23 July 2009

Translation Exercise: "God Hates Japan" (5)

Last time I believe I made some promise about writing real entries, but a man's got to do what a man's got to do. This might be another way of saying that life's been pretty swell lately but not in a write-about-it-in-my-blog sort of way. Do you want to hear about how good eel tastes? Care for the details of playing guitar, about why I chose not to watch the solar eclipse [damn evil spirits] or recording my own model versions of Martin Luther King-themed speeches for the annual prefectural speech contest? I didn't think so.

Anyway, here she goes. I transcribed the Japanese from paper while drinking-- nay, imbibing a White Russian and watching The Colbert Report (because that's how we roll), so if you notice any typos, let me know.

Original Japanese translation

例えばホール&オーツやクイーンに、とにかく卑猥なものを・・・・・。

マリコが自らの人生をトヨタに預けた時、彼女は、国民を洗脳するためにある日本の“和”への義理や尊敬や自己犠牲といった感覚を体験する事になる最後の世代の子供となった。

一九七五年以降に生まれた僕のような人間はどうだろう?僕らのことなんか忘れてしまっていい。僕らは繁殖し、よく食べ、際限なく増殖し、また際限なく壊れていく。それに、僕らに世代なんてものは存在しない。

マリコは僕の“シーン”について、いつもお姉さんぶった説教を始め、そんな自意識過剰で無意味なメヌエットが終わると、OLとして稼いだ給料でまたバーバリー製品を買いに出かけた。彼女は一九九四年に千葉の歯医者と結婚し、僕のおいとなるはずの子を妊婦した。姉貴とは一年一度しか会わなかったが、僕が自分の人生をどれだけ無駄にしているか説教されるはめになった。

ずいぶん生意気なガキに聞こえるかもしれないけど、少しでも気休めになるなら、僕が自分に一番厳しいわけで、そんな厳しさは、僕を含めた無世代が受け継いだとしても、同時に、ダム、道路、食糧生産、人口衛星の打ち上げ、経済産業省、農業科学といった、この国の多くの遺産を維持することなどできないことを意味していた。いっそ、そんなすべてを爆破してしまった方がずっとおもしろいのかもしれないけど、自分にできないことはあまり言わない方がいいだろう。

My translation back into English

For example, on Hall & Oates or Queen. Anyway, really filthy stuff.

When Mariko handed her life over to Toyota, she became a child of the last generation that has to experience feelings of obligation and respect and self-sacrifice to the Japanese concept of "harmony", which exists to brainwash the public.

What are people like me who are born after 1975 like? You should forget about us. We multiply, we eat a lot, we breed endlessly and also break down endlessly. Besides, we don't believe in things like "generations".

Mariko would start to lecture me like a big sister about my "scene" and when she'd finish her ego driven, meaningless minuet, she'd go out again to buy Burberry products with the salary she earned as an office assistant. In 1995 she married a dentist from Chiba and became pregnant with the child that would become my nephew. I'd only see my big sis once a year but I'd always end up being lectured about how I was wasting my life.

I probably sound like quite the spoilt brat, but if it's any consolation, I'm hardest on myself and this severeness implies I cannot maintain the many inheritances from this country such as the dams, roads, food production, the launch of man-made satellites, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, agricultural science, etcetera. Really, it would probably be more interesting to blow all these things up, but I guess I shouldn't talk about things I can't do myself.

Commentary

There was a lot of odd non-JLPT vocabulary here. For my own benefit, I'll give a few examples of the curios I found.
際限なく・さいげんなく・Endlessly, without end -- there seem to be lots of ways to say this. Another one for the pile.
妊婦する・にんぷする・Basically means "to become pregnant", though as a noun this means "expectant mother", so it might be interpreted as "to become an expectant mother".
羽目になる・はめになる・To flatter, or to relax one's chi if you want to get technical -- but, the whole phrase "少しでも気休めになるなら" means "if it's any consolation", which is kind of neato.
Shout outs

Quick shout out to Kozo who posted his own translation of the last block of text in his own blog. He, I believe, can be counted as being a native speaker of both English and Japanese, so he picks up on some of the finer grammatical points that skip right over my head. And, he knows exactly what Burberry is, which is a little suspicious ;) [Disclaimer: I understood that it was a fashion company from context, but refused to acknowledge the existence of such a brand]

ザ・バーバリー

I'm still considering making a separate study blog, or maybe a half-decent multimedia job that could land me my next blog at some nerdy IT corporation. Maybe a third Japanese Studies blog that could get me into grad school somewhere half-respectable?

1 comment:

kojaxs said...

In my defense, I don't know about Burberry beyond its existence as a fashion brand. (Something I picked up quickly from watching Japanese television as part of my Japanese "study.") I wouldn't recognize it on the street, or be able to name any of its distinctive characteristics... yet.