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Translator's tips: how to say, "生存戦略しましょうか"

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Hi, there. Today’s topic is little far from VOCALOID lyrics. But not too far. It is very mean point of "Japanese metaphorical saying". The post title comes from Japanese anime "Mawaru-Penguindrum". Its character, Himari says high-handedly "Survival Strategy---!!" when she want to have a family meeting.



The word, "生存戦略" can be translated into English easily. "The survival strategy". If you used the Google or Babelfish, can it. Those word-to-word exchange program might pick up "The existence strategy". Never use them for translation.



You may think "does the phrase 'Survival Strategy---!!' fit to the Japanese one?" No, it doesn't. Not completely. These two words lose nuance of "しましょうか" . It loses nuance in written letter especially.



How to translate the nuance of "しましょうか"? Let's see similar phrases.



Phrase 1 お茶にしましょうか

Let's have a teabrake.

Phrase 2 部屋をきれいにしましょうか

Shall I clean the room?

Phrase 3 今日の午後ゴルフをしましょうか

How about playing golf this afternoon?



Which phrase would fit for the Survival strategy?

You should think in two view points. First view point is grammar. The "Survival strategy" is noun. The objective word must be noun. Then, however, every phrase can be used for. Second point of view is Himari's character and behavior when she says that. She claims the family meeting, as if she is a chairwoman. The 2 & 3 become unsuitable. It sounds like a request, but doesn't mean so. It is really an order.



"Let's have the Survival Strategy!"

When Himari ordered like this, brothers must obey.



In the end, please note this: the translators have their own linguistic experience. It is different from each other. Your experience tell the nuance "しましょうか" in different way, that is correct in your mind. Your translation might fits for many people or not. It is depend on you, your understanding and your love for what you want to translate.

I really want to understand every song I love, and want to know the depth of its lyrics. How about you?

Kirimisakana 12:43, October 25, 2011 (UTC)

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