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To be honest that is more like an average time for Gintama. That series can be broken down into three tiers (or tears as it feels like to me) of difficultly.
Easy tier: Action arcs, very little text.
Mid tier: Lots of text, very few references not too many weird Sorachi metaphors and -isms.
Top tier: Lots of text, lots of obscure pop culture references, lots of metaphors.
Easy tiers of course take me very little time, though Sorachi's no text chapters are more on the level of wordy Bleach chapters than anything else. Mid tiers seem to be his norm, which is what usually takes me two to three hours to do if I'm motivated to. The last tier can take up to four hours, lots of whining, and lots of google/wikipedia searches. Needless to say I'm never happy to do those chapters.
I think it really depends series to series. Anagle Mole and Bullet Armors are generally the easiest (as evidenced by me translating whole volumes of Bullet in one night), as they don't have much text most times, and even when they do it's fairly straightforward, and not only that Anagle's a weekly series with a lower page count. I'd say maybe an hour or an hour and a half. Dolls Folklore and 6 Trigger take a bit longer as they're both monthly with higher page counts and a lot more text. Dolls also has a bunch of words that I've not seen before so that ends up taking a bit more time, while 6 trigger fluctuates between being really wordy and not wordy at all. Hadaka no Taiyou's here too, but that's more because of the page count than anything. Those take an hour and a half. Nejimaki Kagyu would be in the first section if it were a shounen, since it's text free and straight forward, but it is a seinen which means I'm pretty much relying on radical look up since furigana crutches are what I normally use. If I had furigana I'd estimate it would take me about an hour or so, but without that it increases to an hour thirty minutes.
You take your time, and I think you're amazing for it. Don't be like me. I might be a little faster, but quality takes a hit for quantity. ^^;; You're a better translator than myself, and whether you're faster or not is irrelevant. Just keep on the keep on dude.
Well, just like I said it was a
bit of an accidenttwist of fate which has brought me to these winding lanes. So I thought while I was here I could also drop off some kind words for you and, yeah, grab some snacks, why not!
Thanks for elaborating on the time aspect of your work. Of course there's this sort of variety in chapters and I can totally see how one would reach a certain point where you just want to eat your own face while working on a Gintama chapter when Sorachi has some of his weirder weeks...
And it's always interesting to see how series from the same demographic or even the same magazine tend to differ vastly in terms of linguistic complexity and overall level of demand.
Personally, I thought about delving into some Seinen manga translations in the upcoming months to specifically train my kanji reading some more. (I just don't like practicing the hard way so I really slacked off these past two years or so...) I mean sure, shit's gonna take even longer but it's just that I feel it might be more beneficial in the overall process.
One thing that certainly contributes to my slowass translating is the fact that I'm no native English speaker. I mean I'm a minor for English literature at university and generally have little to no problems communicating but translating is just a whole different story...
So when I'm brooding over a chapter I usually work on three different open tabs: a dictionary Jap <-> Ger, one for Jap <-> Eng and another one for Ger <-> Eng. - Add to that the occasional Google one to check on colloquial expressions or pop-cultural references in either Japanese or English and we're ready to go.
I guess I just really hope to keep the mistakes I make at a minimum... xD"
If I were to call any numbers I'd guess about 3-4 hours for a normal script. The one for HUNGRY JOKER I did the other day took a little longer, of course. (First chapters: love them as a reader, hate them as a translator. ) That one must've took me +/-8 hours (in two sessions).
But don't hide your light under a bushel, mate. I respect you very much for all that stuff you do and think it's awesome how you go about things! It's not really a matter of how good you are IMO... I think the most important part is the idea behind it all, i.e. the sharing and spreading the love for certain series!
I have always found it interesting that you can get a different scale of works all in the same mag. Gintama is both more and less mature than other series in the magazine, feeling like it could be a seinen if it really wanted to but having a very shounen 'core' to it. Meanwhile Nejimaki Kagyu runs in a seinen mag, but could easily find a home in WSJ if the editors really wanted it. It doesn't have the same seinen 'feeling' as some of the other series in the magazine. Hell, even between magazines the scale of works is wide. WSJ WSS and WSM are all shounen mags, though you can definetly see that each one has a certain thematic going on. Jump manga have one aesthetic and value, Sunday manga have another, and that goes for Magazine as well. I think I've made it clear in other posts that I personally like Sunday most out of the shounen trifecta, though to be fair I haven't read much out of Magazine other than it's top tier (Fairy Tail, Code breaker, and such.) While I only really look forward to HXH, One piece and Gintama out of jump.
Honestly I'm not really even a seinen fan. There are some great seinen manga that I do read and do enjoy, but I just like the imagination and stories that come from shounen manga more. Even if I become a super translator (lol), who can read seinen and shounen alike, I'd probably gravitate to translating shounen manga because I just love them so. I'd like to be able to translate seinen if I feel like it...kind of like learning to drive clutch so you can drive any car you damn well please. That being said, I also love Nakayama Atsushi's artwork enough to follow him wherever he goes which is why I'm doing Nejimaki Kagyu despite barely being able to read it. I figure if I can spread his weird and somewhat scary artwork to the world then I can call myself a decent human being. That and I'm jealous of kewl and aegdon rokudo for being able to like translate a whole series in a few months. I'm going to try my best to catch up on Nejimaki but against impossible odds I'm the sort of person who rather than taking the bull by the horns crawls into a fetal position and hopes the bull doesn't see me.
Ahh colloquialisms. Foreign scantlators hate me because I spam American colloquialisms. My whole philosophy on that is I'm translating a series into English for English speaking fans. Granted I know not everyone who speaks and or reads English is American, I can't be responsible for the entirety of the internet. I realize some people think that I'm destroying a script by doing this, but I don't see the point of writing out a Japanese translation word for word as the original script dictates. Sure that's more accurate, but is it understandable? I feel like a script that's highly accurate but incomprehensible has failed fundamentally. Meanwhile a script that's not stringent in it's accuracy but allows for readers to enjoy the manga to me is much more valuable. Of course as translators our methods and ideology differ, and I'm not saying my way is the best way, but those are my two cents. You can admire them, but I'll need them back to catch the bus back home.
Last edited by Bomber D Rufi; November 13, 2012 at 10:37 PM.
Well, I shall accept your kind and praising words then.
Sometimes I actually prefer translating to English because it has a more catchy feeling to me, it’s also more expedient to a certain point due to its vast variety of styles and tones. (German is a very precise and more descriptive language, undoubtedly beautiful on its own way [reading Goethe changed my life], but that is not exactly what you need when translating Japanese comics for boys… )
Hahaha, nice metaphor there. But I know that feeling all too well. If I happen to run into a real tricky passage I just can’t figure out for the life of me it’s more than often that I just stop altogether and lose my drive…Quote:
(And yeah, who wouldn’t want to be one of those translation machines! I always looked up to guys like molokidan, cnet and kewl who not only put out vast amounts of stuff in ridiculous speed but are also quite excellent in terms of quality!)
I can totally understand your reasoning. Personally, I’m in a bit of a transition phase as of late. 3–4 years ago I was really into Shounen manga because of their mostly (of course we’re speaking about general tendencies here and there are exceptions for everything) lighter tone and said imagination. But the older I got and the more I had been studying language and literature at university the more I’ve become attracted to the more subtle, quiet and demanding side of manga. (That being said, I also love the freedom that demographic can offer to an author. It feels like mangaka have more of a chance to experiment and touch on more exotic topics! [Like, I dunno, Cuisine, European History, Medicine, Gardening, the kinda stuff most Japanese teenagers don’t really give a fuck about or think of as boring…]) Thus I’m generally more drawn towards Seinen series these days (especially Slice-of-life and Drama). Yet I can still enjoy a Shounen manga , too, if it’s done well! – Which can be problematic at times, since I feel that too many authors (of Shounen manga) are prone to using clichés and stereotypes and whose work feel formulaic and drawn by the book…
Absolutely! I’m 100% with you on this one. Colloquialisms are a must-have in any good translation, there can’t be a second opinion on this. (At least in the academic spheres there isn’t, that kinda viewpoint is general consensus.)Quote:
A good translation generally has to be as close to the text as necessary while reading as natural as possible. Neither should it feel like a translation at all but a coherent text on its own with a nice flow in the target language.
The ideal should be to create a text that can stand on its own while living up to the original, and both texts should make you feel and experience the very same things when reading them.
There’s really nothing more awkward than overly wordy translations. And no, it’s absolutely not understandable in most cases. I still find this hard at times myself. (When you just don’t want to omit any information that’s in the original Japanese phrase…)
So, yeah… I guess we’re on the same side on this and share that bus ticket!
I can understand what you mean about being interested in certain publishers....I dunno what it is about Shogakukan that gets me in a tizzy but I just prefer the manga in their magazines, be it seinen or shounen to their contemporaries. To be fair I don't read many Kodansha magazines so I could very well be tempted to change. For now though, I love Shounen Sunday to Jump and GX to Young Jump.
Again I couldn't imagine translating into any other language BESIDES English, mainly because I don't know many languages enough to be able to convincingly translate into them. (My English is negligible at best sometimes too, despite being born and raised in the USA.) I'm still impressed you can, so you get all my accolades for that.
I guess I'll always be a kid at heart in regards to shounen versus seinen. Oddly enough I like slice of life shounen a bit more than the action packed ones, which is why despite how much I want to make gorillas an extinct species I keep reading and translating Gintama. Sure it's much more boisterous than your seinen slice of life series, but Sorachi has a talent for the mundane and little details that I think is just as good as a seinen writer. Plus I can't deny that I read manga to escape which is why I suppose I prefer shounen to seinen. I'm not at all opposed to the genre, I just have my preferences. As a writer myself, I write things that would be decisively shounen with many seinen elements, so I guess with my age and my preferences I'm right in the middle. That being said, I do agree that many shounen authors are phoning things in, relying too much on cliches and not enough on their imaginations. I've always said though, that being original is overrated...it's all about making your unoriginality badass enough to stand out. I'm not sure if the amount of stories in the known universe is finite, but there's nothing wrong with telling a story already told as long as one tries to diverge at least a little.
moldikidan is actually one of my heroes. When I first started out in the game, he actually read something I did and encouraged me. Later still when I had improved a bit, he noted this and acknowledged me. At the risk of making him the Shanks to my Luffy, he's really one of my heroes. I look up to cnet, kewl and aegdon rokudo as translators since they're speedy and accurate...which is a lethal combination. I've barely got either one covered, but if anything I don't like to give up when I'm really enjoying something. Maybe that's the only good trait I have, I dunno. :-P I love translating, and even if I'm not that great at it, I'll keep doing my best. I think that's all anyone can ask for.
I'm glad to have someone in my corner when it comes to translation styles. As I said, I'm not at all against those who choose to be exact...that takes a lot of discipline and knowledge which are two things I lack considerably. That being said, I like reading or watching the work of translators who play around with the script and let themselves have some fun. A good example is Funimation's dubs of anime, where they'll take liberties with the script without going too far away from the original. Granted this is purely subjective, and maybe there are those who dislike this kind of translation, but to me it's a joy to watch when done properly. Especially for comedies. I can't emphasize this enough....comedies that are funny in one language work because of language. If one tries to simply emulate the language and explain it, the joke dies, and I for one stand up for the rights of jokes everywhere.
I don't mind riding the bus back with you, as long as you don't mind stopping for some food on the way back. :-P Oh, I nearly forgot! You mentioned Goethe? I'm only somewhat familiar with his work though....as an English major I read some of it. I might be weirding out my audience here but I'm really a huge Victorian-Romantic. Percy Shelly? Mathew Arnold? Lord Byron? Coleridge? Those are my homies dude.