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

Translation philosophy

Athena and I specifically stopped playing video games early so we could watch an episode of Miraculous (after the four we'd already watched today...), have some sundaes, and still get to LJ at a reasonable time to write up some more Miraculous reviews, but! we went to Discord first, and apparently while we were busy watching Miraculous and playing video games, there was a lively discussion about translation philosophy. Namely, do you translate according to author intent, or equivalent experience, as well as, how appropriate is it to add jokes where there are none in the Japanese? There was a lot of back and forth about, "But how did the fans understand it?" and, "How can you even know that?"

I'll spare myself the tedious details by just repeating here what I said there:

"Athena and I don't trust ourselves to know quality writing as opposed to whether or not we like something, so our strategy is to understand the text to the very best of our ability, including looking up certain particles, verb endings, etc. in Japanese language dictionaries and language websites to make sure we know what nuance and character voice it adds to the dialogue. Then we recreate it according to our own understanding. (Fortunately for us, there are two of us, so we do have at least two different perspectives, and we don't agree as often as you might think.)

Of course, it's going to have our own tone to it, because the words we come up with to express an idea aren't going to be the same ones another translator comes up with, but our goal is to be faithful to (our understanding of) the original text.

(Sometimes that involves throwing out all the J-E definitions to more faithfully match the tone.)

But the one thing we want every translator to have as their mantra is this:
SERVE THE STORY, NOT YOUR EGO."

Today I'm thankful for finishing work early, the Quick Play mode of Ring Fit Adventure, getting to play plenty of video games, getting to watching plenty of Miraculous, and getting candy from the bishop's office yesterday.
Tags: translating
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