Girls und Panzer — the anime 5

My full collection of commentary on GaruPan can be found in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, A Study in Command, Girls und Feminism, and the DVD

I just can’t stay away. After spending a weekend correcting final papers and writing one of my own that was due out for a conference the next Monday, I got to thinking about translating, particularly translating from Japanese to English, with their totally different structures. It’s been said that the art of good translation is a good paraphrase, and nowhere is that more important than in Japanese. My Japanese isn’t good enough to catch spoken sentences, but I can pick up short phrases. My skills are at a sophomore level — I know stuff, but I don’t know enough to know which part of what I know is wrong. Consider yourself warned.

For example, いいえ (ii.e or, in English ee.eh) means no, but there are a number of other negatives available. いや (i.ya, pronounced more like iya) seems to be more formal, used with formal denials. One translation I’ve seen is nay. We also have です (de.su, normally with a silent u) is a polite ending meaning some form of it is (red it is), I am (Steve I am), he is (Yamada he is), etc. Yoda talks like he does because his original language was Japanese, or something. So combining those two いやです (and pronouncing the uiyadesu) gives a phrase probably best translated as that would be no. Except that in at least two anime (including Ep 12 of GaruPan) I’ve seen it translated as don’t wanna.

Hey! Move your light tank!

Hey! Move your light tank!

Then there’s the phrase それ (so.re). それ means that (closer to the listener than to the speaker), but can also mean look there! In Ep 4, the volleyball team is practicing while waiting for St. Gloriana to be drawn into their trap, and one member of the team calls そ.れ! (Ball!) when they serve the ball,

そ.れ!

そ.れ!


but when they shoot the Matilda tank from behind they shout そ.れ! そ.れ! , which gets translated as “volley ball! heck yeah!” In Ep 12, when they drive up on the back of the Maus, it’s translated directly as there!

それ!

そ れ!


I suspect it’s a sports term, and a better translation would be heads up! Interestingly, there’s a similar term そら (so.ra), that means sky, but can also mean watch out!

Finally, we have a bit of a pun, that I’m tickled to have caught. Nishizumi is listening to the others talk:

I have a boyfriend in every port

I have a boyfriend in every port

The Japanese words are かれ (ka.re), boyfriend, and カレー (ka.ree), curry. The ee isn’t a long e, it’s a short e that’s held a little longer (re-eh). Note that カレー is in katakana (think italics), because it’s a foreign loan word.

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