Vetus

February 26, 2011

318 full

Filed under: Updates — CanonRap @ 12:00 am

First off, here’s 318.

Akamatsu’s tweets are generally very insightful, but there’s one particular reply from a “professional translator” to one of Akamatsu’s recent messages that just bugs me.

Now, you can find the Togetter compilation here. Here’s the particular exchange (@KenAkamatsu, @jubeifang):

Illegally scanned manga just casually become “shared property” online. And it’s impossible to withdraw. If only they can slip in an “Evaluation Copy” label or something, at least (since it’s hard to charge for it).

Well, the illegal scans lately are unusually high-quality, and the translation’s even correct (^^;) If the creator loses respect even on the net, then certainly, the official version will lose.

That’s right. Even more, a part of the readers believe that the illegal translations are “the real works”, and request that we fix the translations that we official translators made. That just annoys me.

Whoa, seriously? (^^;)

This is something one of my coworkers encountered, but a part of the readers was illegally reading a certain Jump manga online. Good timing – a new character appears, and the illegal translators decided the name first. And my coworker translates the name of that character in a way different from the illegal translation’s…

After that, readers sent mail to our office, requesting that we “change the translation of the new character’s name to the one translated online”. What a joke.

Oh my. (^^;)

Granted, while I like to think of professional translation as an art form, as translation is not my actual job but rather a hobby, Mr. jubeifang (the translator for the Taiwan publication of Negima, if I recall correctly) having more professional pride in his own work is understandable, and he can certainly give valid reasons as for why he or a coworker wouldn’t comply with a request in this case.

Still, being a professional translator for an already-popular work means you probably should not carelessly disregard, deride or pass judgment on the opinions of its fans, especially if said fans might have been following the series before your own name was attached to it. More importantly, these are the fans who are still buying your products despite their free illegal distribution online, as his messages make very clear.

Yes, your fans used to read (or are still reading) manga illegally online, but – to use that tired old argument – it might entirely be because of those illegal productions that a reader can continue to have an active interest in the work (I’m not endorsing it, but you get the point). A work, I might point out, which gets a release once every three months for anyone without Weekly Shonen deliveries. I don’t remember exactly if Taiwan gets Weekly Shonen translated or not. Anyone confirm or deny that last part?

I don’t “do” a translation just to get paid hourly wages, Internet respects or what have you; I personally know professional translators who chose this line of work for reasons other than a stable income. Your works are being read, enjoyed and scruntinised by people who react to the author’s words as translated by you. Working on a translation without having a connection to or even caring about an existing fanbase which you are supposed to be satisfying just makes very little sense to me.

While a professional translator being indignant in this situation can be considered to be in the right, the fact that he would use words like “annoying” or “what a joke” to refer to fanmail in a publically-viewable comment clearly signed with his own title (when nothing in his own messages had indicated that said fanmail was despicable enough to require such wording) is, whatever his grievances, a poor move to make as a professional.

Sorry for the walls of text (which admittedly is my overreacting to an off-hand comment).

Anyway, my order of 33 still hasn’t arrived yet (I think, I’ll be calling the store tomorrow) so those new bits will have to wait. Which reminds me that I still haven’t finished the questions from 32.

Well. In any case, since the Fate Zero translation is practically finished except for editing, I’ve been wondering what I should translate next… preferably a novel (Index, maybe) since I already have Negima and the Fate Zero manga… hm.

Of course, there’s also Mahoyo which is supposed to be coming out any time now except when it suddenly isn’t anymore. Ah, now I’m all depressed. God damn it, Nasu.

15 Comments

  1. […] translation of chapter 318 is now up: https://vetus.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/318-full/ __________________ To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. […]

    Pingback by RAW discussion thread. - Page 185 - StopTazmo Manga Community! — February 26, 2011 @ 1:11 am

  2. Reflexive response:

    “A work, I might point out, which gets a release once every three months for anyone without weekly Jump deliveries. I don’t remember exactly if Taiwan gets weekly translated Jump or not. Anyone confirm or deny that last part?”

    Negima runs in Weekly Shonen Magazine, not Weekly Shonen Jump.

    For my thoughts on their exchange:

    “This is something one of my coworkers encountered, but a part of the readers was illegally reading a certain Jump manga online. Good timing – a new character appears, and the illegal translators decided the name first. And my coworker translates the name of that character in a way different from the illegal translation’s…

    After that, readers sent mail to our office, requesting that we “change the translation of the new character’s name to the one translated online”. What a joke.”

    This is something that’s been happening for decades. The guy that originally translated the Mobile Suit Gundam novels into english way back before Bandai/Sunrise had any sort of standardized english names received a letter from a fan expressing their disappointment that the translator had changed the name of the fan’s favorite character to Sha. The fan preferred the much more common fan translation of Char. I think anyone familiar with Gundam knows how that one worked out.

    Granted there are times where fans could be a little more respectful of the official translators who may be working under constraints other than what they think is best. However dismissing simple feedback as a joke is not one of those times. Rather it’s a time where the translator is making themselves a bad joke.

    Comment by Krono — February 26, 2011 @ 3:58 am

    • Negima runs in Weekly Shonen Magazine, not Weekly Shonen Jump.

      Ah, right, I knew that. Must have been distracted by the mention of Jump.

      Granted there are times where fans could be a little more respectful of the official translators who may be working under constraints other than what they think is best. However dismissing simple feedback as a joke is not one of those times. Rather it’s a time where the translator is making themselves a bad joke.

      Yes, this exactly.

      Comment by CanonRap — February 26, 2011 @ 4:57 am

  3. I recently got into “Fairy Tail” and with the first volume, William Flanagan had a translator note citing that the spelling of names in the Del Rey versions might be different from fan translation names. However, he wanted fans to know that his spellings came from Mashima-sensei and weren’t just things he made up. That note is subsequently carried over into other volumes of the manga.

    I’ve talked with a number of professional translators over the years. The old school translators tend to chafe at what fans want, especially if it is for things like Japanese honorifics, retaining certain Japanese terms even if they work best for the story (‘youkai’ in “Inuyasha” for example), or retaining Japanese jokes. Younger translators either have no preference on those things or are down for them.

    One thing I liked about Del Rey’s releases were their translator notes because as I mentioned earlier, changes from the original Japanese (especially in jokes) could be addressed.

    BTW, you know what would be an interesting feature for your blog might be some translations of Akamatsu-sensei’s tweets. Just a thought.

    Comment by AstroNerdBoy — February 26, 2011 @ 4:16 am

    • That’s the ideal situation, really. I’m not too familiar with Del Rey’s works, but I have heard some good things about them on their willingness to communicate with fans.

      As for translating Akamatsu’s tweets, well, I sort of already do on my own Twitter. Though it’s only once in a while that he posts something I feel I really want to let people know.

      Comment by CanonRap — February 26, 2011 @ 5:23 am

      • interesting, what’s your twitter?

        Comment by pacojrf — March 4, 2011 @ 2:16 am

        • There’s a link to it below Updates ^^

          Or alternatively, here.

          Comment by CanonRap — March 4, 2011 @ 7:44 am

  4. Thanks for 318!

    Comment by Evangeline 'Tepes Scarlet' Alucard — February 26, 2011 @ 5:53 am

  5. Thanks for 318.

    On the internet translations fo Negima, I must say that if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t even know about the title. It was because the internet scanlation work that I liked negima and started buying the legal copies importing them form Spain, US or wherever I could get them.

    Comment by Mr_ShiNi — February 26, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

  6. I’m a bit confused by the page 14 names, particularly Shiori’s. She’s ‘Luna’ now? What am I missing here?

    Comment by Anon-kun — February 26, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

    • Chapter 284 where we learn her real name is Luna is what you’re missing.

      Comment by Krono — February 26, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  7. First of all, thanks for 318!

    About the exchange, from where I stand, I can say that exactly this kind of attitude from professional translators that sometimes drive fans away from official releases. They assume, correctly or not, that professional translators are doing it for the money, and so, don’t give a damn about the story, while scanlators are fans like them.

    I wonder if mr. Jubeifang considered even for a moment that the fans might have a better translation after all, or just defaulted to “Damn pirates!”.

    Comment by Patrick Gleason — February 26, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

  8. I think the fact that the official Taiwanese translator appears to have a working relationship with KA gives him, at least, the right to bitch about the fans complaining that he’s not “following the scanlation”. It shows that he cares enough about his work to communicate with the author, and means that he is more than likely not just making up random “Taiwanizations” (what is the Chinese equivalent of Romanization?) of the characters names and story terms.

    While there are certainly official translators out there who could care less as long as it sounds similar and they’re still pulling a paycheck, and there might even be a few who might abuse their position to “canonize” a poor translation just to spite the fandom (*cough*Funimation*cough*), I personally have found that when there’s a disparity, the official version usually makes more sense (probably due to author input).

    I don’t know how many times I’ve seen what’s obviously supposed to be a Western name mangled all to hell and back because some obdurate weeaboo scanlator or fansubber had a hair up his butt… Heck, your own spelling of “Dunamis” certainly looks odd to someone who doesn’t know why you spell it that way… Especially when the manga itself spelled it differently…

    Comment by quigonkenny — February 27, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

    • It’s certainly best to have a translator who communicates and works with the original author (like the example ANB mentioned above) and I don’t doubt that such a translator would have the best translation available for non-Japanese fans. In the end, though, the most disagreeable thing for this in this exchange was his response. It’s one thing to complain, another to complain in a such a way that could undermine your relation with the fans.

      Well, in any case, I admit that the way I write “Dunamis” is pretty irregular, even for me. (^^;)

      Comment by CanonRap — February 27, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  9. Fuih~
    I’m just downloaded 317-318 today (well, I’m busy with my final test and my medical treatment this two weeks). And, what da he** happened??! And, Negi is same level with Eva now?!
    Hmm… About the stuff you posted above, bassically the online mangas until today were becomes a problematic matter…?

    Comment by Fate Auverruncus — February 28, 2011 @ 6:39 pm


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