Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Thoughts on 1Q84's impending English translation.

I like the thinking that 1Q84 is pronounced "Q-teen eighty-four". It rolls off the tongue much nicer than "one Q eighty-four". I'm not sure where I read this first but I'm guessing it's Literary Saloon. I'll have to check (but I won't cos I'm lazy today. Well, I've always been lazy. Anyway, I digress.)

I'm guessing the huge tome will be making its way to the English-speaking shores by the middle of next year. In a recent interview at asahi.com, Jay Rubin (one of Murakami's translators) revealed that he'll be finishing his translation of books 1 and 2 of 1Q84 by mid-November and Philip Gabriel is supposed to finish book 3 by then.

So my first reaction to this is, "yay! There's finally some real progress and I can hope of reading it soon(ish)!" but my second reaction is more important, which is, "WHAT, there's two translators working on this???"

Now I understand why they chose to go this route, the 1Q84, as a whole, is a massive beast after all. One translator just might not be enough! But if anyone who's read enough of Murakami in English knows that his three different translators all have different styles. I don't want to be reading the first two books and then have my enjoyment pulled out of me when I get to the third book just because of a change of translation style.

Oh well, if they give this the same care they did while editing the English translation of Wind-up Bird Chronicles, I think there really won't be much of a problem.

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