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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #401
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Fair enough if that's Murakami's actual style; it's a shame, since Japanese can be quite poetic. There's bits in 1Q84 that emphasise a character's tendency to ask things without a 'question mark', which refers to her tendency to omit the 'ka' at the end of questions in the original Japanese. It gives one the sense that there's a layer of linguistic feeling that's missing.

  2. #402
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    While I haven't read 1Q84, Murakami writes genre fiction, so it's not exactly supposed to be poetry in the first place. But the experience of reading in Japanese vs reading in English is certainly different -- that's just the nature of translation. For example, Jay Rubin has said that Murakami's sentences often feel like they have been translated from English and there is just no way to accurately reproduce this exact same awkwardness in English. The best the translator can do is to tweak the English sentences to sound awkward in a different way.

  3. #403
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I suppose one could run the English text through Babelfish to Japanese and back again if that really needs approximating.

  4. #404
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Ha, this conversation came up in my work this week. We've been noticing how different the language is between writing natively in English and Japanese versus translating J->E and E->J, respectively. So we'll have debates about which language to write natively in and translate, or if it's worth re-writing the same thing natively in the other language, although that takes more time.

    And there's also definitely a way you can write English-like in Japanese and Japanese-like in English (natively). Doubling up on Babelfish, while that might do a few things, doesn't really capture how deeply the differences go. It's more different outlooks on the world. One example I noticed recently, in Japanese-English you can refer to "this one" as a pronoun because it's not really a thing in itself, it's an occupation of time and space relative to you (it's not "it" as a poster on a wall, it's the "one" before you grabbing attention), and "come back" is a set verb because it's a set verb in Japanese that's different than returning (most words actually don't line up exactly), so you could say a sentence like "You must look at this one when you come back." which sounds plain odd in English. And it's sentence after sentence like that.

    Well this has been a tangent. It's my day to day struggle though.
    Last edited by demagogue; 25th Aug 2017 at 17:04.

  5. #405
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, I've started my first fumbling attempts translating from Japanese and it's quite a challenge to find the right balance. I just finished a short story by Banana Yoshimoto and it doesn't feel like the original at all. It's tough to make it sound natural yet feel Japanese.

  6. #406
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Out of curiosity, what does it sound like when Japanese is literally translated as written and spoken into English?

  7. #407
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Well, for example 仕方がない / しょうがない gets often translated as "can't be helped", whereas it would be far better to translate it as "shit happens" or "c'est la vie" or even "so it goes".

    Or did you mean how would a sentence sound in a literal word for word translation?

  8. #408
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Like a literal word for word translation, yeah.

  9. #409
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Here's a pretty good explanation (about 10 minutes long from the 10:35 mark): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX8z...tu.be&t=10m35s

  10. #410
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Yeah, it reads exactly backwards from English a lot of times. You often start with the verb at the end to get a handle of what's going on. And it's "head final", which means the noun or whatever you're talking about is at the end, and then you stack up qualifiers in front of it (I saw my old friend on the street walking with his sister this morning. => this morning street on his-sister-with-the-store-to-walking-old-friend I saw)

    But more than anything, Japanese can just keep tacking on clauses so you get insanely long sentences that just meander all over the place, and it's often not clear what's the subject of particular clauses because they'll just leave it out. In English you'd want to break it into 2 or 3 sentences, and have a complete sentences, subject and predicate, for each clause, because even doing it as close to word for word as you can get (re-ordering it like that video example) still leaves you with a long and messy sentence.

    My most complicated homework recently was we had to read a novel in Japanese, and I picked Stalker (Roadside Picnic). That was one of the most bewildering experiences of my life. If you've ever read it, or even if you just know the movie or game, it has all of these bizarre artifacts with crazy names that do crazy things. It's bewildering enough in your native language, but trying to understand it through a foreign language like Japanese was a whole other level of bizarre! Awful, awful decision at the time (in terms of giving a book report), but in retrospect it was a kind of awesome decision (in terms of the experience). Since then I've gone back to movies, tv, and comics. Shorter phrases, images, context!
    Last edited by demagogue; 25th Aug 2017 at 21:18.

  11. #411
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, the inferred context is quite tricky. And in speech they tend to shorten words and names and they leave out particles and use English loanwords that mean something completely different in Japanese. It can be quite maddening when you are just learning the language.

  12. #412
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Sevastapol Station
    I sat down to this thread about 2 minutes after putting the dust cover back on a book I just finished reading. (i never leave the dust covers on the book itself unless It stays on the shelf while I'm reading. Most of the time they are in my pack so I leave the cover on the shelf)

    Aside from all the journals and crap I'm reading for my masters thesis, I've been reading biographies.

    The last 3 I just read:

    The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher. This one she talks a lot about her teenage years and the 70s. A lot of it was about her affair with Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars, or about the gay boys she made out with when she was a teenager. It's interesting. I got the book as a Christmas present and Carrie died before I got very far into it. I enjoyed it. Especially as a male, seeing things from a bewildering female perspective.

    A Perfect Union of Contrary Things - Maynard Keenan. Of course I had to read this one because I'm such a loser for Tool and APC. It covered a lot more of his personal triumphs and goals than it did specifically with music creation and the day to day stuff in his bands. I was really looking forward to reading this one and it did not disappoint.

    A Life in Parts - Bryan Cranston. This one was emotional for me here and there. Especially when he was talking about how he and his siblings felt about his dad leaving them, and how he feels about his daughter. One of my favorite passages in it is from when he is talking about his mother. She is in a retirement home because she has Alzheimer's, and she is actually having a wonderful time because she is finally not dwelling on the past. While he is reflecting on her life he says this:

    "She couldn't see or appreciate the love that was available to her. She had three children, All different. All with something to give. Our love wasn't the kind she hoped for, but it was what she had, and it was real, and she didn't nurture it."

    This all hit me pretty hard because of my current struggles with my family. My wife and I are separated and getting a divorce, and I haven't seen much of my kids in recent months. That last passage makes me think of my wife.

    Reading sometimes really takes me down some melodramatic paths.

    Anyway. The next one on my list is Dirk Benedict's "Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy." I met him in person at a local comic con, chatted with him for about 45 minutes because nobody knew who he was. I would have killed to cosplay the classic Starbuck, but I actually think he wouldn't have appreciated it as much as I would hope he would. He signed the copy I bought from him, so I'm hoping it should be a good read.

    EDIT: I forgot. In an effort to add new things to my audio portfolio, I'm planning on trying my hand at producing my own audiobook. My first try will be with "A Study in Scarlett." The first Sherlock Holmes novel. That way I can record and produce it then release it for free, since Doyle has been dead for much longer than 50 years. It's public domain at this point. We'll see if I can get over that "I hate my recorded voice" problem and make something that sounds decent.
    Last edited by Volitions Advocate; 26th Aug 2017 at 03:22.

  13. #413
    Marcel Proust's alter ego is still remembering shit: I'm on the fourth book now and halfway through. I'm reading a couple of pages every day now as a part of my going to bed routine. Interestingly enough I'm going through something similar at the moment with childhood places and people no longer existing and I might be one of the few left remembering them. I've been trying to go back and find one of those places, but that of course didn't work at all. I'm even thinking about actually finishing this project and read the four remaining books too. I don't have them available yet, though. The reason I got started was because I wanted to read about the madeleine cakes and the lime blossom tea, but those are mentioned on only one little itty wee page out of several thousands, and now I'm stuck with this twat because of that one page.

  14. #414
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Childhood's End, at last. Love these big sci fi concepts. I just read The Fountains Of Paradise too.

    I keep getting biography recommendations, but I'm not that keen.

  15. #415
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I'm reading philosophy/cognitive science and history books for the most part recently.
    - John Hyman's "Action, Knowledge, & Will" on Action theory. Just finished it off. Action theory is ending up being one of the keystones to my worldview.
    - Mark Johnson's "The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding", basically cognitive linguistics. Reading it now; it's the next step after Hyman's book if you understand my way of thinking.
    - Richard Lloyd Parry's "Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone", because I want to write a novel about Fukushima, and
    - Jed Perl's "New Art City" about the art scene in late '40s & early '50s NYC and the birth of abstract expressionism among other things. I like the history of Golden Ages, certain cities in certain periods that create something truly new and inspired and are part of creating a new era in culture.

  16. #416
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Sleeping Beauties, by Stephen King and his son, Owen King.

    I like it and am almost at the end. The fact that Stephen King wrote it with his son is not really noticeable in a markedly different writing style. Mostly you can notice it in the little things, such as that the references to popular culture and the expressions being used are a little more modern.

    If you're a King fan, you'll probably like this book too. If you're not, this book won't sway you. If you're looking to read an atypical Stephen King book with, arguably, a little more traditional literary value (not that it will convince the literary snobs, who will never stop hating King), read Lisey's Story.

  17. #417
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2014
    A few years ago I discovered Neal Asher through a book called Line War and in recent months I've been going through some of his stuff(Prador Moon,Gridlinked,Brass Man and The Line of Polity),currently reading The Voyage of the Sable Keech.

    It's pretty hardcore science fiction and unlike anything I had read in the genre,but due to all the made up jargon it gets hard to follow if you just jump in a random book,especially since some concepts are introduced on a specific book and when mentioned in others that take place in the future chronologically it just assumes you are already familiar with the terms.

  18. #418
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    BOOKS!

    I'm not much for book readin'. I read "The Secret History Of Twin Peaks" earlier this year. Good read, but it took me around 4 months to get through. I like audiobooks tho. I feel much better consuming books through my ears since it means I can go for a walk at the same time, so I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. Which is kinda ironic since I don't mind spending lots of time sitting around playing video games and watching dumb bullshit.

    ANYWAY I started an Audible subscription this summer, so I get 1 audiobook per month. My first 2 picks have been heavily podcast-influenced. My first book was "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris. I've been a longtime fan of Sedaris' appearances on This American Life, his stories are always a hoot, and the book was no different. Very funny and personal stuff! Currently I'm listening to Chapo Trap House's new book "The Chapo Guide To Revolution" and becoming radicalized. I am prepared to sieze the means of production as soon as Bernie Sanders gives the signal!

    Got no idea what to get next month tho. Anyone have any suggestions? I like all kinds of stuff. Sci-fi, horror, drama. My all-time favourite audiobook was Charles Portis' "True Grit", as read by Donna Tartt.

  19. #419
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    If you like True Grit, have you read any Cormac McCarthy? Sounds like you might get on well with something like All the Pretty Horses.

  20. #420
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Yes actually, listened to 2 of his. Liked The Road, didn't like Blood Meridian. Never heard of All The Pretty Horses. Adding it to the wishlist!

  21. #421
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    If you like it then it's the first in a trilogy - I could be wrong but I don't think they feature the same characters/story arc, so they could also be read as stand-alones.

  22. #422
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I'm reading the next Flashman.

    If you're interested in crazy adventures with a load of British Imperial history thrown in, these are a hoot.

    I amazed they weren't all made into films. It's completely undoable now though; far too politically incorrect, as it was in truth.

  23. #423
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: North of everything

    What am I reading?

    "Expiration date 2018/10/12. Do not microwave. Heat in a pan on a stove until it boils, then let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste before eating. Enjoy your noodles, made with pride in Hunan."

    Best piece of fiction I've read recently. Clearly, it does not mention how to unwrap it from the plastic cover. Oh, how many nights I've failed at that, and had a horrible dinner.

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