July 26th, 2015

hasui_bentenike

(no subject)

Pulled another old book from the basement boxes, translation of a classic Edo work, Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige (東海道中膝栗毛), called in English Shanks' Mare. From which title my dear readers may deduce that the translation was done by an Englishman of my great-grandmother's generation (born 1867) whose language may therefore prove elusive to a later generation. Or maybe not. But leafing through it I'm struck anew by what's been lost when stripped-down Americanized English became the standard international lingua franca. For there, behold, is the perfect translation of oyaji: gaffer.