October 31, 2007

"Shadow of the Moon" revisions

TP is the TokyoPop translation. EW is my translation.

Chapter 49

1. TP: The two friends headed up into middle of town. Ugou was even livelier away from the docks. [1] People were out in the streets in great numbers, and shopkeepers called from their storefronts, beckoning customers inside.
      "Quite the difference from Kou, eh?"
      "No kidding."
      "I'd heard meself that En was a rich country, but hearing and seeing are two different things."
      Yoko nodded. The streets here were wider, the scale of everything bigger. Even the wall around the town was thick, perhaps as much as twenty feet wide in places; numerous shops had been carved into the inner side of the wall itself. It reminded Yoko of the restaurants [2] built under the elevated train lines in Tokyo.

EW: "This is one happening town."
      The crowds of people bustling back and forth and proprietors shouting out their wares from the storefronts only added to the lively atmosphere.
      "You're surprised."
      "I'd heard that En was a wealthy kingdom, but when I saw Ugou for the first time, even I was taken aback."
      Youko nodded. The streets were wide in the same way that the dimensions of the whole city were big. The castle walls that surrounded the city must be a good ten meters thick. On the city-side of the walls, shop stalls had been hollowed-out of the stone and businesses were thriving there as well. They very much resembled under-girder kiosks in Japan.

1.1. The paragraph begins with Youko reacting aloud.
1.2. The noun here is "shop" or "business."

2. TP: Here and there she saw larger buildings of brick and stone, giving the city a very different feel from the Chinatown-like warrens she had visited in Kou.

EW: Here and there was a huge building made of brick and stone. It all came together to create a curious, pervasive, Chinatown-like atmosphere.

No comparison is made in this sentence to Kou. That comparison comes at the end of the paragraph. A more accurate translation: "A 'Chinatown-like atmosphere' by itself was not enough to describe the strange and curious ambience the place created."

3. TP: There was even a park and a central square. It was Yoko's first time seeing anything of the sort in this world.

EW: There were parks and plazas. None of this had she ever seen in Kou.

The comparison is to Kou alone, but I don't disagree with the singular in TokyoPop's first sentence: "There was a park and a public square."

4. TP: Yoko pointed at a series of high stone walls that were visible above the rooftops: they appeared to form several concentric rings of defense within the outer walls of the town. [1]
      "Oh, those. Actually, the outermost wall is what they call the perimeter wall. Those others inside the town are called the town walls here. Most places in Kou don't have those. They're an added protection against attack. Still, I wonder if those inner walls aren't really just perimeter walls that the town outgrew." [2]
      "Right . . . so they had to build other walls farther out." [3]

EW: Youko pointed out to Rakushun where the high walls could be seen here and there rising above the surrounding houses and stores.
      "Well, technically, a city's outer walls are called the ramparts, and the inner wall protecting the keep is called the bailey. In Kou, cities with baileys are rare. That's the remnant of an old rampart left over from when the city grew bigger and expanded beyond it."

4.1. The addition is not in the original.
4.2. The addition is not in the original. I would add a qualifier this sentence: "Those are probably the remnants of an old rampart left over from when the city grew bigger and expanded beyond it."
4.3. All Youko says is "Wow."

5. TP: "Is Ugou a provincial capital?"
      "No," replied Rakushun, "a territorial capital."
      "Oh, and a territory was one below a province, right?"
      "Nope. Two below. You got your villages and towns at the bottom, then your townships come next, then districts, prefectures, territories, regions, and finally provinces."
      "And how many regions in a province?"
      "Well, that depends on the province, don't it?"
      "So, if this is just a territorial capital, then the regional and provincial capitals must be even bigger!" Yoko exclaimed. She felt as though she were finally getting the hang of the myriad political divisions in this world, even though her head was spinning.

EW: TP "So, is this a provincial capital?"
      "No, a prefectural seat."
      "The prefecture is one step below a province?"
      "Two steps below. Starting with hamlets of twenty-five households, it goes, from smallest to largest: hamlet, town, township, county, prefecture, district, province."
      "How many districts are in a province?"
      "It depends on the location."
      "If this is a prefectural seat, then district and provincial capitals must be huge."
      According to official designations, a district capital was a city that was home to a district administration, also called a district seat. For administrative purposes, districts were designated as having populations of fifty thousand households, though that didn't necessarily mean that fifty thousand people lived in a single district. Generally speaking, it terms of urbanization, a town was bigger than a hamlet, a district capital bigger than a county seat, the capital of a province bigger than a district capital.

As with a lot of translation, the problem isn't what you call things, but that you call them the same things consistently. A while back, immi and I worked out the geographical equivalents. It proved very useful to keep a chart on hand.

The author does use specific numbers. In fact, I skipped a sentence (because the information is repeated later on): "Starting with hamlets of twenty-five households, it goes, from smallest to largest: hamlet, town, township, county, prefecture, district, province. A district consists of fifty-thousand households." Youko's next question makes more sense in this context.

6. TP: "The Ever-King of En is supposed to be a genius at administration, the best in a long time. He's been in power for a good five hundred years by now. Nothing like our fledging Naze-King, who's ruled for a mere fifty years."

EW: "The Royal En is an unusually enlightened monarch. He is said to have reigned for five hundred years. The Royal Kou has been around for maybe fifty years. He's hardly in the same league."

Again, I quite dislike using these literal translations as names. It might be a little more accurate for the second sentence to read: "The Royal Kou has been around for at most fifty years."

7. TP: "Why, sure. The king is a god, after all. You thought he was human? [1] No, the powers of Heaven only grant a kingdom to one who is worthy of the charge. And the kingdom prospers or falters according to his worth."
      "Wow," Yoko murmured, amazed. [2]

EW: "Of course. Kings are gods, not ordinary human beings. The degree to which Heaven allows a king to govern is commensurate with the caliber of the king. So, the better a king rules, the longer he will reign."

7.1. Rakushun is making a generic statement.
7.2. The addition is not in the original.

8. TP: "See, when a king's reign ends, there's always trouble with the succession. [1] That's why kingdoms with a wise, enduring king grow fat. The Ever-King, in particular, is said to have a deft hand when it comes to ruling. He's made many important reforms. The Priest-King's [2] got a good reputation too, but the difference is that Sou is known for peace and tranquility, whereas En is known for getting things done."

EW: "A kingdom whose king is deposed will in every case fall into chaos, while a kingdom with a wise king prospers. In particular, the Royal En has proved to be a most shrewd reformer. And speaking of enlightened monarchs, Royal Sou is said to be one as well, who has made the Kingdom of Sou a place of peace and tranquility. En, on the other hand, is, as you say, a 'happening' place."

8.1. Better: "A kingdom undergoing a change of regimes will always fall into chaos, while a kingdom with a wise ruler prospers."
8.2. The Royal Sou, in other words. And we don't necessarily know that the Royal Sou is a "king," unless "king" is being used as a unisex term.

9. TP: On the front was a seal, and the words "By permission of the Offices of Ugou, Suyuo Region, Hak Territory, Khei Province" inked black in tightly spaced characters.

EW: On the front was a red seal and beneath it in black ink, "Conferred in Ugou, Tei Province, Haku District, Shuuyou Prefecture."

Again, I don't understand this system of romanization. The last addition is not in the original.

10. TP: The procedure had been astonishingly painless. Once inside the regional offices, they had been called before a minor official. He had taken Yoko's name and asked here for her address and employment in Japan. To her surprise, he'd even asked for her postal code and area code. When she had answered all his questions, she received the chop.

EW: The official Youko had been brought to asked for her name, her address in Japan, her occupation and other details, including, most surprisingly, her postal code and area code, before handing over the identification card.

10. The addition is not in the original.

11. TP: "Er, Yoko, say, I was wondering . . . " Rakushun's voice sounded at her elbow. [1] "What exactly is a postal code? And an area code?"
      Her companion had asked the official the same question, [2] but the man had apparently not known the answer. He had merely replied that it was standard procedure to ask, that the information was required by the rules laid out in his official policy manual. [3] Yoko had glanced at this book as the man opened it, and discovered that it had been printed on some sort of woodblock press. The official had referred to the manual several times before issuing her identification. [4]

EW: "By the way, Youko, um, what are postal codes and area codes?"
      The official had asked the same question as Rakushun. Apparently he didn't know either. "Just following regulations," he said, opening a volume in a set of books. Sneaking a peek at the Japanese-style bound volume, Youko saw that it contained rows of numbers printed with woodblock characters.

11.1. The addition is not in the original.
11.2. LIT: "Rakushun asked the same question that the official also asked."
11.3. The official answers this question the same way officials do everywhere.
11.4. I left off the last sentence: "Only after referencing one of the volumes did he hand over the card."

12. TP: "Sorcery! They have things like that in Wa? And anyone can use them? Amazing!" [1] Rakushun stroked his whiskers bemusedly. "But what good does it do that official, asking you 'bout such things?
      "Maybe it's because no one would know what those codes are unless they really were from Wa. Now he knows for certain I'm a kaikyaku. [2] I suppose if the government didn't check up on people who claim they're from my world, you could have a lot of impostors running around." Yoko laughed, holding up her chop.

EW: "To think they have such things in Japan. But why would he ask about it?" Rakushun quivered his whiskers. "Probably because someone who wasn't Japanese wouldn't know such a thing. Makes it easy to tell who is a kaikyaku and who's not. Otherwise, you'd have people pretending to be kaikyaku all over the place."
      Youko laughed and showed him the card. "That must be it."

12.1. The additions are not in the original. After all, this is a world where messages can be instantly communicated across great distances using birds, that can also be employed like organic tape recorders. Rakushun can't be that impressed.
12.2. I'm not even sure what this sentence means. Update: Upon further thought, I think TP meant: "Now they know for certain I'm a kaikyaku," meaning the bureaucracy. And upon even further thought, I believe my dialog attributions are incorrect. The paragraph should read as follows:

      "To think they have such things in Japan. But why would he ask about it?" Rakushun quivered his whiskers.
      "Probably because someone who wasn't Japanese wouldn't know such a thing. Makes it easy to tell who is a kaikyaku and who's not. Otherwise, you'd have people pretending to be kaikyaku all over the place." Youko grinned and showed him her card.
      "Yeah, that must be it."

13. TP: . . . and start a family register, which was a more standard document that made you a citizen of the kingdom.

EW: TP: . . . at which time you would officially register with the census.

This whole paragraph should be in the third person. A better translation might be: " . . . at which time she would settle on a permanent place of residency and be official recorded on the census." Strictly speaking, the author is refering to the family register (koseki) system, but I think "census" is a better generic translation.

14. Better still, she could bring her identification to a place called the kaisheen, which was something like a bank, and they would give her a small allowance to live on.

EW: Not only that, if you took your indentification card to a kind of bank called a trade credit union, you could collect a stipend to cover your living expenses.

If romaji, it should be kaishin.

15. TP: Seeing the Ever-King, too, would pose little difficulty now, [1] Yoko thought. Rakushun assured her that she ought to ask the ruler for aid, though she was not certain what else she could possibly expect to receive. She found that she could breathe easy at last. The fear of persecution was gone. [2]

EW: The Royal En should by no means prove to be an unapproachable individual. Rakushun said she should ask him for help. She still had her doubts about the likelihood of that ever happening. She had her doubts about a lot of things, but felt more confident that she wouldn't be rejected out of hand or summarily punished for making the attempt.

15.1. The author uses a double negative: a "not difficult person" to deal with. My version is a bit more wordy.
15.2. Youko is thinking here in terms of her belief that she won't be rejected out of hand or summarily rejected, not her fears. In the last sentence, the implication "she wouldn't be rejected out of hand [for approaching the Royal En]" is reading a tad more into the original than the text by itself justifies.

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