Discussion [SERIOUS] Let's brainstorm a better way to translate "Face"

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Sythellri, Aug 20, 2016.

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How do you feel about "Face?"

  1. It could be translated better.

  2. It's fine the way it is.

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  1. Sythellri

    Sythellri Well-Known Member

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    I'm Chinese so I understand what giving and receiving face is but I was also raised in America, so I can understand how the term is currently rather difficult to understand for people unfamiliar with the culture.

    Why not translate the word face as RESPECT instead?

    I'll admit I have not spent hours or sleepless nights pondering over this issue. I simply thought of it while reading a few translations. To me, it seems like keeping the term face is similar to how Japanese translators occasionally keep honorifics in names. It's not exactly pointless since it is an ode to the original culture but it is difficult for newcomers to understand.

    -senpai or -sama is moe but in my opinion unnecessary when the goal of translating is to westernize the source language. Face seems to be in a similar position.

    I would personally use respect over the word face but then again I am not a translator for these websites.

    Edit: The word "honor" is a viable replacement too
     
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  2. kainee

    kainee 「Lazy Lurker」【Overlord of Slumber】

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    Eh, English already has "saving face" to begin with so for me, it's arguable whether "face" is a concept that is a translation since it already somewhat exists.
     
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  3. ArgosYesu

    ArgosYesu Lord of Some Lands, Editor of Others

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    I knew about face before I even read translated work, and I'm completely white wash. This is more of a "what's a toilet" argument than an argument of "toilet versus restroom."

    I was always in that corner of the room, looking at everyone going "What's face" and wondering how their parents let them out of the house.
     
  4. Greedyspree

    Greedyspree 『Exile within the back room』

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    Because aside from the word face, which is truly suitable, no other word fits in its place, especially for the many ways it is utilized. It is respect, it is honor, it is reputation, it is also..literal. The fact is its only an issue because we see it soooo often. Mainly because we read...the same genres over and over and over...all at the same time.
     
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  5. MatazaRyu

    MatazaRyu The One... The Only... The Procrastinator

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    Did not find it that hard to understand. Actually, I've wanted to use it in real life but nobody I know reads chinese novels .
     
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  6. TianKrea

    TianKrea 『Novice』

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    Well in turkish we have a similar term as well so it is not that hard to comprehend for me.
     
  7. Sythellri

    Sythellri Well-Known Member

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    I myself was ignorant that there was even an English concept of face. It seems too abstract.
     
  8. Frozen tentacled ink

    Frozen tentacled ink Legally had harem『Cathulu』Power of Love & Evil』

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    granted it could also be dignity , or the uber long sentence of "granting honor"
    or smthing.
     
  9. feyrin

    feyrin Night time tyrant

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    saving face is completely referable in english too.(due to olden times) but tbh it would be nice to mix it up a bit "show some respect." would be another way of translating it but then again the funny lines and scenarios created using the play on words is are an entertaining part of the story.
     
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  10. Asian Sensation

    Asian Sensation Nefas's Transcending Heavenly God Beast

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    Yeah the only reason we don't really use it here in modern times is because we've become a bunch of disrespectful pricks. Ever since the French revolution the west has had a serious problem with authorities. We now give so little face that we don't even use the term anymore.
     
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  11. Odyssey

    Odyssey Well-Known Member

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    yea "face" and respect seem similar but different at the same time. Like a Patriarch could admit he was wrong to a junior where by he would be "losing face" for making and admitting he was at fault but at the same time gain the juniors respect for such an act, Maybe best to say respect is how the individual views you and face is how the masses view you
     
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  12. Sythellri

    Sythellri Well-Known Member

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  13. ArgosYesu

    ArgosYesu Lord of Some Lands, Editor of Others

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    "Giving respect" wouldn't work as a version of "giving face." In the former, you're being respectful, in the latter the person's face and status MAKES you give face so you don't embarrass them. Embarrassing someone with the status is deadly to you mainly and could cause hatred.
     
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  14. Greedyspree

    Greedyspree 『Exile within the back room』

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    Such things are quite rare in normal society, especially these days... Most people are...inconsiderate jackass'...for lack of a better term. They rarely care about how others view them. However in aristocratic societies, and in big business, the concept of face is quite a big deal. How the world views you directly influences your contracts, loans, relationships and much more. In the stories we read, we hear of people living hundreds, and sometimes thousands, or tens of thousands of years. At that point, aside from death, nothing is as important as your reputation.
     
  15. Demonic Reader lv 451F

    Demonic Reader lv 451F 蝶醒, 梦未.

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    Because "face" is the ultimate collection of one's whole life. Whether it's honor, respect, social status, etc, etc.

    A single Chinese word almost always has more than one simple meaning, right?
     
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  16. Ninth Mountain

    Ninth Mountain Bezgranichnyy

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    It sounds wrong when you dont use "face"

    But the honorifics in japanese novels are sometimes hard to swallow. Especially when the author tries to make shit cute.
     
  17. Lazybum0

    Lazybum0 Cheers darlin'

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    It doesn't make much sense in english since a simmilar expression already exists ,but in other lenguages it does make sense ,for example in spanish the word for face doesn't have much to do with reputation.
     
  18. Greedyspree

    Greedyspree 『Exile within the back room』

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    Its only abstract if you take it to be purely literal. It is a metaphor. It is a metaphor which people can grasp much easier, than a vague idea such as respect.
     
  19. Westeller

    Westeller Tony’s special birthday present Staff Member

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    Yeaaa.. Face already has that meaning in english, and it's very appropriate for these translations. Even if it didn't mean approximately the same thing in english already, I'd still prefer it the way it is now. So....
     
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  20. Dragn555

    Dragn555 Writer of Unnecessary Essays

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    But if it's changed, whose face will we slap?