1. First off, thanks for agreeing to be my interview subject, Kewl. Please introduce yourself- what manga do you translate, which groups you work for, ect.
O hai! Queenofmuffins here! o/
For this week's translator interview, I had the pleasure of
interviewing MH Translator Kewl0210
about himself. While admittedly a little provocative, his views are nevertheless interesting (and occasionally hilarious) and definitely should be read!
As usual, Le Artist Extraordinaire (a.k.a ~Coffee~
) created the amazing banners you see adorning this page. <3
So, without any further ado, I give you...
Ok, I know this one... Uuuuuhh...
I run the group Anime-Destiny
and Hi Wa Mata Noboru
. I currently translate Toriko
, Kokou no Hito
, Steel Ball Run
and Doubutsu no Kuni
. In the past I've done Bakuman
and Konjiki no Gash!!
I also did a few smaller things where I did a few chapters and stopped, plan to maybe go back eventually, like Hunter X Hunter and Inumaru Dashi. Plus some one-shots and things. I also help Bomber D Rufi translate Gintama. I also translate the Bakuman anime for my group Anime-Destiny in a joint with Tomodachi Fansubs right now. And there are a couple other projects I've done that are small or on hold.
Also I've done a lot of other non-translating stuff like anime timing, some manga cleaning, typsetting for HWMN, and probably some other stuff I'm not thinking of.
I've translated manga for about 3 years. Of course, if you count when I "started learning", I dunno exactly.2. Dude, you do a lot. You also quite often assist other translators with their work- why did you feel like taking that role upon yourself?
Well, usually helping other translators can be quick on your part and be really helpful to them. I think spending a couple minutes of your own time to help someone fix something that might take hours or days or more to do on their own is a considerate thing to do. I'm well aware of how vexing it can be to spend hours on one line trying to figure out something obscure or difficult, because something's not done until it's completely translated. Back before I was a translator when I was timing Konjiki no Gash Bell!! there were plenty of times where I had to take weeks trying to find someone to translation check some 10 or fewer difficult lines my group's translator couldn't figure out in order to finish some episodes. It was really frustrating and stressful, especially when you're the one responsible for getting releases done, and I kinda feel like I don't want other people to go through that kind of thing. If it's within your ability to help, sometimes you have the responsibility to help.
Course, with something like long like Gintama that's 250+ lines that need to be checked, it's sometimes more of a "for the sake of getting a legitimate translation done" kind of reason.3. What are you hobbies?
Reading manga, playing video games, tennis, swimming, translating manga... procrastinating... I'm never sure what exactly falls into the category of "hobbies". Some people really hate that question. But everyone spends their free time doing SOMETHING right? It's just hard to qualify when things don't have an exact label.4. Have you ever considered translation as a career?
Not really. I mean it might be helpful in something I do later in life, but I learn what I learn about language auto-didactically. Though I've taken the few Japanese classes the schools I've gone to have offered. I know there are many levels I haven't delved into where you can understand finer subtleties and intricacies in language. Things like "why was one word chosen over another?" "What connotations does this word have that you could translate properly?" And things like that which I don't understand. I'm still pursuing them and learning more words and subtleties. I don't have much practice speaking or writing Japanese either. Right now I feel like I only know enough to be able to translate using a lot of tools to help and doing things quickly. But going through the process of knowing everything thoroughly to the point where I could say I'm qualified to translate on a professional level isn't something I'm planning to pursue right now. But maybe I can eventually learn all that from experience, who knows?5. What's your favourite manga to read- do you have a "guilty pleasure"?
Another good question... Uh... my all-time favorite still has to be Konjiki no Gash!! That series was one I really loved and got me into anime and manga after being only a casual observer. I started fansubbing which led to me learning to translate because I was helping the group who was doing it.
Though Toriko, Hunter X Hunter, One Piece, and some others are still huge favorites of mine I always want to see what happens next with.
"Guilty pleasure"? Does reading tons of hentai manga count?
I dunno. Uh, can't really think of any. That means sort of like... "Something you think you shouldn't like, but do"? Really I think anything I like is something I think is worth reading. That includes stuff like Inumaru Dashi and Kuroko no Basket.6. What do you think about professional manga translations?
They're all pure human scum. Death to them all. Just the thought of them makes me tense up and my fingers contract to fists. As my fingernails tear into my skin the seeping blood reminds me of the eternal hell that awaits them, that I have dedicated my life to sending them to. The hatred I have for them seethes adrenaline though my veins like the scorn of one whose heart was stripped away by the impurity of man's sinful ways. If I cannot divert my thoughts I sometimes lose control and the ensuing chaos cannot be controlled even by the chains that bind the captives of hell. The disturbance to all that is just and righteous that their existences slovenly and egotistically serve to the dying crawling masses churns my soul into shape not unlike the sight of a body having its organs ripped from its abdomens while the person is still conscious and it slowly dying as the remainder of its body melt from the acids of its own torn open stomach. The demons they invoke inside me lust for a vengeance never before heard of by this realm.
Wait... No... No that's silly. No, none of that happens. I had that confused with something else. I have no opinion really. Like I said it doesn't really relate to me. There are good and bad professional translators, too.7. Remind me never to make you angry. So then, what's your opinion on the current state of the manga industry?
Hell blood fire death chains!
Wait, no. Uh... It's hard to define my feelings as a whole. But one thing I do notice is that time goes on you see authors trying to find new directions that past generations haven't done. I try to find some understanding of how a manga works when I read it so I can describe it to other people by differentiating it from other mangas. I think that manga allows for a lot of unique kinds of stories and there are plenty of creative and innovative authors and manga out there that are seeking to find new ideas. Though that also can mean that it's more difficult for new authors to break into the industry unless they're in a more obscure magazine, because fame gets competitive and it's still a business. Though you do tend to notice that the kind of creativity in manga is often more diverse than that in anime because it takes less money to produce. It allows for more niche stories with fitting niche audiences which can allow for good manga that aren't necessarily universally popular. It also allows for something that's not initially very popular to flourish over time when a series runs for years.8. Do you have a favourite translator?
Hmmm... Well, translators are just people. Any one I know of makes translation mistakes sometimes, sometimes can't keep up with a series, loses interest in what they're doing, or translates in a style or manner that I very much dislike. Though those same people may inspire me for their effort, their perseverance, their dedication, their style and translation choices, or what they choose to translate.
So in that way, though there are many respectable translators there are also many types. I've known quite a few, but there's a journey to becoming one which makes them all unique. No matter who you are if you're a translator you must have taken years to learn what it takes. They don't seem to me like things you could give the label "favorite". Oh sorry, "favourite". Why the hell is that extra u in there? See that's something I can't stand. What translator was it that decided we should be speaking the same language but for some reason different regions add or remove vowels like that. I'm not blaming either side, I just think you should be consistent. Come on. Translation requires consistency! That's just annoying...9. Er...because I speak British English, the most awesome language in the world. U's make everything better. >:3
Finally, do you have any tips for anyone just starting out translating manga?
Yes. Let your hatred fuel you. Make it your weapon.
Also, you need to be observant. As you learn more words, learn more meanings and more choices. If you just look something up and forget it afterward, it doesn't help expand your overall knowledge. Learn different opinions and styles from other translators. Watching anime and trying to keep track of the Japanese while reading English subtitles can be helpful in this. Don't be afraid of trying methods that other skilled translators use.
But if you're not at that level, you should pursue trying to understand what you DON'T know and find examples of that. There are always more exceptions and odd tendencies. If you come across one, try to figure out both what it means and why it's written that way. Like why is that grammatical structure used, or why that word was used, how did the subject and object change or how a clause works. It can also be easy to get full of yourself and think you 'know' something when you don't really understand it completely. Don't be afraid to consult tutorials or ask other translators for help to explain things to you. But mostly it's hatred.10. And now for the Random Muffin Question of the week-
If you only have 24 hours and 39 seconds to live- what would you do?
Probably something like this:http://www.omfggscans.com/Reader/?m=Kokou+no+Hito&c=115*Kewl0210 cries in the corner, mentally scarred from the Muffinlady's harsh existential questions.*Mwahahahahaha~
Thanks for being interviewed, Kewl! And I hope everyone enjoyed the interview! ^^