February 4th, 2009

kid flash


Man, today has been pretty intense in the work sector. Leave it to Negima to save the hard part for after we've translated the book. It's looking up spellings and quotes that always does us in.

And this one had the manga equivalent of a montage. I guess that would be a collage? Anyway, it was a whole page filled with cut-outs of past scenes that we wanted to find and make sure were consistent, which is a lot harder when we don't have digital scripts. If we had translated the first twenty volumes ourselves, we would be able to just open up the scripts and use Ctrl+F to search for all the potential lines. But since all the previous copies we have are hard copies instead, we had to flip through all of them to find the pictures. And then, because Akamatsu-sensei didn't always use the line that went with that exact picture, we had to look around a little more to find the right one.

It was a little hard on us as translators, because we hadn't translated the previous volumes, so sometimes we'd find the line and think about how we would have translated it better. But then we calmed down and realized it was usually still a good translation, like with "Uh-huh" instead of "Yeah," or "Stay put!" instead of "Don't go!" (our translations are the latter in each case).

But there's a problem that comes with all flashback translations--we're pretty sure it's not just a Negima thing, because we've had to deal with it in Fruits Basket, too. A lot of the time, a character will remember a part of a line from a specific scene, but not the entire line. This is okay as long as the final translation stays as close to the Japanese as possible. But sometimes the line was adapted so that it doesn't quite work that way. It's possible that it was the translation's fault, but as translators, we tend to side with the translators. Of course, come to think of it, in our Negima example, it could just be that the Japanese grammar makes it easier to take that stuff out. And this isn't going to make any sense because I'm not using those examples. Ah well.

It was actually kind of fun to flip through the series looking for those scenes, though. Kind of like a puzzle or solving a mystery or something, matching the pictures. And we did eventually find every one of them! Except for the one that didn't have any dialogue on it. We didn't really look for that one.

In completely unrelated news, we tried blueberry muffin flavored Frosted Mini Wheats today. They reaffirmed my opinion that specially flavored Frosted Mini Wheats just aren't as good as the regular kind, but I like the pretty blue color. Now I've tried every flavor but strawberry delight!

Today I'm thankful for being able to find all those flashbacks, having chocolate covered pretzels, having the right to talk funny if I want, grammar, and language.