That being the case, it's a good thing we pre-wrote today's entry. Otherwise, we might not have time for it. It might be the first in a series of posts, but those posts haven't been written. Anyway, here it is:
Part One: The Journey
Okay, so I'm trying to write this at the same time as listening to Koe no Ouji-sama CDs, so this might get a little fragmented at places as we get distracted by singing along, but as Miyu Irino sings Under the Sea, we are reminded that we are separated by a mere one degree! Whoa, that's kind of huge.
It all started...well, it kind of started in November of 2009. That's when a blog post a certain grumpy translator (no longer a proper noun; I believe now he may not be perpetually grumpy) shattered our confidence. Okay, maybe not shattered, but put a big dent in it anyway. We were like, "It's okay; he just doesn't have enough information to judge properly, that's all. ...But if nobody really cares about quality anyway, or has any idea how to properly judge it, what does it matter one way or the other?"
We have a lot of stick-to-it-ivity, so we rallied and managed to hang on to our sanity, but it was tough. But then came January the next year. We were contacted by an agent from a translation agency, looking to hire video game translators for a large MMORPG that was going to need a bunch of translators very soon. We think it's interesting to note that he has the same name as the Guardian of Dreams from Angelique.
The thing about video games translation projects is they seem to like to keep things secret, so they don't like to tell you what it is you'll be working on until after you agree to do it and sign a non-disclosure agreement. We'd seen online a lot of people tend to disparage agents who are all, "Hey, wanna work on this super secret project? I can't tell you what it is, but I promise you it's awesome."
I can see the logic in not trusting that kind of thing, but that's not why we might have dragged our feet a little in getting the paperwork done. The real reason is that we're lazy and paperwork is annoying. Nevertheless, for some reason we had a feeling that we really should get on board with this project. And so we filled out the paperwork (it involved faxing, too, so we had to go to our apartment complex's management office and borrow the fax machine; talk about a pain in the neck).
So we had the NDA done, but we still hadn't completed the screening process--they wanted to make sure we could actually, like, translate and stuff. So they gave us a test. Actually, they gave us a couple of tests, because we told them that we like to work as a team, so we each had an individual test, and a test that we did together. I don't think I've ever been more nervous for a test than I was for these tests. We always tested well in school, even in Japanese class. But by now we knew what the project was, for one thing, and for another thing, as previously mentioned, our confidence was not in a good place.
And as a matter of fact, we failed the test. But the agent really liked our work ethic--we finished the tests in record time! And the agent also told us that the person who reviewed our tests was their strictest reviewer. We saw the feedback for our tests, and the complaints really did seem a little nitpicky. He showed our tests to the client's reviewer, and the client's reviewer was all, "Looks good except for all the ellipses."
But we still didn't get the job.
However, because we showed such promise, the agent was determined to get us on a project. It was decided that if we had someone with more experience, who could kind of mentor us, that we could probably handle a video game translation. So they offered to let us work on a PSP game, which again they wouldn't tell us what it was.
Some of you may remember around August of 2010, we started freaking out because we might have to spend an extended amount of time overseas. This was why--part of the project, depending on how they wanted to do things, would involve quality assurance that may or may not take place in Japan.
Well, the client for this project is known for making very intricate games, and so it was quite some time before the project made it to a point that it was ready to put translators to work on it. But eventually, we finally got to work, and that's when we finally found out for sure, after suspecting for many months, that we had been assigned to translate Final Fantasy Type-0.
Today I'm thankful for getting our exceedingly shiny new package today (I imagine opening the box and light shining out of it; pretty sure that won't actually happen, but it's fun to pretend), getting to work on a fun manga that we like today, Haagen Dazs mint chip ice cream, the forecast predicting cooler weather today, and having gotten to work on a really great video game project.