7863Translations (was Re: [SCA-JML] Re: jingasa)
- May 9 8:27 PMOn Thu, 9 May 2002, Anthony J. Bryant wrote:
> Well, in Japanese usage. If you want to translate fue into English, you mayI completely agree.
> *well* be safest calling it "Japanese flute" because a fue is certainly
> *not* the typical western flute. At least, not the modern one. It's almost
> more like a fife. That's why I generally shy away from translating
> specifically the names of Japanese things that don't have direct analogues
> in English.
<rant>It is very annoying to go through a translation and see 'robe',
'lute', 'trousers' and try to pin them down to particular things. Usually
you can tell by context, but sometimes not. Is the soup a SHIRU or a
On the other hand, however, what do you do when translating? Is it better
to translate to familiar terms so that people get a general idea, or to
leave the original and let people find out what it is? Interestingly
enough, we seem to use plenty of European terms in the original languages
(look at the many French terms for pieces of armour) but we don't like to
do that these days, it seems.
Partly I think it has to do with a shift in what authors expect of their
readers. Reading older works it seems that French, German--even Chinese
and Arabic--were often quoted directly without translation, expecting the
user to discern its meaning. With French and German, I think that it was
almost expected that a learned person would pick them up, or at least
wouldn't have a hard time deciphering them.
I don't think I see that in modern works nearly as much. On the one hand,
it makes it easier to read, but on the other you often lose something in
So, what do people out there prefer? Where does one draw the line between
translating and using the original word?
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