Monday, June 1, 2009

The Sound Warriors - Part 8, Page 3

More of page 3.

そう。エジソンが発明したフォノグラフの改良だよ。実用化に向けてのね。あれはすばらしい機械だよ。 『ベル30歳』

そう。 エジソン が はつめい した フォノグラフ の かいりょう だよ。じつようか に むけて の ね。あれ は すばらしい きかい だよ。 『ベル30さい』

そう - right
エジソン が - Edison + subject marker
はつめい した - invention did
フォノグラフ の - phonograph's
かいりょう だよ - improvement + is + emphasis
じつようか に - make practical towards
むけて の ね - to turn towards + nominalizer + tag statement
あれは - that is
すばらしい - wonderful
きかい だよ- machine is + emphasis
ベル30さい - Bell, age 30

Edison . invention did . phonograph's . improvement is
make practical towards . to turn towards
that is . wonderful . machine is

"Right. Make Edison's phonograph practical. That's a wonderful machine."

Fairly straight-forward Japanese here. Unfortunately, the rough English translation is really clunky. I'd rather combine the two main sentences, and to make it clear what the subject is. I went with:

"Right. Edison's phonograph - it's a wonderful machine and I want you to make it practical."


ありがとうございます! ボクもあれには大変興味があったんです。音を記録して再生するなんてすごい発明ですよ!ぜひ実用化させましょう! ベルリナー『26歳』

ありがとう ございます! ボク も あれ には たいへん きょうみがあったんです。おと を きろくして さいせい するなんてすごい はつめい です よ!ぜひ じつよう か させましょう! ベルリナー『26さい』

ありがとうございます - Thanks a lot
ボク も - I also
あれ には - That towards + subject marker
たいへん - very much
きょうみ が - interest
あったんです - exists + contraction + is
おと を きろくして - sound record do
さいせい する - play back do
なんてすごい - unbelievably great
はつめい です よ - invention + is + emphasizer
ぜひ - directly
じつよう か させましょう - let's make this practical
ベルリナー『26さい』 - Berliner, age 26

Thanks a lot! I also . that towards . very much . interest . exists is
sound record do . play back do . unbelievably great . invention is
directly let's make practical

"Thanks a lot! I also have great interest in it. That's a great invention to play back recorded sound. Let me start making it practical it right away"

The "おと を きろくして さいせい する" works as "to play back sound that was recorded".

" させましょう" literally is "let us do". It's almost like Berliner is asking Bell "shall we improve this machine together?", but it's just another case of Japanese passive voice, rather than the more direct "I'll get on it right away" that is more natural in English. I want this translation to sound natural, so I have to depart from the literal machine translation and go with "interpreting the spirit of the text". I went with:

"Thanks, boss! I'm also fascinated with it!. Playing back recorded sound is an amazing invention! I'll get on it right away!"

To Be Continued.

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