Thursday, July 9, 2009

Learning Japanese - Part 14, Page 2

演出が派手すぎるじゃねえか イリュージョニストでも出てくるのかと思ったぜ.
えんしゅつ が はで すぎる じゃねえ か イリュージョニスト でも でてくる のか と
おもったぜ.

This dialog threw me the first time I read it, and I needed help from a native speaker to be told how to translate this.

enshutsu - Performance
ga - topic marker
hade - gaudy, flashy
sugiru - too much
ja ne ka - isn't it?

iryuujonisuto - illusionist
demo - or something like it
dete kuru - come out
no ka - makes previous phrase into a noun
to omotta - I thought
ze - particle indicating emphasis

performance . gaudy . too much . isn't it?
illusionist . or something like it . come out . I thought . (emphasis)

Isn't this performance too flashy? I thought an illusionist would come out.

I should mention the "no ka" part. I'm still trying to learn how this works, but generally adding "no" at the end of a verb or phrase turns it into a noun (it's called a normalizer). So, the "no" gives us something like: ""illusionist steps out" I thought". And the "ka" makes ""an illusionist is stepping out?" I thought".

This is actually a fairly straight-forward pair of sentences, It's just that I didn't understand how "enshutsu ga hade sugiru" linked to the rest of the panel. Once I had it explained to me, I decided that the best English version from a translation sense should be:

"All this mist makes it look like a gaudy illusionist is about to step out."

The mist is implied in the Japanese version. I added the word "mist" in the English version to make it more clear.

This is a general problem in translation. Sometimes, what's clear but not spoken in one language needs to be spoken outright in the other language or it won't be clear. As an alternative, I guess I could have gone with something like "Isn't this performance a bit too much? I'm expecting a stage magician to step out." But, this would have clashed with the sentence that follows below.

冷房の効かせすぎじゃあないのか?
れいぼう の きかせ すぎ じゃあ ない の か?

reibou - air conditioning
no - of
kikase - setting
sugi - too much
jaa nai no ka? - rhetorical form of "isn't it?"

air conditioning . set . too much . isn't it?

Isn't your air conditioner set too low?

Normally "ja nai ka" uses a short "ja". But, our cop is drawing out the sound to emphasize it. And, he uses "ja nai no ka" which adds to the rhythm of the sentence. In normal usage, "ja nai ka" and "ja nai no ka" have the same meaning, but "ja nai ka" is a little more abrupt.

To be continued.

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