Trevor Noah and company on the Daily Show make an interesting point about how Trump’s language, both in terms of content and syntax, is challenging for translators in other languages to render. They make the point that the impact and nuance is often softened by translator self-censorship (or filling in the gaps with personal interpretations) But at minute 4:00 of the segment, the Japanese interpreter claims that there is no accurate way to translate Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy”. She even claims that there is no word “in the exact sense” for “pussy” in Japanese.
Rubbish. I can think of quite a few words that would do the trick, in content and especially in nuance. The two easiest, of course, are omanko or omanta, as in “omanta o tsukandari shite”, and in Trump’s case I would even remove their honorific prefixes. Of course, that would require bleeping out the syllable after “man”, but it’s been done on Japanese TV before. I’ve seen it. But I dislike it when people, especially in this case a professional interpreter, play dumb and deny. Repeating that old lie that we heard as beginning Japanese students that “there are no bad words in Japanese”. Like it or not, “omanta” what 45 said. Portray it accurately. Or, as the segment argued well, the awfulness of 45’s speech is bleached out simply because the interpreter is being too diplomatic, cultured, or prudish.