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Thread: Need help translating a few short Japanese spoken dialogues for a subtitle project

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    Question Need help translating a few short Japanese spoken dialogues for a subtitle project

    I'm working on Dutch subtitles for the anime movie The Dog Of Flanders (1997) (you know, the beautiful but sad tale of Nello and his dog Patrasche). I do not speak Japanese, so I base myself mostly on the English subtitles of the English dub. Because dubs are sometimes more concerned with lip sync than accurate translations, I try to isolate as many Japanese words as I can and look these up in the various online translation tools. This helps me understand the context of what is being said in Japanese and that way I can verify the accuracy of the English dub subtitles and correct where necessary. Of course, not knowing the language apart from a few often used words and expressions, it is hard for me to identify individual words and put them in correct rōmaji or hiragana for online translation. I do realize that with my lack of understanding Japanese, my translations will never be perfect, but that may not even be possible due to the massive differences between Japanese and Western languages and the time & length limitations of subtitles. I am however sure that my Dutch subtitles are in some dialogues more faithful to the original Japanese dialogues than the English dub subtitles.

    By now I've managed to provide Dutch subtitles for almost the entire movie, but a few short dialogues remain open. I could take the easy way out and simply translate the English dub subtitles, regardless of whether they are wrong or right, but in these cases the English dub does not seem to match the story.

    I was hoping someone here could help me understand these dialogues. For this I've uploaded a few short fragments from the anime. The fragments have Japanese audio and the original English dub subtitles embedded as soft subs. The fragments are MP4 video with AC3 audio in an MKV container.

    Fragment 1 (4.21 MB - 23 seconds)
    Persons involved:
    - Sitting: Cogez (Koje)
    - Standing: Hans (Hansu)
    - Referenced in dialogue: Alois (Aroa), little daughter of Cogez
    The English dub subtitles are talking about how Hans got new winter clothing, and Cogez asks him to make a jacket for his daughter Alois. I can't relate this to the story, and there are no previous signs that Hans is a tailor or has anything to do with selling clothes (As far as I know he just rents houses and is a friend of Cogez for whom he occasionally works. Grandfather, Nello and Patrasche live in a house rented from him. Hans doesn't like Nello at all and warns Cogez frequently to keep his daughter, Alois, away from Nello). Anyway, can anyone explain what Cogez and Hans exactly say?

    Fragment 2 (3.43 MB - 14 seconds)
    Persons involved:
    - Old man: Grandfather (Ojiisan)
    - Boy: Nello (Nero)
    Grandfather had been ill for a while and had to stay in bed while Nello carried the milk to the city. Although not fully recovered, this is the first day grandfather accompanies Nello again on his trip to the city. Grandfather just said that it's been a while and that he's a bit overwhelmed by the fresh/cold air, to which Nello replies "Ojiisan, daijoubu?" ("Grandfather, are you all right?"). When walking upon the bridge Nello says something I can't make sense of. The English dub subtitles say "Grandpa, you should go back now", but I don't think that's what Nello says.

    Fragment 3 (3.29 MB - 14 seconds)
    Persons involved:
    - Sister: Alois (Aroa / Oneesan)
    - Talking guy: Paul (Pōru), works for Cogez
    - Other guy: George (Joruju), Paul's brother
    - Referenced in dialogue: Cogez (Koje), father of Alois
    This is like 10-15 years after the main story. Alois has grown up and became a sister educating children. She's in the Cathedral of Our Lady (Antwerp), the place her best friend, Nello, liked to visit and where he eventually died many years ago. She's meeting her childhood friends George and Paul. Paul got a day off from Cogez and brings Alois some news about her parents. The English dub subtitles say her father, Cogez, is worried his daughter is working too hard with all those painful memories (of Nello's dead), but to me Paul and Alois seem to be too cheerful to be talking about painful memories. Her father may indeed be worrying (after Paul laughs, he continues with "shinpai") but it's probably not about painful memories. In her second line I can clearly hear her say "kodomo", so the part that she's very busy with the children is probably right. It's just those painful memories I can't place in that cheerful conversation.

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

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    Default Re: Need help translating a few short Japanese spoken dialogues for a subtitle projec

    Fragment 1

    Cogez: De, kimi no tokoro de wa, saikin nani wo shiireta no ka ne.
    (Oh yea, you did some restocking recently, didn't you?)

    Hans: Hai, fuyumono no nunoji wo nanshurui ka...
    (Yes, I got several kinds of winter clothes fabrics...)

    Cogez: Sou ka ne. Jaa, Aroa no gaishutsuyou no fuku de mo tsukutte oite moraou ka na.
    (Is that so? Maybe I should ask you to make a coat for Alois?)

    Hans: A, hai.
    (Ah, okay.)


    Basically, Hans mentioned the word "fabric". The Japanese word "nunoji" refers specifically to fabrics used to make clothes, so that's how Cogez drew the conclusion that Hans could sew.




    Fragment 2

    Nello: Ojiisan, daijoubu?
    (Are you alright, grandpa?)

    Grandfather: Daijoubu da yo.
    (Of course I am.)

    Nello: Mou kono atari de ii yo.
    (I think this place is far enough.)


    Implication of what Nello said: "This place is far enough for you. I can go on by myself now, so Grandpa, you should go back now."




    Fragment 3

    Paul: Aroa wa shuudouin de tsurai omoi wo shite'ru n ja nai ka tte. Shinpai shite'ta yo.
    (He was worried that you might be having a difficult time working at the cathedral.)

    Alois: "Tsurai omoi" desu tte? Kodomotachi no aite de, mou tentekomai yo.
    ("A difficult time"? Ha yea, I can barely keep myself up working with the children.)

    Children: Shistaa!
    (Sister!)


    Basically, no actual painful memory is being mentioned here. Literally translated from the Japanese, her father was worried that she might be making some painful memories at the cathedral, i.e., she might be having a difficult/tough time.

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    Default Re: Need help translating a few short Japanese spoken dialogues for a subtitle projec

    Thanks a lot, animeyay! I appreciate the effort!

    I really should learn Japanese. It's such a beautiful language...

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