At the end of the Delta novel, there’s an interview with Minori Suzuki (which I might translate when I get to it) in which the interviewer asks her what she thought of the novel. She says that she enjoyed reading it, because she kept having revelations like, “Oh, THAT’S why Hayate did that…” or “So THAT’S what Mirage was thinking then!” At the end of the interview, she exhorts the reader to keep reading the books, saying, “Let’s all become ‘Delta Masters’ together!” The good news here is that you can begin your journey towards Delta Mastery TODAY!
Finally, after two weeks of working on it, here’s the rough draft of Chapter 1 of Macross Delta Volume 1 by Ukyou Kodachi. I could go on and on about the differences between the show and the novelization, but, I mean, the chapter is RIGHT HERE. You can read it and see for yourself.
That said, I think a few explanations are in order: first, you’ll notice immediately that Freyja (whose name, you’ll notice, never gets mentioned in this chapter) talks kinda funny. It only partially comes through in the subtitles (both fansubs and official) but in Japanese, she speaks with an accent. A made-up accent with some similarities to the dialect from the island of Kyushu. By all accounts, this makes her sound like a country bumpkin. To that end, I’ve given her an accent here which is meant to be suggestive of a Southern US accent without actually BEING a Southern US accent. Anyway, I’m no Mark Twain, so trying to write in “full dialect” is beyond my ability. You have to have a diamond ear to catch all the nuances of a real accent, and a diamond pen to be able to transfer them legibly into prose. So yeah, just a few reliable changes (like dropping her “g”s at the end of words), plus some “hick” vocabulary thrown in. I think it turned out okay, but it may be distracting at first, since that aspect of Freyja, as I said, didn’t really make it into the subs much, although I for one think it’s pretty central to who she is as a character.
The second issue is Hayate’s “voice,” which I’m not sure I’ve really captured yet. Although Hayate isn’t the narrator, it is definitely told from his perspective (note, for example, that any scene from the TV episode where he’s NOT present doesn’t appear in the chapter), and the narration has a casual, slightly slangy tone. I’ve tried to reproduce this in English, but again, it doesn’t QUITE “feel” like Hayate to me yet. I mean, “casual but authoritative” is basically my Macross Rewatch blog voice… which isn’t QUITE Hayate. That’s the main reason I’m calling this a rough draft: as I get further in the book, I’m sure I’ll hit upon how Hayate would say certain things if he were speaking in English, and then I can go back and revise. Right now, I think it’s… okay… but I’m hoping to really nail it before I’m done.
Third, there’s the dialogue. Weirdly, at the beginning of the chapter, the dialogue is not the same as the TV episode. Everyone’s saying stuff that MEANS the same things (like the foreman chastising Hayate for slacking off), but using different words. For these conversations, I felt free to translate them however seemed best to me. However, as the chapter continues, the dialogue starts becoming word-for-word the same as the show. For these lines, I simply used the translation from the official subs, changing things only to reflect Freyja’s accent and to smooth things out if there was extra dialogue in the book (and sometimes there is). And taking Sketchley’s oft-said point, I used “emigration fleet” instead of the subtitles’ “immigration fleet.” I’m sure he’ll be thrilled.
Last, as always, I’m pretty sure there are some small flubs in here. At the VERY least, there are some sentences that I didn’t quite understand, and am not confident about in the translation. Mea culpa, and caveat emptor.
So, anyway, here it is. As I said last week, it was fun to do, and I’m happy that it went so quickly, and that it’s getting posted here so soon. I’m currently back to working on the Do You Remember Love novel, but I should be getting to Delta Chapter 2 in the next week or two, depending. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you keep reading to the end! After all, we don’t want to disappoint Minori-chan, do we…?
NEXT WEEK: MORE DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE? (It’s a short chapter, so don’t get too excited…)