First, we've been working on one of our time travel series, and we translated this one chapter so long ago that, now that we're editing it, we're reading our rough draft and being amused at it. This is the kind of thing that should not be published. But it's funny, too, so we thought we should share an example. This particular one might not be the funniest, but it's pretty typical of the kind of writing we do when we want to dash off a quick draft but also want to make sure to include all the nuance that we might forget if, for example, we don't get to edit it until several months later.
It goes something like this:
Character: I won't let anyone
Character: for his entertainment/amusement
Character: be killed anymore!!
You can see that the placement of the phrases is completely unnatural for English (but is perfectly legitimate for Japanese). You can also see that we left a couple of options there in the middle phrase, because it helps us triangulate the nuance that we want. In this case, entertainment and amusement are fairly similar, but sometimes, if we leave just one word, there's a chance it could be taken in a different direction, so I like to stick another word in there to remind myself what we were going for. Of course, we usually check the Japanese before finalization, but there are times where we only look at the English, and since I can't always predict when those times will be, I have to play it safe. In this case, we almost certainly would have looked at the Japanese (and we did), because look at that wording (and because of which series it is).
So hopefully this has provided an interesting glimpse into our translation process. Tadah!
Now, as for Dionysus. That stupid stupid jerkface. I really want to punch him where the sun don't shine. I just...
Okay, so as regular readers will know, we got the non-romantic ending with Didi, and then we got the other non-romantic ending, which is pretty much the same, only you get a touching scene where neither of you states outright that you love the other, and then you say goodbye forever, but you'll always remember each other, except that Yui won't because Zeus always wipes her memories. But there was a cute still with Didi kissing her on the forehead.
But then we went back to follow his romantic path, and all the cuteness was wiped away by that stupid stupid jerkface. Of course, he might not be </i>so</i> stupid, but...
Okay, so rewind to the end of the harvest festival. Didi went up to the roof to be by himself because he can't deal with people and angst at the same time, so Yui goes up to the roof to hang out with him. They talk for a while, and then they notice that the after party is ending, but Didi asks Yui if she minds hanging out with him a little longer. Before, we said no, and Yui went to bed and we followed the non-romantic path and there were no problems except that we still don't know the real identity of the grapevine.
If you say yes, then Yui notices the pot Didi has boiling on the portable stove he brought to the roof. He says, "oh yeah, this is my special hot wine. I can't let you have any (because she's a minor, and I guess he respected that, or pretended to), but I can at least let you smell it." And then he's surprised to find out that people really can get drunk off just the smell of liquor. How? Because Yui is having a hard time standing up straight. So he carries her back to her room, and she konks out on the way there. Totes unconscious.
As I read this scene, I was thinking wow, she's lucky she can trust this guy. And hmm, I still wonder why this game is rated D when most otome games are rated B... (B is for ages 12 and up, D is for 17.)
The next thing Yui knows, she's waking up in her room...next to Dionysus. This freaks her out mildly. Then she realizes her shirt is unbuttoned. This freaks her out a lot. We were incredulous. Yui's roommate would never have let anything happen to her! So it was probably just a misunderstanding. He stayed to nurse her back to health or something. He wakes up and she asks him what happens, and he's like, "Oh, you don't remember? Oh well, I'll just make it my own special memory," and refuses to tell her anything.
But Melissa (Yui's roommate) would never have let anything happen! Surely he knows something, right? RIGHT!? So stupid Didi leaves, and Yui goes to ask Melissa what's up. But Melissa is gone. WHY IS MELISSA GONE!? He shows up pretty soon, and is not happy that he had to spend the night in the cafeteria. What. Apparently, he was out when Yui got home, and someone locked the door. He assumed it was Yui not realizing he was gone, she was totally unconscious, and now Dionysus is gone so nobody can ask him. And we're starting to be very concerned about what happened to Yui that night. Was it all a set up? Was the hot wine drugged? This relationship is chock full of problems, and not the cute funny kind.
Well, life goes on, and now it's time to take down all the festival stuff. Thoth, always helpful in moving the plot along, has designated Apollo and Hades to take down the Egyptian gods' booth, so now Yui and Dionysus get to work together on the Greek gods' booth...alone. Yui's none too happy about this, and excuses herself to go take down the posters they had put up to advertise their booth. When she gets back, she starts to confront him about what happened! ...I think. Either that, or he was like, "Dude, why are you so jumpy?" Anyway, they started to talk about it, but they didn't get anywhere before Yui noticed how beautiful the posters were (they had watercolor paintings of the fruit offered at the booth). She finds out that Didi drew them, and she was impressed, and she noticed how he had taken down the booth all by himself, and she falls and hurts her leg and he impresses her again by tending to it, and she forgets all about what happened the night before. Or maybe she doesn't, but she doesn't talk to him about it anymore, and then the scene changed, and it was our bedtime, so we stopped playing. And now we don't know what happened!!
My current theory is that either we will find out that nothing happened and Didi is not a date rapist, or, because he's the god of fertility, she'll find out what happened when she realizes she's pregnant. While I admit that would make for some compelling drama, it is so very wrong. So very very wrong! Especially because it's supposed to be the romantic ending, which means they're going to end up romantically involved. It actually kind of reminds me of all that Harlequin manga we translated, which seemed to tell its readers, "Don't worry, ladies. He'll only get you pregnant if he's The One." And we're like, "That's not how biology works." But since it is supposed to be romantic, if Didi did orchestrate the whole mess, it'll probably end up that he needed to do it to break a curse or something. But even if that is true, why couldn't it have been consensual?
So we're hoping that it will be revealed that nothing happened, but we don't have time for games anymore, so it may be a while before we find out.
Today I'm thankful for getting to work on a series we love, progress on that series not being completely stationary, discount Valentine's Reese's, characters who are fun and easy to translate, and it being time for dinner.