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Better way to translate this?

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ForteAtrox
Post #590648
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7:27 am, Mar 13 2013
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This has been irritating me for awhile... but it seems to be a common trend now....
While reading a manga, I would see translations that would go "You, who were..."

It can be like "You, who were supposed to eat bread, ate pasta instead." RANDOM EXAMPLE, I KNOW! But I'm sure there are people who know what I'm talking about. Surely there must be a better translations for this, anybody got any examples?

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icarusbride
Post #590650
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8:11 am, Mar 13 2013
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That's just how Japanese modifies nouns. I suppose you could go the extra step to change it to "Although you were supposed to have eaten bread, you ate pasta instead." but (1) it changes the implication that this is a person who *by their nature* should eat bread rather than pasta (ok the example's getting kind of weird, but it other situations this would be a big deal) and (2) when you're translating manga you often won't waste time with the extra step of rewording the entire thing because the choice of phrasing irritates the reader. You could argue that that's what a proofreader is for, but honestly if I compare the number of times that a proofreader has caught and corrected a grammatical or spelling mistake of mine, versus the number of times a proofreader has, with nothing but good intentions, tried to re-word something in a more fluid/natural-sounding way but actually misunderstood what was being said and completely changed the meaning, the second has happened far more often.

ForteAtrox
Post #590651
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8:21 am, Mar 13 2013
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I'm a translator as well and I know it's not hard to come up with something different. I don't want to argue about a job of a translator, but the point is to translate from Japanese to English. I think a translator should translate it to what it would sound in English and not just literally from the Japanese language. Do you get what I mean? I guess it sounds a bit confusing.
Also, I always think if a proofreader was to change a line in someones translation, they should always consult the translator first, but that's just how I do things.

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cmertb
Post #590745
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4:11 am, Mar 14 2013
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Your example is grammatically correct and sounds well enough in English, so why bother? The question of what "flows" well is purely subjective and the answer is based on what you read. If all fan translators tl the same way, then it becomes the naturally sounding wording to the fans. When I saw fan tls for the first time, there were plenty of things that rubbed me the wrong way ("confess [with no object]", "ally of justice"), but by now everyone expects these terms to be used, and even I use them in my tls due to laziness.

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hahhah42
Post #590777 - Reply to (#590648) by ForteAtrox
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11:14 am, Mar 14 2013
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Quote from ForteAtrox
You, who were supposed to eat bread, ate pasta instead.

Is there any particular reason you wouldn't be able to use something along the lines of:
"You were supposed to eat bread, but ate pasta instead."
Or:
"You ate pasta when you were supposed to eat bread."

I understand the context may vary a bit, but you should generally be able to find a way to rephrase that sort of clause into something more natural.

Sayori x3
Post #590832
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9:22 pm, Mar 14 2013
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There are translators that argue to and against making English translations more understandable in English, or more true to the Japanese original.

Making a line more understandable in English often times removes what the original Japanese intended. Keeping it literal but having a good proofreader rewrite it is often times a better route to take.

I keep my translations as literal as possible, and they still sound extremely understandable, as I have good proofreaders. They flow perfectly, and don't sound awkward.

A large part in having a good translation as well is having a good English background, so that the translation itself isn't chopped up and weird sounding.

All in all, the decision is yours to make. Whether to keep it more literal or less is entirely up to you, since you're the translator. Just, don't make it too English like Commie does for their anime. That's probably being extreme.

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ForteAtrox
Post #590833 - Reply to (#590777) by hahhah42
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9:32 pm, Mar 14 2013
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That's what I'm saying. ~.~ Something more natural, but lately I've been seeing a lot of translations that begin with "You, who.."

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Galooza
Post #590835
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9:53 pm, Mar 14 2013
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Imo it's more of what type of character is speaking. Personalization should play a part, too. A rebel type character who talks very informally/slang wouldn't say that, but someone like a proper speaking butler would.

Sayori x3
Post #590846 - Reply to (#590833) by ForteAtrox
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12:06 am, Mar 15 2013
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Well, the only times I notice that are usually from the newer groups and/or rookie translators. It doesn't bug me all that much since I know where they're coming from, but I can certainly understand see you're getting at.

I don't think it's a big deal since translators can write however they would like, but if you really feel bugged by it being too literal and not proofread, you're free to offer help to the group, or do your own version.

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