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.