[ch 1] ...May Arrives...

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[ch 1] ...May Arrives...

Postby Da~Mike » Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:01 pm

...May arrives...

(This topic was originally "In the middle of all this mess there is always only one perpetrator: Haruhi – May arrives quietly." renamed to be easier to find since the wording has changed --BlckKnght 13:24, 30 May 2006 (PDT))

This phrase sorta confuses me. All what mess? Perpetrator of what? How does "May arrives quietly" relate to the rest of the sentence? Maybe I'm just missing something obvious, I don't know. --Ryukaiser 05:51, 21 April 2006 (PDT)

I took it to mean that there were a great many rumours, uproars, disturbances etc which could all be somehow traced back to Haruhi. "May arrives" I interpret as 'in the midst of this chaos, May arrived.' Yeah, I guess this phrase does need to be re-written for greater clarity. --Psieye 08:55, 21 April 2006 (PDT)

Yeah, I'll bug a translator and get this clarified. :) --Baltakatei 00:00, 22 April 2006 (PDT)

I (FON) was the translator that was bugged, and this is copied from my talk page:

Since you apparently have access to the original Japanese novel here's a question. In Chapter 1 Kyon says:
In the middle of all this mess there was always only one perpetrator: Haruhi – May arrived quietly.
In this passage, Kyon implies that all disturbances at the school are related to Haruhi's antics. In contrast, May is said to arrive without significant events occuring. Does the original Japanese contain this conflict? -- Baltakatei 23:59, 21 April 2006 (PDT)

Glad to assist. The original passage (end of page 25 in the novel) is

そんなこんなをしながら~~もっとも、そんなこんなをしていたのはハルヒだけだったが~~五月がやってくる。

sonnakonna o shinagara -- mottomo, sonnakonna shite ita no wa Haruhi dakedatta ga -- gogatsu yatte kuru.

Or in other words:

"As this and that was happening -- although, it was always Haruhi doing this and that, however -- May arrived."

That's the literal translation, and I think the translation you cited above is perhaps a bit too free.

--Freak Of Nature 02:38, 22 April 2006 (PDT)

After some thought, I've reached the conclusion that the sentence should be:

"As this and that is happening -- although it was always Haruhi doing this and that, however -- May arrives."

This preserves Kyon's weird tenses throughout the sentence -- notice how the primary sentence is in present tense, whereas the secondary clause is in past tense. This is really most exasperating for a translator.

I've made the change in the text to this sentence.

--Freak Of Nature 02:39, 23 April 2006 (PDT)

That may be an accurate translation, but it still seems a bit awkwardly worded in English. Maybe something like:

"With all this stuff going on -- even though Haruhi was the cause of it... but, anyway -- May arrives."

-- kumarei 10:15, 07 May 2006

Hmm, sounds good - remove the comma after "but" maybe? Well, I'll let you edit the text so you can take credit for it. If others don't like it, it can be changed back afterwards.

--Psieye 21:57, 7 May 2006 (PDT)


For some reason, both the "though" and "anyway" -- and their equivalents in the other sentence permutations -- don't seem to add any meaning, building up expectations that get left hanging.


Here's where "though" makes sense to me:

With all these deliveries needing to be made, though it was Mr. Incompetent driving, we all returned safely.

There's no such surprise or expectation with May arriving despite Haruhi's being behind this and that. I'll break it down:

* deliveries needed plus Mr. Incompetent driving equals unlikely to return safely.
* this and that happening plus Haruhi being the cause equals May unlikely to arrive???


Here's where "anyway" makes sense to me:

With the sounds of birds singing -- hmmm, I could really go for a pizza about now... anyway -- May arrives.

Again, the breakdown:

* birds singing plus irrelevant aside about pizza, anyway, May arrives.
* this and that happening plus irrelevant (???) aside about Haruhi, anyway, May arrives.

Haruhi has everything to do with "this and that" happening, so it's not really irrelevant. "Anyway" can also be used to gloss over embarrassing points -- that usage would fit, except Kyon really isn't one to gloss over anything.


The sentence structure really makes the most sense to me -- watch me build it up:

With the sound of birds singing, May arrives.

and then:

With the sound of birds singing -- and the new birdfeeder was a big reason -- May arrives.

Using kumarei's sentence as a base:

With all this stuff going on -- and Haruhi was the cause of it -- May arrives.

or

With all this stuff going on -- and, by the way, Haruhi was the cause of it -- May arrives.


For yet another translation of the original sentence, which also is missing the extraneous signifiers "although" and "anyway," go here. The signifier he does use, "Well," is more along the lines of "By the way," which doesn't have problems fitting most places. Freak Of Nature does have signifiers in his literal translation, but if so, then as far as I'm concerned, the original text didn't make sense either.

My own guess, however, is that those signifiers are needed in Japanese, in order to complete the function that hyphens alone -- you know, these kinds of things -- carry in English. Therefore, they're not needed in an English translation, as adding them makes you expect an extra meaning, beyond the already implicit hyphen-aside function.

--The naming game 11:20, 8 May 2006 (PDT)


With all this stuff going on -- and Haruhi was the cause of it -- May arrives.

I was debating about whether to use 'and' or 'though' in my version, and decided on 'though' since it seemed more accurate to what the original text was trying to convey. It felt to me as if 'though' gives it a bit of an accusatory twist, as in "I was very busy, though Haruhi was the cause", as opposed to "I was very busy, and Haruhi was the cause". If that's not conveyed, then I see no reason not to change it to 'and', since and does flow slightly better.

The anyway was because of the way I imagined Kyon saying the sentence. The part about Haruhi is really an aside, since the sentence is really about May getting there. The middle part is kind of a rehash, and not the point of the sentence, and in the Japanese would be ended with a hanging ga. This carries a kind of assumed elipses which I didn't think could be added to the main aside, so I used the word 'anyway' to signify that he was pausing and getting back on track.

--Kumarei 16:06, 8 May 2006 (EST)

Just curious, by the "accusatory twist" you're talking about, do you mean the same usage as in this? :

All the plates broke -- though it was HER fault!

In other words, anticipating an accusation, and pre-deflecting it. Though through usage, that presupposition no longer seems needed? (Even though that usage bugs me, I accept that it exists.)
Honestly, though, in overview, I'm realizing just how much is left to sense of "feel." The only way to correctly interpret the sentence needs information beyond the sentence, and possibly beyond the text itself.

* Is Kyon trying to blatantly interject Haruhi's causing it, or is he feeling obligated to mention it, and gloss over it as fast as possible?
* Does Kyon feel obliged to distance himself from Haruhi's actions? Does he feel he would be held responsible otherwise?
* Does Kyon feel offended by Haruhi's actions? Or somewhat amused?

Depending on the answers, I'd choose different means of expression. And this is just one sentence...

Similar to the:

* I did the dishes.
* I did the dishes.
* I did the dishes.

subtlety -- one sentence, many ways to interpret.

Or just for fun:

* -- though Haruhi was always the cause... anyway --
* -- though Haruhi was always the cause... anyway --
* -- though Haruhi was always the cause... anyway --
* -- though Haruhi was always the cause... anyway --
* -- (speak this part fast) though Haruhi was always the cause... anyway --

Some of these ARE a little silly, but they do all have specific meanings. In any case, I await the day when thought transfer devices become widespread, and authors can bottle up their thoughts in thought-playback modules.

--The naming game 21:17, 9 May 2006 (PDT)

Nice analysis of the structure The naming game. It seems clear that the use of though in that sentence is completely illogical. If we had to use a reason as to why it is, it is because Haruhi would not be the cause for a new month to come (in terms of the storyline, we know that Kyon doesn't know that Haruhi actually possesses supernatural powers yet).

I probably misinterpreted The naming game's analysis so the lines above may not apply.


If I had to compare the literal translation and The naming game's example of using though, in terms of the application of the word though, they aren't that similar. Here's why I think so (I've categorised them in to letters and what not for ease of understanding):

The literal translation:

* As this and that was happening = A --although, it was always Haruhi doing this and that = B, however -- May arrived. = C

In this case, B is the cause of A but regardless of that fact, C occurs.

The naming game's example:

* With all these deliveries needing to be made = X, though it was Mr. Incompetent driving = Y, we all returned safely = Z

In this case, X needs to be done and is carried out by Y. However, because Y is doing it, Z is jeopardised and may not occur. Yet despite Y performing X, Z occurs.


Based on this breakdown, it seems that the literal translation is logical in its original state.

Anyhow, I've analysed the Japanese sentence provided and after noting Freak of nature's translation, here's another literal translation of what it means: While to do such a thing though, it was just Haruhi who does such a thing, but May comes.. Another nonsensical sentence... With respect to the original translation, Freak of Nature's literal translation and from what I've interpreted additionally (with the aid of The naming game's analysis), here's my suggested interpretation of this sentence:

The original translation:

* In the middle of all this mess there is always only one perpetrator: Haruhi – May arrives quietly.

My suggestion:

* Regardless of all the randomly inexplicable events that went by, even though Haruhi was the cause of them all, the month of May arrived.

Hence, in essence, my suggested substitute for the word "anyway" would be "regardless" or something along those lines, such as "despite".

Hope that helps.


--Da~Mike 22:26, 8 May 2006 (GMT)

Just as a quick note, for the purposes of the "though" function in the sentence examples, I consider "carried out by" and "caused by" to be essentially the same.
--The naming game 21:17, 9 May 2006 (PDT)

I think it would be perfectly acceptable to use The naming game's With all this stuff going on -- and Haruhi was the cause of it -- May arrives. I think it still carries the majority of the meaning of the sentence, and flows better than most of the other versions. I think the change that Da~Mike suggested might be a little too off of the original meaning.

--Kumarei 18:46, 8 May 2006 (EST)


I understand that my interpretation may have strayed a little far from the original source material but in my opinion, my suggestion seemed to convey the original meaning intended whilst maintaining reasonable grammar. But ah, such is the nature of interpretation.

In any case, if you feel confident that your suggestion or The naming game's suggestion is fitting, then by all means, please proceed and change the lines in the chapter. I know one thing for sure is that I have difficulty conforming to any other style of writing other than my own thus; I will not change the text unless the alteration is minor and the stylistic disparity is negligible.


--Da~Mike 00:58, 9 May 2006 (GMT)

Hmm. That's a pretty high horse you're riding, Da~Mike. Hang on tight.

I think the version you proposed for Kyon's narrative, to wit:

Regardless of all the randomly inexplicable events that went by, even though Haruhi was the cause of them all, the month of May arrived.

is needlessly complicated, and uses verbiage that seems completely discordant with Kyon's narrative style. This is not a question of "interpretation" -- you've managed to completely alter the tone of the sentence.

The Japanese original isn't that complicated. There's a main sentence which references the events (As all this is happening), with a subordinate clause in Kyon's characteristically variant tense (although it was always Haruhi at center of it), inserted into the middle of the sentence, which is then completed (May arrives.). There's no need for complicated words in any of it -- and the only really challenging parts are making the translated version flow well, and taking the tense variation into account. The original speaks only of "this and that" happening, not of "randomly inexplicable events". Kyon is a highschooler, not a physics major.

I move we keep the simple version that is currently in the translation:

So, with all this stuff going on -- though Haruhi was always the cause... anyway -- May arrived.

I can't "hear" Kyon saying something as needlessly elaborate as your suggestion. And yes, I feel confident of this.

--Freak Of Nature 11:11, 9 May 2006 (PDT)


Well, I stand corrected Freak Of Nature. ^,^

I'm perfectly fine with the version you already suggested. It's just that I'd thought I'd try my hand at interpreting that tiny sentence and... My version ended up quite different compared to the original text, according to your argument that is. Like I mentioned above, I find it hard to conform to any other writing style other than my own and in case if you ever wondered, I literally talk the way I type. As a result, like I've mentioned in numerous places throughout this entire site, I will generally abstain from editing the main text.


Well I guess that is that and what you mentioned should conclude this small discussion Freak Of Nature.

Oh and thank you for your enlightening input. I shall keep that in mind the next time I offer an interpretation for one of Kyon's phrases. ^_~


--Da~Mike 19:24, 9 May 2006 (GMT)

I tend to write and talk the same way, as well -- that is, with a highly complex sentence structure and with elaborate usage of obscure terms, strained metaphors and overworked similes. When I write my own copy, that is how I prefer to write (you should see some of my academic work... "Ach und Weh!"). However, translating (or writing copy to order for a specific audience) places strictures on the way one can allow oneself to write, and it is terribly important to recognize and accept these strictures. Else, frustration is unavoidable.

Or to put it in a simpler way: "I get where you're coming from. But let's focus on the task."

--Freak Of Nature 13:09, 9 May 2006 (PDT)


I hate to risk reopening this can of worms, but I thought I'd note that I've removed the "anyways" from this sentance. I don't think it was gramatical to have that kind of word included as part of a dash separated clause. It just looked unnatural. I think the real issue is that it's hard to capture rambling dialogue in prose. I'm not sure the "anyway" was that important for this sentance, but if there are other similar sections we may need to use lots of ellipses.

--BlckKnght 13:24, 30 May 2006 (PDT)
Last edited by Da~Mike on Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Da~Mike » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:33 am

As this and that was happening -- although it was always Haruhi at the center of it all -- May arrived.

(alt translation from Cruzz's site: http://koti.mbnet.fi/~cruzz/haruhi/Haruhi.html)

In the middle of this and that happening, well, the one doing this and that was no other than Haruhi, May arrived.

I wasn't clear on "this and that" referring to Haruhi's craziness, until I read Cruzz's translation. So perhaps a rephrase could emphasize that part?

Possible change:

As this and that was happening -- and it was always Haruhi at its center, causing it all -- May arrived.

--The naming game 13:47, 1 May 2006 (PDT)

I didn't realize there was already a discussion (this thread) of this phrase on the talk page. I didn't recognize it when skimming the titles because the wording had changed greatly.

--The naming game 20:41, 3 May 2006 (PDT)
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