Monday, August 31, 2009

Don Dracula, Chapter 1, Part 7 Page 6

Here's page 6.

Panel 1

ち ち 近よるな  ウワッ  このゲス女め
Don't get close!  Wah!  You ugly dog!

"このゲス女め" is literally "this garbage/filth woman emphasizer".  Although, "gesu" is actually given in the NJStar dictionary as "menial" or "of humble rank", it's got a rougher, nastier slang meaning as well, as shown above.  The translation could go either way.  Dracula is concerned about one's rank in society, and he's learned to prefer beautiful people.  So, he could be saying "Keep away, you peasant", or "Keep away, you ugly creature".

Panel 2
まーひどい!!  あたしをこんなふうにくるわせたのはあなたなンよ!!
Uwa, that's horrible!! You're the one that's driven me mad like this!

うるせい!! おまえなど悪魔にのろわれろ
Let me alone!!  The devils curse you!

"うるせい" is often treated as meaning "noisy" or "you're noisy".  But it has a wider range of uses than that, including "go away, you bother me".  In this case, the intended meaning is "leave me alone".


"エーイ" could be written as "ole" or "here we go".


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Don Dracula, Chapter 1, Part 6 Page 5

Here's page 5.

Panel 1
My Earl!

こ ここはおまえのような者のくるところではない!帰れ!!
とっとと 帰れ!!
Th, this is no place for the likes of you!  Leave!!  Go, go home!

Panel 2
ねー あたしの血を吸ってえー
おねがいー あたしの首をかんでよオねーエ
Neh, Drink my blood!  Please, bite my neck. Ok?

This entire exchange comes off badly in English.  Literally, she's saying "Neh, suck my blood, and bite (or chew) my neck."  Unfortunately, "suck" has taken on the wrong kinds of meanings over the last 20 years, and I don't want to drag that baggage into this strip.  "Drink my blood" isn't that much better, being kind of stiff in English, but there aren't that many other phrases to choose from here.

いやだっ てのに!! おまえの血は好かん!!
No way! I don't want your blood!!

Panel 3
But, I have high blood pressure!  You can drink it whenever you like!

Stop!  I hate it!

Literally, "キライ" just means "dislike" or "hate", and doesn't actually indicate what the subject of that dislike is - the woman, her blood, or her current treatment of him.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Don Dracula, Chapter 1, Part 5 Page 4

Here's page 4.

Panel 1
ねーっ きょう 新宿へおいしいものたべにつれてってくれる約束でしょー
Neh - you promised that we'd get something delicious to eat in Shinjuku-

One word that just does not translate into English is "Ne-", which is usually drawn out and spoken in a way to sound cute.  It's generally used to get someone's attention, but it also can be a way to get agreement from the listener.  The nearest equivalent is "Hey", but that's too loud and abrupt for Chocola's character.  So, I'm keeping with "neh" as a close counterpart.

Yes I did, so I'm getting ready now.

美人の血 飲みにつれってやろうというのだ
I said we'd drink a beautiful person's blood.

Technically, "美人" is used to refer to a "beautiful woman", but it could be either a man or woman in some instances.  It's vague enough to allow Chocola to reinterpret it later on.  "I said we'd drink a beautiful person's blood" is a bit stiff, but I want to use it here to preserve the joke later on.

Panel 2
Yay!  All we have at elementary school is milk all the time.  I'm hungry!

Literally, "うれしい" just means "Happy".  "I'm happy" is not normal speech here, and "that makes me happy" isn't any better.  I prefer the standard child's response in cases like this, of "Yay!"

At school, it's not right to drink other people's blood.

Panel 3
We're having blood from a beautiful person?  Really?

Technically, it should be "Is the blood really going to be from a beauty?"  But I prefer the above wording here.

Ahh, really.

Panel 4
美人の血はな   熱く 情熱に満ち恋のかおりがする
You know, a beauty's blood is hot, filled with passion and the scent of

I just want to keep drinking it---

It's enough to make you want to give up cola.

Panel 5
Bang, bang bang

あっ だれがきたわよ
Ah, someone's here.

Her again!

Dracula uses "aitsu" here, which is just a less polite form of "that person".  There's no sense of gender in this word, but it's clear that Dracula knows who it is.  We'd expect the line to be "Him again" if it was a male intruder, so that's why I made the leap to "Her again!"

Panel 6
There you are!

"いたー" could have a couple different interpretations, from "itadakimasu" (I'm about to have fun with you) to "imashita" (polite form of "you exist", meaning "you are here").  I'm going with "There you are!" meaning "I found you!"

Friday, August 28, 2009

Don Dracula, Chapter 1, Part 4 Page 3

Here's page 3.

Panel 2
I am the Earl Dracula!!  I have come here from the mists of Transylvania!

Uwa hee hee hee......


ヒーッ  テテテ。。。。。
Hi -  Ow ow ow....

ここんところ歯。。。 がういて。。。。
This tooth here...  is getting loose...
Not much I can do about it...

I am the Earl Dracula!  From the mists of Transylvania...

Technically, it's "in the middle of the mists of Transylvania", and it's pretty much the first half of the lines from the previous panels.  To be consistent, I should take the first half of my last line and use "I have come here from..."  But, "From the mists of Transylvania..." is close to the original Japanese phrase, and it echoes Dracula's frustration at not being able to complete the scene right.

Father, I'm home!

"Otousan" is a very polite version of "father".  Initially, I wanted to use "Daddy, I'm home", which would have worked just as well.  But, Chocola uses extremely polite speech throughout the strip, and it is in keeping with Dracula's being elite European royalty.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Don Dracula, Chapter 1, Part 3, Page 2

Here's page 2.

Panel 4
I am the Earl Dracula! From the mist-choked castle in Transylvania.

トランシルヴァニアの = Transylvania's
霧にむせぶ = smothered or choked in mist
わが城 = my castle
より = from

Resurrected to this world!

この世に = this world to
復活し = rebirth, resurrection
いま ここ に 参上 = now here towards visit

Uwa hee hee hee....

Panel 5

Panel 6

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Don Dracula, Chapter 1, Part 2, Page 1

Here's the text from page 1.


This is a combination of "omoshiroii" and "kowaii" - "interesting/funny" and "scary".

Introducing Dracula (the chapter title)

A New Serialization

Don Dracula (the series title)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don Dracula, Chapter 1, Part 1, Intro

Back around 2003-2004, there was a special monthly release of a phonebook-style magazine (ala Weekly Shonen Jump) that was dedicated to Osamu Tezuka. Each issue ran about 400 pages, and contained one or two chapters of various serialized manga like "Black Jack", "The Phoenix", "Astro Boy" and "Dororo" as well as various one-shot stories. I was going through a few back issues of these magazines recently, and in volume 11 I happened to find "Don Dracula", a sitcom featuring the adventures of the hapless Count Dracula and his cute little daughter, Chocola.

Turns out that Don Dracula was a series that initially ran in Weekly Shonen Champion magazine starting with the May 28, 1979, issue. I really like the way Chocola can go from sweet and charming to frightening and vicious in an instant. Tezuka is an amazing artist that way. Many people may believe that Tezuka just created stories for children, but he was a lot deeper and more complex than that, as evidenced by some of his other works, like "Buddha", "MW" and "The Crater".

Interestingly, one of my students recommended "The Crater" a few weeks ago, and within this same special monthly release series the publishers included it in a later volume. And I agree, the "The Crater" is a good story. In fact, it uses a similar idea to "Groundhog Day", but predates that movie by a good decade or two.

Anyway, I want to tackle "Don Dracula" as my next "Learning Japanese" project.

Some notes before I begin.

The title is written in katakana as "Don Dorakyura". Within the story, Dracula refers to himself as "ドラキュラ伯爵" (Dracula Hakyushaku), which translates as "Count, or Earl, Dracula". According to the wiki entry, Tezuka's official website lists the title in English as "Earl Dracula". So that's what I'm going to go with for the moment. (If you don't like "Earl Dracula" you can always do a global search and replace to make it "Count Dracula".

In previous "Learning Japanese" entries, I've given the hiragana pronunciations of the kanji, and I've gone through most of the translation process pretty much word-for-word. I've gotten almost no feedback from anyone that they've been reading any of these entries or that they've learned anything from them. So, this time, I'm just going to include the original dialog, my translations, and any notes that I feel are relevant for some reason.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Index to General Language Comments

When putting together my first "Learning Japanese by Translating Manga" series, centering on Tori Miki's Reishoku Sosakan (Frozen Food Agent), I started out by writing up a short series of introductory blog entries focusing on specific elements of the Japanese language itself. This page then is an index to those additional entries. If I write up any future similar notes, I'll add them to the index here.

Thoughts on being a Translator
Translation Tools
How to Look Up Kanji
Language Basics
Structure and Politeness
Figuring Out Complex SentencesComments Regarding Names
Fitting in the Word Balloons
Being Vague
Ii Kara

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Index to the Frozen Food Agent series

This is the index to the Frozen Food Agent "Learning Japanese" series. It's a pain scrolling through the blog entries backwards, so I'm putting the index to the entries in forward-order here. When I ran the series, I numbered everything "part 9" to "part 57". Which is hard to follow if you want to check a specific page. So, the below index will be page based, and since some entries cover more than one page, you may see the same entry show up twice in this index. If you see this happen, it's ok, it's not a typo. Note also that parts 1-8 were generic comments on the Japanese language and not directly related to Frozen Food Agent. I'll put the first 8 parts into their own index later.

Index to scans of all the pages, Japanese and English
Page 1: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Page 2: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
Page 3: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Page 4: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Page 5: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Page 6: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Page 7: Part 1, Part 2
Page 8: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Page 9: Part 1, Part 2
Page 10: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Page 11: Part 1, Part 2
Page 12: Part 1, Part 2
Page 13: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Page 14: Part 1, Part 2
Page 15: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Page 16: Part 1
Page 17: Part 1
Page 18: Part 1

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Learning Japanese - Part 19, Index to the Thumbnails

Here's where I check how many people are reading this blog, and how closely they're paying attention.  You may have noticed that there was no part 19.  The reason is that when I first ran this series on my main blog (ThreeStepsOverJapan), I hadn't uploaded all of the scanned pages to the photo album yet, making it hard to follow the story.  So, entry Part 19 was just a series of thumbnails to the Japanese pages.

This time, I'm going to put in Part 19 at the end as an index to both the Japanese and English pages.   This manga is being reproduced here solely for educational purposes. If you like it, please buy the book from Kinokuniya in San Francisco.

I apologize in advance.  I'm using Media Fire for hosting the manga scans now, because of the file sizes involved, and they always screw up somewhere.  If you have a suggestion for a better server to use, please let me know.  Otherwise, you may get the missing images to appear if you hit reload a few times on your browser.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Learning Japanese - Part 57, Wrap Up

I've found that translating manga is an error-prone process. My approach is to first write out the original dialog on a sheet of paper, one line at a time, followed by the hiragana-only version of the sentence. This step right here is problematic because various kanji have multiple readings, and I'm likely to pick the wrong one at any given time. Second, I type up the full dialog into NJ Star, for both the original version and the hiragana-only version, so that I can use both as a learning tool for memorizing kanji readings. Here, I introduce more errors by dropping words, adding typos, and mistyping "は" as "わ". Finally, I use both my handheld dictionary and NJ Star's pop-up dictionary for getting word meanings as I do the actual translation work. This last step depends on my ability to pick the correct meanings from context, as well as looking up the right word (given that I probably misspelled it when I typed it up).

Of course, there's lots of slang phrases and common colloquialisms that I don't know, so I have to ask native Japanese speakers for help. And, surprisingly often, they don't know the answer either. Turns out that most Japanese people, when reading manga, gloss over a lot of the dialog and just get the gist of the sentences rather than really try to understand everything word by word. When asked to explain what a particular phrase means, they're stunned to discover that they don't know. Therefore, while I can translate the paragraph as a whole, I may not always be able to say what each word or particle contributes to that sentence (as I tried to do in the preceding blog entries).

What this all boils down to is that if you find mistakes in these "Learning Japanese" blog entries, let me know and I'll try to correct them.

If you want to go over all of these "Learning Japanese using Frozen Food Agent" blog entries in order, I'll be uploading an index page next.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Learning Japanese - Part 56, Page 18

Here's the dialog for the last page.  If you stuck with me through all of this - "毎度ありがとうございます!"  If not, then "おきゃくさま。 ごいっしょにポテトはいかがですか?"

ベル。エポックの作家が洋菓子に託したように。 店主の願いのこもった フライド
ベル。エポックの さっか  が ようがし に たくしたように。 てんしゅ の ねが
いのこもったフライドポテトは はしかし の きおくをほんのいっしゅんだけかい

芋のスチックを揚げたものが殺人に値するとは。 俺にはとうてい思えなかったが、
いものスチックを あげたもの が さつじん にあたいするとは。 俺にはとうてい
思えなかったが、 むかし のいしょう をきた ろうふじんは 十分にチャーミング


ベル。エポックの作家が洋菓子に託したように。 店主の願いのこもった フライド

ベル。エポック の さっか が ようがし に たくしたように。 てんしゅ の ねが
い の こもった フライドポテトは はしかし の きおく をほんのいっしゅんだけかい

beru eppoku - Belle Epoch
no - possessive
sakka - writer
ga - subject marker
yougashi - sugary confection
ni - towards
takushita - make excuse of
you - in the direction of
ni - towards
tenshu - shop keeper
no - possessive
negai - desire
no - possessive
komatta - to be filled with (i.e. - desire)
furaido poteto - fried potato
wa - topic marker
hashikashi - wife
no - possessive
kioku - memory
wo - object marker
honno - only / just
isshun - one moment
dake - only
kaifuku - recovery
saseta - to make / to allow

Belle Epoch's . writer . (subject) . sugary confection . towards . make excuse of . in the direction of . towards
shop keeper's . desire's . to be filled . fried potato . (topic) . wife's . memory . (object) . only . once . only . recovery . to allow

"Like the sugary writings of a Belle Epoch poet.  A shopkeeper's desire-filled french fry for giving back to his wife a single memory."

Now THIS is a hard sentence to figure out.  First, the Belle Epoch (1871-1914) was a period of intense creativity, during which we had the creation of impressionism.  Second, "yougashi" usually refers to western style confections, but can mean something sickly sweet or over-done.  Third, "tenshu no negai no komatta furaido poteto" gives us "a fried potato filled with the shopkeeper's desire."

I went with "Like the florid writings of a Belle Epoch poet, a shopkeeper's one wish for fried potatoes to return a single memory to his wife."


芋のスチックを揚げたものが殺人に値するとは。 俺にはとうてい思えなかったが、昔の衣裳を着た老婦人は十分にチャーミングだった。

いも の スチック を あげたもの が さつじん に あたいするとは。 俺にはとうてい思えなかったが、 むかし の いしょう を きた ろうふじん は 十分にチャーミング だった。

imo no schiiku - a stick of tuber
wo - object marker
ageta mono - foods that have been deep fried
ga - subject marker
satsujin - murder
ataisuru - to be worth
to - is said
wa - topic marker
ore - me
ni wa - in regard to
toutei - can not possibly
omoenakatta - negative of "had thought"
ga - but / however
mukashi - old
no - possessive
ishou - clothing
wo - object marker
kita - wore
roufujin - elderly woman
wa - topic marker
juubun - enough
chaamingu - charming
datta - was

a stick of tuber . (object) . was deep fried . (subject) . murder . to be worth . is said . (topic) . I . in regard to . can not possibly . had not thought . but . old's . uniform . (object) . wore . elderly woman . (topic) . enough . charming . was

"I've never thought that a fried stick of tuber was worth committing murder over, but that old woman in her old uniform really was quite charming."

We saw "agemono" (deep fried foods) on page 17.  Here, it's "ageta mono" (foods that have been deep fried).

"chaamingu" - I love katakana English words.  Especially as in "juubun chaamingu", which is literally "satisfactorily charming", or "charming enough".

"imo" generally means "potato", but can also refer to "tuber" and "taro". Obviously, the idea is to say "a stick of potato" (i.e. - french fry), but we already have "fried potatoes" in the previous balloon.  To avoid being redundant, I stuck with "tuber".

I went with "However, murder is a high price to pay for a stick of tuber.  Then again, I wouldn't have thought it, but that old woman looked quite charming in that old costume."  Not quite the same meaning, but in keeping with the "hard boiled gag" humor of this comic.