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

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I confess!

Somehow while we were translating volume four of My Little Monster, we failed to notice how text-heavy it is. Oh my goodness, there's a lot of text in this series. Or maybe not, because it's a lot of short sentences (like really short, to the point of, "I have no idea how the letterer is going to fit the shortest possible English translation of this into this tiny bubble"), but there are still a lot of them. And they take a lot of time anyway, because we're still not used to the author's writing style, so there's a lot of, "Huh? What's that supposed to mean? Oh well, I guess we'll figure it out with more context. I hope." My hopes for the edit taking less time (relatively) than Noragami have gotten smaller.

Also, we're thinking of resolving never again to translate a manga that has a ski vacation chapter. How do those things always end up with so much talking? Oh, but who are we kidding? We like it. We just get antsy about time to do other stuff.

Anyway, speaking of My Little Monster, there are two translation-related things that I sort of wanted to talk about (where by "sort of," I mean, I think it's an interesting thing that we noticed, but I'm not sure we actually have a lot to say on the matter). First of all, we've noticed--and it's become relevant to us because we have to match translations from a previous translator--this trend of translating "kokuhaku suru" (or "kokuru" for short) to "ask out." The first time we saw it was actually in the Polar Bear's Cafe subtitles, and I thought, "Huh. That kind of works." But it really only kind of works, because that's not exactly what it means, so if you're not careful, the context can get you on that one. Case in point: Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun, where she kokuhaku'd the boy she liked and got his autograph. It would have been fine, except that after she kokuhaku'd, she mentally urged herself to ask him out (with Japanese words that actually mean that), and all she said out loud was, "I'm a fan," which doesn't really equate to asking someone out...or does it? I admit that's an area we do not have experience with.

So we always get a little iffy about translating it that way, even though the more literal translation tends to sound kind of translaty. It literally means "confess," with a strong implication toward "confessing your love," which, if manga is anything to judge by (and we fully acknowledge that it may not be), is the step that comes before asking someone out in Japanese culture. You tell someone you like them, and if the feeling is mutual, then you start going out. Or that's how it is in manga, anyway. Usually, we just translate it to something like telling someone the character likes them, or telling them how they feel. Like I said, it's all about context. But "ask out" does work any many contexts, so there you go.

The other thing I wanted to talk about was what we call "practical translations," but I think I'm done with translation lectures for today, so more on that tomorrow.

Today I'm thankful for managing to finish our first draft of My Little Monster 5 despite aaaaallll that text (the script actually is not as long as the typical Negima! script, I think), being done taking care of that annoying apartment stuff from yesterday, the super delicious Cheesy Bites Pizza we had for dinner last night (we had to order Pizza Hut so we could try their new cookie; it was delicious, too), finally getting to watch Sailor Moon last night, and having time to do more fun stuff today.
Tags: language geekiness, my little monster, translating
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