Nowadays there is an epoch-making boom in translation in Japan. A translation of a book in English into Japanese is put on sale as soon as it is published in USA. Not a few new books in Japanese are translated into English and the translations are imported from abroad into Japan.
The movement activates several related industries; for example, language schools.
There are many English conversation schools in major cities in Japan at present. Each of proprietors of major schools manages branch schools and a franchise for an English conversation school all over the country. These proprietors also manage French conversation and German conversation schools in Tokyo and Osaka.
Ms Yuko Miyamura, a famous voice actress in Japan, who played the part of Asuka in "Neon Genesis Evangelion," is known to have learned German at a language school because Asuka speaks German.
To translate writings is also to translate culture. A foreigner who has lived in Japan many years and who has learned a delicate shade of difference in meaning which Japanese words have should translate literary arts in Japanese into English, as Edward G. Seidensticker translated novels of Yasunari Kawabata into English.
Literary arts in Japanese are translated into English with translation dialect sentences into standard Japanese. On the other hand, Japanese dialect plays an important part in animations and comics frequently. Therefore it is a main point that dialect sentences are translated skillfully.
Caldina in Magic Knight Rayearth whose character voice is Ms Yuko Nagashima, Tatora in Magic Knight Rayearth whose character voice is Ms Aya Hisakawa, Fuka Matsui in Child's Toy (Japanese word: Kodomo No Omocha) whose character voice is Ms Harumi Ikoma, and Touji Suzuhara in Neon Genesis Evangelion whose character voice is Mr. Tomokazu Seki will speak Osaka Dialect of Japanese. All of four women of that CLAMP who wrote Magic Knight Rayearth and X consists come from Kinki District in Japan. Some characters who speak Osaka Dialect appear in CLAMP's works. Many of components of GAINAX that produced Neon Genesis Evangelion also come from Osaka. GAINAX might well create a character who speaks Osaka Dialect.
If these works are translated into English perfunctorily, do people in USA understand a delicate shade of difference of Osaka dialect?
The following things hints to me how to resolve it. An exposition was held in Osaka in 1970, when a lot of foreigners had lived there for a while because of traffic facilities then. After they returned home, they have acted as intermediary between English and Osaka dialect.
Can we translate culture background?
In TV animation "Kodomo No Omocha," a corner which is called "This Week Sana" and which introduce a selected scene is established. Formerly the corner introduced a scene "Am I A Born Cartoonist?" Foreign TV viewers must regard the scene as Ms Sana Kurata, a heroine of the animation, standing dressed as a painter.
However, Japanese children will understand its background. Several commercial films by toy manufacturers that a girl dressed as a painter says "I am also a cartoonist from this day forth!" were broadcast in Japan then. The pose of Sana is a parody on those films.
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