Request Could You Explain This?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by SquadCammander354, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Nisaea

    Nisaea Active Member

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    Sorry, I still don't get you. OP's first question was why not add "them" to "kill", making it "kill them". I answered that in many scenarios, just "kill" conveys the mood better.

    On the other topic, I won't go too deep into it as every translation team works differently. I wasn't even discussing the duality of a Chinese character's meaning. My point was that it's the editor/rewriter's job to change something as simple as "kill" to "kill them" if they think it makes more sense or makes the story flow better. And that it annoys me that people just say translators are bad or lazy because of small stuff like that without even providing a reason.
     
  2. ElefantVerd

    ElefantVerd It's not me, and it's not you.

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    Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.
     
  3. Nisaea

    Nisaea Active Member

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    All right, I'll give it a try.
     
  4. ElefantVerd

    ElefantVerd It's not me, and it's not you.

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    Your Mandarin is lousy. It causes my ears great discomfort.
     
  5. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that the OP didn't know that this was a mistranslation to begin with so he/she made the assumption that the word "kill" was rendered accurately. In English, "kill" and "attack" are two completely different words with no real relation to one another. Just adding a "them" may make the sentence flow better, but it's still the wrong word and it still connotes the wrong meaning. Editors can do a lot to improve the final writing but there isn't a lot they're going to be able to do if the script they're given has the incorrect words to begin with.
     
  6. Nisaea

    Nisaea Active Member

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    What? Why would you say it's a mistranslation when there's not even a specific example where "attack" should be used instead, not even the one that OP gave. Without having any context, aren't you the one making assumptions?
     
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  7. TotallyNotAnAlien

    TotallyNotAnAlien Not an alien!

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    Before diving into the English/translation, in Chinese, kill is "杀 (sha)" and die is "死 (si)". Try shouting both of them and you might see/hear why "杀 (sha)" is more preferable, leading to the translation "kill". That's why you might see a lot of "Kill!" in some novels, because "杀 (sha)" is simply nicer to shout...

    From another perspective, in some action movies that don't involve guns, you might hear the characters going "Haaa!" as they swing their weapon or the main character starts screaming "Aaaaaaahhhhh!" as they land the killing blow on the big bad.

    In conclusion; "aaaaaa", "haaaa", "aaahhhhh" or other forms of it is simply nicer to shout, leading to maybe the overuse of "杀 (sha)" and translators therefore translate them as "kill" instead of shouting "杀他们 (sha ta men)" which means "kill them".
     
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  8. Invisalats

    Invisalats The Bearded One

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    Actually that's wrong, the job if you will of the translator is to translate it in a way that the audience can connect to and understand bringing enjoyment. It you are translating things like legal documents then of course you will do so as accurately as possible... Web novels are not some lesson on Chinese culture and I can only hope the majority of readers who visit China don't think they have a good grasp of Chinese culture because they read some fantasy web novels. The argument for leaving "Kill" as kill doesn't hold water as it's literally a translation failure as it neither expresses the actual intent of the original nor does it work well in English. You can't fail on both fronts in a translation and then go "but it's too hard, so it is right". Really kill has its acceptable places and then there are just some uses that are extremely odd when used after being translated to English.
     
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  9. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    As someone who DOES speak both languages, I'd say your expectations are in the realm of fantasy. There is a divide between 2 cultures and that divide carries over into the language as well. Speaking not as "translating" and even just daily conversation, there are a lot of workarounds you have to do to get someone to understand you in another language, especially if it is idomatic or situational.

    You are out to point fingers and "assign" blame but I can tell you outright, right now that this particular translation is NOT an error, it is 1- Suitable in context where you point at a target then yell very loudly "KILL!!!" and 2- technically correct in translating "杀" as "Kill".

    I do not see anywhere that you can say it is an "error" other than 1- it does not flow in a foreign language (no duh) and 2- you are uncomfortable with it because... you are not comfortable with it. And these are no grounds to establish it as an error or mistake. Comfort zones are opinions, not facts.

    You are assuming that the meaning of the word is even in the word itself. In that context (and in reference to the video I linked) even "WWAAAARGGGHHH!!!!!......" is a valid translational meaning. It's not a conversation. It's a warcry. You are assuming that it is a conversation piece. It isn't.



    So how would you translate the "WWAAARRRGGGHHH!!!" here then? If they did it "wrong", please demonstrate the "right" way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
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  10. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    I always wondered why Luke didn't just Force Crush the Death Star. He obviously did not "try" hard enough. lol.
     
  11. Invisalats

    Invisalats The Bearded One

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    It's not a comfort zone thing. It's a situational usage thing. When an army screams "Kill" it's not a confusing thing as anyone can grasp it. The problem arises when it is used in situations where in English the use of kill is contrary to the surrounding context. I've read plenty of novels and translators handle it differently depending on either their preference or strictly technical.

    As translators your target audience needs to be taken into account. You argue it's not a mistranslation because that's what the character translates into but if it doesn't make sense to the readers because the direct translation loses its meaning then yes it is a mistranslation because as a translator you failed to adequately convey the meaning.

    There are words in every language that do not accurately translate, but that doesn't mean the translator can't or doesn't need to make an attempt to find a way to maintain the meaning in a way the readers can understand.

    I understand the difficulties of translation, even if someone is fluent in both languages it doesn't mean it's easy to translate.

    Many non native English speaking people live in my area and almost all of them struggle to express certain things in English and it can be frustrating mainly cause English is such a terrible language. English always feels like it stifles things.

    Technical doesn't mean it's right. If the meaning is lost in translation then it is not a successful translation. Though I'm almost certain there are certain 1 word expressions in other languages that would require a paragraph in English to explain. Which isn't appropriate in a novel translation really. which is why I actually feel translation is a very hard job and I wouldn't want to be in y'alls shoes.

    PS: Kill is not even something that really bothers me that much...I normally just chuckle and move on when it's used in an awkward manner.
     
  12. Vocah

    Vocah Well-Known Member

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    If it's a warcry, why not change the ""Kill", the general shouts" to something along the lines of "The general lets out a warcy."
     
  13. Nisaea

    Nisaea Active Member

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    Unless it's only a one-time thing, that'd be horrible.
    Imagine a translator switching every one-word insult to "X character insulted Y character." :blobscream:
     
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  14. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, since you say it's an error/mistake, then why don't you show us how it's done? What would YOU translate it as? You know the context and the word in Chinese, now find an English equivalent. If your theory is right, your English translation won't lose meaning and context. But if you can't do it, then I can say your "theory" holds as much water as a strainer. Another idiom that does not translate to Chinese easily - Talk is cheap.

    That is... really bad. It changes the scene from a narative to a descriptive which is even worse than retaining a single non-conforming word.
     
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  15. Bachingchung

    Bachingchung Well-Known Member

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  16. Invisalats

    Invisalats The Bearded One

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    I see so your solution is to have me translate it for you? Like prove my statement is more than theory? Hmm interestingly enough it actually kinda makes me want to... If I succeed I can peer down like a god of translation (or merely an overly self important jackass) and be like "here's the proper translation my children of translation" but if I fail I'll get an "I told ya so jackass!" And I'm not sure if I can handle that type of derision and mockery. Tough decisions.
     
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  17. SquadCammander354

    SquadCammander354 〖Stormy's Better Bro〗『Lord of Storms』『The Expert』

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    *gives big bro a cookie and a hug*
    It'll be fine~ :cookie:
     
  18. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry, you can't go lower in my opinion than you already have. lol.
    Those who can, know. Those who can't, critique. This is one of those "cultural context" situations that cannot translate across because there is no analogous situation in English. Similar to the Chinese calling their eunuchs "Grandpa". English history simply does not have the cultural context to translate directly, any more than the Chinese can translate "Baker's Dozen" or "Hobson's Choice". Or even "Bah humbug!".
     
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  19. Invisalats

    Invisalats The Bearded One

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    So what you're saying is that because of culture difference and lack of a suitable word in English that encapsulates the entire meaning that instead adopting something that would work narrative wise it is better to directly translate as is. Even though in both cases the meaning gets lost in translation.

    Also your opinion of me is something I truly cherish, it is like a warm embrace of a naked woman in bed on a cold winters day when the heat is out.
     
  20. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    You forgot the word "latex" in front of "woman".

    And my point is what you are complaining about is almost the best you can get in translation, even "narrative wise". There really isn't much that can get better and asking for more in this case pushes the boundaries of the possible into the impossible. NOTHING ELSE WILL FUCKING WORK DAMN YOU IDIOT!

    This is why know it all REMFs have such a bad reputation. Talking and blaming without even knowing the subject matter at all. The words "self entitled brat" comes to mind when I see you doing shit like this. You deserve to have every translator you read put their work on hiatus. You can go read the raws yourself since you know how to "translate" better than they can.
     
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