A street cat named Bob and…

Have you watched a film titled A street cat named Bob? It is shown in cinema in New Zealand right now. I do not think it has reached Japan yet (I am sure many many cat lovers in Japan are itching to watch this film!: here is the theatrical trailer).

Although the film has not become available, a book, which the film was made based on, has been translated and published in Japan. An interesting thing I noticed is that the book title of the Japanese version  is 'bobu to iu na no sutoreeto catto'. This is how it works:

bobu to iu na no  sutoreeto catto
'Bob'    'named'     'street cat'

As you can see, the part 'street cat' is not actually translated to Japanese. It is not because we do not have a Japanese word equivalent to 'street cat'. I cannot explain why exactly, but I guess that the Japanese word has a sort of negative connotation and the translater would perhaps want to avoid such connotation.

This type of 'translation' often happens in Japan. I found another example a bit like this the other day: one of my students asked me how we would translate 'flavour (of ice cream)' to Japanese. I thought of it for a few seconds and came up with only 'fureebaa'. Yes, this is not exactly translation, But we would say 'fureebaa' in Japanese for various choices of ice cream.

What an interesting world translation is!

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