会員有効期限

ネイティブと『青空文庫』を訳そう!窪嶋先生+ケビン・プリムリー先生

第27回 ネイティブと『青空文庫』を訳そう!~菊池寛「小説家たらんとする青年に与う」より

課題文

 僕は先ず、「二十五歳未満の者、小説を書くべからず」という規則を拵(こしら)えたい。全く、十七、十八乃至(ないし)二十歳で、小説を書いたって、しようがないと思う。
 とにかく、小説を書くには、文章だとか、技巧だとか、そんなものよりも、ある程度に、生活を知るということと、ある程度に、人生に対する考え、いわゆる人生観というべきものを、きちんと持つということが必要である。
 とにかく、どんなものでも、自分自身、独特の哲学といったものを持つことが必要だと思う。それが出来るまでは、小説を書いたって、ただの遊戯に過ぎないと思う。だから、二十歳前後の青年が、小説を持って来て、「見てくれ」というものがあっても、実際、挨拶のしようがないのだ。で、とにかく、人生というものに対しての自分自身の考えを持つようになれば、それが小説を書く準備としては第一であって、それより以上、注意することはない。小説を実際に書くなどということは、ずっと末の末だと思う。
 実際、小説を書く練習ということには、人生というものに対して、これをどんな風に見るかということ、――つまり、人生を見る眼を、段々はっきりさせてゆく、それが一番大切なのである。
 吾々が小説を書くにしても、頭の中で、材料を考えているのに三四ヵ月もかかり、いざ書くとなると二日三日で出来上ってしまうが、それと同じく、小説を書く修業も、色々なことを考えたり、或は世の中を見たりすることに七八年もかかって、いざ紙に向って書くのは、一番最後の半年か一年でいいと思う。

総評

今回の課題は、菊池寛の「小説家たらんとする青年に与う」からの抜粋になります。ライトノベルなどの「気楽に書いたもの」が氾濫する現代においても、かなり意味深い内容になっていると思います。言っていることはわかりやすいのですが、日本語にしにくい部分も少しありますね。

http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/000083/card1386.html

〈第1段落〉

僕は先ず、「二十五歳未満の者、小説を書くべからず」という規則を拵(こしら)えたい。

「先ず」はfirst of allでもいいのですが、訳例に示したようにI would first like to...のように文中に「組み入れ」て、「軽く流す」ようにしたほうがいいと思います。「拵える」の「ものものしさ」を再現するべく、訳例ではset forthを使ってみました。

全く、十七、十八乃至(ないし)二十歳で、小説を書いたって、しようがないと思う。

「しようがない」をどう訳すかに、訳者のセンスが現れてくると思います。(not) bring any goodという表現を、訳例では使ってみました。

〈第2段落〉

とにかく、小説を書くには、文章だとか、技巧だとか、そんなものよりも、ある程度に、生活を知るということと、ある程度に、人生に対する考え、いわゆる人生観というべきものを、きちんと持つということが必要である。

この文章の1つの大きな特徴として、読点がやたらと多いことが挙げられます。読点をコンマに「忠実」に置き換えるとすると、例えば“At any rate, when you write novels, rather than writing skill or technique, you need, to some extent, to know what life is like, and in a certain amount, to have a picture of the concept for life or life philosophy solidly.”のようなことになってしまいますが、これは頂けません。英語の場合、sentences with fewer commas are easier to readという一般原則があります。できるだけ、コンマを使わないようにして訳しましょう。

〈第3段落〉

とにかく、どんなものでも、自分自身、独特の哲学といったものを持つことが必要だと思う。

「どんなものでも」の処理に一瞬悩むかもしれませんが、これは「どんな小説であれ」という意味だと思われますので、any novelと訳せばOKでしょう。

それが出来るまでは、小説を書いたって、ただの遊戯に過ぎないと思う。

「遊戯」はplay a gameでいいと思います。

だから、二十歳前後の青年が、小説を持って来て、「見てくれ」というものがあっても、実際、挨拶のしようがないのだ。

「挨拶のしようがない」とは、「何も言うことがない」という意味に再解釈して、I don’t know what to say.と訳してみました。

で、とにかく、人生というものに対しての自分自身の考えを持つようになれば、それが小説を書く準備としては第一であって、それより以上、注意することはない。

「人生というもの」の「というもの」は、律儀に訳すことはないでしょう。思い切って省いたほうが、わかりやすくなります。

小説を実際に書くなどということは、ずっと末の末だと思う。

「やるべきことのリストの、ずーっと先のほうにある」ということで、way down the listと訳してあります。

〈第4段落〉

実際、小説を書く練習ということには、人生というものに対して、これをどんな風に見るかということ、――つまり、人生を見る眼を、段々はっきりさせてゆく、それが一番大切なのである。

that’s what it’s all aboutというクリシェを用いて訳しましたが、かなりしっくりくる感じになりました。all aboutをうまく使いこなせば、いろいろな場面で応用が利くと思いますよ。

〈第5段落〉

吾々が小説を書くにしても、頭の中で、材料を考えているのに三四ヵ月もかかり、いざ書くとなると二日三日で出来上ってしまうが、それと同じく、小説を書く修業も、色々なことを考えたり、或は世の中を見たりすることに七八年もかかって、いざ紙に向って書くのは、一番最後の半年か一年でいいと思う。

長いですから、適当なところで区切って訳すことをおすすめします。「それと同じく」の前で一度区切れば、流れがわかりやすくなります。試訳では、3文に切ってあります。参考にしてみてください。

最優秀者

複数のネイティブと相談した結果、今回の最優秀訳は、大湿地帯のシュレッコさんのものとなりました。

First, I’d like to establish a rule that would prohibit youngsters under the age of 25 from writing a novel. Seventeen, eighteen, or twenty year olds have better things to do than writing a novel.
Anyway, writing a novel requires you to sort of understand day-to-day lives and sort of develop your own clear view. This is more significant than good writing style and technique.
In any case, I believe a writer needs to have his/her own philosophy on life, whatever it is. I think until it is developed, writing a novel is just a child’s play. That’s why I don’t know what to say when a young man around twenty asks me to comment on his novel. The first and foremost preparation for writing a novel is to form your own idea on life, and you don’t have to care more about anything else. The actual writing itself should come much much later.
In fact, the most important matter in practicing novel writing is to clarify how you look at life -- to sharpen the eye for life little by little.
When we write a novel, we work out a plot in our head for as long as several months but the actual writing itself takes only a couple of days. Training on writing is the same thing. I believe it is reasonable that you spend seven or eight years to develop an idea and observe real lives and use the last half or one year to actually write a novel on paper.

ネイティブのコメント:

Your translation is basically very clear and concise. It seems that you have carefully thought about different ways to express the Japanese in your attempt to find the most naturally sounding translation. I especially enjoyed reading the places were you took risks and tried not to be overly influenced by the Japanese. There are still some rough places and small grammar mistakes, but the mistakes are small enough not to distract from the flow.

添削:

I think until it is developed, writing a novel is just a child’s play.

* The use of “I think...” is of course not bad, but you can often consider deleting it because this entire passage is an opinion.
* I know it’s a small thing, but correct idiom is not “just a child’s play.” It should be, “not child’s play.” But that’s a good choice of words.
→ I think until your philosophy is developed, writing a novel is just child’s play.

Training on writing is the same thing.

* “Training on writing” is a little awkward.
→ Training to write is the same thing.

When we write a novel, we work out a plot in our head for as long as several months but the actual writing itself takes only a couple of days.

* In the first part of the sentence, we have “a novel,” and so instead of “a plot” we should use “the plot” because the concept is already introduced.
* I think “for as long as several years” would sound natural, but it sounds a little unnatural here.
* We need a comma before “but” except when “but” is part of an idiom (He bought everything except the shoes.)
→ When we write a novel, we work out the plot in our head for months, the actual writing itself takes only a couple of days.

応募作品のコメント、添削

●テスカムさんの作品

ネイティブのコメント:

In the translation, you use “his and her,” but in places it switches to “our,” so it might sound more consistent if you could focus make use of “you” and “your.” There are also some places were the English might be a little too close to the Japanese. If possible, try to be less influenced by the Japanese words themselves, and instead focus on meaning. That should help you get closer to natural-sounding English.

添削:

The less than 25-year-old persons should not write a novel.

* “The less than 25-year old person” is awkward.
→ Anyone younger than 25-years old should not write a novel.

Anyway, in order to write a novel, some are more important than the writing styles, the writing skills, etc.

* “some” sounds like an abbreviation of “some people.”
*The use of “etc.” in a non-technical document often sounds awkward. If you can find other ways to express this, it is usually an improvement.
→ Anyway, in order to write a novel, some things are more important than such things as writing style and writing skills.

In fact, it is the most important how to see life for the practice to write a novel.

* After “the most important,” we need to have a noun.
→ In fact, the most important way to practice writing a novel is to define how you see life.

And I think that only the last half a year or one year is enough for you to write a novel on a manuscript.

* A manuscript is the same as a novel before it is published, so “writing a novel on paper” would be clearer. A common idiom we can use here is, “put your novel to paper.”
→ And I think that the last half year or one year alone is enough to put your novel to paper.

●Shokoraさんの作品

ネイティブのコメント:

Your English is basically very clear and easy to understand. There are some few basic mistakes, but they are not so serious. I think if you can focus on reducing the length of each sentence, then it will force you to think harder about improving the sentence.

添削:

Believe it or not, writing a novel involves knowing, to some extent, what life is like, and having a firm attitude toward life, or what is called one's view of life, to some degree, rather than establishing a style of language or acquainting oneself with rhetoric.

* “Believe it or not” is usually used only when we are saying something that is really shocking, for example, “Believe it or not, the Moon is made of cheese.”
*The phrase “what life is like” would be better as, “what life is about.” The former sounds like “life” is something you haven’t experienced. So we can say, “I know what living on the Moon is like.” But only if you have lived on the Moon can you say, “I know what living on the Moon is about.”
* The comparison of “writing a novel” and “establishing a style of language...” is not so clear. We need a verb that can cover both parts to make a clear comparison. In this case, “focus” is one possibility.
Believe it or not, writing a novel involves focusing on knowing, to some extent, what life is about, and having a firm view of life, or what is called an outlook on life, to some degree, rather than focusing on establishing a style of language or acquainting oneself with rhetoric.

So, when a youth aged around 20 brings his novel with him, and says, "I'd appreciate it if you would read my novel and then comment about it," I don't know how to respond to his request, really.

*The use of “a youth” sounds like old English. We might instead use, “a 20-year old.”
* We usually only use quotation marks in English when someone has really said that exact sentence. In this case, since it is not really a direct quote, we should paraphrase it and just explain what might be said.
*In spoken language, adding “really” to the end of the sentence is common, but it should be avoided in most types of writing.
→ So, when a 20-year old brings his novel to me and asks me to read and comment about it, I really don't know how to respond to his request.

The same is true of the practice in writing a novel; it takes as many as seven or eight years to think about a lot, or to look at what is going on in the world, but the very last period of half a year or a year seems to be enought to actually devote oneself to writing.

* The phrase “the practice in writing a novel” is not common. We could make this a noun and writing “practicing writing a novel.”
* The use of the semicolon here is very good.
* Watch out for spelling. It’s best to always use a spellchecker function to avoid these types of mistakes.
→ The same is true when practicing to write a novel; it takes as many as seven or eight years to think about it and to look at what’s going on in the world, but the very last half year or year is enough to actually devote yourself to writing.

●ネスさんの作品

ネイティブのコメント:

There are some parts of your translation that are not clear to me. Instead of focusing on the words, try to look at the overall meaning. Try to focus more on writing natural sentences and less on expressing the Japanese nuance. For readers, maybe that’s more important.

添削:

First, I would like to make a rule that says “those under 25 years of age should not write novels.”

* Short phrases in quotation marks do not require a comma after the introductory word, but long sentences do.
* We should avoid quotation marks whenever possible. They should be used mostly only when someone makes a direct quote.
→ First, I would like to make a rule that says that those under 25 years of age should not write novels.

So when some youth about the age of 20 brings to me a novel he wrote and asks me to “evaluate it,” actually I do not know how to answer to him or her.

* The word “some” before a person often has a negative nuance. The sentence, “I talked to some guy,” would only be used if we did not like the guy.
*The use of quotation marks does not seem necessary.
*The word “answer to” means the same as “report to.” For example, “When it comes to spending money, I have to answer to the president of the company.”
→ So when a 20-year old brings to me a novel he wrote and asks me to evaluate it, I do not actually know how to answer him.

It is not too late to take up a pen and write during the last half or one year of the meanwhile.

* “It is not too late to...” is used to mean, “There is still the possibility of succeeding,” and I don’t think that’s what the Japanese says. We could write, “It’s not too late to write a novel when you’re 90 years old.”
* The word “meanwhile” can only be used to mean “during the same time,” for example: Mary went shopping. Meanwhile, Bill read a novel.”
→ You can take up a pen and write during the last half or one year of the period.

●マリーナさんの作品

ネイティブのコメント:

It’s quite easy to understand the overall meaning of your sentences, but I do feel that you are focusing a little too much on the Japanese words instead of the meaning of the sentence. It’s not easy to avoid being overly influenced by Japanese, but if you try to rewrite your English sentences after you have translated the Japanese once, then I think you have the potential to write clear English.

添削:

First of all, I want to establish a rule, “People under the age of 25 years do not write novels.”

* The phrase “do not writing novels” sounds like they do not do so because of habit. We need to use “should not” or “shall not.”
→ First of all, I want to establish a rule, “People under the age of 25 shall not write novels.”

At any rate, when you write novels, rather than writing skill or technique, you need, to some extent, to know what life is like, and in a certain amount, to have a picture of the concept for life or life philosophy solidly.

* This is basically a good sentence, but it can be made to sound smoother.
* With the phrase, “ you need, to some extent, to know what life is like,” we can move the “to some extent” further back in the sentence to avoid some commas: “ you need, to know what life is like to some extent.”
* The phrase, “in a certain amount” can be used in phrases such as, “in a certain amount of time,” but “to a certain degree” would be better here.
→ At any rate, when you write novels, rather than writing skill or technique, you need to know what life is about to some extent, and to a certain degree have a solid picture of the concept of life or your own philosophy .

In fact, if you want to train yourself to be a writer, the most important thing is how you see life, -- in other words, make your vision gradually clearer to life.

* “If you want to train yourself to be a writer” is a smart way to translate the Japanese.
* It’s awkward to put a comma before a dash. We can just use the comma or the dash, but the dash is probably better.
* The phrase “clearer to life,” is a little awkward. We can improve this by changing the world order.
→ In fact, if you want to train yourself to be a writer, the most important thing is how you see life—in other words, how to make your vision of life gradually clearer.

●Hahataruさんの作品

ネイティブのコメント:

The flow of your translation is very clear to follow and your sentences are basically logical and clear, with very few grammatical mistakes. There are some minor errors that I think you’ll be able to overcome in the near future. Always be sure to go back and reread your sentences, thinking of ways to improve them. I think you are approaching near-native level.

添削:

I want to establish a rule that stipulates “Those who are under 25 years old should not write a novel.”

* We should avoid quotation marks whenever possible. They should be used mostly only when someone makes a direct quote.
* The word “novel” should probably be plural here because of the use of “those.”
→ I want to establish a rule that stipulates that those who are under 25 years old should not write novels.

Until you build your philosophy, even if you write a novel, I think it is merely a play.

* The expression “build your philosophy” is not common, but it is possible.
* With the use of the conditional “even if,” we want to use “would be” instead of “is.”
→ Until you develop your philosophy, even if you were to write a novel, I think it would be merely child’s play.

When we write a novel, thinking a subject matter in our mind requires three or four month while actual writing requires a couple of days.

* The expression, “thinking a subject matter” is not correct. We need to write “thinking about.”
*In this sentence, a comma is required before “while.”
→ When we write a novel, thinking about a novel matter in our minds requires three or four month, while actual writing it requires a couple of days.

●applepieさんの作品

ネイティブのコメント:

It seems like your writing has a nice smoothness to it. I do feel that if you spent a little more time considering different possible expressions, you could move up to the next skill level. Forcing yourself to write in shorter sentences is often a good way to re-examine your writing and to remove the parts were mistakes are likely to occur.

添削:

What’s on earth the good of writing novels, when one is seventeen, eighteen or twenty?

* The idiom is “What on earth is the good of...”
* The comma before “when” is not necessary. In this case, the part after when is essential for understanding the meaning of the sentence, so a comma is not needed.
→ What’s on earth is good of writing a novel, when one is seventeen, eighteen or even twenty?

For instance, it takes us professionals three to four months to think of characters, stories and so on, but once we begin writing, we will more often than not finish in a couple of days.

* The word “stories” refers to individual stories. So here we should probably say, “storyline.”
* It sounds natural to write, “three to five months,” but “three to four” months sounds a little unnatural.
→ For instance, it takes us professionals three or four months to think of characters, storylines and so on, but once we begin writing, we will more often than not finish in a couple of days.

Then they might as well write on papers in the last six months or a year of that apprentice period.

* The phrase “might as well” is part of a longer idiom that requires a less desirable action. For example, “If you think you can finish this job in two days, you might as well give up.”
* The word “papers” refers to things like newspapers or scholarly papers. So here it should be singular.
* The phrase “the last six months or a year “ is a little awkward. It would be clearer to write, “six months or twelve months” or to write “half year or a year.”
* The term, “apprentice period” sounds like there is a master or a teacher, and I don’t think that is the case here.
→ Then they might write it all down on paper in the last six moths, or maybe twelve months, of that training period.

試訳

最後に、私たちの作った試訳を載せておきます:

I would first like to set forth this law: One should not write a novel before the age of 25. I don’t see how writing a novel at the age of 17 or 18 or even 20 can bring any good.

Writing a novel takes more than sentence style and writing skills—it takes some understanding of living and some thoughts about life—an outlook on life.

Any novel requires your own individual philosophy. And until you have that, writing a novel is nothing more than playing a game. If a 20 year old brings me his novel for comment, I don’t know what to say. Having your very own outlook on life is the first step to take to prepare to write a novel, with nothing else requiring more attention. Actually writing the novel is way down the list.

Practicing to write a novel is actually all about how you look at life—it’s about sharpening your eye for looking at life—and that’s what it’s all about.

Writing a novel takes three or four months of thinking over the details in your head, and then just two or three days to put it down on paper. Likewise, training for writing a novel takes a lot of thinking, and seven or eight years of observing the world. The final half year, maybe a year, that’s enough to put it down on paper.