The Beta Pictures

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The Beta Pictures

Unread postby Talbain » July 31st, 2006, 10:09 am

I know it's not my place to complain, but I can't really help myself, this English just looks wonky to me.

http://mirrormoon.org/images/136-beta_1
The road seems long, as if it might go on forever.
Gently sloping; the sky approaches as if to suck me in.
I see an illusion.
This street is a ladder, heading into the blue.

I see that, and for no reason at all,
I remember a sorrowful affair.

http://mirrormoon.org/images/137-beta_2
I sit next to Arihiko and eat my lunch.
Our school's cafeteria has a television, and for better or worse, they play back the morning news recorded from this morning.
At any rate, the news goes on to tell us a convenience store employee was stabbed to death. Something which upon hearing, makes me want to stay away from them for a time.

http://mirrormoon.org/images/139-beta_4
"Before I... woke up?"

Then, that means...

Hisui saw my face when I was having that dream?
My face takes on a deep red.
Hisui stands there, expressionless, making no attempt to speak.

http://mirrormoon.org/images/140-beta_3
"..."
I forgot. She really seems like a cat sometimes. (I can't do much with this, I need to know what way or ways you're referring to, does she act like a cat in that she's very nocturnal, very shy, skittish, all of the above?)
"Well, I guess it works out. To be honest, I wanted to see you too. So, meeting here, um~"
I was about to say that it made me really happy, but I frantically choke down the words.
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Unread postby Message » August 1st, 2006, 5:48 am

Welcome to the world of Not All Scripts Understandable.
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Unread postby Ryuusoul » August 1st, 2006, 11:11 pm

Welcome to the world of stream of consciousness.

Also, I'm not too sure what you find wrong with some of this stuff...

Looking at your suggestions, some of them seem more questionable than what was in the pictures.
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Unread postby Talbain » August 2nd, 2006, 10:29 am

The poem in particular bugs me. No poet would write a poem like that. While I could spend some time with it to get it sound really nice (and if I get a request to do so, I'll do so), I figured just simplifying most of the pictures was the better approach. Most of these pictures seem like they're overdescribing what's already given, and underdescribing (or not describing at all) what isn't.

Just one person's opinion though.
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Unread postby Hyperbeast » August 2nd, 2006, 11:46 am

I don't see what the problem is...

Besides, they're working hard, *I assume anyway =P* so it's not really in our place to complain about their work... Especially seeing as there's no other translations to compare to. Just be grateful you're getting something.
I still don't see what the problem is anyway.
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Unread postby Ryuusoul » August 2nd, 2006, 12:17 pm

Who says it's a poem? It is literally just what Shiki is actually thinking.

In real life, you don't think in perfectly clear, grammatically concise sentences.

As for the emphasis in description, blame Nasu, not me.

Criticism is welcome; I'm just explaining why things are the way they are.
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Unread postby Talbain » August 2nd, 2006, 7:17 pm

You don't speak perfectly clear sentences maybe, but when you're just providing a description of what's occurring, unless it's a form of stylized writing (or we're taking the story in from a first-person perspective, perhaps) that is clearly consistent, it will likely serve to confuse rather than clarify. Another tenant is to use less words when it makes sense to do so. If it's not a poem, why does he keep describing the sky as blue over and over? Is he thinking outloud? If he is, it's fine for him to describe the sky in the same way (though there should be quotation marks if that's the case), but otherwise we already know that the sky is blue after the first time he tells us, he doesn't have to beat us over the head with that fact.

Also, in the picture where they are watching the news, what does "their education" have to do with anything? Is there some context given to this? Does he have a grudge against education, does he enjoy education? It doesn't seem like he needs to mention anything about their education in this instance unless it's important. Which it doesn't seem to me like it is. I'd say the stabbing death is what's on center stage in the scene.
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Unread postby Ryuusoul » August 4th, 2006, 3:48 am

You don't speak perfectly clear sentences maybe, but when you're just providing a description of what's occurring, unless it's a form of stylized writing (or we're taking the story in from a first-person perspective, perhaps) that is clearly consistent, it will likely serve to confuse rather than clarify.


Well, that really describes exactly how Tsukihime is written on both counts... Again, welcome to stream-of-consciousness. It is highly stylized and in the first person point of view. If you see quotes, it is spoken dialogue. If not, it is what the person (almost always Shiki) is thinking.

If it's not a poem, why does he keep describing the sky as blue over and over? Is he thinking outloud? If he is, it's fine for him to describe the sky in the same way (though there should be quotation marks if that's the case), but otherwise we already know that the sky is blue after the first time he tells us, he doesn't have to beat us over the head with that fact.


I'm not sure what you're suggesting, but for better or worse for your reading experience, I'm not about to drastically change Nasu's style of writing. If Shiki beats us over the head with how blue the sky is, then so be it. Maybe he's feeling wistful? Maybe he's just musing? I hate to tell you this, but if you can't bear to read stream-of-consciousness, then I suggest you never read Tsukihime. That goes for our English version as well as the original Japanese.

It doesn't seem like he needs to mention anything about their education in this instance unless it's important. Which it doesn't seem to me like it is. I'd say the stabbing death is what's on center stage in the scene.


As for the television bit... Nasu is assuming that you have the ability to read between the lines. There is a TV, so students will watch it instead of studying or doing whatever else dutiful Japanese students do.

You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion. But you seem to be forgetting that I translated a work written by a very stylistic author; I'm not writing this from scratch. Context? The need to mention something? While you have the intensity of someone who seems used to grilling fanfic authors, I think you are perhaps reading too much into everything. Feel free to do so... I just don't seem to be getting it. I'm sorry Nasu felt compelled to mention education for no apparent reason. I guess he was missing the whole point of his own story... While the last couple of sentences may come across as being harshly sarcastic, it merely emphasizes that if you don't like the emphasis in these scenes, then you probably wouldn't like them in the original Japanese version, either.

I hope you're not taking offense. I'm just being honest.
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Unread postby Talbain » August 5th, 2006, 9:18 am

No offense taken at all. I was merely curious. Assuming that it is as I suspected, I don't find anything inherently wrong with the writing. It just seems like the writing is stilted because of its repetitive voice. It seems to me like the writing is repeating itself just because it can.

Regardless, I look forward to the translation. Hope everything continues smoothly. Just figured I'd add my two cents.
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Unread postby Dectilon » August 22nd, 2006, 7:54 pm

In "I see an illusion" I think either that "mirage" or "chimaera" is a better word in the situation than illusion. Or maybe rewritten as "Hallucination" (for the whole sentence). It's a tricky sentence to rewrite, but as it is now it's not very good use of language I think. Since he's in such a dreamy state it IS almost like a poem, and this inner dialogue would rather gain than suffer from being written like one :)

This is how I would rewrite it:

"The long road seems to go on forever.
Before me the gently sloping road. Above me a blue sky that looks to want to suck me in.
A chimaera; the road is like a ladder, reaching up into the clear, blue sky.

I take it all in, and an unsummoned memory comes to me. The memory of that sorrowful affair."

Yeah, something like that. I supposed it might not fit the rest of the text, but when working with just this page, this is what I came up with :)

I think translating too closely to the original text is unnecessary. It only leads to bad english. Better to try to do what book translators do and go for ambience and feeling over correctness in the translation.

The second image has a 4-row sentence. That's never a good thing ~~


"Hisui saw my face when I was having that dream?"

This feels very direct-translated. Could use some re-writing. In these kind of stories there are of course often things said and thought that no normal human would ever say or think, but they are used anyway to make sure you don't miss certain facts. Sometimes this can be useful, when watching a fast-paced movie or something like that, but when reading a book (and cmon, this is basically a illustrated novell) you read at your own pace, and the risk of missing half-hidden facts is small.

An example of such an unrealistic sentece is something often used by people in anime or we talking on the phone. Someone tells them something and then they say: "What? (And then they repeat what they had just been told, in every detail, no matter how much information it was)" while making a suprised face. This kind of annoying way of bringing information to the viewer is acceptable in tv series, but few would appreciate it in books.

The above sentence could be rewritten as "Was she watching me while I dreamt?" for example. (Uh, btw, was the word kao or sugata? :) I'm just interested. I know you are way better at japanese than I am.)

(I see no problem in the Arcueid-picture, and in the Hisui picture I would just lose the "and" :)
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Unread postby Ryuusoul » August 23rd, 2006, 10:54 pm

It was literally, kao. This scene takes place after an h-scene dream sequence, so he literally is concerned about Hisui seeing his face while he was dreaming.

As for losing the "and", it would make sentence look like this:

"Hisui just stands there, expressionless as usual, makes no attempt to speak."

That doesn't make any sense to me.

As for having a 4-row sentence... that's just a product of the screen size and the font size. It really isn't an absurdly long sentence.
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Unread postby Talbain » August 24th, 2006, 5:06 am

I'm more of the opinion that simpler is better. If you're going to say something about somebody, even if you're thinking it, you probably wouldn't think in long, drawn-out sentences. You'd probably just say/think (as to the Hisui example): "Was she watching me?"
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Unread postby Dectilon » August 25th, 2006, 9:37 am

Oops; wasn't reading closely enough obviously.

For "makes no attempt to speak." I of course meant "making", not makes : P

We all make mistakes, yes? :)
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