View Full Version : Misleading lyrics in "Matryoshka"

06-22-2011, 06:36 AM

I might not know much Japanese but I can understand small bits and pieces... I am pretty sure that at least some parts of the lyrics in Matryoshka are more or less off of the actual translation.

For example 愚かの果ての現実 (oroka no hate no genjitsu) has been translated as "that I am fearful of this vain display and reputation" on this site. Just where did that come from? It should be "...to end this foolish reality" or "end of this stupid reality", or something similar. To me it appears as if the translator was thinking too much about it. If I am wrong here I hope that I can do simple apology and then go back to my study books and lurking around. :)

The first paragraph...


...I'd translate as...

In order to survive, I dress into these clothes,
Into this armor only you can see...
Being scared of my appearance and the reputation,
I'll end this foolish reality...

...instead of this...

In order to survive in this world,
I have put on armors that only you can see.
As utterly foolish as it may sound, the honest truth is
that I am fearful of this vain display and reputation.

I am perfectly aware that I am also doing jumping here too. For example I don't know if it is correct to understand 着込んだ as 着込む but that's the closest thing I can find in my vocabulary.

Can you peer review the existing translation for any mistakes? Thank you!

Link to lyrics: http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/c/matryoshka.htm

PS. I am not a native English speaker either (I am from Finland) so if you find my English in some way inferior I'd appreciate if somebody points out the mistakes. Thank you! :laugh:

06-22-2011, 12:35 PM
Oh sure, I will DEFINITELY take a look at what you suggested as I was the translator =x
not now though 'cause I need to go to work.
I'll get back to you later.

---------- Post added at 01:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:16 AM ----------

Ok, so literally,



In order to survive, I have put on
an armor (armors) which only you can see.
I am scared of my [actual] outward appearance and reputation;
that is the honest truth behind/beyond my foolish deed/act.

果て doesn't mean "to end" in the sense of to stop something; that's 終わらせる or やめる. Instead, 果て means "boundary" or "extremity". 愚かの果ての現実 = the reality at the outer limit of my foolishness = the truth behind my foolish deed. So the 3rd and 4th lines are explaining why the protagonist has chosen to put on an armor (armors). And I said armors because matryoshka dolls are composed of multiple layers, and in this song each of those layers represents one armor.

Or that's my interpretation at least. What do you think?

06-23-2011, 05:50 AM

I think that makes more sense now that you explained it to me. I won't go over everything I found odd in your current translation because there are probably really good explanation for everything. You have done a good job. Especially because this song probably isn't the easiest ones to translate.

Matryoshka doll shells... armours... I get the idea behind it.

I feel that the "reality" (現実) is strong enough that "the truth behind.." should be "that is the reality behind.." but both are fine.

I consider your more literal version better than the one currently on the site. More literal version has those few points which are important for people listening the song. They can recognise where song is going based on few common words like "reality" when it is mentioned. It makes translation less misleading imho. :)

Thank you!

06-23-2011, 07:18 AM
Ah, I get it, you're a strong proponent for literal translation, which is fine.
I'm more liberal than literal. (Honestly, to me, "reality" and "truth" are interchangeable.)
But I guess changing "truth" to "reality" wouldn't hurt, so I'll do that.

To people who know Japanese, it might be easier for them to read a literal translation. But to most others, they want to read a translation with good flow that's easy to understand. Literal translation can be very stiff or even sound weird at times, you know?

And thanks for your attention though. It's not often I get to discuss my own work with someone else, after all. =D