Important Murakami News!


It's true! I really much prefer the Glagolitic Mass when I'm in a taxi caught in traffic.
Yeah, right.
I'll pay someone else to do my translating for me, thank you.
And I'll miss some nuances. OK.
Kotoshi juu niha kono hon yomitai desu.
O kagesama de, genki desi arnaz.
Why am I taking this goddamn trollbait? Oh, fuck it...

Reading Japanese is quite difficult. I lived in Japan for two and a half years, and while I learned to speak the language well enough to get around on a day-to-day basis, I was never able to get past a grade school reading level. There are 1,945 "official" Kanji, all with differing connotations and pronunciations, and numerous other more obscure characters that do show up in literary works like Murakami. Busting my ass every day for over two years while living in the country brought me up to the level where I could read Dragon Ball and One Piece and mostly know what was going on. Reading a surrealist like Murakami would take lots, lots more effort. Years more. It's a really effing difficult written language.

That said, Jay Rubin is a badass. I've read Murakami translated by others, and it is not as good. Rubin's great because he's not just good with Japanese, he's good with language in general. He knows how to wrangle an idiom from one language to another and have it keep most of it's meaning and poetry. He did some translations of Akutagawa (the Rashoman guy) and they are similarly nifty. I will gladly pay a dude of his talent to do my translation for me.