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Alethea & Athena
5th-Mar-2018 09:28 pm
Oh man, what a day. We just missed a deadline, and I'm pretty bummed about it. But not bummed enough to stay up late finishing it. There's just too much left. I kind of shifted the responsibility onto Page. Our current practice is to call our mother once a week on Monday nights. The original plan was to call and tell her we couldn't talk long because we had to get back to work. But when I made the call, Page came and sat on my lap, and stayed there for an hour and a half. I know that Page sometimes gets tired of lap-sitting and gets up after sometimes only ten or twenty minutes, so I was like, "I'll just keep talking to Mom until Page gets up." But by the time she did, we were like, "Mmmm, nope. I don't want to stay up until midnight finishing this translation." Fortunately, I think what we have done has turned out pretty well, or I would feel much worse about getting it in late.

In the meantime, Facebook continues to also be a time sink. We keep seeing interesting-looking articles that then take forever to read. And then we try to make jokes that nobody gets. If people hadn't told us we're good at translating comedy, I would start to question whether or not we really have a good sense of humor, because if nobody is laughing at your joke, maybe the problem is not the audience. (There was an instance on tonight's phone conversation where our joke fell flat, too, but even I admit that one wasn't very good.) On the other hand, in this case the audience was someone who had been in the manga industry, and manga industry people are notorious for having a difficult time with comedy (they even admit it without hesitation, almost unprompted), so... (Disclaimer: the audience in question is a fine individual.)

It also helps that our sister called later, and we told her all about it, and she laughed at the joke without my having to explain it. So at least our family gets our humor.

Today I'm thankful for having lovely conversation with our mother, having a lovely conversation with our sister, getting to spend lots of time with Page on my lap (she also sat on my lap during dinner and Galavant), not coming across a major speed bump in this translation every hour we worked on it, and the knowledge that our jokes don't fall flat on everybody.
7th-Mar-2018 12:38 am (UTC)
I don't think I saw the joke in question, but the funny scenes and characters in manga you translate regularly make me laugh out loud, and your translation notes are often pretty amusing! As a manga industry person I am satisfied I have a very nice sense of humour, although it is more on the appreciating side than the creating side. Once in a while I say something good, but if I was put on the spot to come up with something funny I wouldn't know where to start. Maybe that's why so many folks say it's hard.

Sorry about your missed deadline. If it's a consolation, the book I'm working on was supposed to be due like a week and a half ago. (I got an extension to the end of last week, but now I've missed that too—lucky for me, the editor always seems to be frantically busy and hasn't asked about it yet.) These things happen...
7th-Mar-2018 03:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, someone posted about how there was a new manga on Crunchyroll by the creator of Your Lie in April, and since we translate it, we were like, "The translation's pretty decent, too, but we don't know if those hacks really know anything about soccer." (The series is about soccer.) The response was about how the author of another series didn't know a thing about tennis, so he changed some things in the adaptation. We had to come back and say we're pretty sure in this case the author of the soccer series knows a lot about soccer, but we're not sure about the translators. We're still not sure if he knows we translated the new series, or if his assumption that it was the author who knows nothing about soccer was because he knew we were the translators and didn't think we'd be so self-deprecating.

We don't know if we're so good at coming up with our own jokes, either, but we like to think we're pretty good at retelling them. And we amuse ourselves, anyway. We're glad we amuse you, too!

Oh man, it's like it never ends. And the worst part about missing deadlines is it means you have to move everything else back, so you're in danger of missing all those deadlines, too, and it creates this horrible domino effect. In fact, we sort of missed two deadlines this week, but we already warned the other editor that that was going to happen. Now the late translation is going to be even later, so we're probably going to have to check in at some point and let her know where things stand. Of course, both of the titles in question are ones that you letter, so...
7th-Mar-2018 04:13 am (UTC)
Ahh!! I had no problem getting that joke. Don't worry, it's not you, it's that fine individual who apparently missed the point... Calling translators out as "hacks" like that would be pretty mean if it wasn't a self-deprecating joke :) And whatever you might think of other translators, I believe you would have a bit more delicacy in talking about them on Facebook!

Uuuugh, the domino-deadline-effect is the woooorst, I know it all too well. At least, since both your late translations are series I letter, I can assure you I'm in no position to start working on either of them! So there's that. If they're for a publisher that edits their scripts before sending them to me I suppose they'd still have a use for them, though. (but even then, there's enough time between when they get me files and when my part is due that even if they had to tighten that up a bit, it wouldn't have any real effect on me because I don't actually start on a book until a week or a few days before it's due, regardless of how long I've had the files.)
7th-Mar-2018 05:11 am (UTC)
Right!? The only translators we'd call hacks in public are us! (We don't call other translators hacks in private, either, even if we do accuse them of being lazy. It comes from a place of love...and pride. I'm sorry, other translators! (But don't be lazy.))

I know, right!? It's hitting us pretty bad right now, too. We're like, "That's okay, we'll just finish this, and the next thing will go super fast, and we'll be almost on track again!" But it never goes super fast. (Haha, we're the same way! We'll have a book for a month before the deadline and not start on it until a week before. ...Or two days, as has recently been the case. Sigh. (But then we have one editor who wants to make sure we have plenty of time, so he'll send us the book as soon as possible, and then like a week later, he'll be like, "So how's it coming?" and we're like, "Eh heh heh heh..."))
7th-Mar-2018 02:07 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, oh editors!! Sometimes I wonder what they think our process looks like, like am I really consistently working on a book over the course of a whole month?? No, I am not. Not even for Viz with all its sound effects. (although they actually split their deadlines into 2wk/half vol so that does spread it out a little, but I just think of it as two separate deadlines and I still only start about a week before it's due. Sometimes maybe I'll get as far as laying out files ahead of time. This is why when an editor tells me they can get files/script by (date), when do I think I can be done by, I have no idea what to say. I've started to just ask when they want it and figure I'll do my best and it'll somehow happen, or at least be close.

(now back to the half Yona vol due tomorrow that I started working on at 9 last night...)
7th-Mar-2018 06:03 pm (UTC)
I know, right? Especially with the translation, it's a lot easier to stay consistent with character voice and series tone and everything if we're not shifting gears all the time. But maybe for some people they like variety, so they work on each series a little at a time.

Usually when they tell us they'll get us the book by this time and ask when we can get it in, we look at our schedule and see where it fits. Of course, if it's three or four months in the future, it's probably one of the first things on the list, so we have to just arbitrarily pick a day. The problem is, we keep forgetting to factor in weekly anime episodes, and future volumes of series that hit semi-regularly (we should know by now that there's going to be a Fire Force approximately every two months...), and then we end up squished again. Part of this comes from being so busy that when our editors ask about deadlines, we're so eager to just get back to work that we don't want to think about it for too long. One of these days we'll figure it out.

Good luck with Yona!
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