A Small Despair of a Translator

The title speaks for itself, doesn’t it? I’ve been a little desperate since yesterday, as I have some trouble with translations. To be more specific, it’s about translations of an opening and an ending. I do translations for fan-subtitles for anime in my mother tongue, Czech. I try to translate most right from Japanese, but when I’m lost with some lines, I look at the English subs and translate from them. Then it’s no problem, of course. Though, there might spring up some discrepancies when it’s translated more than once. In this case, in the order: Japanese > English > Czech. But the main point is somehow retained usually. However, the biggest fun comes when there are more English subs and all of them differs from each other.

I’m translating Umineko no Naku Koro ni and there are three solid English fansub groups subbing this series. Therefore, I wanted to check the opening and ending lyrics since they are often tricky, and this time it was no exception. Three fansub groups means three different interpretations of some lines. So which is the right version? Whose ears have heard it right? What are the words in those lyrics? God knows. Three different interpretations of the same line have left me in despair.

I’ll tell you the three lines that have been bothering me most. The first one is from opening and the two others are from the ending.

Version 1: Ichido kimi no shuuen wo ageyou – I think it means something like “let’s rise over your demise for once”.
Version 2: Ichido kiri no shuuen wo ageyou – “Let’s put an end to/get rid of those bounds”.

Version 1: Saigo no futari yo – We are the last two
Version 2: Saigo no utage yo – This is the last banquet
Version 3: Saigo no butai yo – My last scene
All the three vesions seem quite different and it’s virtually impossible to say which one fits more in those lyrics, because even though it’s a part of a song, it’s still taken out of a context. Therefore, there is nothing like the appropriate version, there’s just one right version, and other versions, which are wrong. Personally, I think that “butai – scene” is the right word here.

Version 1: Dou shiyou yo – What should I do?
Version 2: itoshii hito yo – my beloved one
Version 3: itoshiki hito yo – same as the previous one, just a bit more archaic adjective ending
I’m 100% sure it’s not the first version. And whether it’s itoshii or itoshiki, well… From what I can hear, I suppose it’s “itoshii”. But all the other adjectives in that song have that “-ki” ending, so…

I think I should put an end to this small despair of mine, choose something already, and just alter the translations, once the OP and ED singles will be out and I will be able to check the official lyrics.

And there is one new contributing factor that pulls me out of my despair. I received figure of Akashiya Moka by GSC about an hour ago. But because I’ve been writing this post, I have yet to open the package. Well then, I’m going to look at my Moka now.

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