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I am translating 進撃の巨人. Below is a sentence from the transcript of the second episode.

Here the link for reference: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XT7gHjFO8jft8DAQCVpPfmU3DreCsraJVYC-NPtmv5g/edit

Japanese from transcript: 汝わが血筋を汝の許にひきて、これに己が肉をさへ顧みざらしめしほどなればこのうえ、何をすべきや!

English from Transcript: What canst thou more, who has subdued our blood so wholly to thyself, they feel no care of their own flesh?

I think the english translation is not a very direct translation. It helps you get the gist but it doesn't give you the satisfaction to really understand what is said.

Therefore can somebody provide a translation that considers the following points:

  • What is the meaning of
    • ひきて (Is this a verb?)
    • さへ顧みざらしめしほど

The best that I can come up with is: You (ひきて = ???) with our lineage (with/in/by?) your (許), if this (さへ顧みざらしめしほど) (with?) my own flesh, (このうえ = Now that things have come to this?) what should I/we do?

1 Answer 1

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As you said, his preach does not seem to have been translated very literally (but that does not mean it's a bad translation, of course). To understand this sentence, you need to be familiar with some of the classical Japanese grammar.

Vocab:

  • : "(someone's) side"
  • ひきて: The "classical te-form" of 引く, which means "to draw" or "to inherit" (see the twelfth definition of the link).
  • さへ: Historical kana version of さえ ("even").
  • 顧みざらしめし: "made (someone/something) not reflect on (it)", "prevented from paying attention to"
    • 顧み: 顧みる in irrealis form
    • ざら: Negative auxiliary ( in irrealis form)
    • しめ: Causative auxiliary (しむ in continuative form). The agent (causee) marked by に is これ, which refers to the 血筋.
    • : Past auxiliary ( in attributive form)
  • ほど(だ): (∼ くらい(だ)) "to the point where", "it's even that"
  • この上: "further"

So the literal translation is as follows. I'm not good at "thou art" type English grammar, so allow me to use modern grammar.

汝わが血筋を汝の許にひきて、...
→ (現代文) あなたは私の血筋をあなたのもとに引いて、...

You drew/inherited my bloodline to your side, (and) ...

これに己が肉をさへ顧みざらしめしほどなれば、...
→ それに自分の肉をさえ顧みないようにさせたほどであるから、...

it's even that you made it not reflect even on your own flesh, so ...
(= Yet you even disallowed my bloodline to worry about your own flesh! Then...)

このうえ、何をすべきや!
→ このうえ、何をするべきなのか!

What should I/we do further? (= Nothing can be done!)

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  • To what extent do native Japanese speakers commonly fully understand the meaning of an expression like 顧みざらしめし?
    – jogloran
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 4:15
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    @jogloran It depends on how much they liked 古文 classes in high school. I would imagine less than 10% of adults can clearly recognize all of ず/ざり, しむ and き the moment they see them, but most can vaguely guess the rough meaning of the text.
    – naruto
    Commented May 20, 2023 at 4:20

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