As promised, I shall in this post be going through four translations and how they more specifically handle the main characters and also key words of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol from 1843, whose role was instrumental not just in a literary regard, but also culturally in taking the various individual traditions, dishes, games and customs of Christmas and create a cohesive picture of what we would come to perceive as the quintessential British Christmas, replete with Christmas tree, presents, the food and so on.
The English version that I shall be using is the Gutenberg digital edition, freely available on their website, and the Japanese versions from the National Diet Library Digital Collections of Japan, as well as the one digitised for the website Aozora.
The Japanese translations are respectively by:
NB: Please note, that their names are in traditional Japanese order, i.e. surname first and then the forename the last.
Kusano Shibaji (草野柴二, 1875 - 1936) from 1902.
Born in the Okayama Prefecture. Real name was Wakasugi Saburou (若杉 三郎).
Other works translated are Wolfgang Goethe's Herman und Dorothea.
Yaguchi Tatsu (矢口達, 1889 - 1936) from 1915.
Native of the Ibaraki Prefecture. Translated works ranging from Russian to Norwegian.
Nakajima Kotou (中島孤島, 1878 - 1946) from 1920.
Nagano Prefecture native, whose works range from King Arthur stories to Grimm's Fairy Tales. His real forename was 茂一 (either "Shigeichi" or "Shigekazu")**
Hataya Masao (幡谷正雄, 1897 - 1933) from 1925.*
Born in the Shimane Prefecture. His translated works also include Alfred Tennyson.
Morita Souhei (森田草平, 1881 - 1949) from 1929.
Born in the Gifu Prefecture. His real name was 万戸 満平 (Mando Manpei).**
He was prolific of various languages.
* I am uncertain if he is precisely the author of the version, but this site confirms at least that there was a version from 1925.
** The pronunciation of the name is hard to tell due to the countless ways that name can be read.
Thus, I will take a closer look at:
Ebenezer Scrooge (and his trademark phrase "Bah, humbug!", the "gravy than grave" pun.)
The three ghosts of Christmas (Past, Present and Future)
Pivotal scenes - Scrooge's encounter with his nephew (sisterson Fred), the description of the Christmas food seen during the Ghost of Christmas Present transforming Scrooge's mansion.
Principal puns - namely "Deader than a door-nail."
Key aspects of the character analysis are mainly pronominal aspects, unique expressions and grammatical quirks, as well as linguistic traits that serve to communicate the nuances of Dickens' characterisation of the dramatis personae. That is, a similar approach to my other analyses, when I for example analysed Gollum's adaptation in various Japanese translation of Tolkien's works as well as spin-off media.
This master-post will be updated running as new posts are added to the bulk of the analyses, over the coming Christmas days.