Sometimes it’s not easy to talk about our emotions, let alone admit them. Being able to capture emotions in words and make readers relate to them is a talent that many Japanese novelists seem to have mastered. Here are 3 intriguing Japanese novels that demonstrate the critical role played by literary translation services.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Literary Translation
The novel Before The Coffee Gets Cold, written by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, tells the story of a café called Funiculi Funicula located at the heart of Tokyo that allows its customers to travel in time, provided they follow certain rules. Under these rules, visitors to the café must drink up their tea before it gets cold, people who haven’t been to the café can’t be visited, and if something different happens in the past, the present won’t change. The desire of wanting to go back and see a loved one for one last time, the urge to make up for past mistakes, and the longing to bid farewell in a proper manner often overrule even the desperate need of wanting to change the present. Kawaguchi gives us an insight into all the different emotions these situations can make us feel. Fortunately, through Japanese translation services, this novel becomes a great reminder for us to appreciate the people around us more and not to take them for granted.
The Memory Police And Literary Translation
Written by Yoko Ogawa, The Memory Police is about an unnamed island where everyday objects, such as roses, hats, birds, ribbons, and more disappear. The inhabitants of the island are no strangers to the constant disappearances and to their memories of these objects fading because the memory police make sure what’s disappeared remains forgotten. However, there are only a few who can recall what’s disappeared. After a writer notices her editor still has memories of objects that have already disappeared, she commits to hiding him from the memory police and helping him escape his fate. This novel perfectly captures the balance between the ability to forget and remembrance. With the help of Japanese translation and localization services, readers will discover that this novel emphasizes the blessing of forgetting certain memories as well as the curse that remembering everything can bring to people.
Klara and The Sun
Klara and The Sun, written by none other than the Nobel Prize Winner in Literature Kazuo Ishiguro, is a dystopian science fiction novel narrated by Klara, a robot created by humans to provide company to children. The story follows her experiencing life with humans as an “AI friend” to a sick girl, who had her genetics altered to achieve better academic performance. Klara describes her perceptions of human behavior, revealing that she often appreciates the world more than even the human characters in the story. Fortunately, localization services can help us better understand the ending to the narrative, making it clear that always striving for something better can cause us to be displeased with everything. Clearly, language services ranging from literary translation to interpreting services play a key role in conveying human emotions into different languages, regardless of the medium of communication.
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