In an attempt to push my own translation capabilities I want to try translating the same information into multiple accents.

  1. Exercise in AccentsNeutral American (more direct translation)
  2. Southern American
  3. British (upper class)
  4. British (lower class)

The challenge with this exercise is to not Google as much as possible. To give myself as little time as possible. And to have fun!

This is the first time I’ve done something like this so forgive me if something’s off. (Especially the Southern, I’m native British so apologies if that reads wrong.) If anything is off, please let me know so I can learn to do better next time.

The section I’m using is from a piece called “The Professor of Magic” by Edogawa Ranpo that I translated the start for a few months ago. The following is dialogue from the next part of the text that I’ve never translated before.

 

Source Japanese

「ノロちゃん、きみ、バッジもってるかい?」
井上君が、ノロちゃんの耳に口をつけるようにして、ささやきました。
「うん、ポケットにあるよ。少年探偵団の規則だもん。いつでも、バッジを三十個ずつ、ポケットへいれておけって。」
「そうだよ。ぼくも、三十個もってるよ。」

「あいつ、なんだか、あやしいやつだから、もしものときの用意に、このへんから、バッジを落としておくことにしよう。二十歩に一つずつだよ。いまから、二十歩あるいたら、ぼくが一つ落とす。そのつぎの二十歩めに、きみが一つ落とす。そういうふうにして、かわりばんこに、道へ落としていくことにしよう。」
井上君が、ささやきますと、ノロちゃんもうなずいて、
「うん、それがいい。二十歩に一つずつなら、ずいぶん長くつづくからね。」

– 魔法博士, 江戸川乱歩

 

Neutral American

“Little Noro, do you have your badges?”
Inoue whispered into Noro’s ear.
“Yeah, they’re in my pocket. It’s one of the rules of the boy’s detective club. To always have each of the thirty badges in your pocket.”
“Right. I’ve got thirty too.”

“He’s a little suspicious, so let’s start dropping the badges around here, just in case. Drop one every twenty paces. So I’ll start dropping one every twenty from here. Then you drop one for the next twenty. We’ll alternate it like that as drop them on the road.”
Inoue whispered and Noro nodded, “Yeah, that’s good. This will go for a long time if we drop one every twenty paces.”

 

Southern American

“Hey, Lil’ Noro, you got yer badges?”
Inoue hushed into Noro’s ear.
“Yeh, they’re in ma pocket. One of the rules of the club is t’always have thirty badges on ya.”
“Yer righ’. I got my thirty too.”

“This guy’s mighty shady, we should start droppin’ these badges here, just in case. One every twenty paces. I’ll start droppin’ ’em here, then you drop another after another twenty. We’ll alternate like that.”
Inoue whispered and Noro nodded, “Yeah, that’s a good idea yer got there. We can go on for miles tha’ way.”

 

English (upper class)

“I say, Little Noro, do you have your badges with you?”
Inoue whispered into Noro’s ear.
“Yes, I have them in my pocket. One of the rules of the young gentlemen’s detective society is to have thirty of them on your person at all times.”
“Thank goodness. I have my thirty too.”

“This gentleman is rather unsavory. If the worst were to happen then I dare say we should start leaving our trail of bread crumbs. We will drop one every twenty steps. I shall start by planting one every twenty steps from here. Then you plop one down every other twenty. We shall alternate as such.”
Inoue whispered and Noro nodded, “Indeed, excellent idea. We can keep this little charade going for quite a while this way.”

 

English (lower class)

“‘Er, Lil’ Noro. You got ’em badges on you?”
Inoue hoarsed into Noro’s ear.
“Yep, got ’em in ma pocket. One of the rules of the boy’s detective club is ter always ‘ave ’em on ya.”
“Righty-o. I got mine too.”

“This chap’s really fishy. Let’s star’ dropin’ ’em ‘ere. Ya know. Just in case. Every twen’y steps should do the trick. So I’ll star’ dropin’ em now, ‘n then you drop one every twen’y steps after. We’ll swap between us along tha’ way.”
Inoue whispered and Noro nodded. “Yeah, good thinkin’. That’ll give us a lot o’ distance.”

 

This was just a silly little exercise I set myself and did in about 40 minutes. I’d like to try it again with something longer. Maybe even have a variety of characters each with a distinct accent.

Needless to say this was a fun short little exercise that I hope to do more of in the future.

 

A Short Exercise in Accents