Sunday, November 13, 2005


Once again, my translation notes for vol. 8 attracted some notice, so I decided to continue with vol. 9. (Links to earlier installments in this series are now in the sidebar.) As before, TP stands for Tokyopop's edition and JP stands for the Japanese edition, The page numbers refer to Tokyopop's edition, but this time you need to subract four to get the Japanese page numbers. Also, if you see that I've made a mistake, or just have a comment to offer, please email me (using the address in the sidebar).

p. 29, panel 4: TP: "Now, there's just one question I've been dying to ask you!"
JP: "Ma hitotsu yoroshiku tanonmasu!!"
"Yoroshiku tanomu," of which the JP is a polite form, is an expression meaning "leave to your best judgment" or "trust to your discretion." "Hitotsu" means "one," and I'm not really sure what it's doing in there; but I am pretty sure that there's nothing in the JP about asking a question.

p. 30, panel 3: TP: "Hey! I thought you had a ..."
JP: Simply "Oi!!"

p. 30, panel 6: TP: "He's oblivious to the fact that his words and actions grate on others..."
JP: "Hatsugen to koudou ga chiguhagu na ue tanin no koto nado okamainasage na kono nori wa..."
Literally, this means something like "This pattern, where speech and actions are irregular and he seems unconcerned with others..." It's not a large difference, but Yuki is less harsh on Kakeru in JP than in TP.

p. 41, panel 3: TP: "Of course there will be some challenges...but if you see them through...I'm sure many fun adventures are waiting for you."
JP: "Taihen na koto mo takusan...aru to omoimasu ga keredo tanoshii koto mo takusan matte ite kudasarisou na..."
This means more or less "I believe there will be many serious things, but also many fun things waiting..." There's nothing about "if you see them through."

p. 51, panel 2: TP: "You want to eat the curse of their bodyguard?"
The word in JP corresponding to "eat" is "kurau," which means "receive" as well as "eat," and in this instance probably means the former.

p. 61, panel 3: TP: "Maybe I'm just a stupid girl..." There's nothing corresponding to this in JP.

p. 61, panels 4 and 5: TP: "Ever since I met you I've thought, maybe it was more than coincidence...that you bumped into me." Again, there's nothing in JP that corresponds to this.

p. 62, panel 1: TP: "Because, I thought, maybe our meeting meant something. Because...I was happy!"
JP: "Anta ni aitakatta kara dakara ureshikatta kedo na!!"
This means simply "I wanted to meet you, so I was happy!!"

p. 90, panel 2: The title of the book Megumi is holding is untranslated in TP. It's "Noroi," which means "Curse" or "A Curse" or "The Curse" or "Curses."

p. 107, panel 1: TP: "The people were different, but my curse still hadn't gone away."
JP: "Atataka na kuuki wa mukashi kara kawatte inakatta no yo."
Literally, this means "The warm (or kindly) atmosphere hadn't changed from old times." It's not clear to me what this signifies in this context; but it doesn't mean what TP has.

p. 108, panel 4: TP: "For the first time in my life, I felt happy."
JP: "Datte ureshikatta no yo."
This means just "But I was happy."

p. 109, panel 1: TP: "Me...happy."
JP: "Ureshikute."
This means simply "happy." Hana in this panel isn't implying that it's extraordinary for her to be happy, as she is in TP.

p. 112, panel 4: TP: "It couldn't have been..."
JP: "Kowai."
Here this means "I'm scared," as in panels 1 and 2.

p. 115, panel 4: TP: "Don't assume that things are a certain way 'cuz that's what people tell you."
JP: "Nanka iroiro kimetsuken na yo."
The JP is a difficult sentence to translate, but "kimetsukeru" means "scold" or "take to task," and "iroiro" means "various." So the meaning is probably something like "Stop criticizing yourself over everything." (The "yourself" is not explicitly in the JP, but it's the only way I can think of to make sense of the sentence in context.)

p. 116, panel 1: TP: "'It's what we do. It's love.'"
JP: "Kimetsuketari shinaide."
The TP is a recollection of the words of Hana's father on p. 98. This is completely absent from the JP, which is a continuation or recollection of Uo's words on the previous page, and means "Don't keep criticizing yourself."

p. 116, panel 4: TP: "It was so bizarre...when I looked down..."
JP: "Fushigi...itsu no ma ni ka yasashiku miete."
This means "Strange (or wonderful)...before I knew what was happening, it looked gentle (or kind)."

p. 116, panel 5 and p. 117, panel 1: TP: "From that moment on...I never walked alone again."
JP: "Soredake no koto na no ni. Tatta soredake no koto na no ni."
I'm not quite sure, but I think this means "Because of only that. Just because of only that." At any rate, the TP is pure invention.

p. 122, panels 3 and 4: TP: "There are times when my heart feels so full I think it's going to burst."
JP: "Mune ga itamu koto ga aru no."
This means "There are times when my heart hurts."

p. 123, panel 2: TP: "No matter how miserable their situation..."
JP: "Donna ni hito ni shiitagerarete mo zetsubou shite mo..."
This means "No matter how much you're oppressed by someone else (or "other people"), or in despair..."

p. 123, panel 3: TP: "All anyone really wants is to be accepted by others."
JP: "Yappari hito ni ukeirete hoshiku naru n' da."
This means "you want to accepted by someone else (or "other people")."
Note: in this and the preceding example, the word I've transcribed as "hito" is actually written as the kanji for "tanin," or "another person/other people" (Japanese generally does not distinguish between singular and plural, another thing that makes translation difficult), with "hito" in furigana (see my translation notes for vol. 7 for an explanation).

p. 145, panel 3: The phrase "as the cat deserves," present in TP, is absent from JP.

p. 146, panel 3: TP: "A monster who it's practically a fact killed his own mother...who killed my wife!!"
JP: "Jibun no hahaoya o...watashi no tsuma o koroshita mo douzen no bakemono nan' da zo!!"
"Douzen no," which means "the same" or "like," modifies "bakemono" (monster), not "fact." So a more accurate, though clumsy, translation would be "No better than a monster, who even killed his own mother...my wife."

p. 148, panel 3: TP: "You're so eager to blame your troubles on your son..."
JP: "Goshisoku o semetatete okinagara..."
This means "While torturing you son in advance..." ("Semetateru" actually means "torture severely.")

p. 148, panel 4: TP: "Are you afraid of the blood that might be on your own hands?"
JP: "Mizukara no chi o nagasu koto o sakenagara..."
This means "While you avoid spilling your own blood..."

In earlier installments of this series I said that I wasn't judging the translations overall, and that mistakes were inevitable when translating a lengthy work. But what isn't inevitable is deliberately adding things which aren't in the original text. Sometimes it seems to be done to add variety to a repetitive passage, as in Uo's dialogue on pp. 61-62. Sometimes the translators add little moral exhortations that weren't in the original, as on p. 41 above. In any case, I don't agree with the practice. Particularly not in the case of Fruits Basket, which (as I've said before) is one of the best series currently being published in the U.S., and deserves to be represented to English-speaking readers as accurately as possible.

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