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Alethea & Athena
In the works 
7th-Jun-2016 05:57 pm
I think I'm just about caught up on all the things I wanted to report on, and we're back to work work working, so things haven't been exactly eventful. That being the case, I think I'll talk about an idea I've had in the back of my mind for a while, in the hopes that talking about it will help it get closer to happening. On the other hand, talking about it will probably do nothing to increase our free time. But anyway.

It all started a while back when there were some articles going around about translation, including one we were referred to in which an Italian translator talks about the lack of translation reviews in the world. We thought about it and were like, "If only we had the time, we could review manga translations!" And I still think it's a really good idea, even if I'm not convinced I'll have enough time to prioritize it. But it is a good excuse to read more manga.

So here's the idea: Athena and I would read a manga in both languages and review it. (That's the obvious part.) We'd have to read it in English first, because if we read it in Japanese first, we're sure to be biased by our own translation ideas (like how we were watching the Kamigami no Asobi anime, and Apollo called the heroine "fairy" and we were like, "obviously if you knew everything about the series that we know, you should translate that to 'pixie'"). If we have no idea what the Japanese says, we'll be much better qualified to comment on things like readability and style without the whole, "But clearly my way is better" attitude getting in the way. We'd write preliminary reviews based on readability (grammar, flow of language, etc.) and style (do the characters all have personalities, or is it all bland, matter-of-fact translations?). Then we'd read it in Japanese to evaluate accuracy. We'd give the translation a score in each of those three areas, and a final overall score. And then we'd post the whole review on the internet! Tadah!

Of course the main reason we haven't started doing this is lack of time. We have a lot of other stuff we want to do; we don't need to go posting our holier-than-thou reviews all over the internet when there are video games to be played. But the other main reason is lack of manga. Believe it or not, at least 99% of the manga we own in two languages is manga we translated ourselves. Of course, we could review some of our old work. I'm sure we would have some harsh words for whatever chucklehead it was that translated My Heavenly Hockey Club.

So maybe we could start there...and now suddenly I'm afraid of this whole concept. But if you can't take it, you shouldn't dish it out, right? We could argue that it's not like reviewing My Heavenly Hockey Club would help people make an educated choice about the manga translations they buy, since I'm pretty sure you can't go out and by that series anymore. But I think the point of this would be more educational, to let people know that there is such a thing as translation quality (so you don't have editors saying, "I don't really care who translates it as long as there's a good rewriter"), and to help translators get ideas for what works and what doesn't. Hmmm...

Anyway, speaking of reviews, my list for what we should review tomorrow gives me the options of My Monster Secret, Your Lie in April, and Ice Reaper. If anybody has a preference, now's your chance to speak up!

Today I'm thankful for finishing the translation we were working on today, also having time to make good progress on Your Lie in April, remembering to order cat food, getting to snack on some tasty Good Thins, and it being almost time for dinner.
8th-Jun-2016 08:17 pm (UTC)
Yay, I like this idea! If you do ever have the time for it, I probably have extra copies of English manga I can send you... but then you'd probably still have to buy them in Japanese... hmm. (I also share some of my extra comps with other friends, like Badtz.) But if you can think of any books I've lettered that you'd want to read/sample /review in English, I'll happily share what I can! Maybe you can also find series at your local library. Yen Press is nice about sending me free books (like for series I want to read but didn't letter) whenever I ask, so that's another option.

Hahaha, those chuckleheads who translated My Heavenly Hockey Club did a pretty good job, as I recall.

Oh no, I'm behind on My Monster Secret! (I haven't remembered to add that to my comic shop subscription list yet...) So Ice Reaper's the only one of those three I've read so far. Ah, but I don't know if I'll have a lot of time for reading or commenting on a review this week anyway, so...
8th-Jun-2016 08:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we would have to buy Japanese copies, but we're not entirely opposed to that. I think the biggest concern in that regard is where do we start? So for now...well, for now, we're going to work through our to-do list until we have more time to spare. But ideally once we do get this started, we'll have people get interested in it and make requests. I worry about choosing titles based on what we want to know as far as translation quality, because we might decide based on, "Let's see if this translator is really as smart as s/he thinks s/he is..." and that just won't do at all. (I mean, we might learn that they are and come to respect them, but it might be hard to shake the bias.)

Aww, thanks for the support! I just remember going over a translation of that that Del Rey didn't publish so JManga could publish it, and shaking our heads at some of the wording choices. Of course, that might just be a matter of changing styles...which is something we're definitely going to need to keep in mind when reviewing.

Don't worry, there's only two volumes out so far! And actually, my plan in case nobody said anything was to go with Ice Reaper anyway. Why? Because it's the first on our list. Because it's the first alphabetically.
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