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Alethea & Athena
The things we think about 
18th-Nov-2017 09:30 pm
Well, the meeting turned out to be annoying, and I'm willing to attribute that to my own personality flaws, but nevertheless, I was annoyed. It seems like the ward special music coordinator spent the first half talking about all the people they could ask to play the piano (I was right there, not mentioned), so I was like, "How come nobody's asking me?" But be careful what you wish for, because I found out in the second half of the meeting that the reason they weren't asking me is that it was already assumed that I was going to accompany six songs, two of them on the organ.

I think what bothered me the most is that one of the things that had me antsy about not being needed for music is that it was mentioned that someone actually plays the organ, which is quite different than playing the piano on the organ, which is what I do every week in sacrament meeting. So now I'm thinking that since they want me to specifically play the organ for pieces that are going to have organ and piano, that maybe the organ should be played like an organ instead of a piano, which means I'm going to have to figure out how to do that. In reality, I probably won't have to figure out how to do that, because the only people who know will be me, Athena, and the other guy who plays the organ (and the other guy who plays the organ, but he probably won't be in church that day).

Anyway. Speaking of the other other guy who plays the organ, we were thinking of him yesterday when we used Google Translate. Apparently he owns a business that makes translation software. We don't know how good it is, but Athena learned this when she went to visit teach his wife. When it came out that Athena was a translator, she was like, "Oh no, are we putting you out of work?" and Athena immediately replied, "I'm not worried." And then we used Google Translate yesterday and were reminded that we really don't have anything to worry about.

So we came across a Japanese saying that basically means, "Sometimes fortunes come true and sometimes they don't," and we wondered if there was already an English equivalent, so we do what we normally do and Googled the phrase plus eigo (only with kanji). Google Translate always tries to help in these situations, but its help is almost always completely useless. This time we got this gem: Also Bagua also unexpected hit Bagua hit.

And the other reason I wanted to post about it is that our friend over at the Organization of Anti-Social Geniuses posted an article that we helped with! about the tools translators use in their work. A lot of great things were said by all the interviewees, but you know how we're just contrary about everything.

Two things stuck out the most, the first of which being that one of them said at least a two-year residency in Japan is basically required. Since we have accumulated no more than six weeks in Japan, we're pretty sure either that's bunk, or anyone who really, really knows how to translate would see that our translations are basically garbage. You'll have to talk to somebody with at least two-years residency in Japan to know for sure.

The second thing that stood out was that one of the translators uses the Google Translate app, and after our adventures with Google Translate, my main thought is, "Are you sure that's a good idea?" But I will say that it's possible that they've found a way to use it where it's not worthless. And maybe the app is better than the website.

And these are the things we think about...pretty much all the time, because our lives are basically just translating, church music, and sleep. And Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir. Seriously, if you haven't seen that show, you should check it out, because it's awesome. We like to watch it in the original French, because we're purists, but I think we've said that before.

Aaaaanyway. Today I'm thankful for being able to buy groceries today, having a new flavor of ice cream to try for our Thanksgiving dessert, getting to play lots of Kingdom Hearts today (although we realized later, maybe we should have written some reviews), having time to practice music and otherwise prepare for the ward Christmas program, and Pillsbury making Thanksgiving-themed cookies.
19th-Nov-2017 03:27 am (UTC)
I just came from reading that article! It was neat to read your and everyone else's responses :D It did sound like the gal who uses the Google Translate app used it mainly for individual words, which probably isn't as risky as trying to get the sense of a phrase or sentence... (I haven't read any of the series she works on so I can't judge, but I did just google her and came across an article that starts off with a quote from her saying Google Translate isn't reliable. Haha.) As for spending 2 years in Japan... I'm sure it helps one gain fluency in a shorter period of time than otherwise and would be really useful in learning how the language is used in real-life outside of textbook standards (then again, I liked how you referred to "manga Japanese" in one of your Japan reports—I'm sure it does have its own vocabulary and trends separate from real-life as well), but it seems like every translator out there has their own path to how they got to where they are.

I'm sorry about the annoying/frustrating music meeting. Is it hard to say something like, "Hey, I'm happy to play piano but I'm honestly not as comfortable with organ so if you have someone who does that well then maybe ask them first?"? (or ask if there's someone who can help you learn to play organ as an organ, if it's something you do want to continue helping with.) I don't think it's a bad thing to state your preferences, and now as things are starting fresh with the new ward boundaries seems like a good time to do it...? I hope as you spend time preparing these songs for the upcoming holidays, that they will lift your spirits and renew your joy rather than becoming a burden or source of stress!!♥
19th-Nov-2017 10:16 pm (UTC)
I don't know, even for individual words, I think Google translate is far from the best resource. Maybe for a first draft it would be okay... But it's true, without more context, I couldn't comment on her usage one way or another. And we definitely think that a residency in Japan would help with, like, the ability to communicate (assuming you're actually associating with Japanese people during your residency), but that's a different skill than translating. But again, we don't have enough context. And that translator would almost surely have known what Matsumoto Kiyoko was a parody of.

Asking her to find someone else is a reasonable course of action, but in all honesty, I'm more the type to be all, "No, I can totally do it!" or, in this case, "Well it wouldn't have been my idea, but now it's on." Also, after looking at the music and thinking about it some, it seems like it was arranged by someone who either also is not an organist or at least doesn't expect a real organist to be playing. More of a, "Let's sing the hymns like we usually do in church, only add a couple of instruments to make it fancier. ...And throw in a key change for good measure."
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