See, we were hoping to win a tablet because that's a thing that would be nice and helpful in easing the burden of one of our responsibilities. What would not help ease any of our stress, especially when our schedule is jam-packed and we're wanting to stay as deep inside our comfort zones as we possibly can, is a trip to a foreign country. And that's why we were a little less excited than you might expect to find out that we'd apparently won a trip to Japan. I say "apparently" because we still haven't been contacted by any of the contest people with details, unless you count our boss for UQ Holder!, who we know kind of helps out with the contest, and who emailed us this afternoon to congratulate us and ask if the trip to Japan would interfere with our ability to translate even more (Harlequin) manga.
(We want to say that it wouldn't, and that we totally can translate some Harlequin manga, because we really like this boss, and she was so excited for us to win, but then we confirmed with Gaston that his in-laws are in fact coming to Disneyland tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday, so the rest of our week is pretty much shot unless we decide we'd rather not go to Disneyland. This is an excruciatingly difficult decision.)
So anyway, we're pretty sure we can get over the anxiety and stuff, but we're not so sure we can get over the not-having-any-sort-of-free-time thing. Either way, on Sunday night when we got the news, we were asking ourselves why we even entered the contest to begin with. And thinking on it, we remembered some pretty decent reasons. First of all, we thought it would be nice to win a tablet. We have the iPad, but we can't both use that for Primary at the same time (we weren't both teaching Primary at the time we entered, but it would still be nice if we each had our own). We also have a Kindle that we got for a work project, but we were supposed to give it back when the project was over, or so we thought. We never got any information on where to send it, and we have asked since then, but with no success. So even though it would be a shame for the Kindle to never be used, we're still not convinced it's okay for us to be the ones to use it.
Second, even though we're more and more terrified of everything, we do think it would be nice to go to Japan again, or at least DisneySea, so we figured we might as well keep our options open. Our current problem is that, being naturally timid, we want to go with someone who knows the ropes and can help us feel like we can get around without accidentally stumbling onto a landmine (metaphorically speaking), and, most importantly, won't make fun of us for not eating Japanese food. A good handle on English is kind of important, too, because when we're that far outside of our comfort zone, English is hard enough. Japanese is pretty much out of the question.
Anyway, the third reason entering the contest didn't seem like such a bad idea at the time is that, back when we entered the contest, we didn't have nearly as much work as we do now. We've taken on three or four new manga titles since then (more if you count Persona), and we have one other big project going on right now, with another one looming somewhere beyond the horizon. Our schedule is such that we think we can just barely get it all done, and we've been working frantically to get a handle on just how much work we have. I think we might be able to manage everything.
The extra special thing about all of this is that our passports expired in December and we haven't done anything to renew them, mainly because we're lazy, but also because we weren't expecting to go to Japan at the end of the month. (Actually I looked into renewing them a couple of weeks ago on the off-chance that we would need them, but then I decided not to do anything because of money and because if we actually did win, we'd need to have expedited the process. It will be expensive, but I guess not as expensive as airfare to Japan.)
But the main reason we entered the contest was that we wanted to prove ourselves. We know we're good translators, but we also like the idea of letting the world know that there's more to translation than just knowing that "this word equals this word so let's just plug them in!" Also, we found out that Mr. Grumpy Translator was going to be one of the judges this year, and after he destroyed our confidence a few years back with a brashly written blog entry, we always suspected that he would like our translations if he actually read them, and we wanted to see if we could prove it.
So of course when they posted the winners with the judges' comments, we had to read them. And we wanted to be all, "In your FACE, Mr. Grumpy Translator!" but then his comments were very complimentary and not in a flattering kind of way, so we were like, "Awww, shucks!" And I guess we ought to stop calling him Mr. Grumpy Translator. (To be honest, it's probably a better name for ourselves anyway, except for the Mr. part. Because we are grumpy translators.)
One of the comments mentioned not usually liking Shakespearean English in translations, but this time it really worked. And we were like, "First of all! It's not really Shakespearean English!" I don't know, maybe it is. But Kipling was using it a couple centuries later, and I don't think it was just to have all ye olde timey characterres. Second of all! the reason it works, aside from the fact that those characters were fox spirits messing with people, is that we were using it correctly. And we know for a fact that not all translators can do that. ...And I just wanted to point that out. I think thee and thou can be used well in translations if used judiciously and correctly.
Oh, and by the way, here's a link to the contest page.
And now it's time for us to prepare for guests...and figure out whether or not we can squeeze some Harlequin manga into our schedule.
Today I'm thankful for all the kind comments we received yesterday (thanks, everybody!), finishing our Chaika translation (one less thing on the to-do list!), having plans to go to Disneyland with friends this week (they'll understand if we have to bow out for work, but we have such a hard time saying no to Disneyland with friends), Noragami being very soon on our to-do list, and being able to once again take advantage of the soothing effects of Boku in Invitation.