Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Sound Warriors - Part 7, Page 3

Let's start with panel 1 of page 3.


つくった ほんにん が ほったらかして いた ちくおんき に ちゅうもくした おとこ が いた。でんわき の はつめい をエジソン と あらそい しょうり しょうり を て に した, アレクサンダー。グラハム。ベル で ある。

つくった - to build
ほんにん が - the person himself
ほったらかして いた - to neglect + in the state of
ちくおんき に - gramophone about
ちゅうもく した - investigate did
おとこ が - man
いた - existed
でんわき の - telephone's
はつめい - invention
をエジソン と あらそい - rival with Edison
しょうり - victory
を て に した - means/technique towards did
アレクサンダー。グラハム。ベル - Alexander Graham Bell
で ある - of exists

To build . he himself . neglected . gramophone . investigate did . man . existed
telephone's invention . rival with Edison . victory . means towards did . Bell . of exists

Its inventor neglected to further investigate the gramophone.
There was a man that gained victory over Edison in the invention of the Telephone - Alexander Graham Bell.

"をエジソン と あらそい しょうり" is a little tricky. Essentially, it's "Edison and rivaled victory". Or, "gained victory in the rivalry against Edison". But this is just a sub-clause in the longer sentence ending with "を て に した" - "to have done with means or trick". Giving us "to have done" + "victory over rival Edison".

While the rough translation is fine as it stands, it's not really well-written. Again, I want it to sound more natural, while also fitting into the word balloon. So I chose:

"Thus, its inventor neglected to further investigate the phonograph. Meanwhile, there was the victor in his rivalry for inventing the telephone - Alexander Graham Bell."


3-2 フンフン キュ - Hmm, hmm, hmm, rub

ハロハオ よし - Hello, hello. Alright.

3-4 おーいエミール所長がお呼びだよ。

おーい - Hey
エミール - Emile
しょちょう が - boss + subject marker
お よび だ よ。 - called + emphasis

hey . emile . boss + subject marker . called . emphasis

"お よび だ" is actually "honorific + called + da", where "da" is the casual masculine version of "desu". From an American viewpoint, this is a strange mix of formal and informal language. In normal situations, the standard American version would be "Hey, Emile, the boss wants you."


なん - what
だろう - I wonder

"I wonder why" - used as-is.



ベルリナーくん、いそな はなし だが、きみ に いま、チェスターたち が やって いる けんきゅう チーム に さんか して ほしい ん だ。

ベルリナーくん - Berliner-kun,
いそな - sudden
はなし - conversation
だが - is + but
きみ に - towards you
いま - now
チェスターたち - Chester + plural
やって いる - to do + exists
けんきゅう チーム に - towards research team
さんか して - do participation
ほしい ん だ - need + contraction + is

berliner-kun . sudden . conversation . is . but . towards you . now . Chester's group . to do exists . towards research team . do participation . need is

"Berliner-kun, I know this is sudden, but I need you to join Chester's research team."

"チェスターたち が やって いる" gives us "Chester's group doing exists". "けんきゅう チーム" gives us "research team". So, "Chester's group is doing and exists the research team".

"いそな はなし だが" gives us "sudden talk is but". Normally in English, we'd just skip the "talk" part and imply it in the fact that we're now talking by using "this", in the phrase I know *this* is sudden, but..."

The main problematic part here is "-kun". It's normal in Japanese for a superior to refer to a male underling with the friendly suffix "-kun", but it has no English equivalent. To get the same sensation, we might use "Emile, my boy", but that could get boring if it showed up every time someone used someone else's name. On the other hand, there are very few cases in this manga where "-san", "-kun" or "-chan" show up. In fact, this sentence is the only place it's used. So, rather than leave "-kun" in the translation, which would be normal in manga but abnormal in America in the 1890's, I'm going to take a leap here and use the following:

"Emile, my boy, I know this is sudden, but I need you to join Chester's research team."



"-te" here refers to what a person said, kind of like a verbal quotation mark. "koto wa" is "thing is". We could treat this as "what you want to say" or "speaking of". However, the standard English response here would be to imply the phrase "I understand that this isn't really what you called me in here to tell me" by answering with "...but..."

To Be Continued.

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