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Translations: One Piece 908 by cnet128 , Gintama 687 (2)

A Freelancer's Rant

+ posted by StrangerAtaru as news on Apr 11, 2010 20:54 | Go to

-> RTS Page for

This probably is not the best sort of news that you can receive, but it's something I really need to get out there mostly due to certain recent circumstances.

I am a freelance translator. Pure and simple. I'm not a member of a group, nor do I ever think I will ever be part of one. I do work with groups, but it's hard to say that they will ever be reliable due to how burned I've been with my experiences through them. Groups may be formed and working on manga one day, but the next day they may be completely gone, vanished without a trace...or working on another series. All of your hard work may end up being for naught, particularly if you're not doing a series that is for the most part something that everyone wants right away or the moment it comes out and rather do something older or more interesting. They may say they want to do your series, but you can't take that for granted. I've seen how scanslators are, particularly on MH. Sometimes its a first-come first-serve world: the first person to jump on a series may not be exactly who you promised it to. You may have promised it to a group, but can't specifically remember or know that they'll do what you want them to do, particularly if another group comes along who gets it out and does so in a way that makes the series appear that much stronger or better than your own effort. Other times, you may have done a series for a long time and group after group seem to want to do it...only to vanish tomorrow or the next day or the month after that. Work remains stagnant and nothing you can do will ever get the series complete and out there, especially as you see other series get gobbled up raw and spit out as a perfect scanslation hours after initial release.

It's a hard road as a freelance, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I tried to be part of the group scene a few times, thinking my Japanese would be good enough for them. I ended up working on series I had no interest in through them or my scripts were never good enough. The series I did want to do ended up with groups that seemed to die after a couple releases, the rest never to see the light of day. Those are the types of things that made me give up being a translator for a long time. I started doing translation again because I wanted to see manga I wanted more respect for get the respect they deserve. I didn't do it because someone asked me or wanted me to, it was entirely on my own volition. Likewise, I don't get paid for it nor do I really want to get paid for it: I already have a job (which is dull and boring but still pays the bills) and do this mostly for fun or advancement of knowledge of the manga form, not because I'm good (which I admit I may not be) or because I need to. (though some series it feels like it)

I know this all may sound rude, but I guess I had to say it here and now. Most of this stemmed from a project I was doing, thinking it was going to be for one person who wanted to really do this series which I had a huge interest in. But when someone else jumped on it, improved on my scripts and released them in a speedy manner, I had a hard time saying no. I really wish I could have said something to the other person, but I thought they would keep doing the series too. If they're reading this, let me say that I'm really sorry but it's hard for me to bind myself or my scripts down with anyone. Not just because I'm forgetful, but because I know the way the world works. One day we may get a few scans out, the next it may dry up, the next it may just not come to be, with my scripts continuing to emerge and nothing coming of them. I should have warned you but you should have seen it coming with someone releasing those scanslations through MH. I don't think this sincere apology will be accepted but I am upset about all that has happened but it's hard to change my old habits.

That's what happens...when you're freelance.

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