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Thread: "echoing" parenthesis (a stylistic question)

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    Default "echoing" parenthesis (a stylistic question)

    I'm working on a translation of Splash Free, the ending theme to Free! and it got me thinking of a stylistic thing that's been bothering me for a while, never can decide how to handle it, and I thought I'd ask for some input from fellow lyric translators.

    You have a line like this, where the parenthesis echoes the end of the line:
    ムキになる日もあるだろ (あるだろ)

    Do you translate them literally and separately, like:
    There are days when we get too worked up (there are)

    or keep with the style, like:
    There are days when we get too worked up (too worked up)

    My preference is to go with the latter... but I get in trouble sometimes with choosing style over meaning.

    Thanks!

    Edit:
    And now suddenly I've thought of another similar situation. What about when the parts in parenthesis are part of an entire sentence? My first thought for an example is a song from Azumanga Daioh

    帰り道に(遠回りの)
    寄り道とか(みんなとなら)
    したいのに

    When did a translation of this song ages ago I didn't have any problem taking the stanza as a whole like:
    On my way home (I want to take)
    A roundabout way (To drop in and see)
    Everyone

    But if the song were, say, a duet, and the parenthesis were two different characters going back and forth, I'd feel bad changing the meaning of what that particular character was saying (if that makes sense), so when I did the ending theme to Zoids Genesis, which is a duet, the result was awkward...

    キミの側に(いたいんだから)
    To be by your side (That's all I want!)

    ...but it felt more "right" somehow to translate it separately in this case.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited by Rizuchan; 08-26-2013 at 06:00 PM.

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    Default Re: "echoing" parenthesis (a stylistic question)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rizuchan View Post
    I'm working on a translation of Splash Free, the ending theme to Free! and it got me thinking of a stylistic thing that's been bothering me for a while, never can decide how to handle it, and I thought I'd ask for some input from fellow lyric translators.

    You have a line like this, where the parenthesis echoes the end of the line:
    ムキになる日もあるだろ (あるだろ)

    Do you translate them literally and separately, like:
    There are days when we get too worked up (there are)

    or keep with the style, like:
    There are days when we get too worked up (too worked up)

    My preference is to go with the latter... but I get in trouble sometimes with choosing style over meaning.

    Thanks!

    Edit:
    And now suddenly I've thought of another similar situation. What about when the parts in parenthesis are part of an entire sentence? My first thought for an example is a song from Azumanga Daioh

    帰り道に(遠回りの)
    寄り道とか(みんなとなら)
    したいのに

    When did a translation of this song ages ago I didn't have any problem taking the stanza as a whole like:
    On my way home (I want to take)
    A roundabout way (To drop in and see)
    Everyone

    But if the song were, say, a duet, and the parenthesis were two different characters going back and forth, I'd feel bad changing the meaning of what that particular character was saying (if that makes sense), so when I did the ending theme to Zoids Genesis, which is a duet, the result was awkward...

    キミの側に(いたいんだから)
    To be by your side (That's all I want!)

    ...but it felt more "right" somehow to translate it separately in this case.

    What do you guys think?
    I think I'd go with some sort of combination to make it sound more like what you might expect to hear in a song... Also, remember, Japanese is a high-context language, and English is not, so repeating some 'understood' words is not necessarily bad.

    With your first example I might have translated it as:

    ムキになる日もあるだろ (あるだろ)
    There are days when we get too worked up (There are days)

    since that's closer to what is repeated and it's stylistically what you might hear in a song in English.

    For your second example, it kind of depends on how it's all divided, but I tend to go more literally, trying to translate what's in parentheses inside parentheses.

    帰り道に(遠回りの)
    寄り道とか(みんなとなら)
    したいのに

    On the way home, (a roundabout)
    Detour, (if I'm with everyone),
    Is what I want to take.

    It's a little more awkward, but sometimes a passive voice is necessary to maintain the translation, especially in this case where the order matters.

    Please note that みんなとなら is "if I'm with everyone", or "if it's with everyone".

    For your final example, that would work, but I wouldn't try to separate it into two sentences, if possible, since the whole line can be read as one sentence, and is probably meant to be interpreted as a single sentence.

    キミの側に(いたいんだから)
    Because being by your side (is what I want)

    That's how I would translate it. Due to the awkwardness of phrasing, I would move the "because" (だから) outside the parenthesis - I don't think it affects the translation that much. Also separating the verb a bit from "I want to be by your side" (キミの側にいたい), and leaving the important part - the "I want" - inside the parenthesis for that singer, makes it flow a bit better.

    The other way you could translate it would be - Because by your side (is where I want to be). In fact, that's a little closer to what is in each part, and I think this is actually a better translation than the one I gave above.

    But there's no reason to separate them into separate sentence. I'm actually looking at 僕らは今のなかで ("Bokura wa Ima no Naka de" - "We are in the Present"), the OP for Love Live!, and the translator separated the echoes into separate sentences, and it actually changes the meaning of the sentences - something that I don't think was intended based upon the particles used in a particular part of the song. I would say try reading it all together and seeing if it makes sense as a sentence before separating the echo into its own sentence. You may want to look at the echoes together in a particular part, as well, because sometimes the main lyrics are one sentence and the echoes its own sentence - you'll just have to test it out and see what works best.

    That's the one thing to do when doing song translations - especially since often it's hard to figure out the 'high context' stuff that's left out of the words themselves - just translate it literally to understand what's trying to be said, and then work with it until it sounds good, too.

    Good luck!

    My 2 yen,

    Akiosama

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