Friday, April 9, 2010

Translation: Gosei Sentai Dairanger (NEW JACK Takuro)

When translating for fans, one inevitably runs into the issue of what to translate, and what to leave in Japanese. After all, most members of a given fandom will pick up at least a couple of relevant Japanese words. You don't need to explain "henshin" to a tokusatsu fan, or "miko" to someone who's seen a lot of anime.

Sadly, this often leads to fan translators who go too far, leaving intact Japanese words that mean absolutely nothing to the audience. On the other hand, for a knowledgeable audience, over-translation can actively hinder their understanding more than it helps. (I've never seen a translation of "tonkatsu" that was anything but a distraction.)

As with many aspects of translation, this is a decision that has a lot riding on it, yet has no definite right or wrong answer. Ultimately, it's the translator's call to decide, in context, when it's worth sacrificing some audience understanding for the sake of precision, and vice-versa.

Today's translation is Gosei Sentai Dairanger, a song full of that tricky fandom jargon I just described. In this case, I decided to err on the side of caution and translate as much as possible. After all, I figure, if you're really concerned about the precise term, the romaji's right there above the translation.

If you've never heard the song before, make sure to check it out in all its quasi-Chinese grooviness on YouTube. My translation lies below.


(Original kanji to be found here.)

Song Title: Gosei Sentai Dairanger (Five-Star Squadron Dairanger)
Artist: NEW JACK Takuro
Series: Gosei Sentai Dairanger

tenshin daaa! kiryoku daaa!
tsurugi yo mae! kobushi yo unare!
RYUURENJAA SHISHIRENJAA
TENMA KIRIN HOUOURENJAA


Changeover! Chi power!
Dance, my sword! Roar, my fist!
Dragonranger, Lionranger!
Pegasus, Chimera, Phoenixranger!

kiryoku tenshin! hengenjizai
naiteru kimi no hohoemi mitakute
kiryoku tenshin! hengenjizai
moyashitsukusu ze makka na honoo
ten ni kagayake! itsutsuboshi
gosei sentai gosei sentai DAIRENJAA
DAIRENJAA oh!


Chi-power changeover! A dazzling illusion!
Hoping to light a smile through your tears...
Chi-power changeover! A dazzling illusion!
... we'll burn out our crimson fire
Shine in the heavens, o five stars!
Five Star Squadron Dairanger!
Dairanger! Oh!

tenshin daaa! kiryoku daaa!
karada yo tobe kokoro yo sakebe
RYUURENJAA SHISHIRENJAA
TENMA KIRIN HOUOURENJAA


Changeover! Chi power!
Fly, my body! Cry, my soul!
Dragonranger, Lionranger!
Pegasus, Chimera, Phoenixranger!

kiryoku tenshin! mondoumuyou
kinou no koto ha furimukanai no sa
kiryoku tenshin! mondoumuyou
mamoritaosu ze kimi no mirai wo
asu ni kagayake! itsutsuboshi
gosei sentai gosei sentai DAIRENJAA
DAIRENJAA oh!


Chi-power changeover! Don't waste your breath on words!
We know there's no use looking back at the past...
Chi-power changeover! Don't waste your breath on words!
... but we'll stake our lives to protect your future
Shine toward tomorrow, o five stars!
Five Star Squadron Dairanger!
Dairanger! Oh!

kiryoku tenshin! hengenjizai
naiteru kimi no hohoemi mitakute
kiryoku tenshin! hengenjizai
moyashitsukusu ze makka na honoo
ten ni kagayake! itsutsuboshi
gosei sentai gosei sentai DAIRENJAA
DAIRENJAA oh!


Chi-power changeover! A dazzling illusion!
Hoping to light a smile through your tears...
Chi-power changeover! A dazzling illusion!
... we'll burn out our crimson fire
Shine in the heavens, o five stars!
Five Star Squadron Dairanger!
Dairanger! Oh!

1 comment:

  1. I've recently started getting interested in tokusatsu. While I've seen TV-Nihon's translation of the song, I think yours is a little bit better. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete