Meanwhile In Japan
Posted on July 9, 2017 Posted by John Scalzi 20 Comments
The Japanese version of The End of All Things.
Incidentally, I used the Google Translate app on this and it kind of made word salad on it. So we’re not quite yet in the world of automatic intelligible translations. At least for novels.
That cover is epic. HAS TO BE my desktop wallpaper.
Indeed. That artwork is fantastic.
As far as I can tell, 終わりなき(owarinaki)=Endless and 戦火(senka)=Wartime fire. A lot of times Japan will give something a completely different title from the English. The subtitle goes 老人(roujin)=old person と(to)=and 宇宙(uchuu)=space. Hope that helps.
@Alex C actually, I’m even more confused now. :D
I would actually translate it as “Endless War” and the subtitle as “Old Man and Space 6”.
Okay, now I get it, thanks :D
The way Scalzi’s name is shown on the cover in katakana makes me question how I’ve been pronouncing it. Is it ‘Sk – ahl – zi’ or ‘Sk – ohl – zi’? The book shows it as ‘Sukoruji’ which is the second pronunciation more or less..
@Christorpher Turnbow – No problem. :)
@Ambivalent in Tokyo – You’re right, from the book it’s written “Sukorujii”, so it would be pronounced “Skoruji” but I would be leaning towards more of a “zi” sound at the end.
“I used the Google Translate app on this and it kind of made word salad on it.” Wait, Google Translate speaks Trumpian? This could be of great help preventing the end times.
How very cool!
Don’t get me wrong, I like the US covers, but man if I could get those Japanese covers as posters. That one in particular makes me think of _Crest of the Stars_. Maybe someday we can swing an anime…
I am closing my eyes and I am just imagining an anime version of Old Man’s War… It would be so awesome!
Whoa, excellent cover art. One could be covetous of the cover art. :D — They do some fantastic art and design and calligraphy, hugely sophisticated aesthetic sense for visual design, and they blend modern and ancient very well. — I could wish the kana were better at foreign sounds, though. — Scalzi with an AH, not an OH, Americanized to zee at the end instead of tsee or dzee in the original. SKAHL-zee. I *think* there are ways to represent “zii” instead of “jii” in Japanese, but it may be a sound the language doesn’t “like,” just like, for all I know, Sukarujii or Sukaarujii might have some, er, unfortunate-sounding meaning in Japanese. There is the ah – aw- oh thing going on, possibly too; and of course, Japanese does not (natively) distinguish R and L; they’re allophones. — And again, awesome cover. The artist needs to know the American audience *really* likes that.
So… does that mean we can call him Sukoruji-san from now on? Pretty please?
“Incidentally, I used the Google Translate ”
Try Bing Translate. Each does different languages better than the other. I’ve had more luck on
Bing with German. Google tends to mung German up.
I know you like your cover art, generally, but that has to be the bestest. Get that guy for everything you do. It rawks.
戦火(senka) implies something negative, like the fires and devastation of war. So another translation might be “The Neverending Devastation of War”. You could probably also fit “cost” or “fires” in there in place of ‘devastation’.
Working from the partial translations already submitted, I get the feeling the title is actually a colloquialism whose meaning should evoke a total, utter inferno destroying everything as far as the eye can see, where there’s nothing other than war and destruction. Sodom and Gomorrah writ worldwide. And the rock cried out, no hiding place.
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1974) seems to be 終わりなき戦い in Japanese.
Yeah, even with my rudimentary Japanese, it’s easy to see that Google Translate’s Japanese sucks. I mean, subtleties are going to be hard in any language, but to get confused about who the topic and subject are indicates to me that they could throw a few more
blood sacrifices to their machine godhuman resources into that specific language instead of relying on a generic template for European languages (or whatever it is they’re doing)..