[English translation] Dies irae — Ren vs. Reinhard — Res novae: Also sprach Zarathustra

rvsr11No video this time, because, well, if you follow me on Twitter you know why. I’m pretty much done with Youtube.

Anyway, this is the scene leading up to the final battle in the last chapter of Marie’s route, with incantations by both Ren and Reinhard. And you know, these incantations are not easy to translate… T_T But it’s been a while (three months?) since I worked on anything Dies-related so I figured why not, moar translation practice. I haven’t finished reading the route yet, in fact the place where this translation ends is exactly where I am in the game right now.

Note: When a word is separated with *, it means that both apply, but one was written above the other as furigana in the original Japanese script.

Note 2: I used William Josiah Irons‘ translation of Dies Irae for Reinhard’s chant.

Also, for the curious, the music playing during this scene is “Einsatz”, pretty sure you can find it on Youtube.

***

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“Ah, how splendid of a sight to behold.”

Spectating the final act of his two prized players, the transcendent Mercury let a smile creep onto his features.

“‘Tis wonderful indeed.”

And gazing down below from atop his circle of magia –stretching across the canvas of the far heavens–, the golden harbinger’s lips rippled with joy.

“Well then. Shall we finally raise the curtains on our finale?”

The souls of the crimson Rubedo and the maddened Albedo, defeated in the very same moment, joined with the steel Nigredo to return unto Reinhard’s breast…

…coiling back into his ever-swelling legion of followers, peerless in prowess across all the cosmos.

“And so, the hour has come for me to take my leave.”

“Aye. I shall ride to meet you soon enough.”

On the vast seas of our newborn world.

Seeing his sworn friend off with a meager glance, Reinhard then –once again– shifted his golden eyes back to the sight stretching below him.

The boy’s own Hegemony possesses the power to stop time itself. And so, even should the old order of this universe crumble to dust, the touch of the unknown would elude my senses still, frozen in time.

Let us wash it clean, then… and paint it anew in the hue of my own, to see which of the two principles, in the end, would usher this world onward into its new era.

Ah, how my heart races within my chest.

Truly, ’tis how it should be.

You’re not trying your best, he once told me. His words resembled those of a young boy blinded by delusions of omnipotence, but I, who those envisions actually rang true for, always felt like an outsider in this world.*

*thanks, 水銀の蛇. (see comments section for details.)

Nothing I beheld would ever move me. My heart was a stranger to true liberty, the thrill of victory; never have I felt satisfaction as men do when a great obstacle crumbles beneath their feet.

Aye. Be it so, then. I shall become an avatar of that principle, showing the world the true essence of the monarch of destruction.

And so I ravage, I absorb, and paint the cosmos anew in my color. The world fit for me to live in shall be born in its wake, bursting forth in a torrent, washing away the ancient order that once was.

And thus, this very moment, this very second as our two principles — Hegemony versus Hegemony — clash, is the hour in which I must manifest the utter heights of my power.

You have earned my respect, young one, as one who had reached the end of this long road, becoming so powerful.

And so I can utter words I have longed to say for eons. That I have finally found my match — an opponent worthy to clash with.

“Let us journey above, then — to the blessed heights of creation.”

Between the summoning circle and the foot of the tower stretched a staircase composed solely of bodies of the fallen, thousands of corpses creating a path leading down below…

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…towards my soon-to-be opponent, his eyes flashing as he gazed up at me.

“Come.”

Let us do battle, then — and make it grander than any struggle fought before; a final, most exquisite clash to end it all.

“Frohe Weihnachten.”

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I have longed and longed for this moment to come, enduring the agony of this never-ending Ghetto*Hell.

(The narration now switches from Reinhard back to Ren.)

This will be our final battle. No doubt about it. The only one remaining now is Reinhard himself, as well as his swarm of undying soldiers — numbering in the millions –, obeying his every call.

“And *this* is your Valhalla…?”

…your Gladsheimr?

If eternal struggle is your utmost desire, then kindly go to Hell and stay there.

“I’ll create that myself…!”

A moment later, I found myself dashing up the grim steps at inhuman speed.

(Back to Reinhard.)

That’s right — come to me. I am right here, waiting for you. Waiting and waiting and waiting till the end of times…

Come, with all your soul, all your might. There is nary a need to hold back.

The promised Heilige Arche shall manifest — my entire Legion forced to march into battle by your hand.

Dies irae, Dies illa, solvet saeclum in favilla. Teste David cum Sibylla.

“Day of wrath and doom impending, David’s word with Sibyl’s blending, Heaven and earth in ashes ending.”

I look forward to a heroic struggle on your part, Zonnenkind.

You are all too late, I am afraid. My gold shall impregnate the canvas of this universe.

(Back to Ren, and it will be alternating between him and Reinhard now as both do their incantations.)

Not yet. This is just the beginning.

Marie’s a brilliant jewel, it is her very fragment that will expand ever further.

Her world will never be tinged by your hue. For I know this…

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Es schaumt das Meer in breiten Flussen, Am tiefen Grund der Felsen auf.

“Vast is the sea, its waves reaching horizons far and wide; eternal is the radiance of its azure womb.”

Quantus tremor est futurus, Quando iudex est venturus, Cuncta stricte discussurus.

“Oh, what fear man’s bosom rendeth, when from heaven the Judge descendeth, on whose sentence all dependeth.”

Till we chance up something we have yet to ravage — the very cosmos, all Creation, from the triflest speck of dust to the summit of snow-laden mountains.

Und Fels und Meer wird fortgerissen In ewig schnellem Spharenlauf.

“And so let us ride this moment and dash forth, swift as light, quick as a star eternal.”

And so I soar, swifter than all that live under the stars, till the ends of this earth… for I can feel in my heart the presence of friends I have made this journey with. Together.

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Rea: Ren… please, do your best…

You too, Rea.

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Kei: Win this… you have to, Ren. No matter what.

You can count on me, Sakurai.

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Kasumi: I’ll be here, waiting for you… so you better make it back in one piece!

I *will* make it back. And I know you’ll be there, waiting for me.

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Erii: Oh my, Ren just can’t quite catch a break, can he?

So please… lend me a hand, will you?

Shirou: Just let the man do his thing. Not like I really care.

Unmotivated as usual, I see. That part of him will never change.

Our thoughts, our hearts… are in complete harmony.

Doch deine Boten, Herr, verehren Das sanfte Wandeln deines Tags.

“Hear my plea, and grant this one wish: the world longs for an era of peace; days that know not strife.”

Aye, and so the crimson flames of war shall rise to grant me the peace I’ve longed for… eradicating all, till nothing is left.

Tuba mirum spargens sonum, Per sepulchra regionum, Coget omnes ante thronum.

“Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth; Through earth’s sepulchres it ringeth; All before the throne it bringeth.”

Rise, my brethren*; rise, my soldiers* — well forth and fill the realm till its veins burst open.

*Weltall

Lacrimosa dies illa, qua resurget ex favilla, Iudicandus homo reus. Huic ergo parce, Deus.

“From the dust of earth returning, Man for judgement must prepare him; Spare, O God, in mercy spare him.”

Marie: Ren… I’m so happy to have met you.

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And had I not met you, Marie… I would have remained a child, blissfully ignorant…

…to never once feel as strongly about someone as I do now. And so I sing:

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. Zum Augenblicke durft ich sagen:

“In a world where only peace is lord, and men join hands in liberty… Allow me to sing but this, O maiden:”

Marie: I love you, Ren. I want to be with you forever.

I love her. I truly do, from the bottom of my heart.

Verweile doch du bist so schon――

“Let the flow of Time halt in its tracks! For the world is but a shade beneath your beauty!

We, all as one, will join hands to defeat Reinhard.

Das Ewig-Weibliche Zieht uns hinan!

“I wish upon your unending star — guide me to heights unknown, O Maiden!”

Pie Iesu Domine, dona eis requiem. Amen.

“Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest, Grant them thine eternal rest. Amen.”

Mercurius: Dear ladies and gentlemen, if you would be so kind as to behold my finest opera, now in the making.

Ren & Reinhard: Atziluth――!!

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Mercurius: Its script is the height of cliche, I am forced to admit — and yet…

Reinhard: Du-sollst――

Mercurius: Its actors are of the finest fold; beyond exquisite.

Ren: Res novae…!

Mercurius: As such, I do believe it will be a dance for the ages.

Reinhard: Dies irae.

Ren: Also sprach Zarathustra!

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20 thoughts on “[English translation] Dies irae — Ren vs. Reinhard — Res novae: Also sprach Zarathustra

  1. I think it might be simpler if you use ‘Hegemony’ for the 覇道 term instead of going for the german.

    Also, I’m not sure how to take your embellishment of Ren’s Atziluth incantation. Although the japanese is pretty much an original take on the mixed Goethe’s Faust lines it draws from, I think it remains ambiguous enough to stay as an interpretation of those lines indivitually and the sort of meaning it holds together as Ren’s Atziluth. Your additions lean so much to the latter it seems disconnected from Faust ? My knowledge on the subject of Faust is pretty thin though, so my thoughts on this might not be worth all that much.

    • That’s the thing, it would be simpler to use Hegemony. “Simpler” isn’t chuuni enough! :p

      I’m no Faust expert either (never read it I’m afraid), and I’ll admit I didn’t check any official/professional English translation before writing the lines. But I merely wanted to give Ren his own thing to match his character. Reinhard’s Dies irae is fine the way it is, but I’m not so sure about Ren.

      For example, I don’t know if “Stay, thou art so beautiful”, or “Ah, still delay — thou art so fair!” for 時よ止まれ 君は誰よりも美しいから would have had the same impact. (This is just what I came across after some Googling). And now that I think about it, while it sort of fits Reinhard to go all ye olde English in his incantation, I can’t say the same about the far more “modern” Ren. To be honest though I just really like that translation of Dies irae and wanted to include it, no matter what. :p

      That’s the best explanation I can give you, haha.

      • It’s a matter of the term itself being mostly self-explanatory in the language(or at least stayed at a level where you could just look it in the native language’s dictionary) yet holding extra meanings instead of one of those uses of a foreign word with similar or slightly different meaning. Both can be chuuni, but it’s best not to try turning one into the other when not necessary. You never know when something major hinges on that particular quality of the term. You will have complicated things for yourself when closely related terms like 求道 or 覇道神 appear (though these miiight not show up in Dies, It’s been a while.)

        I want to blame Mercurius for all the incantations. He must’ve written them all to thematically match for his silly opera (except the Sakurai’s). I think it’s okay to stay closer to the japanese than the original german. I was mostly referring to how you added parts making it obvious that he’s speaking to Marie through the entire thing. It ties the whole thing together, but at the same time distances the individual lines even more from their origins. I might just be desperately trying to connect already straying japanese lines though (lol).

        The choice of using ‘Toki yo tomare’ was clearly a Jojo reference though, so I’d always vote for that one staying close.

      • 求道 has indeed made its appearance before. I suppose I get what you mean. It’s convenient since this is only a small portion of the game so it’s easy to play around with German, but in the grand scheme of things, it might be better to stick with the English word. YOU HAVE CONVINCED ME GOOD SIR.

        Ah, the thing with Marie and her being the “Maiden”. I see. Blame my own romantic heart for that one, but I love how he screams the line shortly after they confess their love to each other.

        In any case thanks for your usual feedback, you always give pretty sound advice without being a jerk about it, lol.

  2. -Fangirl squeal- Tis’ a wonderful translation! I actually attempted to look for the sources of where most of the Dies irae incantations and arias descend, and when I was making the attempt to try and make Ren as a character on a site i’m on, I tried looking at a few translations of Faust. Personally, I believe you did the best you could with what you’re given, seeing as translating ancient german(We’re talking about a german epic that goes back as far as hundreds of years ago? ) would probably be a more difficult venture. From the versions I’ve found so far, and given the context, I doubt any english translation you found would’ve worked, even the one I plan on reading, while some parts would’ve worked if you moved the wording around a bit, alot of it is in the context of referring to the god/the lord himself,

    For example –

    The sun-orb sings, in emulation,
    ‘Mid brother-spheres, his ancient round:
    His path predestined through Creation
    He ends with step of thunder-sound.
    The angels from his visage splendid
    Draw power, whose measure none can say;
    The lofty works, uncomprehended,
    Are bright as on the earliest day.

    Even though I can’t find and use the german quotation as a side-by-side comparison, you can already see my point. There are so many translations and interpretations of Goethe’s faust that unless you really search, you wouldn’t get that far using them, in say, something like Masada’s Dies Irae(unless you wanna buy the other translated versions of Faust on amazon with little success, as I did.) In my opinion, choosing your own version as a result of how you perceived Ren was the best decision in my opinion. From the impression I get, each of Masada’s characters have different speech patterns and mindsets anyway, so it fits. I think Reinhard’s is easier since there are so many translations that fit, you can choose the one most grandiose and pick out the parts he quotes and go nuts. On that note, the other chants are slightly easier to find since they’re merely quotes of Wagner’s operas(see Valeria’s Vanaheimr or Machina’s Misgard volsunga saga, those are taken from Parisfal, while Rea’s Atziluth is taken from Maheller’s Opera….. whose name escapes me at this current moment. ), and so on and so forth. In conclusion, I commend you for your effort with the circumstances you were given. This was really good to read!

    If I may be so able, I would like to lend my opinion towards the translation you used for “覇道” Though the person who commented before me suggested hegemony, I think in the context of the battle, Territory, Domain, or Dominion would’ve been nice choices as well, Even Imperium or Empire. Overall, I think Hegemony was a nice choice, so there be no complaints on my end. No matter what, I was happy you translated this! I watched the untranslated version for so long that finally being able to understand what they are saying makes me inexpressibly giddy.

    Also, that friggin sucks what happened to your youtube account. Youtube can be such assholes, over something so minor as translation.

    • Thanks, glad you liked it! Yeah honestly it could be a million things, if I wanted to translate the entire novel I’d probably spend more time thinking about how to phrase that one word, but for now Hegemony will do. I like your versions as well, though, especially Dominion and Imperium.

      Yeah, it sucks what happened on YT but if you think about it, I didn’t lose much at all. All the translations are still on the blog in a written format, so what’s most important to me was not lost~

      (P.S. Google tells me it’s the Resurrection Symphony. Rea’s incantation, I mean.)

  3. Sorry for the double post, but what I mean in the context of that battle is that it’s basically a clash between the two character’s Atziluths, and Atziluth in Masada verse is multiversal in nature, as when someone reaches that state, they become a soul who is composed of or resembles the composition of multiple universes, and when two Atziluth users do battle, it is a duel on the cosmic scale. That’s why I made the other word suggestions, since those fit just as well, in my honest opinion, though hegemony was just as good a choice. Anything works really. 😄 Just wanted to give me two cents.

  4. Truly, it is fortunate that you posted transcripts of the translations on wordpress. These are all I have until I learn(Legitly!) how to read japanese. And yeah, I’m pretty sure any committed translator would sit around, wondering for hours how to translate Masada’s text. To me, if someone were to translate it fully, they should use some of your translations as a reference, since I believe you definitely bring across the grandiose feel of this novel. I seriously wasn’t expecting words like magia or hegemony coming in, haha. Honestly, the more you translate it, the more it reinvigorates my hopes that someday, someone will translate this masterpiece. Indeed, if my japanese is at a suitable level five or six years from now, I *might* pursue the idea of translating it myself, though I still stick by my whole needing team theory. Translating Dies Irae should not be a one man effort.

    And thanks for helping me remember! I hate when you type and when you want to remember a certain thing, it slips right out of your mind.

    • To be fair probably no big project should be a one man effort. :p

      This is somewhat of a tangent but this was my first time hearing the lyrics of Dies irae in Japanese (well, the first time was when you linked me to the video), and it did sound really damn cool. The lines flow so damn well and practically roll of the tongue with a terrific rhythm to the whole thing that definitely fits the gravity of the message; even if you don’t understand Japanese I think that much, at least, can still be heard. Reinhard’s voice actor does help a lot with his delivery.

  5. Ha, as if half of my posts aren’t tangents! Out of the incantations, the way Reinhard prounounces it with such passion, with such charisma, is just so….. goddamn amazing. The voice cast of Dies Irae is one of the reasons why I consider Dies Irae Masada’s Magnum opus. The actors are so passionate, so into their characters, that it’s hard to imagine any of them being voiced by anyone else, they just fit that specific crew. Eleonore’s insane and bombastic voice, Machina’s deep tone, Scheilber’s playful yet increasingly insane yells and distorted voices, and Marie’s adorably, heart-attack inducing, liltingly sweet voice. I hear the voices in Senshikan are also great, but I think Dies irae wins out because they brought together a mostly all-star crew(Toriumi Kousuke, Junichi Sawabe, Yui Sakibihara, etc. etc. )

  6. Damn, this is a very, very fine translation. Good work, good sir.

    Say, heard about another epic-tier VN called Oretachi wa Tsubasa wa Nai? What’s epic about you say? Well, for one, it’s written by Ou Jackson, who has to be the best prose stylist in the Japanese language, period. It would be quite interesting to see you attempt to translate some of his writing haha.

    • Thank you. Yup, I do know about OreTsuba, mostly through Moogy’s posts… If I ever get the game and feel like it’s something I can do, I might attempt translating it. Maybe… :p

  7. Yay! Everyone has already said everything that could be said so this is just to say thank you for this translation. A fantastic scene that is always great to re-read. I hope you enjoyed/are enjoying Marie’s route.

    • Thanks, and yeah, I did finish Marie’s route since then and enjoyed it a lot. Her route’s epilogue (the one that takes place in 2066) was easily one of my favorite things in the novel so far, very powerful ending overall.

      Kinda put the VN on the backburner for now, haven’t started Rea’s route yet but I’m definitely planning to.

  8. Your writing is excellent, but the translation leaves something to be desired. I think you’d be a wonderful translator if you would take more care to preserving the meanings of each line rather than simply focusing on making it flow poetically in English.

    For example,

    “Let the world have a taste of the very limits of your power, he once told me. And I, who truly, earnestly, was once a youth intoxicated by his own sheer omnipotence, thus felt the entire world lacking, finding myself an outsider standing beyond its established boundaries..”

    Here, you misinterpret それは万能感に酔う少年の日の妄想めいてetc, which is meant to build off of the previous あなたは本気を出していないetc. Though this is rather crude, It should be something more like:

    “You’re not trying your best, he once told me. His words resembled those of a young boy blinded by delusions of omnipotence, but I, who those envisions actually rang true for, always felt like an outsider in this world.”

    The line (and whole game, really) refers to the chuunibyou trope. Reinhard sort of had it, but he was different because he ACTUALLY did have extreme potential that he wasn’t tapping into (本当に”そういうもの”であった自分). And by no means was he ever intoxicated by that power before meeting Mercurius.

    This is only one of the numerous places I spotted in which the original line’s meaning was twisted or lost, but I’ll stop here. I think you deserve a ton of credit for this since the language used in Dies Irae is quite difficult to interpret compared to other VNs, and even harder to translate. Keep up your efforts.

    • Thanks, that was actually really insightful. Honestly I’m not even surprised, I sort of expected to make mistakes — but I suppose that’s why I don’t work on actual VN translations yet (as in, full patches for VNs) and just keep to these excerpts on my blog to practice and challenge myself for fun.

      For the moment I just inserted your correction into the text. It’s very much appreciated.

  9. … Okay, this might be a bit silly to comment on, but I really feel like ”chest” would fit instead of ”breast”. I don’t know. It just feels like it flows better. Might also have to do with that whenever I think of ”breasts” I usually think of women. >.<

  10. I’ve always found it a bit hilarious that he basically says ”Merry Christmas” in german in this scene.

    “Frohe Weihnachten.”

    But i’ve been reading a bit of history and this might be a far-fetched guess here but… perhaps it is a reference to when Britain and the german soldiers would stop their war for a brief moment at the time of Christmas, where they would play football and so on with eachother, only to resume fighting a few days later.

    And in Reinhard’s case, this could very well be the same. Or something like that. This is pretty much Christmas for him seeing as he has found someone that can fight him as an equal.

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