Monday, May 25, 2009

The Sound Warriors - Part 3, Page 1

This is the first real block of text for page 1.

わたしたちは今オーディオのスイッを入れるだけで、気軽に音楽を楽しむことができる。 このオーディオ機器の元祖といえば蓄音機だ。 これは、その蓄音機の発明に携わった、三人の男たちの物語である。

わたしたちはいまオーディオのスイッチをいれるだけで、きがるにおんがくをたのしむことができる。 このオーディオききのがんそといえばちくおんきだ。 これは、そのちくおんきのはつめいにたずさわった、さんにんのおとこたちのものがたりである。

わたしたち - us
いま - now
オーディオのスイッチ - audio switch
をいれる - turn on
だけで - by only
きがるに - easily
おんがく - music
をたのしむこと - to enjoy thing
ができる - can do
このオーディオききの - this audio machinery and tools'
がんそ - inventor
といえば - speaking of
ちくおんき - gramophone
これは - this is
そのちくおんきのはつめい - that gramophone's invention
に - towards, of
たずさわった - participate in
さんにんの - three people's
おとこたちの - men's
ものがたり - story
である - to be (formal)

us . now . audio switch . turn on . by only . easily . music . to enjoy thing . can do
This audio machinery and tools . possessive . inventor . speaking of . gramophone . is
this is . that gramophone's invention . in . participate in . three people's . men's . story . to be (exists)

The first thing to mention here is that "chikuonki" is given in the dictionary as "gramophone". But, it's used in this manga as a blanket term for any of the early voice recording machines. It is made up from the kanji for "amass", "sound" and "machine". The actual gramophone isn't introduced in the manga until towards the end, and it's a brand name, rather than a generic term like phonograph. I'm going to use "phonograph" (sound writing) in place of "chikuonki".

A slightly cleaned-up translation of this paragraph would be:

"Now, we can turn on sound with a switch to easily enjoy music. This is speaking of the inventor of the machinery and tools for the gramophone. This is the story of the three men who participated in the gramophone's invention."

I'm going to condense part of the paragraph to make it flow faster, and to make it read more like natural English, without significantly changing the meaning.

"Today, we can easily enjoy music with just the flip of a switch. Of course, we're talking about the phonograph. This story chronicles the three men involved in its invention."


その三人の男たちとは、発明王エジソンと、電話機発明で名高いグラハム。ベル、そしてのボク エミール。ベルリナーさ!

そのさんにんのおとこたちとは、はつめいおうエジソンと、でんわきはつめいでなたかいグラハム。ベル、そしてのボク エミール。べるりなーさ!

そのさんにんのおとこたち - those three men
とは - speaking of is
はつめいおうエジソン - invention king Edison
でんわきはつめい - telephone machine invention
なたかい - celebrated
グラハム。ベル - Graham Bell
そしてのボク - plus me
エミール。ベルリナー - Emile Berliner

Those three men . speaking of is . invention king Edison . and . telephone machine invention . celebrated . Graham Bell . plus me . Emile Berliner

"Those three are: The king of inventions, Edison; celebrated telephone inventor Graham Bell; and me - Emile Berliner!"

Used as-is.




"What, I'm the only one you don't know?"

Used as-is.




"Heh, heh, heh. Well, that's ok. You'll learn if you read this story..."

Emile, when talking about himself, tends to use a lot of sentence softeners, such as "sa". He's also very polite, as with "yonde shitte kurereba" ("if you read + want to learn please"). I pulled out some of the politeness in order to sound more natural to a native English speaker. However, the above translation still feels a little stiff. I'd prefer to use "Heh, heh, heh. Well, that's ok. You'll learn about me if you read this story..."

To Be Continued.

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