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Old Jan 28, 2014, 10:59 AM
Meudeujeu's Avatar
Meudeujeu Meudeujeu is offline
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Posts: 46
Default Translating Japanese with "unconventional" reading

As you probably may know, Japanese like to play with sounds and kanji/kana readings, especially when it comes to music albums and track titles.
Usually it involves replacing in a well-known two- or three-character word one of the characters by another one with the exact same reading but another meaning. A good example would be albums by dBu music, where the Japanese part in the last track is always sounding similar to the Japanese part in the album title, but written with different characters.

However, there is also much less frequent, but still existing cases, where they go as far as providing a reading for a set of characters that isn't standard at all, so that a word merges both the meaning of the kanji and the meaning for the reading itself.
I'm talking about stuff such as in the Japanese subtitle on this album (not in the database, I'm linking only this for reference, but I know there a few albums with similar cases in the database already). Here, the reading provided for 悪夢 is ゆめ (yume), which means "dream", while it should be read as akumu, which means "nightmare".

So my question is:
Is there any guidelines when it comes to make romanized and English tracklists which such cases, or is it left to the appreciation of the translator?
In other words, if I was to take the above example, would you prefer the romaji tracklist to have akumu and the English one "nightmare", or would you go for yume and "dream", or either way floats your boat? Or perhaps a hybrid solution that would include both (but I think that might get a tad confusing for the reader)?
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 02:28 PM
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Dag Dag is offline
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The fun of double meanings...!

For romanized probably use the reading. English, left to the translator I'd say.

Personally, if it's a longer sentence I try to squeeze both meanings, or just go with whatever sounds more fitting giving the context, typically the reading (maybe using certain words to try to keep the duality).
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 01:03 AM
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Phonograph Phonograph is offline
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in your example, you can bypass the reading with "bad dream" (it still has the "yume" meaning but with the akumu meaning)

(if it's the intent of the author is to read akumu as yume, so romaji must be yume)
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Old Feb 2, 2014, 10:09 AM
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Meudeujeu Meudeujeu is offline
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Alright, figured so.

Thanks for the input.
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