08:22:30 AM Apr 9th 2010
Alright, here's my (two-month) experience with Japanese explaining why this dude's Japanese is bull. Let's take an example I gleaned just before I couldn't take it anymore: "Fight bad I do." (Ch. 6) Now, in Japanese, the grammar rules, as near as I know them, are fairly loose. However, the author has the wrong end of the stick. The basics are that the subject always comes first, and the verb always comes last, with the predicate sandwiched in the middle kind of willy-nilly. So, to say the above, as near as I can tell, it would be something of the lines of "I bad fighter am" Note that I'm too lazy to look up what "bad fighter" is in Japanese. To take an example I actually know, let's go with "I am American". English has it subject-verb-predicate. In Japanese, that's "Watashi wa Amerikajin desu", literally "I [wa] American am". The "wa" serves to designate the subject is ending- those types of particles (for example, "O" is used after nouns and before verbs to indicate a direct object- "I eat rice" would be "Watashi wa gohan o tabemasu") crop up in pretty much every sentence. TL,DR: Japanese grammar doesn't work by inverting the verb and noun. The verb pretty much always comes last, as near as I know.
09:45:55 PM Apr 9th 2010
I'd chalk it up to Translation Convention. Do you think the Japanese dubbers for Star Wars used the exact grammar that was present in the English version for Yoda's speech?
11:01:16 AM Apr 10th 2010
No, but didn't the author make a point in there somewhere about how he was getting the literal translation, and so he had to work to speak properly? Because doing a babelfish word-for-word translation would not give this result- it's a total misuse of Japanese grammar.
11:17:12 AM Apr 10th 2010
- Watches everyone jump ten feet in the air...*
09:53:46 PM Apr 10th 2010
Convenient having absolute powers over your character's reality, eh? I personally thought it highly detracted from the story, not just because of the improper Japanese, but because having to puzzle out what was said was irritating. I'd have gone for Translation Convention and just had him pick it up instantly, but that's just me.
10:35:52 PM Apr 10th 2010
Author Here: It was annoying to write too, but I didn't want to simply cotninue to write two chapters where I was constantly going "I couldn't figure out what was said" non stop... (It was past being old, and I was running out of creative ways to comment on unintelligable conversation.) And I didn't want to go with 'suddenly, It all makes sense...' Anyway, I've been reading over the chapters... and rather than rewriting all the dialogue, I'll leave it in place, and fix that core exposition paragraph in chapter five up a pinch so that what you read is how I am understanding it directly. (Not correctly... Just, what I'm 'hearing'.) I'll also fix the fact details I commented on as well. After chapter six, it goes away completely as my mind 'fully integrates' verbal Japanese skills and Translation Convention takes over.