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Alethea & Athena
In with the new (a little early) 
30th-Dec-2014 06:01 pm
Thanks to help from NO ONE, we finished our Noragami script. (Don't mind me; that's just the perfectionism stress talking...and the twisted sense of humor not shutting it up.) Ultimately we decided to go with "crafter," because the only one who would help us was Wiktionary, and that was its suggestion. Also, we thought it was a decent one. Turning in Noragami is always a little scary, because we love it so much, but it's so hard, and there's always this feeling of, "But did we make it the BEST it could be?" But we've read through it, and it seems pretty good, dialogue-wise. Story-wise, of course it's good, but we had nothing to do with that. Now we just have to find time somewhere to write up a reaction post to be saved for the book's release date.

In the meantime, we're hard at work on our next series, which already has a page on Yen Press's website, so we might as well tell you what it is. It's Chaika: The Coffin Princess. We knew very little about it going in, but so far it's pretty fun. There's one character who's so easy to translate that it makes me wonder if Noragami was a bad fit. (Who cares! We'll do a good job anyway! ...I think. Besides, one easy-to-translate character can be found in any series.) It also seems to play with language a lot, and we're not sure if it's with real languages or made-up ones, but that will be some fun research for when we do our edit.

Also, there's a character who doesn't speak the main language fluently, so now we're thinking about how to accurately represent English as a second language. Right now, our best idea is to refer to Disney's Tarzan, because he speaks in broken sentences like this character. And because we like Disney's Tarzan. But if anybody knows of any other movies or TV shows that feature characters speaking English as a second language, we're happy to take suggestions.

Today I'm thankful for finishing another great volume of Noragami, this new series being a lot of fun (we're hoping the anime is on Netflix, because then we can turn off the subtitles and watch it without fear of translation influence), not being outside in the windy weather, Mom calling us with news of paychecks, and Kingdom Hearts [chi] being back online.
31st-Dec-2014 12:23 am (UTC)
Congrats on a new series. Chaika is written by the same author as The Scrapped Princess. I plan to check out the anime on crunchy roll.
31st-Dec-2014 08:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! We didn't realize it was the same author, so thanks for the info, too!
31st-Dec-2014 02:29 am (UTC)
Oh man, I was asked if I wanted to letter Chaika! But I wasn't sure if it would fit with my schedule... (and didn't know enough about it for it to want it whether I had time or not.) It should be in another good letterer's hands, though! And I'll definitely check it out when it's released!

Sorry I didn't comment last niiight! I got home late and read your post, but decided I'd leave a response in the morning. And then I was sleepy-headed all day so I didn't. But I would be for translating the term, and crafter sounds like a good choice!

I did take the time last night to vote for (and read) your translation battle entry!! And I just voted again :) As I recall, the grand prize winner and the winner for each series is decided by the judges rather than the popular vote (which inevitably will go to the series or the translator with the most fans) but I wish you luck all around! I definitely think your translation is the best for Kamakura Monogatari (haven't got around to reading any others, and I really only read yours and skimmed the other two to see how they handled certain points. I liked the archaic English you used! (especially because—of course—it was used correctly :) )

I think there is an option (if you right-click on the video screen) to turn off subtitles on Crunchyroll, if you go that route for watching Chaika. I know I can do that for Yona; I can't check Chaika though because CR isn't loading at all for me right now. The translations I've seen of the character's broken speech (or people imitating the style of speech on forums, etc) is really annoying to read. Like, they make each word or two a "sentence" with a period at the end or something. I don't suppose it's possible to render broken speech in a way that doesn't disrupt the reading experience, but I find it especially irksome because it doesn't really read like actual broken language so much as a cutesy quirk. And like, it's inconsistent, leaving out a word in one phrase, but then using the word freely a sentence later. One thing that particularly bothers me (to my shame, I'm watching an episode on some pirate site to remind myself, while CR is acting up) is the (translation's) phrasing rarely using the "I" pronoun. I think that's common enough in Japanese and maybe the subtitles are just literally translating each word that's spoken, but for an English script, even a learner of the language would know and use "I" pretty commonly, right?

The manga From Far Away has, as part of its early story, a character learning the language, so you might check out the first few volumes of that if you want to read other examples of broken language use. I think it was pretty well done there. You could also look for videos online with actual English language learners speaking (I saw a couple ESL student interviews around youtube—the last one's not great audio but has a good variety of interviewees) to pick up an idea of how words/articles/tenses are commonly used (or misused).

Edited at 2014-12-31 05:39 am (UTC)
31st-Dec-2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
Aww, that would have been cool! But when you're busy you're busy. There are some parts that seem like they might take some extra time, like the bit where the unicorn shows up and the text is all swirly in a circle. I don't know how time-consuming that would be, but it seems like it would be on the more time-consuming side. (Nevertheless, we think you're missing out. On the other hand, Barakamon.)

Haha, no worries about the lack of a comment. I decided to think it means there is no obvious solution so we don't have to worry about readers being all, "I can't believe they did it like that. Anyone can see they should have done it like this."

Yay, thanks for voting! We did get the feeling that the voting has nothing to do with the main winners, or at least they don't affect it much. But I still want to say to all the Crown of Thorn fans, "It's okay. Just check out the other stuff, too." We did have a bit of trouble with the archaic English, because we wanted to use thee and thou, but when he's talking to both of them, he should probably be using you and ye (and he should probably be using you and ye anyway, because he's using a more respectful term of address, and thee and thou are more familiar, but he also looks down on them, and besides it's just a fox messing around anyway), but then using "you" might make it seem like we were being inconsistent, and... So we danced around it. Ha! (Or something. I actually don't remember what we did.)

Oooh, that would be great if we could turn off Crunchyroll subtitles! We'll have to try it! Mostly we're just dying to know who voices all these characters (more specifically the young male ones). Chaika does have a habit of listing words as if she learned the language with a dictionary and no grammar book, so the one-word sentences make sense, but she does try to form whole sentences sometimes. I think, as you mentioned, the hardest part is going to be consistency. We may need to have a formula of some sort. You're right about "I," though.

We prefer to go with things that are not translated, because using translations for style inspiration is kind of like copying a picture instead of drawing from real life, if that makes sense. On the other hand, a fictional character would have that problem regardless of what language s/he was originally written in. That being the case, your YouTube idea is excellent! We'll have to look into that.
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