May 17, 2007

"Shadow of the Moon" revisions


More analysis of the TokyoPop translation of Shadow of the Moon and a big mistake (of omission) by me in chapter 9.

Here's the TokyoPop exerpt in question:

          Like stars--
          Yoko felt dizzy. She closed her eyes for a moment, and dug her fingers into two turfs of grass that grew on either side of where she sat. Then she looked again.
          It was like she was gazing down at interstellar space. The constellations and galaxies she had seen in countless photographs were spread out below her feet.
          No. I don't know this place.
          The thought came unbidden to her mind. She realized she had known the stars were there ever since she first saw the strange, dark ocean--but she had been avoiding the idea, unwilling to accept the truth. Now, the realization filled her and she was lost.
          This was not the world Yoko knew. She had never seen an ocean like this. Everything--the forest, the cliff, the dark waves--belonged to another world.
          I don't believe it.

Here's a literal translation I just did:

          Like stars.
          Youko felt dizzy and sat down on the cliff.
          That was doubtlessly a scene of the universe. Stars and nebulae [star clusters] and galaxies and that kind of thing spread out beneath her feet.
          This is a place I don't know.
          Suddenly a thought welled up. The thing she had been trying not to look at directly gushed out and wouldn't stop.
          This was not the world Youko knew. Youko didn't know this ocean. Youko had surely slipped into another world.
          Iya da.
          "It must be a lie."
          Where is this? [A common alliterative expression in Japanese: "Koko wa doko?"] What kind of place is this? Dangerous or safe? What is the best thing to do after this?
          Why did something like this happen to me?

A few of the translations Eijirou suggests for Iya da: Not a chance. / Damn! / It's dreadful. / What a bummer! / Oh, no! / Huh.

We both left out "cliff" because the antecedent is already there. I can't find anything about any grass. I also switched the sentence order around to improve the prosody in English, though now it strikes me as a bit too sparing. So I changed "The thought overwhelmed her" to "Her thoughts suddenly overwhelmed her. She could no longer turn her face from the truth in front of her."

We both left off a good line before she says "Joyuu": "Why did this have to happen to me?"

"But all she could hear was the tide surging through her" should be "But all she could hear was a sound like the tide surging through her." I'll stick with my version, though the TokyoPop version is a tad more accurate.

However, I did forget to translate the last paragraph. I'm pretty sure I know what happened. I ended on "She hugged her knees, buried her face in her arms and wept" and then rushed off to work (I was working second shift at Microsoft and this was before I started emailing the page scans to myself at work). Because that sentence sure sounds like the end of a chapter, the next day I started translating the next chapter, which begins on the facing page. That's one reason I started including page numbers in subsequent projects.

Here's the last paragraph:

          Youko finally lifted her head. She'd cried so hard and so long that she felt slightly feverish. Crying her eyes out had made her feel better, but only a little. She lowly opened her eyes. The ocean stretched out before her like the universe.
          "How very strange--"
          She felt as if she was gazing down on a sky shot through with stars, a starry night arraigned against the serene blackness, the galaxies turning slowly in the water.
          "So strange and yet so beautiful--"
          In time Youko calmed down and finally came back to herself. Absentmindedly she gazed down at the stars in the water.

From the TokyoPop version I can't find: "Yoko breathed slowly. There were worse things that this, she thought."

The online and offline browser versions have been updated. More corrections here.

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