November 07, 2007

"Shadow of the Moon" revisions

TP is the TokyoPop translation. EW is my translation.

Chapter 50

1. TP: As Rakushun had suggested, beastling were not uncommon in En. For Yoko, seeing animals walking on two legs among the city crowds was almost comical. Some of them also wore human clothes, which looked even funnier. Yoko often had the impression she was at some sort of wild carnival, with the people walking around her as the main attraction.

EW: As Rakushun had predicted, many beasts mingled in with the crowds on the streets. Amidst the hustle and bustle, there was something unbearably cute about these animals walking about on their two hind legs. Some were even some dressed like people, and Youko had to try hard not to giggle.

The addition is not in the original.

2. TP: Rakushun had found work in the harbor while he was waiting for Yoko to arrive. Although he had simply been helping carry loads from ships at the docks up into town, he spoke of it as though it were the most delightful job in the world.

EW: While he was waiting for her, Rakushun had gotten work at the harbor doing maintenance on the ships coming into port. He told her enthusiastically all about it.

A lightly more literal version would be: "Rakushun had gotten work at the harbor helping out doing maintenance [repairs] on the ships coming into port.

3. TP: She suggested that they could stay in Ugou if he wanted to work a bit longer, but he wouldn't hear of it. "Besides," he said, "I told them I only wanted work while I was waiting for a friend; there will be no hard feelings if I leave -- they're expecting it."

EW: When she insisted that it was all right with her to stay a while longer in Ugou while he gave his notice, Rakushun said that when he signed up, he had told the foreman that he only wanted to work until the person he was waiting for arrived, so it was no big deal.

There is no dialog in this paragraph.

4. TP: Yoko had received her first allowance from the kaisheen, and while it wasn't a great sum of money, it was more than adequate for living expenses, so the trip was relatively easy.

EW: Their expenses were not high, and with her rather generous stipend they could afford to travel in some luxury.

The kaishin is not mentioned in this paragraph. The rest of the paragraph should read: "Though her stipend couldn't be called exceedingly generous, it was by no means a miserly amount, and they could afford to take things easy."

5. TP: Though Rakushun had suggested that Yoko could dress more brightly now that they were in En, she still wore her men's clothes -- the kimono-like robe she had learned was properly called a hoh; she saw no point in changing.

EW: Though Rakushun had pointed out that because they were in En, it'd be okay to show herself off a bit more, Youko preferred men's clothing.

I got around to defining a hou in chapter 7 of A Thousand Leages of Wind. Here I left out the parenthetical. The sentence should end: " . . . as always, Youko preferred men's clothing, specifically a jacket or tunic called a hou.

6. TP: Because of her attire, Yoko was continually mistaken for a young boy, and though most of the lodgings at which they stayed had baths, the men's and women's were segregated, and awkward situations sometimes arose when she wanted to enter the women's section. [1] So, she had hot water brought to her own room. [2] Since they had no lack of travel funds, the two friends made sure to get decent rooms, including a private washing basin. [3] Still, Yoko would have preferred the larger public baths, and she felt badly for having [4] to kick Rakushun out of the room every time she bathed.

EW: So, of course, everybody took her for a boy. This made using public baths a pain. The inns in En often had a furo, but they were more like a communal sauna, so she made do by bathing in their room. Because they had money to spare, even after taking care of their travel expenses, they always got a room. Still, it seemed a bit pointless since they settled for one room, and whenever she took a bath she kicked Rakushun out. Rakushun no doubt found it annoying.

6.1. Here TokyoPop does a good job describing a contemporary Japanese sentou (public bath house), but that's not what the author wrote.
6.2. TokyoPop seems to be skipping ahead to the next paragraph.
6.3. The addition is not in the original.
6.4. The addition is not in the original.

7. TP: On this particular evening, Yoko washed her long, ragged locks in a basin full of hot water, thinking of all the trouble her hair caused her.

EW: She filled a basin with hot water and washed her hair.

The additions are not in the original.

8. TP: She didn't feel particularly excited about crossing paths with this person, whoever it was. She had nothing against meeting another kaikyaku, but somehow she felt spending time with a fellow soul from her old world would only make it harder for her to forget all she had lost.

EW: She didn't want to meet him. And even if she did, the thought of hanging out with a fellow countryman and getting all depressed was even more painful.

The additions are not in the original.

9. TP: "They call him Wallfaller."
      "Wall . . . faller?"
      "Aye. Teaches at a lecture hall, I hear."
      What an odd name, thought Yoko. Perhaps, it's my unseen translator supplying meaning for some local turn of phrase -- at least it doesn't sound like it's Seizo. She realized she had been worrying that it might be the mournful, thieving old man, even though the chances were rather slim. Still it was a relief.

EW: "They say he goes by the name of Heki Rakujin."
      "Heki Rakujin?"
"He's something like a professor at a prefectural college."
      That being the case, he wouldn't be the old man who had ripped her off. And when she thought it through, it wasn't likely she would run into him here. But that was only a minor comfort.

"Heki" is an acceptable last name. Knowing he is Japanese, Youko would not have thought it odd. "Rakujin" is more unusual, but the literal translation robs "Rakujin" of its embedded meaning: "deserter." If Youko is going to think anything, she would think that.

I do need to amend my translation slightly. The only clarification Youko actually asks for here is how to divide up the syllables into last and first name.

      "They say he goes by the name of Hekirakujin."
      "That's Heki Rakujin?"
      "Yeah. He's something like a professor at a prefectural college."

10. TP: "Well, let's go see him!' Rakushun said, looking innocently at Yoko.
      "I suppose we should."
      "Of course we should!"
      "Yes, you're right."

EW: "Shall we go and see him?" Rakushun looked at Youko with hopeful eyes.
      "Well, it'd probably be a good idea."
      "Then you'll go?"
"Sure . . . I guess."

The adjective here means "doubtless" or "moral certainty": "Rakushun looked at Youko without any doubt in his eyes."

11. TP: Apparently the man they sought was living on the grounds of a large boarding school. Rakushun was concerned that it might be improper for them to disturb him by showing up unannounced, so he sent a letter ahead to request a formal meeting.

EW: Shire schools here were called jogaku and prefectural academies were called shougaku. In En, students aiming for a district university (joushou) could do their preparatory work at a prefectural academy, or could attend a prefectural polytechnic college (shoujo). This "Professor Heki" they were visiting taught at such a shoujo. He lived in a compound at the school.
      Dropping in on a professor out of the blue was bad manners. Following formal procedures, a letter was sent and an interview requested.

The author includes this long parenthetical to briefly explain the educational system.

12. TP: The next morning a reply from Wallfaller -- Yoko noted that he signed the letter "Wall" -- arrived at their lodgings, and the man who brought the message offered to guide them to the school.

EW: The reply from Heki Rakujin arrived at their inn the next morning. The courier bearing the reply accompanied them to the school.

The addition is not in the original.

13. TP: "Thank you for waiting. I am Wall."

EW: He said, "Please excuse the delay. I am Heki."

I'm sorry, but the persistent use of this literalism just sounds dumb. It'd be like calling me "Mr. Buried Tree."

14. TP: "Which of you sent me the letter?"
      Rakushun stood. "Er, . . . twas me, er, meself, sir. Thank you very much for your time."
      Wall smiled broadly. "Please, sit down."
      "Er . . . Right!" Rakushun said, scratching nervously under his ear, then turned toward Yoko. "She's a kaikyaku."
      The man raised an eyebrow. [1] "Ah, I see. However, she does not look much like a kaikyaku, does she?" He looked inquiringly at Yoko.
      "I . . . I don't?" [2]

EW: "Did you receive our letter?" Rakushun asked. "We, um, thank you so very much for sparing a moment of your precious time with us."
      Rakujin smiled at Rakushun's overly polite language. "Relax. Make yourselves at home."
      "Um . . . . " Rakushun scratched at the bottom of his ear. He looked at Youko. "This is the kaikyaku."
      The man responded at once to Rakushun's introduction. "Of course. But she doesn't look much like a kaikyaku to me." He turned to Youko.
      "I supposed I don't."

14.1. The addition is not in the original.
14.2. Youko can't be too surprised by this pronouncement.

15. TP: "Occasionally, a shoku will carry people from Over There to this world. Conversely, eggfruit -- what you might think of as embryos -- are taken from here and sent to the other world. Fascinatingly enough, [1] the eggfruit that do shift worlds end up in a mother's womb when they arrive. The ones who are born this way are known here as taika -- which, incidentally, literally means fruit of the womb. In other words, from eggfruit, wombfruit." [2]

EW: "When a person in Japan or China is caught up in a shoku, they are brought here. In the same way, ranka sometimes get swept into that other world. A ranka is like an embryo. In the other world, a ranka can become embedded in a woman's womb. The child that is subsequently born is called a taika."

15.1. The addition is not in the original.
15.2. This parenthetical is not in the original.

16. TP: . . . by the Emperor of Heaven when you were conceived."

EW: by the Tentei.

This is a term I defined literally once (back in chapter 42) and then defaulted to the Japanese.

17. TP: "Yes. My father always said I looked like his mother."

EW: "Yes. People say I look like my grandmother on my father's side."

LIT: "It's said that I look like my grandmother on my father's side."

18. TP: "So. The form your body took Over There is what we might call your shell. Like a covering placed over you while still in the womb, to protect you once you are born in a place where your natural form would make you seem a stranger. As long as you remained in that world, your inner self would bend to adapt to its new shape."

EW: "It is a shell, so to speak. A second skin grows within the womb so that those born in that other world may pass as 'normal.' I have heard of taika changing their appearance like this."

TokyoPop is more correct: "I have heard that a taika's appearance can be transfigured in such a manner."

19. TP: It took Yoko a long time to accept what he was saying. If it was true, then she wasn't even part of the world that she grew up in. She had been a stranger in that world, too. The idea went against all she had been taught in her childhood [1] -- and yet, at the same time, she felt a part of her had known all along.
      That's why I never fit in.
      Suddenly, the pain she had been carrying inside her since she first saw the visions in the sword disappeared. The pain was gone; [2] but in its place, she was left with a profound sadness.

EW: Youko struggled to make sense of what he was telling her. He was telling her that in Japan, she had been a stranger in a strange land all along. That she accepted without objection. There was definitely a part of her that said, Yes, of course.
      She didn't belong to that other world. That was why she had never felt at home there. She found the thought very comforting. And at the same time, very sad.

19.1. The addition is not in the original.
19.2. The addition is not in the original.

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# posted by Blogger Becca8792
I read your translated version of Juuni Kokki and I just wanted to say thank you for taking your time to work on the novel! It's feels fantastic that I can actually read the genuine Japanese novel in English. (I didn't like the anime) Thank you once again!
11/11/2007 8:31 PM