June 12, 2007
More analysis of the TokyoPop translation of Shadow of the Moon, this time focusing on Chapter 35.
1. TP: The rain fell endlessly, like thin silken threads cast streaming from the sky.
EW: Rain fell like slender threads scattered by the wind.
LIT: Rain fell like scattered [maku: to disperse, to sow] threads.
2. TP: Whether she was captured, attacked, or simply left to lie there in the mud, she would wind up in the same place.
What eventually shuffled into her dimming vision was none of these things.
EW: Whether she was arrested or attacked, or if she simply continued to lie there, her struggles would come to the same end.
She looked up through the mist in the direction of the sound. It was neither a villager nor one of her pursuers.
LIT: "Dead" is not in the original [I understand why it's there, though I would have preceded it with a colon or m-dash]. When she raised misted eyes [kasumu modifies eyes] toward the sound, a villager or a pursuer was not there.
I split the above compound sentence into two sentences.
3. TP. So, it was not a common wild animal, but it was no demon either. Yoko had encountered enough of those to tell the difference.
EW: It didn't look like a run-of-the-mill beast or youma. Youko lay there and stared vacantly at this quite curious rat.
LIT: It didn't look like an ordinary beast, but didn't look like a youma. And so Youko vacantly gazed at that strange rat.
4. TP: The rat stood there, staring at her and seeming rather startled, though not unduly alarmed. It was a little chubbier than the rats she'd seen back home.
EW: The rat stared back at Youko with a slightly stunned expression. It didn't seem to be getting ready to attack her. It was a bit plumper than a rat. Its fur was a color somewhere between a light brown and gray.
I missed this line: It was a bit plumper than a rat.
5. TP: The creature was covered in hair all the way down, even it's tail, which was a good thing, Yoko thought, for there were few things she found more revolting than naked rat tails.
EW: The fur extended all the way down its tail, so though it looked like a rat, it obviously wasn't the same species [changed "obviously" to "probably"].
The addition is not in the original.
6. TP: Supported by the surprisingly strong rodent, Yoko allowed herself to be brought, staggering, to a small house among the trees. She remembered a door opening, and walking through it, and then everything faded.
EW: Leaning on an arm stronger than she would have imagined, they made their way to a small house. That was the last thing she remembered.
LIT: Youko did not remember the things that occurred after they made their way [the verb implies effort or a struggle] to a small house.
The addition is not in the original.
7. TP: In the long hours that followed, her awareness drifted in and out, and she saw many things, but her mind could make no sense of anything. She didn't know where she was, or if anyone was there with her, or if she would ever get up again. She went through fits of deep sleep alternating with light fevered dreams, and when she awoke at last she was inside a simple house, lying on a low, rustic bed.
EW: Many times she had the sense of opening her eyes and taking in her surroundings, but she couldn't grasp what she was looking at or recall what she had seen. Her consciousness alternated between periods of deep sleep and light sleep. When at last she awoke for good, she found herself within a humble abode, lying on a bed.
The addition is not in the original
8. TP: There was apparently no one else in the small room. Dizzily Yoko peered around, then crawled over to check the far side of the bed, but she found no obvious threat. There was a small table and a simple shelf that was little more than a few boards stuck together with some folded cloth on it; atop that, her sword and the blue gem were neatly laid out.
Yoko breathed a sigh of relief. After rubbing her legs to stimulate the circulation, she eventually managed to stand and reach the low shelf.
EW: There was no one else in the small room. Her vision still spinning, she desperately searched around the bed on her hands and knees. There wasn't much in the way of furniture except for a stand next to the bed fashioned from a few planks of wood. Neatly arranged on the shelf were the sword, shrouded in a bolt of cloth, and the blue jewel, threaded through with a new cord.
With a profound sense of relief she managed to stand up.
LIT (last line): Youko relaxed. She somehow stood up and put the jewel around her neck and pick up the sword and cloth and returned to the bed.
What I translate as "stand" is tana [shelf, rack, trellis, scaffold]. Ono later uses te-buru [table], but only once. I'm pretty sure the antecedent of "table" is "stand next to the bed fashioned from a few planks of wood."
The second addition is not in the original.
9. TP: . . . and breathed another deep sigh of relief. Though her life might be worth little at the moment, she reflected, she was glad she had been saved.
EW: . . . and breathed a deep sigh of relief. Her life having been saved, she could begin to believe that no matter how worthless her existence still had value.
I missed this line: Her life having been saved, she could begin to believe that no matter how worthless her existence still had value.
10. TP: . . . Maybe you don't trust us?
EW: Can you not trust me even that much?"
LIT: Can't you trust [oira] even a little bit?
The standard dictionary definition of oira is plural, except that Rakushun later uses it clearly as a first-person pronoun, so it is probably a regionalism, or a kind of "royal we."
11. TP: . . . He -- Yoko decided it was a "he" -- reached out a paw, and Yoko did not flinch this time.
EW: It reached out again. This time Youko did not shrink away.
LIT: [The rat] extended a hand. This time Youko did not evade.
The parenthetical is not in the original.
12. TP: Yoko paused, then in a faint voice croaked, "Water".
EW: Youko said uncertainly, "Water . . . . "
LIT: With uncertainty [confusion, indecision] Youko opened her mouth. " . . . water."
13. TP: The water had been boiled and was still a bit warm. It was delicious. Yoko drank several mugfuls and then looked into the bowl. It held a pinkish-orange concoction that smelled strongly of alcohol.
EW: The almost hot water was delicious. She drained the cup over and over. Then she peered at the bowl, caught the scent of alcohol.
The original word is yuzamashi, or "water that has been boiled and then allowed to cool," so this is actually a literalism (though a tad nonsensical, as it violates POV). The next line is not in the original. The translator here is describing "peaches pickled in wine and simmered with sugar."
14. TP: "Me name's Rakushun. You?"
EW: "My name's Rakushun. And you are?"
Rakushun again uses oira as the first-person pronoun. He's obviously speaking in a regional accent. Imagine a Southern accent (or this an attempt at Cockney?). However, as we later learn that Rakushun is smart and well-read enough to qualify for the best secondary schools in the province (and to attend the national university in En), attributing ungrammatical speech to him is unacceptable.
15. TP: Yoko had to work to keep her mouth from dropping open in surprise. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, she thought. If it speaks, why shouldn't it write? "Well, the yo is the character for sun, and the ko is the character for child," she explained gesturing:
EW: "You as in youki (cheerful), and ko as in kodomo (child)."
The addition is not in the original. This exchange between Rakushun and Youko is very common in Japanese culture. Because of the large number of homophones and nonstandard kanji used in first names (the EDICT name index lists 100 separate readings for "Youko"), Japanese often explain the "spelling" of their names using common words in which the same kanji appears.
16. TP: "Sun-child, eh?" Rakushun tilted his head to one side, quizzically, then grinned. "Funny name, that. Where are you from?"
EW: "Ko as in 'child'?" Rakushun tilted his head to the side. "Huh," he said. "That's a curious name. Where are you from?"
Literally, Youko's name does mean "sun child," but that isn't how she explains it to Rakushun. Saying "sun child" by itself would suggest a different kanji than the one she means.
17. TP: "Like me! Happy . . . and swift!"
"At your service!" The rat smiled and took a bow.
EW: The rat smiled. "It's Raku as in kuraku (sorrow and joy), and shun as in shunbin (quick-witted)."
Again, "Rakushun" can literally mean "happy swiftness," but I think it says something about his character that he explains the first character of his name using kuraku [pleasure and pain, joys and sorrows], rather than a simple adjective like "fun" or a noun like "optimism." I believe this reflects Rakushun's knowledge that he is smart but unable to take advantage of his intelligence in Kou, a big reason he is willing to accompany Youko to En.
The addition is not in the original.
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