Alethea & Athena (double_dear) wrote,
Alethea & Athena
double_dear

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Good or bad

Well, there's not much to report today. At least, I think there's not. I kind of forgot everything that happened, because we were on this Discord and a translator copied some excerpts from a light novel that was apparently so bad, and we were reading the excerpts, and we were like, "Well, I can't necessarily speak for the Japanese writing, seeing as how these excerpts are in English, but we think with some polish, the individual sentences could at least sound better." The translator gave us her permission to rewrite the whole book, so we spent the last fifteen, twenty minutes tweaking her first excerpt.

The whole thing does make us think, once again, about our theory(?) that sometimes people will write something off as poorly done just because they don't think it's interesting. ...I mean, I can't exclude myself from that. Just because I personally think Frozen is objectively a bad movie doesn't mean it's actually that poorly made. But the problem is, sometimes it seems like a translator will come across a story like that and write it off as just bad writing when it's only bad to them personally. Then the translation suffers because they already think the writing is bad, and therefore they should/can use bad writing in the translation.

The biggest problem with this, of course, is that unless they're a native speaker with training in good writing, they can't really know if the story is badly written. And the other biggest problem with it is that, even if it's a story that bombed, if you're being asked to translate it, as a professional, you should assume that somebody out there thinks it's good, and, especially because you're getting paid (although I admit the odds are pretty darn high that you're not getting paid enough...), you should do your best to make a good translation, regardless of how good or bad you think the original is. At least, that's our policy on the matter. And believe me, much as we try to like everything we work on, there are a few things that just...

Anyway. That's my mini-rant for the day. I should probably point out that, absent the full text of these novels, we couldn't say one way or another if they were good or bad. There's a good chance she's right and they were terrible.

Today I'm thankful for not losing all our battles in the International Challenge today, the lovely weather we had today, allllmost finishing our first draft of In/Spectre, the super yummy chocolate-covered Nutter Butters we had for a snack, and Page looking so cute (if only she would eat something...).
Tags: translating
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