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In Kanojo Okarishimasu (aka Rent-a-Girlfriend) S3E03, a hyperactive zoomer girl (who's also a youtuber) named Yaemori hears MC's situation, and starts crying. Afterwords, she says "泣いた記念に写真撮るっス", and takes a selfie of her teary face. As the anime often does, it also puts an extra note (in text) next to her (usually used to represent added thoughts/feelings expressed by the characters). This time, the added text says "涙活っス", but the official English translation given for this is "Monetizing the tears".

Screenshot of the moment.

My question is, is this "monetizing tears" translation at all correct? Is it a secondary meaning I'm not aware of? To my knowledge, 涙活 just refers to having a good cry (and feeling better afterwards).

For what it's worth, I can confirm that the official English subtitles for this anime are sometimes blatantly incorrect at worst, or extremely overzealous some other times. Is this just an example of the subtitles being a bit overzealous?

Edit: here's the actual clip, if it helps. IMO, even with the context, it seems like the localizers adding in stuff that's not actually there or explicitly implied (i.e. being overzealous).

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To my knowledge, 涙活 just refers to having a good cry (and feeling better afterwards).

According to Wikipedia, this seems to be a word coined by a certain person around 2010, but it has never been a popular concept in Japanese. FWIW, I didn't know 涙活 at all, and thought this was a one-off parody of 就活, 婚活, etc. I could easily guess it's "some activity" related to tears, but nothing more.

In situations like this, the original "correct" meaning of a word that even Japanese people may not recognize is not important. What matters more is preserving the comedic effect of the parody term 涙活.

If the fact that it's a joke is to be prioritized when translating, "monetizing the tears" could be a perfectly reasonable and professional translation, as long as it fits the context. (Of course it would have been best to come up with a similar parody in English, but it may be difficult...)

EDIT: I watched the actual anime clip. The likelihood that such a character takes their own photos purely for stress relief is quite low, so it doesn't fit the "official correct definition" of 涙活, anyway. I think the translation of "monetizing" is a perfectly appropriate one that captures the implication of the subtitle. I wonder if there is a better way to convey the humor of this subtitle in one second.

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  • I also though it was a play on "就活", "婚活" or "ポイ活" when I first read the question as well! I couldn't find any other examples of that when I did a search, though. I wonder if the author of the manga might also not know about "涙活" and just coincidentally made it up for the story...
    – Philippe
    Sep 10, 2023 at 3:15
  • @Philippe I also think this could be a coincidence, but I'm not sure.
    – naruto
    Sep 10, 2023 at 4:21
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Difficult to tell without the full context.

I can't find any examples of "涙活" being used for anything other than "crying intentionally as a way to relieve stress".

However, I could see interpreting in a manner similar to "ポイ活" (paying electronically to accumulate points that can later be used for other purchases) if the girl is using pictures of her face in tears as a way to boost her YouTube presence, gain more followers, and get more money from her channel.

It wouldn't be standard usage, but at the same time, your brief description doesn't really suggest that she wants/needs to relieve stress through a good cry...

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  • But it could very well be that relieving stress through a good cry is precisely the image she wants her followers to believe. So she’s uploading a post with a caption like, “Having a really good cry is such a good way to relieve stress”, but by doing so, she is monetising her tears. Sep 11, 2023 at 10:56
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Could be. I didn't get the impression from the original poster's description that there was a caption involved, but I'm not familiar with the manga, and there isn't enough context in the question to do anything other than speculate. If you're right, it makes for an extra amusing play on words.
    – Philippe
    Sep 12, 2023 at 13:34

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