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Thread: is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**

  1. #1
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    Default is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**

    I am not a native speaker of English, so if my writing sounds rambling or sloppy, please forgive me.

    When I read Apt Pupil in the original last summer, I thought Todd is shot to death by the police in the end. Then I went to the school library (I’m a senior high teacher of English), and found a copy of Japanese translation published from Shinchosha company. I wanted to compare my impressions of the original and of the translation—which I occasionally do when I’ve read a very good piece.

    However, I was a bit shocked to find that, in the Japanese translation, Todd is not shot and killed, but ‘arrested’ by the local police in the end. I checked several dictionaries, and learned that, in American English, “to take him down” can either mean “to kill him” or “to arrest him.” This Japanese translation has been around in Japan, I’ve found, for a quarter of a century. The late translator, Hisashi Asakura, has been regarded as one of the best translators in Japan, and occasionally been referred to as grand old man of translation world—which I do think he deserves.

    However, I still cannot appreciate Mr. Asakura’s ending where Todd is arrested in the end. If Todd is not shot and killed in the end, this novella seems rather imperfect to me. But I am not a native English speaker, and I cannot be certain about my interpretation. The plot summery in Wikipedia says Todd is killed in the end, but I’m wondering if ‘arrested’ ending might be just another possible interpretation.

    If this is an error in the Japanese translation, I think this is a critical error that will surely damage the perfection of this novella; it needs to be corrected promptly. Otherwise, the beast with a rifle who was once Todd will still be hanging around in Japan for some more time. I notified the publishing company in Japan about the possibility of a serious error in the translation last summer, but nothing has been heard of since—which is not at all unusual. If Todd remains alive in a world where he shouldn’t be, I feel something must be done for the honor of the author. What do you think?

    [Japanese translation data] ISBN: 978-4102193129

  2. #2
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    Default Re: is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**

    ...your English is outstanding...and "take down" I feel, meant terminate or kill...

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    Default Re: is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**

    I agre with GNT. It never occured to me that it might be otherwise. Sometimes to 'take down' can mean to a jail cell. Your English is excellent and you have nothing to apologise for.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**

    Quote Originally Posted by mon_chit_chi View Post
    I am not a native speaker of English, so if my writing sounds rambling or sloppy, please forgive me.

    When I read Apt Pupil in the original last summer, I thought Todd is shot to death by the police in the end. Then I went to the school library (I’m a senior high teacher of English), and found a copy of Japanese translation published from Shinchosha company. I wanted to compare my impressions of the original and of the translation—which I occasionally do when I’ve read a very good piece.

    However, I was a bit shocked to find that, in the Japanese translation, Todd is not shot and killed, but ‘arrested’ by the local police in the end. I checked several dictionaries, and learned that, in American English, “to take him down” can either mean “to kill him” or “to arrest him.” This Japanese translation has been around in Japan, I’ve found, for a quarter of a century. The late translator, Hisashi Asakura, has been regarded as one of the best translators in Japan, and occasionally been referred to as grand old man of translation world—which I do think he deserves.

    However, I still cannot appreciate Mr. Asakura’s ending where Todd is arrested in the end. If Todd is not shot and killed in the end, this novella seems rather imperfect to me. But I am not a native English speaker, and I cannot be certain about my interpretation. The plot summery in Wikipedia says Todd is killed in the end, but I’m wondering if ‘arrested’ ending might be just another possible interpretation.

    If this is an error in the Japanese translation, I think this is a critical error that will surely damage the perfection of this novella; it needs to be corrected promptly. Otherwise, the beast with a rifle who was once Todd will still be hanging around in Japan for some more time. I notified the publishing company in Japan about the possibility of a serious error in the translation last summer, but nothing has been heard of since—which is not at all unusual. If Todd remains alive in a world where he shouldn’t be, I feel something must be done for the honor of the author. What do you think?

    [Japanese translation data] ISBN: 978-4102193129
    I suspect that the translation reflects a literal lack of vocabulary in Japanese, i.e. English is a language with more words in it than Japanese. In turn, that lack of words in Japanese won't accurately translate colloquialisms that occur frequently in both American and British English.

    I doubt the book ending was changed to appeal to Japanese culture, unlike the movie Fatal Attraction, which had an ending filmed specifically for Japanese audiences. In the American ending, Beth (Anne Archer) shoots and kills Alex (Glenn Close). In the version shown in Japanese cinemas, Alex does the "honorable" thing by killing herself, thus atoning for the destruction she's wreaked on the Gallagher family with her obsession with Dan (Michael Douglas).

    We'd all have known if there'd been an alternative ending written for "Apt Pupil", as there are enough obsessive SK fans out there who'd have brought it to everyone's attention.

    Your students will learn English well with you as their teacher.

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    Default Re: is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**

    Quote Originally Posted by GNTLGNT View Post
    ...your English is outstanding...and "take down" I feel, meant terminate or kill...
    I don't need to tell you what I said when a woman police officer said eveything I said would be taken down and used in evidence

  6. #6
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    Default Re: is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**

    Quote Originally Posted by champ1966 View Post
    I don't need to tell you what I said when a woman police officer said eveything I said would be taken down and used in evidence

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    Default Re: is there any possibility that todd is arrested in the end? **SPOILERS**

    Thank you for the post.
    It is true that the plot (including the ending) of the original is sometimes slightly (or considerably) changed when adapted into a film, musical, or some different form of art—just like the plot of Les Miserables in the original form by Hugo was rather changed when it was put into a musical in Broadway some decades ago. It’s also true that English language is very different from Japanese, and it is often next to impossible to convey some subtlety in a language into another language. Again, it’s also true some kind of changes might be contrived when in a foreign country, but it’s also a case of ‘adaptation.’
    However, what I put on the plate here is solely a matter of ‘translation,’ and not a matter of adaptation. I guess it’s a matter of ‘right or wrong,’ or ‘not right but acceptable’, which can happen in translation.
    If native speakers of English say there’s no possibility for Todd to survive, I think I’ll have to speak louder in Japan for the honor of Mr. King.

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