Mislaid in Transliteration

Jump the Cracks

So during a recent fit of self-Googling (oh, you know you do it too), I stumbled upon this blurb for Jump the Cracks on a Japanese (?) website.

It appears to have been translated quite literally from the catalog blurb on the Flux website — into Japanese, and then back into English. It’s kinda like…chewing your linguistic cud.

But it’s fun to read. And it’s a bit of a lesson in language quirks, which always fascinates me. Both entire versions are

hereCollapse )

if you’re in procrastination mode, but here’s a sample:

Original: Making a split-second decision, Victoria boards the next train out of town — taking the little boy with her.

Translation: Making a split-second termination, Victoria timber the side by side fine-tune out of town—taking the small male offspring with her.

I love “small male offspring.” And how about the choice of “timber” for “board”? Or “side by side” for “next.” I can just imagine the poor translator, paging through his Japanese-English dictionary and trying to figure out the many nuances of definition, parts of speech, and context.

A few other near-misses:

“united nations agency” for “everyone responsible” (???)

“in straitened circumstances” for “poor” (except in this context “poor” means “incompetent”)

“fine-tune” for “train”…um, okay, maybe. Context again. This is not “train” as in “teach.” It’s “train” as in “choo-choo.”

There also seems to be a disregard for paragraphing and sentence order. Apparently those aren’t important in Japanese?

Truly, brain exploding…I mean, mind-blowing.

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Jump the Cracks
stacy_dekeyser
Stacy DeKeyser ~~ Author of books for teens
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