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eeky

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「おわかりいただけると存じますが、... 」

Does this literally mean "I think/know that I can receive your understanding (of this), but ...", i.e. in ordinary English, "As I think you understand, ..."?
 

Toritoribe

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Yeah, a very polite version of that.
 

Toritoribe

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Yes. Furigana are not displayed well on my PC screen, though.
 

eeky

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Good ... it doesn't matter about the furigana.

I wonder if you would be able to cast your eye over a page or two and advise me whether it seems to be written in correct and natural Japanese (ignoring any dialogue that may be deliberately written with bad grammar or non-standard language for purposes of characterisation).

I know it has been mentioned here before that some people have criticised the quality of these Japanese Harry Potter translations, and I came across a couple of further opinions, such as the following, which I find slightly worrying:

わたしも書店で日本語訳を手にして愕然とした一人です。まるで違うのです。全体的に稚拙で子供騙しな印象を受けます。読んでいてとても退屈で疲れます。日本語としても極めて不自然です。

I'm not bothered if some people think that the translation doesn't fully capture the spirit of the original. I also understand that it is written in a simple style of language, and I certainly don't expect it to be a great work of literature. However, if the Japanese is often ungrammatical or unnatural then that would concern me. I find it quite hard to believe that it would be, but perhaps you could reassure me on this point?
 
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Mike Cash

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It's none of my business, but I have often wondered why you beat yourself up reading that oddball Japanese in the HP books when there is a mountain of stuff written in far easier (yet perfectly natural) Japanese.
 

Toritoribe

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The only obvious grammatical error I can find out in the preview pages is その近辺何キロにも渡ってこれほど大きく豪華な屋敷はなかったものを、いまやぼうぼうと荒れ果て、住む人もない。. The particle should be なかったもの, since this clause is connected to 荒れ果て、住む人もない. (The translator might be confused it with a sentence final particle ~ものを.)
 

eeky

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Thanks for taking the time to look at it Toritoribe.

1. So, apart from one small error, would you say that it is normal and natural Japanese for a story of this kind written at a fairly simple level for young people?

2. Also, I found a statement at another forum:

In Japan the norm is to translate quite literally and maintain sentence/paragraph structure as much as possible, resulting in obviously foreign sounding texts. [...] Something that is localized to the point where you couldn't tell it was originally written in English would be considered a bad translation.

Would you agree or diagree with this statement generally, and would you agree with it in the specific case of what you see in the preview of this book?
 

Toritoribe

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Thanks for taking the time to look at it Toritoribe.

1. So, apart from one small error, would you say that it is normal and natural Japanese for a story of this kind written at a fairly simple level for young people?

2. Also, I found a statement at another forum:

In Japan the norm is to translate quite literally and maintain sentence/paragraph structure as much as possible, resulting in obviously foreign sounding texts. [...] Something that is localized to the point where you couldn't tell it was originally written in English would be considered a bad translation.

Would you agree or diagree with this statement generally, and would you agree with it in the specific case of what you see in the preview of this book?
I don't agree with the latter statement. In fact, 翻訳調 "translatese" often has a negative nuance. There might be a tendency like the former one, but it's not always so especially in literature. The translation of the book indeed sounds translatese-like, but not too much to me. That's a "normal" translation of foreign language.
 

eeky

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The translation of the book indeed sounds translatese-like, but not too much to me.
Thanks, would you be able to give any specific or typical examples of "translatese-like" language in the book, and help me understand why it is "translatese-like" and how it differs from the more native way of saying it?

Also, do you think that getting too accustomed to this style might make it harder for me to eventually graduate to native Japanese literature?
 

killerinsidee

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Thanks, would you be able to give any specific or typical examples of "translatese-like" language in the book, and help me understand why it is "translatese-like" and how it differs from the more native way of saying it?
While I haven't read any EN→JP translated stuff, I have read a lot of JP→EN "abominations". You know, the cringe worthy awkward and overly literal sentences. I'm guessing it's no different for EN→JP.
Also, I doubt you'll be able to actually understand why some text is considered translatese since you need to have that native-like feeling for the language to notice stuff like that. You'll just magically know if something sounds odd at some point, no need to worry about it really.

Also, do you think that getting too accustomed to this style might make it harder for me to eventually graduate to native Japanese literature?
I don't think it'll make anything harder, you'll just know odd slang and some 敬語 a lot better than some other stuff.
I'm not going to tell you what to read, everyone is free to read what they like, but I don't get why you think that you'll "graduate to native Japanese literature"? I agree with Mikeさん, Harry Potter will probably give you a lot more trouble than the normal stuff. If you can plow through Harry Potter, the odds are that you can read a lot of the "native Japanese literature" just fine.

If books like Harry Potter are your thing, there's plenty of native stuff in that genre you can pick up instead. There's no need to limit yourself to the some light everyday life themed books. I've seen some of the questions you post on this forum (related to Harry Potter) and I can tell you that some of those sentences are more slangy/odd than what I've read in a mecha cyberspace combat visual novel.
 

nekojita

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There is a certain amount of getting used to vocab and style differences, either when you switch authors or switch genres. HP won't be good practice for modern crime fiction/courtroom drama, for example.

For comparison, the start of the first story in 躍る男, a book of short-shorts (~4 page stories x 30 or so) by 赤川次郎:
(furigana: only on the first 僕 and 奴 )

僕がバーへ入って行くと、彼はいつもの席に座っていた。「やあ」と声をかけると、彼は妙に気遣わしげな目で僕の上着を見ながら、「君、わざとボタンを取ったの?」
「まさか!電車でもぎ取られたのさ」
「そうか、それならいいんだ」とホッとした様子。「わざと取ったとなると、命にかかわるからなあ」
「何の話だい?好きでボタンを取る奴なんかいないよ」
「ところがそうでもないのさ。―まあ聞けよ。僕の友人に変わった奴がいてね」彼は僕のために水割りを注文しておいて、話を始めた。
 

Toritoribe

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Thanks, would you be able to give any specific or typical examples of "translatese-like" language in the book, and help me understand why it is "translatese-like" and how it differs from the more native way of saying it?
For instance;
とはいえ、警察がイライラしながら言っているように、恐怖が死因だなんて話、誰が聞いたことがあるというのか?
フランクのほうは、子供達が自分を苦しめるのは、その親や祖父母と同じように、自分を殺人者だと思っているからと考えていた。
プリベッド通りは、土曜日の明け方に、郊外のきちんとした町並みはこうでなければならない、といった模範的なたたずまいだった。
常々ハリーをなるべく惨めにしておきたいという思いがある上に、ハリーの力を恐れていたので、ダーズリーたちは夏休みになると、ハリーの学校用のトランクを階段下の物置に入れて鍵をかけておいたものだった。

For comparison(me too), here's the beginning of The Lord of the Rings(the first version of the two different translations) and Sam's dialectal conversation.

袋小路屋敷のビルボ・バギンズ氏が、百十一歳の誕生日を祝って、近く特別盛大な祝宴を催すと発表したもので、ホビット村は大騒ぎ、噂はそれでもちきりでした。
ビルボといえば、大金持ちで大変人でしたし、それにあの評判の失踪事件と思いがけない帰宅の日から、ひきつづき六十年、ホビット荘全体の驚異の的でありました。かれが旅から持ちかえった財宝は、今では土地の伝説となり、年寄り連がなんといおうと、一般には、袋小路のお山の下に縦横に走るトンネルには、宝物がぎっしりつまっていると信じられていました。しかし、それだけで、あの評判がたつはずがないというのでしたら、今に至るまで衰えないビルボ氏の活力をあげるべきでしょう。徐々に過ぎゆく時の歩みも、バギンズ氏にはなんの影響も及ぼさないように見えました。

「お、お願いで、ガンダルフの旦那!」と、サムはいいました。「何でもねえ!ただ、窓の下の芝生のふちを刈ってただけですだ、まちげえなく。」
「フロドの旦那あー!」サムはふるえあがって叫びました。「おらをひどい目に会わさんようにいってくだされやあー!おらを、何かおかしなものに変えんようにいってくだされやあー!おらのおやじが悲しがるでよお。悪気があったわけじゃねえ、誓ってもええですよ。旦那あー!」

And デューク by 江國香織, which was used in a university entrance exam.
http://220.213.237.148/univsrch/ex/data/2001/00/k01/k000112.html#mtop

Also, do you think that getting too accustomed to this style might make it harder for me to eventually graduate to native Japanese literature?
No.
 

nekojita

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「旦那あ〜」 読みたくなっちゃった。

I do admit I find translations of things I've already read/seen in English interesting. There's always going to be a little awkwardness, I think it's inescapable, but it's fun to see how people decide to handle things which don't map easily from one language to another.
 

killerinsidee

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I do admit I find translations of things I've already read/seen in English interesting. There's always going to be a little awkwardness, I think it's inescapable, but it's fun to see how people decide to handle things which don't map easily from one language to another.
I too find translation/localization quite interesting, but from my experience (mostly entertainment works; anime/novels/games etc.), the English side of things is generally not so good.
When I put some stuff side by side, I've seen a lot of silly stuff. Some parts being swept under the rug, hoping that no will notice I guess or arbitrarily making stuff up, e.g., a "locket" translated as "bottle" for no reason at all.
I always wondered if EN→JP is equally bad in some areas?
 

eeky

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Thanks for the comments.

For instance;
とはいえ、警察がイライラしながら言っているように、恐怖が死因だなんて話、誰が聞いたことがあるというのか?
フランクのほうは、子供達が自分を苦しめるのは、その親や祖父母と同じように、自分を殺人者だと思っているからと考えていた。
プリベッド通りは、土曜日の明け方に、郊外のきちんとした町並みはこうでなければならない、といった模範的なたたずまいだった。
常々ハリーをなるべく惨めにしておきたいという思いがある上に、ハリーの力を恐れていたので、ダーズリーたちは夏休みになると、ハリーの学校用のトランクを階段下の物置に入れて鍵をかけておいたものだった。
Could you give some hint as to what it is about these sentences that makes them "translatese"? Making inferences from the comparison of texts that you offered is not possible for me I'm afraid.
 

Toritoribe

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Could you give some hint as to what it is about these sentences that makes them "translatese"? Making inferences from the comparison of texts that you offered is not possible for me I'm afraid.
It's hard to point out where the oddness is come from exactly, but the flow of the sentence is awkward, especially comparing to デューク.
 

eeky

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It's hard to point out where the oddness is come from exactly, but the flow of the sentence is awkward, especially comparing to デューク.
A pattern that is quite common in these books is to have some dialogue 「 ... 」, followed by a fairly long phrase explaining something else happening at the time this was said, finally followed by an indication of who said it. For example:

「あぁぁら、それは悲劇ですこと」フラーが玄関ホールのほうに出て行くのを見ながら、ハーマイオニーがピシャリと言った。

Is this style at all awkward or "translatese-like"?
 

Mike Cash

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@killerinsidee
You might find this interesting: Skyrim公式日本語版の誤訳悪訳珍訳 - The Elder Scrolls Wiki 日本語版 - ウィキア

The one I remember being well-known and also an obvious mistranslation that a translation checker ought to have caught is "最初の仲間" for "First Mate" (in the marine sense). This isn't a tiddlybit indie game company here, either!
I don't read translated works, for a couple of reasons. I don't them in English because I'd rather just read the Japanese original (and there is an inexhaustible supply of Japanese books not available in English) and I don't read them in Japanese because I could read them in English and man-oh-man do I hate katakana laden text.

But I do like to follow along with the subtitles on movies and it isn't unusual to find a mistranslation. Sometimes it can't be helped (translator has to fill the gaps on untranslatable puns, for example). My favorite goof was in a "Anne of Green Gables" when one of the old ladies remarked of the hard-working Anne, "That girl's going to kill herself!" (as in "work herself to death) and it was translated as something like あの子は自殺するわ! ("She's going to commit suicide) instead of something with 過労死.
 

Toritoribe

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A pattern that is quite common in these books is to have some dialogue 「 ... 」, followed by a fairly long phrase explaining something else happening at the time this was said, finally followed by an indication of who said it. For example:

「あぁぁら、それは悲劇ですこと」フラーが玄関ホールのほうに出て行くのを見ながら、ハーマイオニーがピシャリと言った。

Is this style at all awkward or "translatese-like"?
Not at all.
 
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