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#1
Dec 14, 2012 7:46 AM
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I think we all know that honorifics are good but my friend told me their not. He also thinks itadakimasu should be turned into English! Do you have any arguments I could use against him?

Thanks!!
 
#2
Dec 14, 2012 7:48 AM

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I have one:
 
#3
Dec 14, 2012 7:53 AM

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Culture cannot be wholly 'translated' so easily. The term 'localisation' is used, and when it is done, many things get changed.

Even itadakimasu, a very non-religious saying, can be turned into saying grace which is very, very religious.

-San, -chan, -tan, etc. represent the closeness(or not) level for the speaker and addressee. They are not things you can translate. They can be represented by nicknames(for -chan, -tan) or very formal address (Mr., Dr., Prof., Master, Lord FULL NAME etc.) but that's how they translate. Either you do this form of translation, or not at all which is supported by those who wouldn't mind learning about culture.(and get called a weaboo) Those who support the former think it is 'professional.'

Furthermore Japanese use polite language. There is no such thing in English. Speaking Received Pronunciation does not give the same effect. (and it makes you look weird in a non-British context)

In essence, honorifics anywhere, cannot be fully translated and still retain their original form. All of it is lost due to the vast differences between East Asia and the etiquette in the 'West.'

「みんながいるからだ。」 - 棗鈴
 
#4
Dec 14, 2012 8:25 AM

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^ Agreed and I have to add that sometimes using the suffixes and other original Japanese words is better than a translation as you'd need to add details in for example English which are not given in the original Japanese sentence. If someone has a unisex name, let's say "Akira" and someone addresses this person with "Akira-san" and the readers/watchers haven't seen this person yet, you won't know the sex of this person. However, instead of "Akira-san", people would translate it as "Mr. Akira" or the like which is not necessarily correct and if there are misunderstandings because of this in the anime, those who are not aware of these diffeences will be confused. (Note that this doesn't apply to "-san" only.) Since they're different languages, it's only natural you cannot translate it word by word.
 
#5
Dec 14, 2012 8:49 AM
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DarkSageRK said:
I think we all know that honorifics are good but my friend told me their not. He also thinks itadakimasu should be turned into English! Do you have any arguments I could use against him?

Thanks!!


Well, there is a good argument that extremely basic words should be kept in their native languages because you should really learn them. Arigatou, Onegai, Konnichiwa, Sensei, are some examples that are easy to learn and could be counted among the 10 words everyone should know.

Also, a lot is loss in translation. Itadakumasu translated directly means: " shall partake in this honorable food you have condescended to make for me". To translate that to "thanks for the grab" sort of losing meaning.

Plus title honorifics are either impossible or too bulky to translate. Take Sensei. Calling someone "teacher" sounds extremely odd to the english ear, and calling them "Hashimoto teacher" even stranger. Translating every word would ruin the quality of the subtitles by being too literal and bulky.
 
#6
Dec 14, 2012 9:37 AM

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Takuan_Soho said:
Itadakumasu translated directly means: " shall partake in this honorable food you have condescended to make for me".

頂きます -> 頂く (to receive/get/accept) + ます.
Itadakimasu translated literally means "to receive" (polite). It's not limited to food.
 
#7
Dec 14, 2012 9:40 AM

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tsui_mokei said:
Takuan_Soho said:
Itadakumasu translated directly means: " shall partake in this honorable food you have condescended to make for me".

頂きます -> 頂く (to receive/get/accept) + ます.
Itadakimasu translated literally means "to receive" (polite). It's not limited to food.


The original translation has the correct nuance. It's 'supposed' to mean something like that.
It really means to receive something that the speaker, the humble one, is supposedly undeserving of something bestowed to the speaker by someone higher/superior. It's part of the graciousness, and, unless I'm very wrong, has Confucius and/or Buddhist influences.

「みんながいるからだ。」 - 棗鈴
 
#8
Dec 14, 2012 9:54 AM
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tsui_mokei said:
Takuan_Soho said:
Itadakumasu translated directly means: " shall partake in this honorable food you have condescended to make for me".

頂きます -> 頂く (to receive/get/accept) + ます.
Itadakimasu translated literally means "to receive" (polite). It's not limited to food.


Very true, it is the humble polite form of Morau, one of two verbs meaning "to receive", in this case mprau is used when the speaker emphasizes with the person receiving the object and is in the form of "I received x from y.". Kureru also means to give, but is the form "Y gave X to me". Itadku being the humble polite form, is used when the giver is of a higher social status than the receiver.

In normal use Morau and Itadaku both require a direct object to indicate what is being received (or is attached to another verb to indicate that someone is doing something for you). To use Itadaku on its own defeats the humble nuance you are meaning to convey.

However, there is one exception it has become an idiomatic expression to indicate the start of eating. Hence my translation.
 
#9
Dec 14, 2012 9:55 AM

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Senpai
As a child, I was told that society is a melting pot of talents; knowledge and experience combined to form important alloys that will contribute to mankind. When I got to highschool, however, I thought that it's more like a river in which the water represents our peers while we ourselves are the stones in the river. Constant erosion by mindless majority sheeping has made us lose our unique edge. After I hit the age of 18, I realized that I've been wrong all along. Society is no melting pot. Society is no river. Society is a person, a very skilled rapist, and he has fucked us all.
 
Dec 14, 2012 10:00 AM

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Takuan_Soho said:
.... Itadku being the humble polite form, is used when the giver is of a higher social status than the receiver.


From what I understand, this is not the case. The 'humbling' of oneself is not exactly towards the giver, or direct provider of the food. (although it can be meant that way)

Unless the Wikipedia is very wrong, it is a heavily Buddhist saying, regarding the sanctity of life itself. (and the supply chain that got the food there, which is a whole society thing and not a interpersonal lower-upper social status thing) Note that I wrote non-religious, because saying grace refers, directly, to Abrahamic God, while Buddhism is not a theistic 'religion.'

「みんながいるからだ。」 - 棗鈴
 
Dec 14, 2012 11:03 AM
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Zmffkskem said:
From what I understand, this is not the case. The 'humbling' of oneself is not exactly towards the giver, or direct provider of the food. (although it can be meant that way)
Unless the Wikipedia is very wrong, it is a heavily Buddhist saying, regarding the sanctity of life itself. (and the supply chain that got the food there, which is a whole society thing and not a interpersonal lower-upper social status thing) Note that I wrote non-religious, because saying grace refers, directly, to Abrahamic God, while Buddhism is not a theistic 'religion.'


You are correct that is where the idiomatic expression comes from, but similar to "bless you" when people cough, many people use it as merely the proper way to say thank you than to think about all the meaning behind the word.
 
Dec 14, 2012 11:46 AM

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Translation is an art, there is rarely a single right answer. If you think your audience understands honorifics well, it's probably better not to translate them, because you'll get a very poor approximation and leaving them in would have conveyed the meaning better. If your audience is only vaguely aware that they're watching something Japanese, coming up with a loose English approximation is the best you can do.
 
Dec 14, 2012 4:23 PM
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Some great advice from some great translators. Thanks a lot, everyone!
 
Dec 14, 2012 5:33 PM
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Zmffkskem said:
Culture cannot be wholly 'translated' so easily. The term 'localisation' is used, and when it is done, many things get changed.

Even itadakimasu, a very non-religious saying, can be turned into saying grace which is very, very religious.

-San, -chan, -tan, etc. represent the closeness(or not) level for the speaker and addressee. They are not things you can translate. They can be represented by nicknames(for -chan, -tan) or very formal address (Mr., Dr., Prof., Master, Lord FULL NAME etc.) but that's how they translate. Either you do this form of translation, or not at all which is supported by those who wouldn't mind learning about culture.(and get called a weaboo) Those who support the former think it is 'professional.'

Furthermore Japanese use polite language. There is no such thing in English. Speaking Received Pronunciation does not give the same effect. (and it makes you look weird in a non-British context)

In essence, honorifics anywhere, cannot be fully translated and still retain their original form. All of it is lost due to the vast differences between East Asia and the etiquette in the 'West.'


Thanks for saving me the effort!
no more forums
 
Dec 14, 2012 5:47 PM

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Just curious but ... What do you mean when you said your friend thinks honorifics are not good? Like is he arguing it's better to be informal with everyone?

And what does that have to do with trying to adopt a foreign word like Ittadakimasu?
 
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