Sunday, November 24 2013

Lost in translation: Lam-chan Punch!

[Update3: just rewatched the episode and there’s another translation that doesn’t work; I didn’t comment on it earlier because at the critical moment, I wasn’t looking at the subtitles. At 17:35, Elza flirtingly asks Raul to take her picture, insisting he’d do a better job than the customers. But what she says is “you’d take me properly, wouldn’t you?” and “(I) want you to take (something)”. His blood-starved brain wasn’t capable of handling the omitted word “photographs”, which explains his panicked reaction, something that the translation obscures. You can see that she’s being “haha, only serious”, but his hysteria doesn’t make sense if you follow the subtitles.]

At 15:15 in episode 8, Lam announces her intention to help improve sales, translated by Crunchyroll and those who copied their work as “Lamdimia do Aximemor will just have to get hot and heavy…”. Raul then says “hot and heavy?” while looking her up and down, which leads her to clobber him. Unfortunately, the “hot and heavy” choice doesn’t really work for either her meaning or Raul’s misinterpretation. It’s easy to forgive, though, because it’s a bit tricky to match the idiom.

Her exact words were “hitohada nuide”, from the verb 一肌脱ぐ = “to pitch in and help”, but literally a compound of hitohada (skin) and nugu (to undress). Raul, dazed from the heat (or a lack of blood flow to the brain from all the eye candy), heard only the literal meaning and gave her bikini-clad body the once-over.

[Update: to clarify, there are two different words read as “hitohada”: 一肌 and 人肌. The first (“one+skin”) means to help out, the second (“person+skin”) means skin. JMdict doesn’t list 一肌 as a standalone word, and uses both versions for the compound hitohada-nugu; my good dictionary separates the two. ]

I think I might have gone with “give it her all”; it changes her intended meaning a bit, but works in both contexts.

[Update2: Actually, it looks like the key piece of the idiom is hada-nugu, 肌脱ぐ; alone, it means “to take your shirt off” or “to work with great effort”, and in addition to hitihada-nugu, there’s also katahada-nugu, 片肌脱ぐ “to bare one shoulder” or “to lend a hand”. Lam-chan’s shoulder was already bare, so that expression wouldn’t have confused poor Raul the same way.]