speech bubble 1 speech bubble 2

Would the following be a good translation of the text in the above two speech bubbles?

"Everything in this universe is composed of atoms. Destroying something is equivalent to destroying the atoms that compose it"

Also, I'm especially interested in knowing if the Japanese text is implying that atoms are completely destroyed/annihilated or if the atoms are separated or pulverized (but not literally/completely destroyed). I'm having troubles on my own... =/

Here is a transcription of the two speech bubbles, in case you can't see the images:


「いい 破壊する
 根本は 原子を

  • 1
    Was it on purpose that you left the 「いい」 part untranslated? That would ironically be the most difficult part despite its look if one weren't fluent, though. May 20 '14 at 0:26
  • Maybe... Ok, yes. And yeah, I'm not fluent unfortunately
    – Mackk
    May 20 '14 at 0:33
  • You should really include something about the specific problem in the title. Stack Exchange questions should help others besides the person first asking. Having generic titles does not help this happen. May 22 '14 at 2:13

The translation of the first sentence sounds fine.

For the second one, "destroy" may be too general for 「くだく」 and "be equivalent to" sounds a little bit different to 「…の根本{こんぽん}は」. My suggestion is something like "The essence of destroying something is shattering the atoms that compose it." (I'm not a native English speaker, the wording may be awkward...)

Since it's literally saying "shattering the atoms", i.e.「原子{げんし}をくだく」, not "shattering something into atoms", 「原子{げんし}くだく」as in 「粉々{こなごな}くだく」 and 「微塵{みじん}くだく」 may be more appropriate for the "atoms are separated" reading.

As to the 「いい」 that 非回答者 has pointed out, I guess it's something like "understand?" or "all right?" used when a teacher is explaining something to his/her student(s) or in other similar circumstances.

  • Depending on the greater context (beyond just these two speech bubbles), "break down" or "disintegrate" might also be viable translations for くだく. May 20 '14 at 16:50
  • 3
    @Noir Precisely. This 「いい」 is pronounced quite differently from the "regular" adjective 「いい」 as in 「非回答者さんはいい人です。」. It is pronounced 「い + い」 in two syllables with a rising intonation towards the end. The "regular" 「いい」 meaning "good" is pronounced like 「いー」 in one syllable. May 21 '14 at 0:04
  • @非回答者 Thanks for adding that important point! My perception is that, in this case, more precisely speaking, the first syllable is with a falling intonation while the second is with a rising one.
    – null
    May 21 '14 at 0:36
  • @EiríkrÚtlendi Thanks for the input. Here's a link to the page- easycaptures.com/fs/uploaded/741/2229038078.jpg .Plus here's the previous page- easycaptures.com/fs/uploaded/741/2486490699.jpg .Context here is main character basically trying to break a rock, and if I understood correctly they do this by concentrating on a point and attacking the atoms that compose everything (in this case the atoms of the rock). There's another mention later- easycaptures.com/fs/uploaded/741/5346339000.jpg .And looks to me like it talks about the power of Saints to break atoms
    – Mackk
    May 21 '14 at 7:22
  • @非回答者 Thanks for elaborating on the 「いい」 part ...Interesting how intonation can make such a difference. Reminds me of Spanish with its accent marks etc.
    – Mackk
    May 21 '14 at 7:25

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