21 March 2009

Translation Exercise: "Wolf Totem" (2)

Here's part two of my translation of Wolf Totem (狼图腾) by Jiang Rong (姜戎). This time, to make it a little bit more readable, I mixed in the source text (the English) with my Japanese translation. And like last time, please feel free to point out any errors, irregularities or suggestions.


神なるオオカミ (Wolf Totem・狼图腾)

夜に、狼が狩りに出かける時に、陳が浅く眠る。彼はガスマイに交代する時に狼が囲いに侵入したら呼ぼうと言って、動物を退却させるのを助けて、必要に応じ て真っ向から戦うと約束した。ビルギーはやぎひげをしごき、微笑し、そんなに狼に執着している中国人と会ったことがないと言った。北京の学生が表した異常 な興味の程度に満足そうだった。

At night, when the wolves came out to hunt, Chen would sleep lightly. He had told Gasmai to call him if a wolf ever broke into the pen when she was on guard duty, assuring her that he would help drive the animal away, fight it head-on if necessary. Bilgee would stroke his goatee, smile and say he'd never seen a Chinese so fixated on wolves. He seemed pleased with the unusual degree of interest displayed by the student from Beijing.


Late one snowy night during his first winter, Chen, flashlight in hand, witnessed at close quarters a battle between a wolf, a dog and a woman.


"Chenchen! Chenchen!"

陳はガスマイの逆上した泣き声と犬たちの荒っぽい吠える声で目が覚めた。彼はフェルトのブーツを穿いてデールのモンゴル風のローブのボタンを掛けてから、懐中電灯と羊飼いの棒を持って外に出た。懐中電灯の光が雪を切るように進んで、詰め込んだ羊たちから力ずく離しているため狼の尻尾を握ているガスマイを見 せられた。狼が必死になってガスマイを噛んでみていた。同時に馬鹿な太っている羊は狼にぞっとしてほとんど凍死して密集し、風除けに後退りし、雪片が 蒸気になったほどぎっしり詰め込んだ。狼は前部が動けなくされた、ガスマイと綱引きをしながら地面を足で掻き、羊に噛み付くことだけできた。陳は助ける ためよろよろ歩いて行ったが何をすべきか分からなかった。ガスマイの二匹の犬は羊にがんじがらめにされた。大きいな狼に行けないから、荒っぽい無力な吠える羽目 になった。同時にビルギーの五・六匹の猟犬が隣人の犬たちと一緒に、囲いの西に他の狼を戦っていた。吠える声と遠ぼえと苦しんでいる泣き声は天地を揺さ ぶった。陳はガスマイを助けたかったのに足が動けないほど不安定だった。生きている狼を触るという監房が身がすくむような恐怖で消えた。

Chen was awakened by Gasmai's frantic cries and the wild barking of dogs. After pulling on his felt boots and buttoning up his Mongol robe, his deel, he ran out of the yurt on shaky legs, flashlight and herding club in hand. The beam of the light sliced through the snow to reveal Gasmai holding on to the tail of a wolf, trying to turn it's fangs on her. Meanwhile, the stupid, fat sheep, petrified by the wolf and nearly frozen by the wind, huddled together and kept backing up against the windbreak, packed so tightly the snowflakes between their bodies turned to steam. The front half of the wolf was immobilized; it could only paw at the ground and snap at the sheep in front of it, all the while engaged in a tug-of-war with Gasmai. Chen staggered over to help but didn't know what to do. Gasmai's two dogs were hemmed in by the huddled sheep. Unable to get to the big wolf, they were reduced to wild, impotent barking. At the same time, Bilgee's five or six hunting dogs, together with their neighbor's dogs, were fighting other wolves east of the pen. The barks, the howls and the agonizing cries of the dogs shook heaven and earth. Chen wanted to help Gasmai, but his legs were so rubbery he could barely move. His desire to touch a living wolf had vanished, replaced by paralyzing fear.

Okay! That's it for now.

My question this time is the difference between saying "何々
して" and "何々し". I know the "て" form is sometimes used to show a direct connection between cause and effect, and the stem form of a verb is often used in a list of events, but here I perhaps inappropriately mixed and matched where I saw fit. Any comments about this?

I also wanted to thank Kozo, a friend of mine from university and easily one of the nicest people I know, who gave me heaps of good suggestions. He's been doing translations as well, but rather than doing them are grammar-vocabulary exercises, he's refining his already-excellent written Japanese. He also asked if he could give a shot at his own translation, and needless to say, his is a lot more accurate. But interestingly, there are a few places where mine's not necessarily wrong, or at least not completely wrong, but our choice of words is quite different. I also saw a version his parents did, which was again quite different. Maybe he'll let me post them in some sort of translation exposé.

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