In a message dated 2/11/07 10:39:07 PM Eastern Standard Time,
Jorge A Pratt wrote:
This is not a gripe _against_ the use of Japanese in fics, but rather an
argument _for_ the use of English: running this scene in my mind, I feel
that --for an audience whose first or second language is English-- the
"Tasukete" removes the reader one step from the intended meaning. A
translated "Help"/"Help me" would feel much more visceral, more urgent,
it would draw the reader in more strongly.
Jorge is absolutely right. Actually, in my case, he's more than right.
See, I know no japanese at all. Right up until I read Jorge's comments,
I thought Hikaru was calling some name I had forgotten from MKR. The
emotion came through fine, as it is derived from the context, but I got
absolutely the wrong meaning and would have been wondering later in the
fic when this Tasukete person was going to show up.
We never watched MKR in the original Japanese, did we?
"Tasukete...onegai, kono sekai o tasukete...densetsu no Majikku Naito!!"
See, it's a direct homage to the very first scene of the series, and since I
tend to "hear" character dialogue in Japanese in my head, when I don't see
any particular reason to "translate", or when I feel it sticks better in
Japanese, that's how I go with it.
This is an argument I've been having with people on and off for the past
decade, and my stance on it isn't about to waver. It's not as though it
takes more than five seconds to use JDIC/Jeffrey's J-E server (which
everyone should have bookmarked by default anyway) or Google to "footnote"
the Japanese dialogue I use, so why should I stifle myself?
To help keep readers from having to stop reading your work to open another
page to look up what you are writing would be one good reason. Kinda helps them
stay in the moment and understand what you are trying to get across better.
How about compromising with a glossary of used Japanese terms at the end of
the chapter? That way the reader can quickly scan down and find any needed
translation and then get back to the story without losing train of thought.
Just my two cents worth.
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