The hooting of an owl shattered the stillness, disturbing the flow of the chill night air…
Notes under the cut:
1. “So he forgets the appointment We bestowed upon him…”
I’ve avoided using the royal We when translating dialogue up to now because Japanese formality doesn’t usually translate well into royal We (and pronoun usage in general is minimal). But in this line Andragoras uses a somewhat archaic pronoun to refer to himself, so I figured why not. I don’t seem to recall whether or not he’s ever referred to himself directly prior to this (obviously I’ve been using “I”/”me” as necessary, but most of the time the pronoun is only implied in the original text). I’m not sure yet how I’m going to continue dealing with this.
2. “passion in ineptitude”
へたの横好き (heta no yokozuki). I wish there were a good English equivalent for this phrase. Basically, something you’re perversely obsessed with even though (or maybe because??) you totally suck at it.
“I am most honored to have come to your attention.” The original line is literally “I have soiled your ears.” It’s one of the more peculiarly Japanese expressions of courtesy/humility, and is probably the reason Narses laughs in response. I couldn’t figure out a good way to translate the nuances without it coming across as pretty weird though, so… this is what you get instead.
eta 9/7: Of course, after a few days of sleeping on it, I realized that I misattributed the lines after all! This line is actually spoken by Narses (the previous line is spoken by Arslan.) This has now been fixed… and reworded more literally, because it does in fact seem like something Narses would say.
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A lot of similar stuff going on in the rest of the update since it’s the first really dialogue-heavy section, but those were the main things I wanted to note. I tried to get the voices down as close as possible (Arslan is very formal/aloof, as appropriate to his station; Dariun adjusts according to whom he’s addressing, but generally has this rougher soldierly formality; Narses is pretentious as hell and also politely noncommittal/passive-aggressive in pretty much everything he says) — because most of the dialogue is untagged and so that’s the only way you can really tell who’s talking a lot of the time — but may not have always pulled it off. XD (I did sneak in tags or rearrange stuff a little to make one or two of the more ambiguous lines clearer.)
Coming up next time: all the seedy backstory about the royal family you could ever possibly want to know.
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