Tag Archives: translation

Is That Really You, Father Virgil?

ddc-astray

Scanlators have been working on a manga adaption of the Divine Comedy (I seem to recall that Lelouch was a fan). However! Rather than simply translating the dialogue they’ve decided to admix it with appropriate lines from existing translations — not translations of the manga, but of the Comedy itself:

[W]hat we are doing with this as of now is 1. translating the manga, 2. comparing to the original divine comedy/history (when the mangaka leaves the context of the Divine Comedy), 3. mixing it all together and 4. re-writing it in a decasyllabic meter to match with the Divine Comedy’s poetry style. We used mostly H.F. Cary’s translation of the original Divine Comedy as reference, but if the translation was to archaic to be applicable, we used Longfellow’s.

While there’s obviously a lot of potential for a mismatch of tastes here — one person’s archaism is another’s ornament, and not all of us enjoy Longfellow — I instinctively approve of this. A translation is a new text, and so it’s perfectly permissible (though not always advisable) for a translator to throw accuracy out of the window and try something creative. Continue reading

Moe-Mao and a Mobile Suit

Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!, like Infinite Ryvius, isn’t directly about politics but still has a political edge. Leaving aside the campaigning, the referendum and the clashes with oppressive authority, there are also little touches here and there: the left-facing swastika in the eighth episode is one and the above declaration from Manabi herself is another.

Except that, unlike the reversed swastika, those of us who don’t speak Japanese can’t tell who came up with this allusion, as we don’t know if the phrase that Manabi uses is the Japanese phrase used to describe the real Great Leap Forward.

Continue reading