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Author Topic: How...do...you...translate....  (Read 922 times)

weissvulf

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How...do...you...translate....
« on: November 24, 2017, 06:47:16 pm »
Japanese often contains an overuse of ellipses as well as 'surprise' responses that all roughly translate to "what!?". I'm wondering how other people handle these Japanese conventions - leave everything verbatim, remove some, substitute similar phrases or what? When I re-read a literal translation I just made for an event, sometimes it looks like:

Person1:
 It is as you say...

Person2:
 Wha...!? But...

Person1:
 So...do you feel...

Person3:
 Huh,I didn't expect to find you two...

Person1:
 What,who...?

Person2:
 Huh,What...?

Person3:
 Surprising...that you two are surprised...
 
 :banghead:

filler

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Re: How...do...you...translate....
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 10:10:51 pm »
This is an issue with Japanese scripts, and you're right to be annoyed by it.

My personal rule of thumb is to replace ellipses with periods. THEN add them back in if appropriate.

Grammar Girl summarizes, "... use ellipses sparingly to indicate hesitation or faltering speech or thoughts, and use them to shorten long quotations when necessary, but be sure you don’t change the meaning."
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/ellipses?page=2

She recognizes that they do get used in unconventional ways in comic strips, "... Charles Schulz always used ellipses instead of periods at the end of sentences in Peanuts."

I'd encourage you to do your own research. I was recently recommended The Chicago Manual of Style by D (remember him?). You may want to consider keeping a copy of that around.

As for an abundance of "what/huh", the same "less is more" rule applies. Don't be afraid to omit ones that are unnecessary.

Jorpho

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Re: How...do...you...translate....
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 12:08:37 am »
I find that much of the time a dash is much more suitable than an ellipsis.

Translation–wise, I think "Kore wa..." is far better translated as "What's this?" or even simply "Huh?" rather than left as "This is...", because that is not realistic English usage.
This depresses me. I feel like a goldfish right now...

julayla

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Re: How...do...you...translate....
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 11:11:02 am »
Yeah, that sentence would be more of a "What the-?!" kind of dialogue to me for some reason

weissvulf

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Re: How...do...you...translate....
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 06:48:46 pm »
Thank you all for the input. Hearing other people's input helps me sort my thoughts and choose a good translation 'path' (hopefully). The game I'm working on (Asuncia) uses these in excess, averaging about one ellipses per sentence, and 2 or 3 "what!?" per event.

I almost get the feeling that such things were early incarnations of emoticons: trying to inject an emotional sub-script without using actual words. As such, it felt a bit inaccurate to strip them out, but there's not always an English equivalent that sounds natural.

There's some good advice here and I'll add these to my 'bag-o-tricks'. Thanks...  ;D