Translation: Cross Channel – Introducing the City & Sakuraba’s Ride

Introduction

For fun, I translated some of the first part of C+C. This translation contains the original translation & the original Japanese + commentary. In fact, I’m gonna show the original first – not necessarily to attack Ixrec’s work (although I think he got rid of 90% of the sarcasm & humor & poesy) but just to put everything out clearly for people to compare. The commentary is just my own thoughts on the prose – and they aren’t necessarily anything definitive. But anyway –  Enjoy!

As always, this is just another exercise for me to try and synthesize the style of the master into my own and so I care more about tempering my own prose, but if any of you find any mistakes in my translation, kindly flag it up. Thanks!

(13/04/17 – rereading it, I feel like I pushed too far in the tone and the comedic timing went off… but, you get the point – just go read the original!)

Original Translation

Between the softly breathing trees, I could see a flock of white buildings isolated from the outside world by these mountains.

A town.

A new, clean and tranquil town… far from the region’s capital.

In other words, the boondocks.

The main body of the town stands between other steep mountains on the far side of this one.

By the way, there is a sliver of a trail which eventually ends at the heart of the town, so you could gain access to rental shops, arcades, bookstores, bars, and even health services.

There lies the ripened fruit of a culture bent on the extremities of fulfilment.

Commonly called a “city”.

Now, on this side.

The houses piled up like mountains.

The mountains also piled up like mountains.

Then there’s the school. Only one of those.

If you wanted to find something else that stood out, it’d all seem very normal.

This side of town was here to tend to the city, manage the days, greet the people working like coach horses, see them off, give birth to them (Adult Joke #1), then at night, kindly allow them to sleep soundly.

Essentially a bedtown.

Even though they’re both the same town.

There seems to be complex political circumstances.

Thus, on the map, that majestic mountain dividing the two came to be labelled as a ‘hill’.

From any point of view, it’s no trivial affair.

It guarantees that someone will see the map, mistake it for an actual hill, bring their wife and son along on a hiking trip, and get into an accident.

The only means of transportation to the city are the train and the unpaved mountain road.

Technically, there’s a road if you go toward the opposite peak.

But that’s really just a detour.

It’s useless added distance.

We’re out in the country.

Once, a guy named Sakuraba from our class said:

“I will conquer the peak with this new bike. I feel this is something I have to do.”

He flashed his teeth and set off on his journey.

Then,

Sakuraba didn’t come home for three days, and the police were deployed.

We believe he was trying out the mountain bike he’d just bought.

Nevertheless, he got full of himself, arriving at a point five kilometres away from the neighbouring Aihara Town (super far away) before being stopped.

While fleeing through one of the few paved roads in these mountains, he was apprehended.

Sakuraba’s family was about as wealthy as Kirihara’s (another classmate of mine), and his parents were equally overprotective.

They were called Sakuraba of the West and Kirihara of the East.

Kirihara’s family had descended from warriors, and she had a stringent, aristocratic atmosphere around her.

If you lined the whole family up next to each other, they’d make faces as if they’d just chewed bitter insects. They had absolutely no love for one another, only poisoned tongues.

She’s commonly called “Harakiri”

The Sakuraba family was the exact opposite: thoroughly relaxed. The father was a decorated veteran who didn’t notice the pain he had in his appendix and continued travelling until the moment of his death.

Without a doubt, that adventurous spirit of his was succeeded by his son.

It’s fun to take peeks into the Sakurabas’ mellow spontaneity, such as when their son didn’t return home by midnight, making his parents exclaim “He’s been kidnapped!” and then call up the cops.

Sakuraba was scolded beyond reason by those involved, and his bicycle was impounded.

In addition, he became the laughingstock of the school.

He also monopolized the front page of the newspaper for a long time.

Particularly with the contents of his ramblings during interviews.

“Urgent information! I saw a mysterious artificial human at Hasukejou’s place!”

“My thorough twelve-hour investigation revealed forbidden alien technology in the deepest reaches of his house!!”

“We’ll be able to see the shocking truths that we’ve never been able to imagine even after all our progress as a species up to now!”

Ridiculous.

In short, on his way home, he took a wrong turn and entered one of the mountains.

He probably thought it was a shortcut.

Then, he coincidentally discovered a certain facility and got overexcited.

Even after this, the interview produced another terrible development.

“The secret base”

“Shocking”

“Because of the armed soldiers”

“Overthrow humanity’s basic understanding of”

The top five words made use of during that interview:

#1: “Mystery” 22 times

#2: “Shocking” 19 times

#3: “Discovery” 17 times

#4 “Forbidden” 6 times

#5 “Shiver” 4 times

The school newspaper saw Sakuraba as prey, picking him clean down to the marrow of his bones.

Sakuraba learned firsthand the cruelty of mass media.

After that, the stress gave him diarrhoea for a week (this also became an article)

On the morning of the eighth day he came to school with a healthy face (This was reported on)

His hair was coloured blond (that feature article received numerous complaints)

Since then, his has been the blonde life.

He must have conquered the stress by deceiving himself into becoming a new person.

…When I was near him, we were called the gold-silver combo.

 

My Translation

Through the quiet shivering of the trees – there’s the sight of those white buildings split off from the external world by the mountains.

A town.

Shiny clean buildings. Somewhat quiet… outskirts.

To put it nicely… it’s the waaaay-out-there. Like the boonies.

And as for where the main bustle of the city was – you just had to look past those precariously-pointy peaks. Right over to the other side.

Incidentally, the other side had stuff like the malls… and even if you happened to be on the way out of the city, going all the way up to the end of the main body, you’d still manage to find rental shops, and also game centers, and bookstores, and bars, and ‘massage’ parlours.

It was the peak of civilization all right – slobbering in the over-ripened fruit of gluttony.

We designate such: Metropolis

And then, we have over here.

Where the private houses are stacked higher than hills.

And the hills are stacked higher than hills.

And, there’s also a school… A single lonely school.

And, if we were to talk about anything else that stands out… there’s good ol’ Mother Nature.

So, this side serves the city – lapping up the dregs of the daily grind, and meeting up with those day-draggled businessmen, pushing them out again, sometimes birthing them out (Grown-up Joke No.1) – and when the night comes – granting them with a nice sonorous sleep.

In other words – this here’s a commuter-town.

Even though technically we’re still considered the same city.

I heard it’s due to some serious political stuff.

Just to give an example – that majestic mountain cleaving the land in twain… was designated a ‘hill’ on the map.

No matter how you look at it – that substitution wasn’t just to be cute.

Should some strapping dad make a mistake, and take ‘my sweet lassie wife’ and ‘my young laddie’ for the good old annual hike, you can expect a family-scale disaster just waiting to occur.

By the way – only means of transportation: the train… and the unpaved mountain roads.

Although, if you head towards the opposite ridge – you just might find a proper road.

But, that’s just roundabout.

You could call it deadweight distance.

It’s the sticks, after all.

Once, this dude called Sakuraba said:

“With this new two-wheeler I’ll break through that ridge – just you see. This Will comes from the voice in my heart.”

And with a sparkle in his smile – he ventured forth on his journey.

And then,

When Sakuraba vanished for a whole 3 days, his family had a small little request for the kindly men in blue down at the police station.

I guess he wanted to give his newly-bought mountain bike a test drive.

So, riding on that high – he made it all the way to the neighboring (and totally far off) Aihara City… or rather, he reached within 5km before they took him down.

That is – as he was on-the-run down one of those few actual vehicle-use roads in the mountains, they caught him red-handed.

The Sakuraba household (like the Kirihara household) was filthy rich – and so his parents were pretty overprotective.

The Western Sakurabas, and the Eastern Kiriharas – those were their monikers.

Kirihara had a Samurai lineage. So, she was bequoth with the stern severity of an Eastern noble-lady.

If you gathered all the Kiriharas up, you’d get a nice parade of sour faces with scorpion tongues – and not a single bit of Love.

Thus, the nickname: “Harakiri”.

The Sakurabas are the opposite. They’re lackadaisical. If I were a general, I’d award the Sakuraba Papa with a nice medal for his somehow managing an ‘ignoring appendix pain till close unto death’ scenario.

And that airhead recklessness was surely fostered down the bloodline.

When Sakuraba didn’t come home at night, the worried family yelled that it was some kind of abduction and galloped over to the cops. It’s just amusing when you get those little peeks at the light boobiness of the Sakurabas.

He was scolded like crazy and they seized his transport.

Also, he was laughed at in school.

He was the front-page attraction of our school newspaper for a long time.

Especially popular was the bullshit they popped out of him in an interview.

“Emergency! Puzzling architectures in the Hasugatake backwoods!”

“After half a day of investigations…. Conclusion! This must surely be some hidden forbidden supertechnology!”

“The road was long… but I was faced with the impact of a discovery beyond any of our wildest imaginations!”

Total bullshit.

In other words, the dunce was probably on the road home and wandered into the mountains.

Probably trying to find a shortcut.

And, somehow, he stumbled across some kind of facility and got high on the discovery.

After that part – the interview underwent a terrifying new development.

“Yes… the secret base…”

“… top ballistics…”

“…wielded by soldiers…”

“… causing the confusion of humanity’s knowledge!”

The Top 5 Quotes From that Interview:

No.1 Puzzling (x22)

No.2 Ballistic (x19)

No.3 Discovery (x17)

No.4 Forbidden (x6)

No.5 Hair-Raising (x4)

Those predatory yellow-journalists sunk their jaws into the delicious prey known as Sakuraba Hiroshi. They suckled the meat from the bone.

And thus, he learnt the cruelty of the media circus.

Afterwards, his stomach suffered from one week of stress diarrhoea (that made the news)

On the eight day, he waltzed back to school nonchalantly (that was covered too)

With his hair styled blonde (Special Feature: Opinion! Counter! Objection! – The People Speaks)

From then on – his has been The Blonde Life.

Most likely, he fell into those delusions about become the ‘new you’ and got over the stress by stroking his ego.

And… that was how we became nicknamed the Gold & Pearly Duo.

 

Original Japanese

ひそやかに息づく木々の合間からは、山々によって外界から隔絶された白い建物群が見えた。

街だ。

真新しく清潔、かつ閑静な地方都市……のはずれ。

つまりはしっこだ。

Commentary

The pacing of the above two lines feels sarcastic to me, especially since the ellipsis acts as a punchline. Ixrec’s translation is “A new, clean and tranquil town… far from the region’s capital.” – and loses that punch. I am not completely aware of the nuances between はしっこ & はずれ – but the second one feels like a downgrade of the first one. Since Ixrec used ‘boondocks’ – I hijacked that word.

市の本体はというと、激険しい山を挟んで向こう側にある。

Commentary

激険しい feels extremely sarcastic to me since he’s accentuated how sharp the peaks standing between the outskirts and the main city is.

ちなみに向こう側にはデパートもあり、時間さえかければ都心にも出られる路線がそのつま先を置き、レンタルショップはおろかゲーセン・本屋・飲み屋・出張(ヘルス)まである。

Commentary

This is the part where I think Ixrec made a huge mistake in the translation by stating that the center part is just how to get there, while I read it as Taichi accentuating the plenitude of the city center by bringing up how even the tips of it are full of stuff – but the sentence is quite complex and I might be wrong.

I definitely know, though, that Ixrec totally got rid of the prostitution reference with his ‘health services’ which does not have the same strong connotations as 出張(ヘルス).

飽食の極みを迎えた文明の、爛熟した果実がここにある。

通称『都会』。

Commentary

Definitely sarcastic. “There lies the ripened fruit of a culture bent on the extremities of fulfillment.” sounds so clunky – especially ‘extremities of fulfillment’.

さて、こっち側。

民家が山のようにある。

山も山のようにある。

あと学校がある。これは一つしかない。

他に目立ったものといえば、大自然ぐらいのものか。

Commentary

The above sentences are sarcastically describing how there’s completely nothing in Taichi’s side of town, but Ixrec translation the last line as “If you wanted to find something else that stood out, it’d all seem very normal.” – missing the fact that the 大自然 is talking about there being only Nature around. So the punchline is killed.

都会に{傅:かしず}き、そのおこぼれで日々を営み、馬車馬のように働く人民を迎え、送り出し、時には生みだし(大人のジョーク①)、夜は優しくも高らかに眠らせあげるのである。

要するにベッドタウンだ。

同じ市なのに。

Commentary

A simple wiki search will tell you what a commuter town/bedtown is – and Taichi talks about how ironic it is that his side of the city is so lacking as to be regulated to just an intermediary place for salarymen & workers to sleep. This is kind of a higher metaphor for his status as being stuck and unable to progress into society. The ‘adult joke’ sentence was rather complex and I thought for a long while as to how to approach it.

深い政治的事情がありそうだ。

なお地図上では、二つの地を分断するこの雄峰、『丘』ということにされている。

どう見てもそんな可愛らしい代物ではない。

Commentary

Somehow the translation in Ixrec turned into “From any point of view, it’s no trivial affair.” even though 代物 seems to be more likely talking about the substitution of hill for mountain. The 可愛らしい complements this case by making the whole thing ‘cute name/moniker’.

地図で見て文字通り丘と勘違いし、ワイフとマイサン引き連れてハイキングになど行こうものなら、家族ぐるみで遭難することうけあいである。

Commentary

The gratuitous English in this sentence is what makes it funny, as well as 家族ぐるみで遭難する which I translated as ‘family-wide disaster’ – wordplay on x-wide magnitude disasters of course. To deal with the English I decided to go with some kinda Scottish thing – or whatever accent/tone gives the feeling of an advertisement-worthy family man bringing his perfect family up into the mountains.

都会との交通手段は、電車と未舗装の山道しかない。

一応、反対方向の峠まで行けば、道がある。

ただし本当に遠回りになる。

それくらい無駄に距離がある。

田舎です。

以前、クラスの{桜庭:さくらば}という男が、

『このNEWチャリで峠を制覇してみせる。これって、今の俺には必要なことだと思うから』

Commentary

The humor comes from the English & the seishun-max ‘doing the thing important to my heart line’ – which is extremely ironic because Sakuraba is an idiot & should not be trusting his internal self. So I felt the need to exaggerate it a little.

と歯を輝かせながら旅だったことがある。

で。

桜庭は丸三日帰宅せず、警察の御出動と相成った。

Commentary

The description of the ‘police deployment’ is sarcastic because Taichi uses polite speech.

買ったばかりのマウンテンバイクを軽く試し乗りしようとしたらしい。

が、調子に乗って隣町の相原市(超遠い)へあと五キロという地点にまで到達したところで故障。

車通りの少ない峠の道路を敗走途中、現行犯逮捕された。

桜庭の家はクラスメートの{桐原:きりはら}と同じくらい金持ちで、親も過保護だ。

西の桜庭、東の桐原と呼ばれる。

桐原は武士の家系で、その娘も貴族娘っぽい厳格な雰囲気。

家族揃って苦虫を噛みつぶしたような顔をしていて、毒舌で、全体的に愛がない。

Commentary

For some strange reason, Ixrec seemed to have translated it to imply that the Kirihara family members actively hate each other – which seemed to narrow the meaning to me. For me it was more like saying that they were, on the whole, stern & bitter people – but it may not necessarily have to mean that they were at each others throats.

He also translated the idiom 苦虫を噛みつぶした in full – while I tailored it slightly to be more melded into the English while still having the buggy connotation.

通称『ハラキリ』。

桜庭一族は正反対におっとりとした一族で、父親は盲腸の痛みに気づかず死の一歩手前まで旅だったという武勲の持ち主だ。

Commentary

I also feel that this was a total mistranslation. The という武勲 seems to imply that Taichi is being sarcastic & ‘fake awarding’ Sakuraba’s father with an award for his airheadedness – not that Sakuraba’s father was an actual veteran.

その天然冒険魂は、確かに息子に継承されていたわけで。

夜中になっても帰宅しない息子を案じて『誘拐されたんです!』と警察に駆け込むあたり、桜庭一族のまろやかな天然さが垣間見えて面白い。

桜庭は関係者に滅茶苦茶叱られ、自転車は没収された。

くわえて学校中の笑い者となった。

校内新聞一面の座を永らく独占し続けもした。

特にインタビューで奴が口走った内容が受けに受けた。

Commentary

受けに受けた seemed like wordplay to me because the noun 受け can mean popularity.

『緊急特報! 蓮ヶ丈奥地に謎の人工建造物を見た!』

『完全踏破12時間、秘境の奥地に隠された禁断のオーバーテクノロジー!!』

『長い道のりの果て、ここで我々はいまだかつて想像だにしなかった衝撃の事実を見ることになる!』

Commentary

Have to take note of Sakuraba’s tone while he’s saying all this. The first two lines sound like News Reports.

無茶苦茶だ。

要するに奴は、帰宅の途中、道を外れて山に入ったわけだ。

おそらく近道目的だったんだろう。

そして偶然、とある施設を発見して大興奮した。

インタビューはこの後も、凄まじい展開となった。

『秘密基地が』

『衝撃の』

『武装した兵隊らによって』

『人類の常識を覆す』

本インタビューで使用された単語ベスト5。

第一位「謎」22回第二位「衝撃」19回第三位「発見」17回

第四位「禁断」6回第五位「戦慄」4回

校内新聞は、桜庭という美味なる獲物を骨の髄までしゃぶり尽くした。

桜庭は報道の残酷さを思い知った。

その後、ストレスで腹を下して一週間ほど下痢をした(記事になった)。

八日目の朝にはけろっとした顔で登校してきた(取材された)。

髪を金髪に染めて(特集記事・異論反論オブジェクションのネタになった)。

Commentary

Using Google 異論反論オブジェクション seems to be some kind of news show which took the opinions of people on the street – and so it isn’t just that people complained. The ネタ implies that this is material for something.

以来、奴はずっと金髪ライフ。

Commentary

I like Ixrec’s translation here, and so I used it – but with capitalizations to accentuate.

きっと、新しい自分になる、という錯覚を己に課すことでストレスを克服したんだろう。

Commentary

The 新しい自分になる sounds like a specific kind of lampooning of ‘new me’ self-help. So I pushed for that angle.

……これが元で金銀コンビなどと称されることになったわけだが。

Commentary

金銀コンビ doesn’t sound as nice if you translate it straight into English. But since American comedy has all the famous Abbott & Costello or Laurel & Hardy duos – I decided that using some form of ‘duo’ would be better.

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