an English translation of the novel

Page 252-253

“As you wish.”

In the middle of the room was a low table similar to the one in the parlor. I sat down on a cushion in front of it.

“Well then, excuse me.” Kinomoto retreated swiftly.

I felt as if I had been abandoned in a cage with a wild animal. My hands and feet were cold and my throat was dry.

“Saki Watanabe? Mizuho-chan’s daughter,” the grey-haired woman said.

Apart from the lines around her mouth, she had no other wrinkles and looked younger than I expected.

“Yes.”

“Don’t be so nervous. I’m Tomiko Asahina. I hear you’re good friends with Satoru.”

She stood up gracefully and came over to sit with her back to the alcove. She wore a delicately patterned silver-grey outfit that matched her hair.

“Satoru…Satoru-san and I have been friends since we were little.”

“I see,” she smiled.

She appeared to be in her mid-sixties. With her large eyes and shapely features, she must have been very beautiful in her youth.

“Just as I thought. You have wonderful eyes. They’re full of light.”

People often complimented my eyes. Probably because there was nothing else to compliment. I also often heard them say that there’s light in them, but then again, people who have no light in their eyes are usually dead.

“Thank you.”

“I’ve always wanted to talk with you at least once.”

She didn’t seem to be saying this out of mere politeness. I was confused.

“Why?”

“Because you will someday succeed me.”

My jaw dropped. I couldn’t think of a response.

“Surprised? This isn’t a half-baked idea or a joke though.”

“But…there’s no way I’m fit for the role.”

“Hohoho. That’s what Mizuho-chan said too. Like mother like daughter.”

I don’t usually translate the honorifics (the -san, -chan, etc suffixes), but did in this case because it’s kind of significant. Tomiko calling Saki’s mother Mizuho-chan is a clue that would be missed in English if I didn’t include the suffix. -chan is a childish/cute honorific that adults call children and children say among each other, but adults almost always use -san for their peers (outside of intimate/family relationships), so it’s indicative of…something ;)
Also translated Saki saying Satoru-san because she’s making an effort to speak formally.
I can’t decide if I want to keep the suffixes in the PDFs though. Any thoughts?

7 Responses to Page 252-253

  1. Theacefrehley says:

    If you want to remove -chan no matter what, you can always replace it with “little”. Like, little Mizuho.
    As for -san, maybe use full name (in contrast with only using given name), just to hint at the formality.
    I prefer keeping honorifics, though. Anyone reading this is probably familiar with them from watching anime or reading manga.

  2. What do you have against honorifics? :P
    Thanks for translating ^^

  3. Ilumeo says:

    Alternatively, you could also use Mister, or Sir instead of -san for Satoru. Your choice!

  4. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” You should leave the honorifics in the translation wherever you feel it is important to aid the understanding of the reader. There is no need to make a consistent choice about including them or omitting them. :-)

    My own personal preference is always to include honorifics in translations, but that has its drawbacks, too– for example, the English-speaking reader is likely to think that さん always indicates formality, but in many situations, not using さん is the exception rather than the rule. It also suggests using family names instead of given names in the translation, which may be confusing for the English-speaking reader.

    All in all, I would say that inconsistency is the best policy.^^

  5. I think honorifics are for the win. All those misters and sirs and littlies have always sounded awkward to me. And yes, most of the people who read this are most likely aware of what Japanese honorifics are.
    Btw, just a small notice: Watanabe is Mizuho’s surname (her husband’s one is Sugiura), and it’s Saki’s surname as well. Now we have Tomiko-san whose surname is Asahina (just like her grandson’s). Of course, in the second case it might be that Tomiko had a son who became Satoru’s father, but I still suppose that it implies that Kamisu 66 is a matriarchal society. Especially since it’s actually women that are in most responsible command. ^_^

  6. I’m in favour of translating the suffixes as nuance (am I the only one?), but this is a tricky situation given how simple the lines are.
    In any case, definitely no ‘misters’ unless it’s a situation that would warrant it in English!

    Maybe;
    瑞穂ちゃんのお嬢さんの – ‘Little’ might work here, or “Young Mizuho’s daughter?” Then just ‘Mizuho’ afterwards unless emphasis needs to be re-established later on. Repetition would hurt.
    覚とは・・・・・・覚さんとは、ずっと、幼馴染みで – “Me and Sa… Satoru and I have been friends since we were little.”

    But do what you think is best. Great job btw!

    Good point about the names Aimee, I hadn’t thought about that.

  7. “Apart from the lines around he mouth” should be “around her mouth”.
    Also thanks a lot for translating this!

 
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