General Notes

Names

All names follow the Japanese structure of family name first, then given name. Most characters are referred to by their family names, unless they are close friends of the main characters.

~~~~~

Honorifics

I’ve kept most of the original honorifics used in the light novel, such as -san, -chan, -kun, and -sensei. For more information on honorifics, please visit [this link].

——

Aiko’s Accent

Senoo Aiko or Ai-chan is an Osakan native, so she speaks in the Kansai dialect in the light novel. Many translators translate this into an accented form of English, often with shortened or mispronounced words (Wud’ya stop yellin’?), in order to mimic the dialect.

I have chosen to keep to standard English in my translation for Aiko’s speech. This is a personal preference, and if it results in the translation losing some appeal for the reader, I apologize in advance. However, this is one point which I will not compromise on in my translation, so I’ll be glad if the reader understands. =)

Learn more about the Kansai dialect at [this link].

Extra note: For those who wish to know, the reason I will not compromise on Aiko’s speech is this. I am a big fan of the Kansai dialect, and I respect it as a variation of standard Japanese, with its own set of speech patterns, particles, and unique words/phrases. Therefore, I personally do not take well to opinions that cast the Kansai dialect as an inferior form of standard Japanese. This opinion is not limited to foreigners alone, some Japanese also view the Kansai dialect as a baser form of speech, some to the extreme of considering the dialect “non-Japanese” and its speakers “incapable of speaking properly”. In my case, I feel that translating the Kansai dialect into English with misspelt or mispronounced words gives just that impression, that the dialect is a misspelling or mispronunciation of standard Japanese, which it is not. I understand that translating Kansai dialect this way is common amongst translators, and I have no issue with that. However, I have chosen not to follow suit, and I hope that the reader of this translation will understand my reasoning.

——

All Things Magic

I’ve kept all witches’ names with their “majo” prefix. eg. Majorika remains as “majorika”, instead of being translated into “Witch Rika”.

The shop owned by Majorika remains in its Japanese form “MAHO-do”, instead of being translated into “MAHO Store” or “Magic Store”.

Some other terms which I’ve translated completely include:

=> “Witch apprentice”, instead of “majo minarai”
=> The witches’ partners are known as “fairies”, instead of “yousei”
=> “Witch world”, instead of “majokai”
=> “Witch frog”, instead of “majogaeru”
=> “Magic spheres”, instead of “mahou dama”
=> “Magical clay”, instead of “mahou nendo”
=> “Magical preschool/elementary”, instead of “mahou preschool/elementary”
=> “Wizard”, instead of “mahoutsukai”
=> “Wizard world”, instead of “mahoutsukai kai”.

~~~~~

Miscellaneous

I have taken certain liberties with my translation, sometimes adding in a few words and phrases. I do so purely to facilitate the readers’ understanding.

For example, speech in the light novels are often unattached to a specific speaker, and the reader has to discern who is speaking by looking at the speech pattern and particles used. For example, Aiko speaks in the Kansai dialect, Hazuki speaks in a rather polite form, and Majorika speaks in a pattern characteristic of an older generation. Since these are hard to incorporate into English, I have chosen to add some words into the translation to facilitate the identification of the speakers.

Other than that, I have done my best to keep to the original text as closely as possible.

8 thoughts on “General Notes

  1. Thank you for translating this novel. I’m a big fan of ojamajo doremi, so I was glad when I’ve found this site.
    I totally agree with your opinion on translating Aiko’s speech into standard English, because I personally don’t understand misspelled English, and I respect the Kansai dialect too.
    Thank you for your hard work.

  2. I have always loved ojamajo doremi since childhood > v < so I'm really happy that you translated this novel. "Ojamajo doremi 16" is 3 volumes long, have you thought about translating "ojamajo doremi 17" ?? O 3 O

  3. I think the only translation I see I don’t like is mahou tsukai as wizard. Only because Mahou tsukai is literally “magic user” and “wizard” is seen as a MALE user of magic. So it’s gendered. (Yes I know about Harry Potter and the WIZARDing world.. still don’t like it.)
    Mage would have also been good or magician. Though people think street magic/stage magic for magician.

    Good on the Kansai though. My friend in Osaka hates when people make it a “southern redneck” accent. MAYBE make it an American English “accent” seeing as how this is written in England’s English (The Queen’s English?) Like color for colour, or something, lift VS elevator, biscuits VS cookies? Is that a better comparison between Queen’s English and American English, Tokyoben VS Kansaiben? (I know it’s how words are pronounced like honto and honma, but that’s about all I could come up with to kind of make a point that she’s speaking differently? I mean unless you think American English is “not proper English”.)

    • In the series, wizards are only male. If it was female wizards called Mahou Tsukai then I would agree that something else is supposed to be but unless something changed since the anime series, wizards are only males in series.
      And what would you like as a translation for female or bi-gender Mahou Tsukais? Maho Girls?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: