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[personal profile] tarod45
I've been looking for the Supernatural anime ever since it was released. I'm very much out of the loop when it comes to finding anime downloads, though, and it's not showing up in any of my usual haunts. So I was reduced to watching a very bad raw copy on YouTube. It's been a number of years since I watched anime with any sort of regularity; still and all, I remember enough Japanese to make out the very edges of what the characters are saying. To whit:

Blonde chick about to be murdered: No, please, don't, stop... (etc)

Dean: Blah blah blah, Sammy.
Sam: [Something that I absolutely don't understand, but still have no trouble interpreting as] Don't call me that, Dean.

Sam: We blah blah blah case?
Dean: Blah blah blah.
Sam: Blah blah demon blah blah Dad.
Dean: Dad's not here.

Dean, meeting attractive female detective: [transcends all language barriers with his sleaze act]

Kathleen the Attractive Lady Detective, about the husband of the victim: There's no mistake, blah blah blah [though she's clearly explaining how they know he did it].
Dean: Blah blah blah blah.
Falsely Accused and Very Upset Husband of Victim: Blah blah blah loved her!

Sam: [as a refrain] Dean! [you know the tone]

Kathleen the Attractive Lady Detective, about the crime scene: How horrible!
Dean: Yeah.

And that's as far as I got before the terrible quality of the video and my own frustration left me very susceptible to distraction, and I ended up going and reading [livejournal.com profile] fleshflutter's Rule 26 instead, when I got the notification that it had been updated. Which was another exercise in frustration -- I always forget how much I hate reading WIPs.


I love languages. I'm not especially good at any other than English, but I love poking and prodding at them. Since Japanese is one of the foreign languages I know best -- which speaks mostly to my total ignorance of other languages rather than any particular talent for Japanese -- I like being able to dissect some of the subtleties that you get in that language but that don't translate at all into English.

Like, for instance, I was a little startled to discover that both Sam and Dean, in the anime, refer to their father as "oyaji." Insofar as I've ever seen the word translated as anything other than just "Dad," it's been along the lines of "Pops," or "the Old Man." Kind of slang-y and just a bit disrespectful. I mean, on the one hand, it makes a certain amount of sense for Dean, with his overall irreverent attitude. Still, what with his absolute devotion to John, I would have given even odds (if I'd thought about it at all) of him using freaking "chichi-ue" ("honored father"). Sam, meanwhile, I can kinda understand the irreverence, given his relationship with John, but Sam tends to use a slightly more formal, more normalized mode of speech than Dean. You can actually hear this in the anime, with Dean displaying a lower-class accent, while Sam has a more standard accent. Anyway, I would have expected Sam just to use "otousan" (the very standard, normal "dad").

One wonders if either of the boys uses "oyaji" to John's face, however. I doubt it. Although, maybe Sam. Just to be rebellious.

Less surprising were the pronouns they chose for the boys. Dean, naturally, is an "ore." As if he'd be anything else, "ore" being the way a macho young man refers to himself. Sam, meanwhile, predictably, is a "boku," which is a much milder, though still informally masculine, way of referring to oneself. He's not quite uptight enough to refer to himself as "watashi," and I'd be pissed at the implication that he was if they'd gone with that. That being said, when/if the anime gets to the events of late S3, S4, I'd be very interested to see if Sam switches to "ore." Sam post-Mystery Spot, pre-Lucifer Rising seems like an "ore" kind of guy to me. Ditto for Robo!Sam. And I'd bet good money that for S5, and post resouling, he'd go back to "boku." I'd like to see that. And I'd like to see them make a big deal about the changing pronouns. A subtlety that of course would not survive the translation, but I'd sure as hell appreciate it.

It'd be like that one scene in Please Save my Earth, where eight-year-old Rin, who is, at the same time, thirty-something-year-old Shion doesn't know whether to refer to himself as "boku," like the child does, or "ore," like the adult. When he changed pronouns, it marked an extreme change in tone -- at the time, he was declaring his love for his teenage neighbor, Alice. Using "boku," what you had was a confession of innocent love from a child to an almost-adult. When he switched to "ore," it became a very adult declaration of a very adult kind of love. It killed me that there was no indication of that change in tone in either translation, the sub or the dub, because it was brilliant and creepy.

These are the toys I love to play with.

And now I am going to go distract myself from the fact that I really, really want to read more of Rule 26, but there is no more, and probably won't be for another month or two. ([livejournal.com profile] fleshfultter is currently signed up for Big Bang again... which does not give me high hopes for how quickly Rule 26 is going to get updated, at least until after May.) I want to know how this can end well! With Jared and Jensen living happily ever after, and Dr. Nekrotic dying a fiery, agonizing death. Except how it'd be very hard for both of those things to happen. (Or maybe Jared sticking around to act as Nekrotic's conscience, so no more planets get burned up? Except Nekrotic needs to burn for all of that.... Goddammit, I didn't mean to get so invested!!)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-02-25 12:04 pm (UTC)
erda: (Default)
From: [personal profile] erda
That was fascinating. I love the way languages differ so much that it is almost impossible to say something in one language that a different language may handle easily.


tarod45: (Default)

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