August 06, 2007

"Shadow of the Moon" revisions

TP is the TokyoPop translation. EW is my translation.

Chapter 42

1. TP: In the evening of their first day of travel, Yoko and Rakushun arrived in a town called Kakrak.[1] It was at least as big as Kasai, and at first Yoko was intimidated by the sight of it; but their overnight stay proved uneventful, and as the journey continued, she soon learned to take such places in stride.[2]
      Yoko also adapted quickly to the fact that her travels were now much more frugal than they had been when she was with Takkee. She and Rakushun ate only simple peasant fare at roadside stalls and slept in the cheapest lodgings they could find. They usually took a single fifty-sen room at a run-down inn, putting up a divider for a modicum of privacy.[3] Yoko didn't complain, since Rakushun was paying for everything.

      EW: That evening they arrived at a city called Kakuraku, a city as big as Kasai.
      Youko had traveled with a person from this world before, but compared to then they were on a much tighter budget. They ate dinner at a roadside stand and spent the night in the cheapest inn. A single night costs fifty sen, and for that you got a bed in a big room sectioned off with folding screens. Because Rakushun was picking up the tab, Youko was in no position to complain.

1.1. I honestly do not understand the logic of the TokyoPop approach to romaji conversion. (Unless they want to refer to a city in Afghanistan.)
1.2. The addition in not in the original.
1.3. LIT: For a single night, for fifty yen, [they could] use a big room partitioned with dividers." In other words, at a cheap inn, you get barracks-style accommodations. Like a youth hostel. Especially for group excursions, the shared, single-room approach is still common in Japan (and does not necessarily imply low budget).

2. TP: The king of Kou's called the Naze-King [1] and his palace is the Jadegrove Palace in Gosou in the province of Ki."
      "Gosou? Is that a town?"
      Rakushun nodded and pointed to the mountains visible to their left. "The name means Place Where the Frost is Proud." [2]

      EW: The Royal Kou is known as the Mountain King. His palace is in Gousou, in Ki Province. It is called Suikou, the Palace of Green Bamboo."
      "Gousou is a city?"
      Nodding, Rakushun pointed off to the left at the mountains coming into view.

2.1. A "naze" is a promontory or headland, which is the literal meaning of "kou" in the Royal Kou. No, I didn't know that (does any non-denizen of Essex?), but it's in Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. EDICT suggests "projecting tableland or mountain," so I stuck with something a bit simpler. Anyway, in Japanese naze means "why," so I kept thinking, "Why why?"
2.2. "Gosou" does mean "proud frost." This is a matter of where you draw the line at providing parenthetical literal translations.

3. TP: . . . and the town of Gosou encircles its base."
      Yoko nodded. She had given up trying to think of meaningful questions, as she was rather sure that the lecture would continue regardless.
      EW: Around the foot of the mountain is the city of Gousou."
      "No kidding."

The addition is not in the original.

4. TP: Yoko wasn't sure she entirely understood, but it was beginning to sound like a sort of indirect government like the one they had in America – not necessarily the dictatorship she expected.

      EW: She didn't really understand it, but perhaps it was like the federal system in the United States.

The addition is not in the original.

5. TP: "It's said that a long, long time ago, the Emperor of Heaven conquered the Nine Provinces and the Four Tribes, thirteen lands in all.

      EW: "The story is that a long, long time ago, Tentei--the Lord God of the Heavens, the Divine Creator--destroyed the Nine Dominions and the Four Barbarian Domains that comprised the Thirteen Realms.

"Vanquished" might be a better translation than "destroyed." EIJIROU offers "God of Hosts / Lord of Hosts" as translations for Tentei.

6. TP: A snake was coiled around each branch, and each bore three golden fruits. The men bowed to the snakes and sent them down into the world, and then they cast the fruits into the air.

      EW: Around each branch was wrapped a snake, and each branch bore three fruits. The snakes unwound themselves from each branch and lifted the sky to the heavens. The fruits fell down . . . .

The TokyoPop version of the first clause is better; I would improve it by getting rid of the passive voice altogether. I don't see any mention of color. I don't know where the second sentence came from.

7. TP: Now, the snakes, they symbolize the Great Ropes. The land stands for the households we are given by the state, the kingdom means the laws, and the throne symbolizes the sages--in other words, the ministers. Last but not least, the brushes stand for history."

      EW: "The snakes are the pillars of the Great Colonnade, the earth represents the census, the kingdoms stand for the law, the thrones symbolize justice and virtue, or the Saiho, and the brush records the history of the people."

I'll go fifty-fifty on this one. A better translation is: "or the Saiho and the ministers of the realm."

8. "Ah, that's be the High Emperor for that. There's some people that worship the High Emperor for that reason alone. Others worship the Eastern Emperor, to avoid flooding and the like, and others the Yellow Emperor, to ward off demons."

      EW: "If you were asking for wealth and prosperity, you'd petition Gyoutei, the August God. Speaking of which, there are sects that worship Gyoutei. And in that same vein, to escape floods, there are those who look to Utei. To escape youma, there's Koutei."

These names are derived from ancient Chinese folklore, but I think they can be understood in the same context as local Shinto gods. Calling them all "emperors" confuses things.

9. Rakushun was well learned and quite clever, if he did say so himself. Yoko appreciated how difficult it had to be for him, [1] to be so smart and able yet doomed to be a burden on his mother because of the accident of his birth. As the journey continued, she listened willingly as he told long tales of his upbringing and stories of the lands around them; knowing the value of information, she avidly drank in all he had to say. [2] When he wanted to know more about her, however, or more about Japan, Yoko avoided the topic. And so they passed the first five days of their journey. [3]
      The attack came on the sixth [4] day after they had left Rakushun's home in Kahok.

      EW: It was something he usually boasted of only to himself, but Rakushun was well-studied and had an unusually sharp mind. He found it painful to think that despite this he should become a burden on his mother, and only because he was a half-human hanjuu.
      Rakushun wanted to ask more about Youko and about Japan, but she had nothing more to say.
      And so it was, on the sixteenth day of their journey, that the attack came.

9.1. The additiona isn't necessary as this short paragraph is from Rakushun's POV.
9.2. The addition is not in the original.
9.3. The addition is not in the original.
9.4. It is definitely the 16th day (十六日目).

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