Thursday, January 6, 2011

Translating to Japanese, incorrect or perhaps very correct...?

I just noticed that the site also had put up their review over the top 10 Japan English language blogs in Japanese (see here). (Never mind that anyone who can't understand the regular article in English hardly would be able to understand the actual contents of the blogs, but that's another matter altogether)

In the original English version, they quoted a sample of my post "Honor the company" and in the original English version point number two says:

"Required morning greeting where all in the department huddle around, say "good morning" in a loud voice together before going back to doing nothing"

...the translation into Japanese on says:


...if I now go and try to back translate the Japanese version into English, without knowledge of what was actually translated in the first hand, it would come out something like:

"Morning greetings every morning where everyone in the department says "good morning" in a loud voice together before resuming the daily tasks"

I have taken the liberty of putting in bold letters the parts that I find most interesting. translated "going back to doing nothing" as "resuming their daily tasks". My first reaction was that this translation lost all the intended wit in the original English text, but giving it another though, maybe this equals "daily tasks" with doing nothing and is actually the far superior translation?

Something to ponder indeed!

1 comment:

Foggia said...

Sounds like censure to me.
But on a meta-level, it's all the more funny that the rewriter kinda agrees with your opinion.

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