I’m re-translating three short stories.

   As you know, a new collection of 4 short stories by Ono sensei will be released on July 1st. Now, I’m re-translating three short stories, Hisho no Tori, Hyōhaku, and Rakushō no Goku, in preparation for it.

   My translation site has few native English speakers. The reason is maybe my translation is terrible. I have my style of writing, when I write in Japanese, but……

   Reading some texts, I feel the biggest pain when I read a terrible text in Japanese. So, other people will have the same pain when they read a terrible text in their native language.

   My re-translation does not promise to improve, but probably better than nothing. Actually, I myself find the parts I cannot understand in the translation of “Hisho no tori”.

   I began to translate it in April 2008. Five years have passed since then, do I have made progress on my English? Anyway, I’ll try to!!

6 replies on “I’m re-translating three short stories.”

Awww well imagine my case XD english is my second language… sometimes I get confused in some parts of your translations, but then again i’m grateful you did them (because i have zero japanese your translations are like gold mines to me lol) and also… when i don’t understand I just assume stuff and then continue haha (my literature teacher would be ashamed of me haha she always said to be a “good reader” and get to read everything and try to understand everything)

Hopefully you had gotten better, and then you’ll improve with your retranslation. I’m rooting for you with the traditional “gambatte!” XD

Thanks, Tracy1Laiyen.

I promise you that I’ll try and never give up. (^^)

I think to translate is very different from to write. Besides, my case is the translation from my native language text to my second language text.

When I write my post on the blog in English, I use English when I plan it. From the beginning, if you use the second language to write some, you never use very difficult words because you don’t know about them. But, you first write it by your mother tongue and next translate it, so many difficult words probably exist there. When you translate some, the similar thing occurs.

Ono sensei wrote the series setting in the world like ancient China, so, the books have a lot of difficult coined words similar to ancient Chinese words. I can understand them in Japanese, but to translate is a different story. And, another problem is my grammar, which is terrible. Sigh!! (;_;)

Oh O6asan! I totally understand, as you know my native language is Spanish, so I also face things like that when people want me to translate stuff from English to Spanish or the other way around.

In my case, to improve my English, I read more and watch English speaking series.. And also when I face a new word I would look for it in English and not in Spanish.. But then the plan backfires when I want to translate some words from English to Spanish haha…

And, well, I’ll tell you more about my experience with translations (specially from Japanese to English) when I began to watch anime and read manga the earlier translators would add a lot of notes, to understand more deeply what the characters were saying, now I can understand better how a Japanese person thinks (in the matter of language-culture side).

Now days, the recent fan translators don’t add notes, and instead of (what I call) “making a more accurate translation”, they give the rough equivalent in English or Spanish (depending on the situation) of what it was actually said. Their translations (in this case) are more like adaptations, because what they write is SO far away from the original texts/dialogues that it seems to be more an adaptation than the real deal…

I think that I would suggest to follow the example of the translators that use notes, like Eugene Woodbury (I’m not sure if your familiar with him or his work) has translated other Juuni Kokki novels and the translations have a lot of notes (specially for cultural and historical stuff, which, as you said, is important in Junni Kokki)… he explains a lot in them and I, personally, love that kind of style. Also the explanation of some phrases, which are not really “translatable” would help. My best experience with that kind of translations was this series called Yakitate Japan. Because there were a lot of Japanese puns, it was not really translatable… so the translators gave a LOT of notes for people to understand and have fun, and I really learned a lot!


Yes, all translating work probably includes the same problem. As gkatar says on the comments of Happy New Year!, even Spanish and English have a lot of difference. Furthermore, the difference of English and Japanese is more than that. You can see it by automatic translation services. For Example, the Google translator results of English, Spanish and Japanese are often impossible to understand, though they say it is not an alpha version but a production. And, the culture differences make the confusion complete.

I know that notes are very helpful. But, if I make a notes of Juuni Kokuki, it must be in English. So, there is the same problem as the main text translation. I don’t know about Eugene Woodbury so much. I think Eugene Woodbury is a native English speaker who knows about Japanese very very much. Sigh.

Nevertheless, I’ll continue my re-translating, I promise!!

Hi o6asan!
I understand totally! I hate those translation services haha I just remembered, one of my korean friends posted in fb 멜라니와 근둥근둥 which is “gyunny (cute way of saying gyun) and melanie” in korean and the bing translation was “Melanie and muscular round ass”… we were all shocked haha! until she explained that the thing was wrong.. well i don’t know korean, but the pronounciations in google translate really helped.

and you’re right about Eugene Woodbury, he is an english native speaker and he has a degree in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) so his employment of the english language is on a higher level (than the rest of the mortals lol).
Well i’m not that proficient in english, but i think maybe i can help you with some feedback with “well this section is not really understandable” or “can you describe more this part?” or sth like that, if you don’t mind 😛

but either way, i’ll be happy to see your re-translation

> Well i’m not that proficient in english, but i think maybe i can help you with some feedback with “well this
> section is not really understandable” or “can you describe more this part?” or sth like that, if you don’t mind 😛

Thank you so kindly. When I finish re-translating them, I hope you’ll give me the proofreading about them.

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