not a beautiful or unique snowflake (nothings) wrote,
not a beautiful or unique snowflake

Mainly for my own reference to look back at later, here's info on how much dictionary checking I had to do to read the book jacket paragraph plot summary for this French-translation of a manga I bought from

Words I didn't know or couldn't get from context in bold. (I looked up some others, but just to be on the safe side since I'm so rusty. Some of these I could guess from context since I'd read a plot summary in English, but if I couldn't be sure exactly what the sentence meant from context, I still put them in bold.)

Depuis toujours, Noko supporte avec résignation les railleries que lui vaut son embonpoint. Jusqu'au jour où son petit ami (idiom) la trompe et où elle décide de suivre un régime. Mais en tentant de devenir une femme "comme les autres", Noko ne remarque pas qu'elle est en train de se détruire. La beauté fait-elle vraiment le bonheur? Avec cette histoire, Moyoco Anno nous propose une réflexion ironique sur une société de consommation qui dicte ses normes en ignorant le driot à la différence.

So slow.

To me, things like that last sentence are amusing because I can just read it, despite not actually knowing the words. If you don't know French at all, it may seem a little off-putting, but in fact every long word has a close english cognate, and every short word is a basic word (that I do know). (droit is particularly amusing when reading it out, because I know it means "right" in the sense of "right-handed"... but even though I didn't know it before I read this sentence, it also means "right" in the sense of "human rights".)

And since surely someone will ask if I don't offer a translation:

Every day, Noko endures with resignation the mocking brought about by[1] being overweight[2] — until the day her boyfriend is unfaithful, and she decides to go on a diet.[3] But in trying to become a woman "like the others", Noko does not realize she is destroying herself.[4] Will beauty truly make her happy? In this story, Moyoco Anno offers us an ironic reflection on a consumer society which dictates norms that disregard[5] the right to be different.

[1] I'm actually confused here by 'lui'+'valoir'. 'She earns'? If 'lui' is the subject of 'vaut' and 'railleries' is the object, shouldn't 'son embonpoint' have a preposition or something?

[2] My dictionary offers only the one-word definition 'stoutness'. I guess that's what I get for buying a 'concise' dictionary.

[3] I've merged the first two sentences here because otherwise the natural English translation was not a grammatical sentence. I don't know about the French.

[4] My dictionary has a very confusing entry for 'en train de' that I can't really decipher, seeing as it lacks an actual english definition. Apparently 'en train de foo' means 'to be fooing'?

[5] None of the 8 meanings of 'en' seem to fit 'ignorant' as present participle, which is what I think this is. So I'm not positive how this is supposed to be connected together. But hey, I'm writing an idiomatic translation anyway, so who cares.
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