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Translation - Past tense or present tense

HaipaBoi

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古代文明が栄え, 天空人が住む空の宙.

I'm not sure if this is accurate, but can somebody translate this for me?

Also, I'm not sure if it's in past tense or present tense. If possible, can you clarify why its in past/present tense?

Thanks in advance!
 

Mike Cash

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There's no final verb.
 

HaipaBoi

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I actually got it from the first sentence of this image. Maybe i used an incorrect character. If you could translate this that would be awesome!!
 

Mike Cash

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Translating game dialogue for people is like feeding stray cats

Are you studying Japanese?
 

HaipaBoi

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I plan to learn Japanese in the future, but I am currently learning another language.

For this, I am actually making a YouTube video, which includes an analysis of this portion of the text. I've tried to use my very limited knowledge to translate this, but I am getting a 'present' feel from it, which I'm not sure is correct.
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, it should be interpreted as the present tense (the copula is omitted at the end of the sentence since it's a kind of explanation in a dictionary), but you misread the final kanji. It's 街 not 宙.
 

HaipaBoi

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Thanks, Toritoribe!

This is interesting. Two people interpreted it like this:
古代文明が栄え、天空人が住む空の街。
Person A: "The city floating in the sky is the remnant of an ancient civilization that once flourished."
Person B: "An empty city in which the sky people live was an ancient civilization that flourished."

But I translated it as:

古代文明が栄え、天空人が住む空の街。
"A city in the heavens where the Sky People, an ancient civilization, flourishes."

I'm just wasn't sure if "flourishes" should be "flourished".
 

Toritoribe

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The subject of 栄え(る)is just 古代文明, and 天空人 is not.
There are two attributive clauses there, 古代文明が栄え(る) and 天空人が住む, and both modify 空の街. (The tense of the -masu stem 栄え is determined by the verb at the end of the list, as same as the -te form, so it's the present tense in that case. If it's 古代文明が栄え、天空人が住んだ/住んでいた空の街, 栄え is the past tense 栄えた/栄えていた.)
 

HaipaBoi

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You're right about the attributive clauses. So a more accurate translation would be:

古代文明が栄え、天空人が住む空の街。
The city in the heavens where the Sky People live is an ancient civilization that flourishes.

Am I right here? In the game, the City in the heavens is inhabited, but is visibly dilapidated. This is why the tense of 栄え has caused confusion.

Also, aren't the attributive clauses 古代文明が栄え and 天空人が住む independent of each other? Why would the tense of 住む change the tense of 栄え just because 住む is at the end of the list? Just because the Sky People live in the sky city, it doesn't mean the sky city has to be flourishing, right?

Thank you so much, Toritoribe. I'm learning a lot here.
 

Toritoribe

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Because it's the nature of Japanese grammar. See the following example.

彼はお茶を飲み、すしを食べた
He drank tea, and ate sushi.

彼はお茶を飲み、すしを食べている
He is drinking tea, and eating sushi.

彼はお茶を飲み、すしを食べるだろう
He will drink tea, and eat sushi.

Yes, those are two independent clauses, so there is no problem with the order 天空人が住み、古代文明が栄える空の街, for instance. However, your translation is still wrong. How do you translate 古代文明が栄える空の街?

It can be possible that two clauses have different tenses when it's clearly shown by temporal adverbs or something, e.g., かつて古代文明が栄え、今は天空人が住む空の街。, or when the same tense is semantically impossible, e.g., 彼は家に帰って、寝ている (it's impossible to be returning home while sleeping).
 

HaipaBoi

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Yes that makes perfect sense. I think I understand past tense and non-past tense a little clearer now.

I would translate 古代文明が栄える空の街 as:
A city in the sky where ancient civilization flourishes.
 

HaipaBoi

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古代文明が栄え、天空人が住む空の街。
A flourishing ancient civilization, the city in the sky is where the Sky/Heavenly People reside.

I think this is my best attempt.
 

Mike Cash

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古代文明が栄え、天空人が住む空の街。
A flourishing ancient civilization, the city in the sky is where the Sky/Heavenly People reside.

I think this is my best attempt.
You don't need the "is".... it isn't a sentence. "A city" instead of "the city".

I think if all the people in the world who have decided they are going to translate Japanese pop culture items without having bothered to learn anything about Japanese grammar first ever wanted to hold a convention there wouldn't be a venue on earth that could hold them.

The ones who have bothered to learn something about the language first could fit in a corner booth at a McDonald's and have enough room to put their bags on the seats.
 

Toritoribe

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古代文明が栄え、天空人が住む空の街。
A flourishing ancient civilization, the city in the sky is where the Sky/Heavenly People reside.

I think this is my best attempt.
Still wrong...
There are two attributive clauses there, 古代文明が栄え(る) and 天空人が住む, and both modify 空の街.
those are two independent clauses, so there is no problem with the order 天空人が住み、古代文明が栄える空の街, for instance.
I would translate 古代文明が栄える空の街 as:
A city in the sky where ancient civilization flourishes.
 

HaipaBoi

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You don't need the "is".... it isn't a sentence. "A city" instead of "the city".
Okay I see where the confusion is coming from. The location in the English version of the game is called "The City in the Sky", while in the Japanese version is 天空都市 (Tenkū Toshi).

Because of this, I am making a translation easier for my consumers to understand (kind of like how localizers work), while you are trying to teach me how to translate literally with no knowledge of the medium. I apologize.

古代文明が栄え、天空人が住む空の街。
An ancient civilization flourishes, a city in the sky where the sky people reside.

Whereas a localizer may say:
The City in the Sky is a flourishing ancient civilization where the sky people reside.
-or-
A flourishing ancient civilization, the City in the Sky is where the Sky People reside.


I think if all the people in the world who have decided they are going to translate Japanese pop culture items without having bothered to learn anything about Japanese grammar first ever wanted to hold a convention there wouldn't be a venue on earth that could hold them.
LOL True, but unfair in my instance. Even though I am learning Japanese grammar before I move onto learning Hiragana & Katakana, and then vocab and phrases, I am using this for the purpose of my work. It would be unrealistic to expect me to learn an entire language for the purpose of a single line of text that I need by next week.

Thank you for your time, Toritoribe and Mike Cash. I thank you so much. I am currently learning French, and I was going to learn Khmer next, but I might just put Khmer on hold to study Japanese next :)
 

Toritoribe

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古代文明が栄え、天空人が住む空の街。
An ancient civilization flourishes, a city in the sky where the sky people reside.

Whereas a localizer may say:
The City in the Sky is a flourishing ancient civilization where the sky people reside.
-or-
A flourishing ancient civilization, the City in the Sky is where the Sky People reside.
All wrong. You don't get the meaning correctly yet, as I pointed out.
 

Toritoribe

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Read my hint again. Those two clauses are both attributive clauses, thus, both modify 空の街. How do you express a city if it's the place where you live, and also the place where your father was born, for instance?
 

HaipaBoi

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I would say: "I live in Cambridge, the city where my father was born."
Or, in a dictionary: "The city of Cambridge is where I live, and my father was born."

"A city in the sky where the Sky people live, and an ancient civilization flourishes."
 

Mike Cash

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Are we essentially helping you create pirated material here?
 

HaipaBoi

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Are we essentially helping you create pirated material here?
Haha no. I just started doing Youtube videos, but its completely under fair use. As of right now, I average about 4,000 views per video, which is not bad based on when I started. The video that I am currently working on tackles the concepts behind these Sky People/Sky Folk/Tenkuujin, but I don't want to provide my viewers with inaccurate information due to mistranslation, etc....
 

Toritoribe

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I would say: "I live in Cambridge, the city where my father was born."
Or, in a dictionary: "The city of Cambridge is where I live, and my father was born."

"A city in the sky where the Sky people live, and an ancient civilization flourishes."
Yes, you got it finally. The ones you made are both a sentence, but the Japanese one is a noun phrase, as in your final translation, by the way. What I expected was "The city where I live, and (where) my father was born".
 

HaipaBoi

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Yes! Thank you. The official translation was "A city in the heavens where an ancient civilization, the Tenkuujin, flourishes." Which I felt was wrong for a myriad of reasons. So many people, including myself, have translated this phrase incorrectly, mostly due to attributing the word "civilization" to the sky people, which is not the case here.

But now that I know what the tense is, and what the attributive clauses are, everything is clear. I need to refrain from making assumptions in the future.

This was really fun. I'm glad I stumbled upon this place. I will study Japanese on my own. Thanks guys.
What I expected was "The city where I live, and (where) my father was born".
So would "A city in the sky where the Sky people live, and where an ancient civilization flourishes." be more accurate? Less accurate? Equally?....
 

Toritoribe

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"A city in the sky where the Sky people live, and where an ancient civilization flourishes." is the only correct meaning, but it has the same meaning even without the second "where". In other words, the second "where" must be put there if it can be interpreted as a noun phrase and a sentence, i.e., "A city in the sky where the Sky people live" and "An ancient civilization flourishes.", but it's quite a rare case, right?
 
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