March on Earth
Once again, I had to refer to old emails to remember more about this assignment, because I seemed to remember it coming up out of the blue, and it looks like that was the case with both volumes of the title. I guess at the time we were more used to new title assignments coming in separate emails, but now it seems to be a common thing (though I can't be too sure because we haven't gotten a whole lot of new assignments in a while) for us to turn in a translation, and have a response that says, "Thanks, and by the way, want to translate this?" That's what happened with March on Earth. It may have also seemed extra sudden because it came in February 2008, which was the Month of Tons of New Assignments.
The story is about a teenage girl who was raised by her sister. That sister died in a car crash, leaving behind a two-year-old little boy (her son) and her little sister. Now there's no one to take care of the boy except the main character, who learns about love and family as she tries to balance her education (we can't remember if she was in high school or middle school) with raising a toddler.
Now that we've been spending a lot of time with a toddler, we're thinking we could probably translate the series a little more accurately these days. We remember the boy...Sho? I seriously can't remember a single name from this series. Okay, we pulled up an old script. Looks like we went with Shou. (Athena actually remembered Seita, and apparently Shou.) Anyway, we remember him calling the dump truck "ga" (because that's the sound it makes), and we're like, "That is so toddlery."
Speaking of Shou, he spoke toddler talk, and the grownups would all comment on it, so it became important to not translate it as if it were normal talk. And besides, how bad would that have been? The kid is two years old. Two-year-olds don't talk like grownups. It's a fact of nature. But we didn't want to have him talking like Elmer Fudd, with the Rs all sounding like Ws, so instead, he had all his Ls sound like Ys. We had a friend in elementary school (who continued to be our friend off and on through middle school and high school) whose little sister had the L-Y speech impediment, and (if I remember correctly) insisted on saying "yeyyow" instead of "yellow" long past the time she should have reasonably been speaking properly. I think it was revealed that she was doing it deliberately, because all the grownups thought it was so cute. Memories of Stephen Colbert's Cookie Monster expose on the Daily Show, in which he interviewed another young boy who had the same speech impediment, sealed the deal, and so it was decided. We did, however, have to resort to Elmer Fudd speak in the case of "strawberries," because I wanted to say that "strawbeyyies" is impossible to spell but obviously I just did. On the other hand, the singular form, "strawbeyyy," really doesn't work as well.
The title, March on Earth, comes from the title of a children's book Shou's mother wrote right before she died, that was basically a summary of her relationship with the main girl, and how the main girl always knew she was loved. I'm really not sure why the book was called March on Earth, in English or Japanese, but the Japanese version makes a teeny tiny bit more sense, because it's Chikyuu Shinsoukyoku, which means, literally, Earth March, where "march" is the musical piece. Y'know, like Sousa writes. We always thought a better translation would be March for Earth, because March on Earth sounds like an alien invasion or some other form of hostile takeover. But I guess March for Earth could still sound a little military, or like you're doing a Walk-a-thon (you know, like in elementary school, when you told all the grownups you knew that you were going to walk X amount, and asked them to pledge Y dollars; like the March of Dimes), if you don't make that musical connection. It's just confusing all around.
There was a bit of a funny incident with this series in that it marks our first and only missed deadline. Technically there were other "missed deadlines" for TokyoPop, but only because the deadline wasn't input properly in the work order, like a typo. We would email our boss and ask about it, and she'd always tell us not to worry about it. There may have been other times when we had to push deadlines back because we didn't get the materials in time, but March on Earth was the first one in which we had the book and completely forgot it needed translating. CMX Boss emailed and said, "It looks like I don't have the translation for volume two of this title. Could you resend it?" And we were like, "Oooohhh, snap." Further inspection revealed that there was some confusion in regard to the contract, partly due to the fact that CMX would often send contracts several months before they really needed a translation (so it's easy to put a project on the back burner...and forget all about it), but anyway CMX Boss took partial responsibility because he's a nice guy like that and I don't think the consequences were too grim for anybody, but we don't know what the aftermath was for everybody else once we finally got it in.
On the translation difficulty scale...I really can't remember the series well enough to say. We'll just go with the average six.
Favorite character would be the next-door neighbor that had a crush on the main girl. We think he was the one named Seita, but we don't know for sure if that was him or his little brother. But the point is, he was hilarious.
And...I think that covers it.
Today I'm thankful for not being in too much trouble for missing our deadline, Logan being pretty low-energy yesterday, finding out more cool stuff about our family history (although we're pretty sure it's not really accurate), getting to see Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last night (that's probably the only time I'll spell it with the proper punctuation), and getting to visit with people last night.