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Alethea & Athena
The little things 
29th-Oct-2018 09:02 pm
Well, life is back to being boring as far as things to report. But! Gaston called and we have plans to go to Disneyland this week. Maybe something worth writing about will happen there.

I suppose I could go on a little rant. I believe I've mentioned an online chat that we participate in with some fellow manga industry people, including translators. One of them mentioned the translation strategy of glossing over the fiddly bits once you get the underlying meaning. It made me think of all the rants I'm pretty sure we've already made about auxiliary verbs, prepositions, and all those other little details that other translators seem to ignore. Before, we were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say maybe they just missed it, but when somebody comes along and basically says they're ignoring them, I'm like, "Rrrrraaaaaaaaaagggghh!"

Of course, I wasn't a coward about it. I went onto the chat and outright stated, "But don't you miss a lot of nuance that way?" But we didn't get to the conversation until hours later, and a lot of people had moved on. We also quoted The Emperor's New Groove, which created an outlet for a change of subject.

But what I want to rant about now is this: don't you want to understand the language the best you possibly can? Why would you phone it in like that? Don't you like any of the manga you translate? Don't you want to give it the best treatment you possibly can?

On the other hand, we, too, are very busy and tired. I don't think that justifies doing a poor job, but there are a lot of factors I don't know about, so I can't judge.

Today I'm thankful for having plans to go to Disneyland with a friend, finishing our work quota, getting an early start on this week's episode of anime, appropriate places to quote The Emperor's New Groove, and surviving our exercise session for today.
30th-Oct-2018 02:04 pm (UTC)
For what it’s worth, the translator who said that about fiddly bits is among those I’ve never or hardly ever had occasion to note something as seeming off (not that I would catch everything, but there are enough translators who I do regularly find problems with that I think I have some sense of who is reliable). But since I do see a lot of translators who miss stuff, like you pointed out too, I’m glad you made your counterpoint and didn’t leave everyone thinking they can just breeze through! (The translators I have issue with aren’t in the chat group tho, for better or worse...) If the discussion had continued more after you raised your concerns, maybe he’d have explained his perspective, but from what I can tell he does seem to pick up on those important but fiddly nuances in his translations—maybe it’s just a bit of a more natural process at this point and he doesn’t have to get as hung up on each word or particle? (Since the original point was about typos and likelihood of finding them.)
1st-Nov-2018 04:16 am (UTC)
It kind of makes it worse if a really good translator says that, because it gives the not-as-good translators a perceived pass to do it, too, when they're not good enough to get away with it.
1st-Nov-2018 04:50 am (UTC)
That’s a fair point...!!
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