here. Otherwise, changes are only about tone.

Here you can view Light's solo song and the scene leading up to it first with neutral subs, then with subs slanted towards each actor's portrayal (and also those same subs on the other actor for good measure).

I don't know that the middle of the road rewrite would be doing a disservice or if translating an admittedly subjective (more so than even the impression of the "flavor" of purely written word) take on the show ultimately helps on some level a translator is responsible for helping on. Is it overstepping a translator's bounds, or is there something linguistic in their delivery that a translator can bring to the table that IS related to an auditory familiarity with the language? Maybe that sense of preppiness in Urai comes from a familiarity with the language to have a jist of what's slurred and what's ennunciated clearly, what words he emotes on, of stereotypes in speech styles, etc. Maybe it's something viewers with functioning eyes and ears can get for themselves.

While I want to do what I can to help fans appreciate the flavor each actor brings across the language barrier, I do not want to add my own flavor to the script more than absolutely necessary.
So my question is, are translations which consider auditory and visual cues in picking the translated tone...

A. Necessary? (For example, does failing to do so mute the impression of the performance to the reading audience, even with the same visual and auditory cues available?)
B. Helpful? (For example, does it provide information those not as familiar with the original language might not pick up, such as word emphasis, speed, or pronunciation differences?)
C. Invasive? (By nature of being ultimately the translator's subjective impression forced on the translation viewing audience, unnecessarily or inaccurately affecting whatever impression they may form?)
andeatit: (Am I kawaii?)

[personal profile] andeatit 2015-11-10 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm not a Japanese speaker in any shape or form so feel free to take this with a grain of salt. From what I understand about Japanese to English, it's a bit of a loose translation. It doesn't fit perfectly so going by feel isn't unique to musicals.

If that much is true, I think having a version for each is fine as long as the translation still fits (which I know it will; I enjoyed the first musical). The way something is said changes it's meaning in English too. Sarcasm, dead-pan, taunting, condescending: all these intentions bring inflictions to words that matter.

'Good job.' That could be said in earnest and be meant as a compliment. It could be said like 'good enough' in a condescending way. With sarcasm, it would mean something closer to 'you failed'. I think it would be worse to ignore the feel of the lines.

I hope that helped! I'm fine with discussing it so don't hesitate to correct me!
andeatit: (Default)

[personal profile] andeatit 2015-11-10 10:24 pm (UTC)(link)
In my example, I was assuming there was no hard, fast translation for 'good job'. Or, it could fairly be translated in different ways. Obviously, there could be for that specific example, but I meant for words in general. Using boredom for example: in the original, you kept boredom and the other word for boredom which escapes me, and that probably makes me lose points here. Ennuai or something. I think you know what I mean. You kept the Japanese word.

I am really rambling here.

So, applying that, the lines can be translated differently, right? So, pretending 'good job' is one of those words, it could be translated as different things depending on how it was used.

If there's a hard, fast, true translation I would stick that and trust audio cues. I've been assuming there's wiggle room in there. In that case, I would go with the one that fits the acting. As someone who already has to multi-task in reading the words and watching the action, some audio cues are lost if they're more subtle.
andeatit: (Boxing then)

[personal profile] andeatit 2015-11-12 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
Address me like the lady I am! Lady-sama is also acceptable.

I'll reply to your summary:

1. Necessary? I wouldn't say so. I would get the same overall story without two sets of subs.

2. Helpful? Yes.

3. I'm a little confused by this question (surprise, huh?). You have to make a judgment call when translating. I don't think you're doing this anymore than what translating normally calls for.

I don't think it's just the way he speaks that builds a different Light. His standing, his facial expressions all seem to match his tone. I feel haughtiness from Urai that I don't from him. Since I skimmed through without subs, I was able to see this because I was focusing on the actors. When watching with subs, I'll be focusing more on reading so I might miss this. When I say might, i mean almost definitely.

i love ur subtitles

(Anonymous) 2015-11-13 06:07 am (UTC)(link)
Any plans to do the subtitles for naruto live spectacles?

Thank you very much

(Anonymous) 2015-11-14 03:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Since it is a stage live, it is unlikely ever to be sub...the links are

(Anonymous) 2015-11-27 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
Are you still going to be working on Shiki?
justicewillprevail: (neutral)

[personal profile] justicewillprevail 2015-12-07 06:46 am (UTC)(link)
Well this might be a little late since you already have the Kakizawa subs out...

It looks like WOWOW filed a copyright claim and the video is down. :/ Nonetheless, I understand what's going on, and I have the two copies of subtitles to compare now. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be too much help. These decisions are very subjective, and even I would change my mind on my answers to your three questions on a case-by-case basis simply based on what I feel works best in each instance.

I've definitely given my share of liberal translations, even mildly rewriting when a situation would be otherwise misinterpreted. My general philosophy is to take the essence of what they're trying to say -- taking into account things like context, themes, metaphor, double meanings, the unspoken emotion underneath it, other nonverbal and nonliteral elements. Then bringing that essence as close to the literal translation while maintaining as much of those other things as I can. And also make it sound like casual speech for the character, of course. In other words, my answer to your three questions (Necessary? Helpful? Invasive?) is: sometimes. (See? I told you I wouldn't be too helpful.) It's sometimes necessary or the real meaning gets lost. It can definitely be helpful sometimes. And there's a point where things go overboard (invasive). And all three are entirely subjective; not everyone is going to agree about where those lines are.

That said, I don't have any experience translating actual spoken dialogue, just written (doujinshi and manga). So you're facing additional challenges that I'm not entirely familiar with.

This also gets into Otaku vs Non-Otaku territory. While more liberal/casual translations are expected in the mainstream, fandom expects translations that stick more closely to the original. Even though that can be impossible sometimes.

So back to the main point -- whether there should be separate translations for both actors, reflecting their differences. In this case, I think "sometimes" is enough reason to have separate translations. Urai and Kakizawa present themselves differently and deliver lines differently, and that can shift meaning and interpretation -- and the essence of what they're saying changes, so the translation can change as well to reflect that. So I say sure, go for it. I don't think a single unified translation is necessary on top of those, although you're certainly free to do one if you want.

tl;dr - It's subjective, not everyone will be happy either way, so do what you want to do. Urai and Kakizawa present themselves differently, so it's certainly fair that it would influence a translation. I think it's fine.

And it'll also be fun having multiple versions.

And thank you for all your hard work and how much thought you're putting into this, it's very impressive.