Song Translation Review: [Jayee] Anata no Utahime

F-Tier, Song Translation Review — By on January 3, 2016 10:26 pm

This post was written by Etoce. He is not Dark_Sage.

YouTube  


So, uh… alright. Let’s just go check some old songs out and… wow. They’re worse than I remember. Maybe the good ones got deleted or something.

 

About the song

あなたの歌姫 (Anata no Utahime) is one of the first songs ever written for Hatsune Miku, published just nineteen days after her release in 2007. Written in the classic Vocaloid style, putting full emphasis on the novelty of a virtual idol, it is an essential piece of Vocaloid history.

Given the extreme historical import of this piece as well as its continued popularity (as exhibited by a remake in 2009 and its subsequent prominence in the Project DIVA games), one would expect there to be some decent translation out there.

 

About the uploader

The first result I get when I type “anata no utahime” into YouTube is this video by someone called Jayee. 44k views? Seems low. Where are all the other ones? Did they get DMCA-takedown-request-ed?

This Jayee person seems to have done the entire 2010 Thanksgiving’s Day concert set list. Are they any good? Let’s find out.

 

Title

The only thing in question is what you want to translate 歌姫 as. The near-official translation of the term is “diva” (as in Project DIVA), but that word has a bunch of connotations in English that Japan probably didn’t intend. Still, the alternatives all have their drawbacks—”songstress” is very rare, “singer” loses nuance, “song princess” sounds silly, etc.—so there really isn’t a perfect answer.

Jayee goes with “Your Songstress”, which is fine.
 

Prettiness

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.12_[2016.01.03_03.54.02]

It’s not very pretty, but at least it’s legible. Most of the time. There are a few cuts where the words come up against Miku’s white dress and it gets hard to read.

 

Lyrics

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_00.24_[2016.01.03_20.24.05]

If I were being generous, I could let this go as poetic phrasing, but given how much of a trainwreck the whole thing is (oops, spoilers), this guy’s not getting any benefit of the doubt. This should be something like “the PC in this house”. And who still uses “PC” to refer to generic desktop computers?

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_00.40_[2016.01.03_20.26.27]

You mean “please treat me nicely”.

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_00.45_[2016.01.03_20.27.17]

This is a “hey wtf r u doin” chotto, not a “hey wait c’mon come back” chotto.

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_00.48_[2016.01.03_20.28.08]

They got the romaji wrong (it’s “hiwai”, not “hiwari”), which looks like it could just be a typo, but the English suggests that it was a Shisogapo. 卑猥 means “obscene”/”lewd”, not “cheap”.  And what’s with the weird spacing on “uta wa senaide”?

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_00.57_[2016.01.03_20.31.32]

The “chanto” (which they’ve apparently rendered as “clearly”) is supposed to be in contrast to the messing around that Master-sama was doing in the previous line when he made Miku sing those lewd lyrics, not describing her singing.

The rest of the line would be an borderline-tolerable creative translation if the translator had shown general competence, but they haven’t, so I’m gonna knock them for it too.

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.10_[2016.01.03_20.34.04] 27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.14_[2016.01.03_20.34.16]

The whole “that time” thing is bad, but the second part is actually decent.

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.25_[2016.01.03_20.35.16] 27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.27_[2016.01.03_20.35.26]

More like “your very own songstress” or “your personal songstress”. The onlyhood is on the wrong thing.

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.44_[2016.01.03_20.36.21] 27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.46_[2016.01.03_20.36.30]

This is as bad a tense mismatch as I’ve ever seen.

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.58_[2016.01.03_20.37.20]

No. She’s being tsun-tsun here. “I’m looking forward to it… not.” Or something cleverer.

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_02.24_[2016.01.03_20.40.53]

What’s with all this stuff about her heart? What’s wrong with something obvious like “there’s something I want to tell you”?

Protip: if you want to use your own running metaphors, make sure they’re not terrible.

27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_02.32_[2016.01.03_20.42.13] 27. Hatsune Miku - Anata no Utahime (Your Songtress) ~Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_02.34_[2016.01.03_20.42.20]

Surely you could have made this one line.

 

Results

When a review for the simplest 28-line song in the world has 15 screenshots, you know something’s gone wrong. And that’s after I cut out a bunch of lines with clumsy and stilted wording because there was already enough to talk about. Every other line has a mistranslation, which is pretty unforgivable given how basic the entire song is, and there isn’t much to redeem those mistakes elsewhere in the effort.

Hopefully, the rest of the concert isn’t as awful. But that hope seems to be dead:

01. Hatsune Miku - Hajimete no Oto (The First Melody) ~ Project DIVA Live Solo Japan Concert 2010 HD-pBUCbFJlfUw.mp4_snapshot_01.06_[2016.01.03_21.59.33]

  • Heart: –
  • Faith: F
  • Craft: F
  • Sheen: C
  • Overall: F
Grade:

6 Comments

moron says:

clearly, the presentation is just too deep for you

Anoni says:

Most of these could be fixed by asking a friend to read over the script to make sure it’s fucking understandable.

Would you mind reviewing something by the channel “decentsubs”? Many song TLs I look for end up being from them. Their subs are pretty, but I can’t judge the translation.

Etoce says:

I dunno, most of these mistakes seem to be errors in understanding the Japanese. It’s not like the English translation is incomprehensible, it’s just wrong.

And assuming you mean descentsubs, you must have some suboptimal taste because I can only recognize like three of the songs on their channel.

Etoce says:

I took a quick look at “Glad You’re A Lolicon” (which isn’t really a song I want to review) and my first impression was that it’s pretty much exactly what I’d imagine a C-Tier work to be in all regards. It’s satisfactory, but not much more.

There were a few minor flubbed translations—くびれもない somehow became “without any effort” and それがたまらないって… should have been “you can’t get enough of this [my DFC]?” instead of “that would be unbearable for you?”—and they used a 2002-esque literal translating style that doesn’t have a very high ceiling.

Maybe I’ll review one of their videos with a post eventually but I don’t really have any strong feelings about any of the songs they’ve done, so…

Akatsukin says:

http://www.crymore.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/27.-Hatsune-Miku-Anata-no-Utahime-Your-Songtress-Project-DIVA-Live-Solo-Japan-Concert-2010-HD-oun9EfDtQqg.mp4_snapshot_01.14_2016.01.03_20.34.16-640×360.jpg

Missed the “ima” mistake for “imi”. Not simply a typo as it seems to change it into a different word and meaning. I rank this review a B+.

Etoce says:

I think that one was actually a typo since the translation is fine and doesn’t look like it had the word “now” hamfisted into it. It would be pretty funny though if the only good line in the whole video came as a result of a mess-up.

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