Re: [Commie] Hyouka 01

So apparently my translation of Hyouka has “way too many errors to fully understand everything being said”. Sure there are mistakes (as I pointed out in an earlier post), but that doesn’t make the release incomprehensible. I don’t care if people call my translations bad, because “bad” is subjective and if there are mistakes in it, then it’s justified. On the other hand, I can’t stand it when people label my stuff “guesslation” (as happened before). When I hear that “you can’t understand everything being said” I don’t think of “oh they must have made a mistake or two” but “hell they fucked up the whole thing”. Which is not the case.

It starts as early as the very first line. The matter at hand is quite troublesome. He uses a color analogy of “rose-colored” and “gray”, which have clear and obvious meanings in Japanese (and sound poetic) – on the other hand, as can be seen from the debate it stirred up in the comments at Whiners, that isn’t the case in English. It sure is obvious for translators, because we understand what’s being said before we translate it. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the same meaning in the target language. In this case I took the risky shot at changing rose-colored and gray to high (point) and low (energy), which makes sense in English and other than the words “rose-colored” are falling out of the bulletin board near the end of the episode, it doesn’t seem to have any importance.

Calling something that’s a matter of tastes an error? I may do that here, because I made it clear that I point out stuff that I don’t like or don’t agree with, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are incorrect. In a review that claims to be objective this won’t do. High and low gets the analogy through perfectly, and the colors simply don’t matter.

Apparently translating 寂しい生き方 (sabishii ikikata) literally (really literally) as a “lonely way to live” is incorrect. No, it’s not.

So not translating the girls’ lines here is apparently a mistake as well. Well, I guess that’s kind of valid. However, unlike later in the episode when Eru and Satoshi are talking while Houtarou is thinking, these lines here can not be understood at normal volume, just by paying attention. In my eyes that means that it’s not meant to be understood. You don’t add the subs for sped-up or incomprehensible dialog even if you tweak the audio enough to make it understandable. Consider what the average Japanese watcher would understand.

You think of a history club at the mention of “Classics Club”? I suggest you read more classics then.

Yeah, I indeed made a mistake on this line. I misheard と as a の. It’s supposed to be “aikido and restraining techniques.” I’m not sure what 逮捕術 (taihojutsu, lit. arresting arts) exactly covers (never even heard about it before), but according to the Japanese wiki, although it has the usual martial arts moves (kicks, punches etc), these are only used to suppress and restrain the opponent.

I pointed out this mistake myself earlier.

“My son, you haven’t introduced me to your fiance yet.” “She’s not my fiance!” This is called an assumption. Liberal it may be, but I wouldn’t call it an error.

“Would-be” works all right for me here, replace with “wannabe” or something along those lines if you feel like nitpicking.

It’ll go to his head and he won’t ever shut up again. This is within the range of a valid liberal translation for me.

This is really a bit over-simplified. 成績優秀、眉目秀麗、深窓の佳人 (seiseki-yuushuu, bimoku-shuurei, shinsou no kajin, lit. good grades, beautiful, beauty raised with tender care). We don’t mention her upbringing.

“If he starts thinking, he’s reliable”? Really? You can be sure he’ll reach a conclusion. Not necessarily solve the problem, but something will come out of it. That’s what reliable means.

I interpreted his いい加減だな (ii kagen da na) to refer to how he’s overdoing the whole literary style. This line feels just too far from the one where he changes the setting to refer to it. I may be wrong of course. As for the “bloodshot” mistake in this scene, I already pointed it out in the notes post. The “half-closed” gets the sleepy clue across though, alleviating the seriousness of the mistake.

“From whom”? I see a “who” clean and clear. The “when” is missing, but in this context I think the “where” is enough. In Japanese it’s easy to pile interrogatives like that, but in English it doesn’t work. Nor is it important.

He just made up this whole seven wonders thing. “We could call it the second wonder” or something along those lines. “Could be” is passable.

Recruitment memo? Recruitment note? Just nope. Maybe notice, that would really be better than poster, considering its nature.

There have been recruitment notices popping up for years. Obvious they have known about them, but have no authority over them. 把握 (haaku) can mean to be in control of something. True, it can also mean to grasp or to understand, but to me that would sound like the council didn’t know the full extent of the club’s activities, not that they didn’t know about their existence.

“Corner of the building” is what she literally says, but corner (隅 sumi) has the meaning of a place out of the way in a building. Replace “place” with “nook” if you feel like nitpicking.

As for the problem with the clubs, 水墨画 (suibokuga, I hear her say that first) does mean painting in India ink. I personally have no idea what that actually is (nor do I care, considering how much importance it has on the plot), so I’m not going to argue. The missing club is either 理科 (rika, science) or 囲碁 (igo, the board game go). I’m not sure because of the distortion.

不慣れな奴ほど奇をてらう (funarena yatsu hodo ki wo terau). In retrospect I would probably go very liberal with this line. The point of it is that people doing something they’re not used to (they are 不慣れな), tend to do it in a roundabout way.

I pointed out these lines in the notes post. I really did miss the point here (if I accidentally managed to get some of it across, that’s a relief). Apologies, etc. I also noted that I have no idea about baseball phrases.

He just wanted to keep things as they are. He didn’t want to refuse her flat out, but he himself didn’t realize why. He didn’t want to tell her to piss off, but he didn’t want to use much energy either. This is a situation that you call a status quo.

I know there are mistakes (and I still hold my opinion that only that “nothing better to do” in the beginning and the “change the subject” in the end are really serious mistakes), and maybe next time I’ll take a whole day to pass over it a dozen times to fix them all just be more careful. The translation doesn’t make sense? You can’t understand the story? Well, too bad for you then. It seems to make sense to 20 thousand people.

This entry was posted by Vale.

8 thoughts on “Re: [Commie] Hyouka 01

  1. So you are pissed and rage against 8th? You have guts, good job :> It really seems like he doesn’t care about TL notes posted on an external blog… I havn’t watched his release yet but maybe I should check it out if his makes “more sense”… But if you are reading TL notes to this episode the lines should make sense… so I don’t care and watch the first release.

    • No. He pointed out mistakes I don’t think are mistakes, so I argue. That’s all.
      The tl notes are in another post (and that’s the kind of stuff I really like to write), here I’m just reacting.

  2. You know, people might feel an element of sympathy for you, but seeing how you set up this site seemingly to slate everyone else’s translations I would have to say it serves you right.

  3. I usually pick Commie over any other subbing groups when it comes to following X anime release, but I liked Hyouka so much that I wanted to make sure I was watching the right version regarding translation especially, so I read some reviews here and watched every version the other fansubs did and I decided I’m definitely sticking to yours, Vale. You think and translate just the way I do or would do, and that pleases me. Besides you deal very well with the excessive literallity of the dialogues, which makes your translation very professional. Ignorants and haters don’t understand this but I do since I study these stuff at college, it’s my career.

    Anyway, for me, yours is the best version around and I’ll stick to it for the rest of the show. Keep the good work for the upcoming episodes. I’ll be waiting for them anxiously.

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