• Jason Khoh

How a Japanese translator celebrates the launch of the new Toyota Supra...

(This article was first published on LinkedIn on 24 October 2019)


Who else was ecstatic when Toyota unveiled the all-new fifth-generation Supra at the Detroit motor show earlier this year, 17 years since the previous generation went out of production in 2002?


If so, I have more good news for you: Toyota's domestic in-house performance team, TRD Japan, is about to resurrect a legend at next month's 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas with the TRD GR Supra 3000GT Concept.


I got goosebumps looking at the retro-tastic teaser video below and I loved the fact that they decided to put English translations for the Japanese words & phrases used throughout. In fact, I decided to do my own English translations as a way of paying homage to a giant in the sports car world.


Please feel free to comment on my version & share your own translations as we countdown the days until the grand reveal on November 5!

Video translation:


Japanese (0:21): 怪物 KAI-BUTSU // Official English translation (0:25): Monster

My version: Monster (Translator’s note: Hard to disagree with this)


Japanese (0:34): そのまま まさに 競技車両 // Official English translation (0:34): Real Racing Machine

My version: Pure Race Car DNA (Translator’s note: To be honest, I like the official one a little better)


Japanese (0:41): 脳裏に 焼き付く そのカタチ // Official English translation (0:41): Iconic

My version: Provocative Presence (Translator’s note: I absolutely love how Toyota distilled the original Japanese phrase into one word in English - happy to concede defeat here!)

Japanese (0:49): 潔いほどに、重厚長大 // Official English translation (0:49): Massive

My version: Monumental (Translator’s note: I think that monumental incorporates the「潔いほどに」nuance better than massive)


Japanese (0:55): 規格外 KI-KAKU-GAI // Official English translation (0:59): Incomparable

My version: Extraordinary // Exceptional // Unrivalled // Peerless (Translator's note: Just throwing in some other options...)


Japanese (1:19): 歴史 REKI-SHI // Official English translation (1:23): History

My version: History (Translator’s note: Again, hard to disagree with this but based on the context, I did also consider swapping out history and replacing it with heritage...)

Japanese (1:30): 八○ HACHI-MARU // Official English translation (1:33): Eighty

My version: 80 (Translator’s note: I think using Hindu-Arabic numerals is a more faithful translation as the original Japanese doesn’t rely on hiragana or katana. On top of this, I’m pretty sure Toyota is paying homage to the TRD 80 Supra [see 2:03], which also uses Hindu-Arabic numerals)


Japanese (1:43): 輝かしい数々の栄光 // Official English translation (1:43): Brilliant

My version: Stellar Track Record (Translator’s note: I like the fact that the word track record is also commonly used in motor sports. I also think too much information is left out in the original English translation)


Japanese (1:49): 金字塔 KIN-JI-TOU // Official English translation (1:52): Monument

My version: The Gold Standard // Masterpiece (Translator’s note: I already used monumental for「潔いほどに、重厚長大」so using monument was never going to be an option here. I like the gold standard because the kanji for gold is the first character in kin-ji-tou. I also chose masterpiece as I’m sure Supra Chief Engineer, Mr Tetsuya Tada, believes this car is one of his.)

Japanese (2:13): 空力 KU-RIKI // Official English translation (2:18): Aerodynamics

My version: Aerodynamics (Translator’s note: Hard to disagree with this)


Japanese (2:29): 全てを際立たせる // Official English translation (2:29): Total Balance

My version: Outstanding All-Rounder // Going The Extra Mile (Translator’s note: The first one was chosen because as an Aussie this is how we describe someone who is good at all facets of their chosen sport [especially for cricket]. The second one because there's no doubt in my mind that the engineers at Toyota drove thousands upon thousands of miles to ensure that the current iteration lives up to its legendary reputation)


Japanese (2:40): 新世代 SHIN-SE-DAI // Official English translation (2:42): Nen Generation

My version: New Generation (Translator’s note: Spelling mistakes - they happen to the best of us!)

Japanese (3:11): 継承 KEI-SYOU // Official English translation (3:14): Succession

My version: Heir To The Throne (KEI-SHOU) (Translator’s note: I think that succession fails to conjure up any strong emotions, which is pretty important for any good promotional video. For the romaji in the Japanese version, I’m not a big fan of using sy to denote the sh sound)


Japanese (3:30): 発展 HAT-TEN // Official English translation (3:34): Progress

My version: Advanced (Translator’s note: Progress can also suggest that something is still a work in progress. However, in the Supra’s case, progress has continued over many years, which is why I chose the word advanced)


Japanese (4:21): 進化 SHIN-KA // Official English translation (4:25): Evolution

My version: Evolution (Translator’s note: Once again, hard to disagree with this one although the word does remind me of another legendary Japanese sportscar…)

Japanese (4:41): 全てが一つになる // Official English translation (4:41): Convergence

My version: All Roads Lead To One (Translator’s note: This is the last translation so it's important to end things on a high note. I used this phrase to maintain a strong motor racing theme throughout)


Video (5:02): Nov 5 , 2019 // My version: 5 Nov 2019

(Translator’s note: There shouldn’t be a space before the comma & we can make it look much cleaner by simply putting the day before the month)


Thanks for checking out my article & let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

---UPDATE---


A big thank you to everyone who liked and/or commented on this article. The new Toyota GR Supra 3000GT Concept was unveiled at SEMA and I think it looks great!

#toyota #supra #ohwhatafeeling #trdracing #Japanese #translator #translation #transcreation #mochiwamochiya #wordsmatter #wrdsmttr #トヨタ #英訳 #翻訳 #日本語

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