Teaser Tuesdays: “Pacific Rims”

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

✻ ✻ ✻

My sanity needed a break from this:

 because I’m starting to become paranoid:

 And if your emoticons already look like this:


it will take just a few more pages for it to start overturning tables:

ヽ(`Д´)ノ ┻━┻

And then, to a less of an “Emergency! Call 117!” degree but still within the “It is seriously trying my patience” range, there is also this:

 I thought maybe some literary first aid is in order. Ergo:


pacificrimsI paused to look at the black treads and the big white Swoosh, grass poking through the rubber, and thought that if I were a basketball shoe, this is how I’d want to live and die—on the feet of someone who treasured me so much that he wore me until I fell to pieces, then spending eternity with front row seats to the game that was my raison d’être. Standing there marveling at the rubber scraps, I felt like those people who claimed to see Jesus in their Cheetos.

-page 17, “Pacific Rims” by Rafe Bartholomew

*goes back to reading*

Impressions on “The Hunger Games” (The Filipino Edition), Part 1

I’m more than half-way through the Filipino edition of “The Hunger Games”. And since I’ve been getting some search term hits for it, I thought I would share some of my initial impressions, which I also previously shared on Twitter and Plurk.

To put things in perspective, I have to mention that this is my first English to Filipino read of a modern novel/bestseller; I only skimmed through “Takipsilim (Twilight)”, so that doesn’t really count. I’ve also read the entire “Hunger Games” trilogy in English, and I’ve read the first book several times.

It was a bit difficult to adjust to the language change, but I got into the rhythm after the first chapter.

In general, I approve of the translator’s decisions regarding which particular words and in-world terms to translate, and which ones to leave as is. How the words were translated, though, is a different story altogether.

The one translation that I really have a problem with so far is “Tribute” became “pambayad”. Pambayad is a common enough word—used to mean “payment”—that if you’ve never read THG before and then encounter the word within a sentence, you may have to re-read it to figure out that we’re talking about one of the Games contestants rather than money or something. It doesn’t help that the translated word is never capitalized in the text.

“Ako na lang! Nagpiprisinta akong maging pambayad!”

“I volunteer! I volunteer as Tribute!”

Imagine that in a Tagalog dubbing of the film. 😛 Awkward translation is awkward.

I think the better translation is “Alay“, which means an “offering”, and carries with it the connotations of a “Tribute” as someone who is offered or sacrificed to a higher power that is The Capitol. I suppose “pambayad” also connotes a Tribute as “payment” for the Districts’ crime of rebellion, but I think the first option is more powerful and more accurate based on the original English term, and it also implies the second option when the Treaty of Treason is explained anyway. But since “Tribute” is an in-world term, I’d rather they retained the English word.

In Tagalog, the characters can also come across as…bitchy. Exhibit A:

In English:

It’s hard to hate my prep team. They’re such total idiots.

Maybe it’s just me, but “hangal” often comes across as rather harsh and insulting. As my friend Ron says:

Filipino Pop Culture note: Celia Rodriguez is a veteran actress who is often cast in villainous roles.

“Total idiots” was an insult too, actually, but it had an affectionate undertone in Katniss’ English voice that the translation couldn’t quite capture.

There’s also this:

And this:

In English:

“Shocked. Terrified. Uh, ridiculous, some of them.”

Here’s another iffy translation:

“Ginawa na iyon dati ni Johanna Mason…Mukha siyang iyakin at duwag kaya inignora siya ng lahat…”

Inignora” was used in place of “ignored”. I read inignora the Italian way the first time and did a double-take. Other people in my Twitter said they read it the Spanish way, which sounds pretty much the same. I think “Mukha siyang iyakin at duwag kaya ‘di siya pinansin ng lahat.” would have been just as good a translation, and less awkward.

And some random quotes and comments:

I’ll post Part 2 of this blog entry when I finish the book. I’ll also talk about the loss of a character’s voice, literal translations and word order, and additional impressions on my favorite scenes.

Disclosure: I’m actually writing an article about the translations for publication, and have sent some questions to the publisher of the Filipino Editions. Their answers will hopefully give us a look at their translation process and why they made the decisions that they did. I’m also curious about who they will say they are translating all these books for and why. 😉

To be continued…

Snapshots: Bookmark Love #2 + “The Hunger Games: The Filipino Edition”

I’m back with another Snapshots post to fulfill my promise of sharing more bookmarks and just in time to join in Bookmark Mondays at Guiltless Reading. ^_^

This one’s from Thailand, and is a present from 엄마 Monster (a.k.a. Mabs) and 동생 Echo. It’s a thin wood bookmark with a metal design of a lucky elephant.

Apparently, it’s a lucky elephant if it’s depicted with its trunk curled up. Down-turned trunks = not good. And that’s our Lesson for the Day. 😛

And as you can see from the photo, I’m starting on “The Hunger Games: The Filipino Edition.” It’s turning out to be better translated compared to “Takipsilim (Twilight)”.

I turned to one of my all-time favorite Hunger Games scenes when I took the photo. *_* Strategic!Stuttering!Lovestruck!Peeta = ❤.

Book Fair Finds: Lost in Translations

During the 2nd Filipino ReaderCon, two of the prevalent sentiments expressed by a number of participants was the lack of young adult books written by Filipinos for Filipinos, and also the lack of translations of popular titles to Filipino.

Apparently, local publisher Precious Hearts Romances addressed the second sentiment to a certain extent long before the ReaderCon, and has published “Takipsilim,” the Filipino edition of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight.”

When we went to the Manila International Book Fair this weekend, we also found Filipino editions of L.J. Smith’s “The Vampire Diaries” in two parts, and we learned that PHR is set to release translations of “The Hunger Games” and the “Fifty Shades” trilogy.

I haven’t managed to start reading “Takipsilim” yet because I have a lot on my plate right now, but I scanned it. The translation is a mix of Filipino and English. Obviously there are words that just wouldn’t translate well to Filipino, so the translator had to decide which words or phrases to retain. I’ve always found reading English dialogue in stories set in the Philippines a little unsettling, and the opposite seems to be true for me as well, so the smattering of English sentences and words alleviates that problem a little.

Based on the small portion that I’ve read, though, the Filipino parts can sometimes be difficult to grasp because of the use of uncommon words. If these translations were meant to target a wider range of Filipino readers, it would’ve been more prudent to translate the text based on context rather than a more literal or word-for-word approach. I actually find it easier to read stories that were originally written in Filipino rather than what I’ve read of “Takipsilim” so far. Then again, I may be underestimating other readers out there. Hrmmm…maybe it will be fun to have several people with different reading skills and experience read “Takipsilim” just to find out… Note to self: DO THIS!

Oh gawds, I am scared of how “Fifty Shades” will turn out. Inner goddess, gird your loins! 😛