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いま誰かが窓の外をのぞいても、ビーズのように光る目のダーズリー夫人でさえ、何が起こっているのか、この暗闇ではまったく見えなかっただろう。
If someone were to peer out of the window now, even Mrs Dursley (whose eyes shone like beads) probably wouldn't be able to see what was happening at all in this darkness.

Clearly ビーズのように光る目 was beady-eyed in the original English. As a native English speaker when someone says beady-eyed I don't think of this literal meaning but something more like this.

Is ビーズのように光る目 a natural phrase in Japanese or is it just a poor, literal translation.

If it isn't natural is there a better translation?

  • 1
    The translator may have wanted to make some pun with the expression 目を光らせる which I don't think very successful. – broccoli facemask - cloth Nov 18 '19 at 7:55
  • 2
    The Harry Potter translation is kind of famously shaky. – Amadan Nov 18 '19 at 10:15
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「ビーズのように光る目」, to me, sounds like a mediocre direct translation because it is a fairly ambiguous expression. Frankly, not having seen beads up close in decades, I do not even know exactly what 「ビーズのように光る」 could mean.

I could not say it is such a natural phrase, either. I feel like the translator went for a "safe or harmless" phrase choice there.

Not that I am or ever was a translator of any kind, I might opt to use:

・「悪意{あくい}に満{み}ちた目」

・「猜疑心旺盛{さいぎしんおうせい}な目」

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