February 01, 2008

"Shadow of the Moon" revisions

Chapter 54

TP is the TokyoPop translation. EW is my translation.

1. TP: Back at the inn, Rakushun mumbled that he was "Of the opinion that they should procure lodgings of a quality befitting Yoko's new status." Yoko firmly objected, but the beastling said, "I hardly think the Glory-King would stay in a place like this."

EW: Rakushun had insisted that they take a room at a proper inn and Youko had insisted that it was a waste of money.
      "How could the Royal Kei even think of staying in a cheap place like this?"

Not dialogue in the original.

2. TP: But you're the Glory-King! You'll be able to pay somehow.

EW: You're the Royal Kei. You shouldn't even have to pay.

LIT: "There should be no expectation of a person like the Royal Kei paying."

3. TP: After much argument, they finally decided to remain at the inn they'd originally chosen, which was definitely on the inexpensive side, yet clean and respectable [1]. Their room was small, but it had two beds. There was a window looking over an inner courtyard, and even a small table under the window. Yoko took great satisfaction in the fact that she was able to pay for the place with her own money.

EW: They ended up getting a room that could be said to be the best of the worst. It was a small, four tatami-mat room, about eight by ten feet. [2] The room slept two. It had a window facing the courtyard. There was a small table beneath the window. As they were going Dutch on the room, this was the best inn Youko had stayed in so far. [3]

3.1. "Best of the worst" is a literal translation.
3.2. Room size in Japan is still often measured in tatami mats. I added the parenthetical to provide dimensions.
3.3. We're both wrong. LIT: "Because that was the kind of room they could pay for by themselves, as far as Youko was concerned, there wasn't anything more luxurious [in this class]." Or: "This was the best they could afford on their budget."

4. TP: Yoko heard something familiar in the screams of the escaping townsfolk--the fear of death. These were the kind of screams people could only make when their lives were truly in danger. What is coming? Ah--there . . . [2] Mingled with the screams she heard another voice, like the wailing of an infant.

EW: The screams of the fleeing people awakened something inside her. [1] The most piercing of the cries, that was the sound of a person in mortal danger. Mingled together with the screams was that sound like a wailing baby. The cries of the youma. Youko knew it well.

4.1. Should be: "The screams of the fleeing people sounded familiar in her ears."
4.2. Not in the original.

5. TP: She heard a familiar scream: "Bafik!"

EW: Bakufu, she heard somebody shout.

Should be: "Bafuku" (my typo).

6. TP: She knocked two out of the sky; then, moving with calculated efficiency, she finished off the still-struggling tiger.

EW: She struck down two and gave the tiger another should-be mortal blow.

TokyoPop is correct: "She struck down two and gave the tiger the coup de grace." This mistake arose out an error with the counting suffixes (see 11).

7. TP: She knew instinctively that she had to avoid letting the birds go for her legs--that would open her to attacks from above [1]--so she sprinted past the tiger's [2] corpse and stood with her back to the inn, finding a patch of dry ground where her footing would be good. In the street, the wounded ox bellowed and thrashed wildly on cobblestones slick with demon blood. [3]

EW: To keep from tripping and falling, she skipped past the corpses and with her back against the wall of the inn searched for better footing. She'd stuck the blue bull twice and it was in a frenzy. The blood of the youma was making the cobblestones slick beneath her feet.

7.1. Not in the original.
7.2. The text only says "corpses."
7.3. A minor point, but two separate sentences.

My translation here is close to literal. The last sentence should probably be: "The cobblestones beneath her feet grew slick with the blood of the youma."

8. TP: The road was narrow and poorly lit, and the flock was coming fast. The only light Yoko had was that from the shops that lined the road, a dim half-light that seemed only to make the shadows deeper. She glanced up. The birds, attacking in close formation, were rapidly nearing; it looked as though they were almost boiling out of the shadows.

EW: The cramped, poorly-lit alleyway, the birds gathering. No hope of assistance from the surrounding shops, save for the flickering lamplight. Beyond the muddy glow, the night was dark and deep. If the birds realized this as well, they were close at hand and could be scheming to fall on her out of the blackness.

TokyoPop is more correct: "Before she knew it, the birds were on top of her. They fell on her, as boiling out of the blackness."

9. TP: A flash caught her eye-- [1] the motion of a sword thrust skillfully through the monster's back. [2] Yoko was so distracted she failed to see another bird swooping at her, but this too was cut down by--

EW: As she did, that same someone pierced the back of its skull with a brilliantly executed stroke. It was with such skill that the dexterity of the stroke [3] completely distracted her. He yanked out the sword and eviscerated the next bird thrusting its stinger at her. [4]

9.1. It's not a flash of light, but it is a common-enough phrasing.
9.2. It's definitely the "back of the head."
9.3. I think the error here comes from the verb "brilliant," which as in English can refer to both light and skill. The first usage translates literally as "pierced with a brilliant hand movement." The second usage translates literally as "transfixed by [that] utter brillance."
9.4. Better: "He yanked out the sword and mowed down the birds descending on them."

10. TP: A man was beside her in the street. He stood with a warrior's poise, a full head taller than Yoko. "Focus."
      Speaking only that one word, the man turned and slashed down three screeching monkeys with a single swing of his blade.

EW: He was a big man, a good head taller than herself. "Don't let your guard down," he said, and dispatched the last of the birds with ease.

"Last of the birds" is a literal translation.

11. TP: Then the horde of monkey-demons charged en masse, and the man turned to meet them head-on, Yoko at his side.
      He was skilled, more skilled than she was, and many times as strong. The monkeys in the horde seemed too numerous to count, yet it was only a matter of moments before all had fallen and quiet returned to the corpse-ridden street.

EW: Youko nodded and he tore into the charging monkeys like a battering ram. From the rear the tiger leapt at them and impaled itself. Youko quickly found herself back in the midst of the battle.
      The man's skill far exceeded her own. His strength was an order of magnitude greater. The hoard was numerous, but the dead bodies piled up in the alleyway and the tempest quieted down. It didn't seem to take much time at all.

In Japanese, suffixes are attached to numbers that identify the nature of the thing being counted. In this case, the counter means "head," as in "head of cattle." I didn't realize it could be used for counting monkeys.

      Youko nodded, at the same time slashing at the charging monkeys as if swatting at flies [LIT: "as if slapping at something"]. She impaled one leaping up behind them, and quickly found herself back in the midst of the battle."

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