An Article: “On Translation”

I’ve recently found my free time being used to replay Megaman Battle Network 4, an experience I would wish on no sane or sensible man, and am hence struck with a grave desire to find any justifiable excuse possible to escape it. So, I’ve found myself writing a little essay explaining – from my viewpoint – the nature of translation, and why I choose to make the choices I do about it.

You can find a link to it here.

I’m still not entirely happy with it from a writing standpoint – I feel like I spend entirely too much time setting up for the point and then not enough time at all actually delivering it. I’ll probably end up slowly tweaking and poking at it over the next few days, and when I’m happy with it I’ll drop a permanent link to it in the Articles section.

Edit: Having slept on it, added about 6 more paragraphs to beef that section out a bit. Pretty happy with it now.

For now, though, two questions.

a) Would you guys like and enjoy more ‘editorial’ content like this? Would further essays about translation, fansubbing stuff and other relevant topics be something you guys would be interested in seeing?

b) If yes, what would your opinions be on turning this into a more forum-like thing, with an initial essay and then maybe getting some further opinions from other fansubbers to share their own viewpoints, and sort of build up topics of discussion from people who – hopefully – you’d be interested in hearing the opinions of? (And don’t worry, I don’t class myself as one of them <3)

Anyway, do give feedback and critique and let me know if you enjoy it.

6 thoughts on “An Article: “On Translation”

  1. Generally speaking, I’m really interested in the nature of translation, and have had discussions with friends that were probably longer than they needed to be (and got to close to arguments) on the nature of the beast, so I’m pleased to hear any more about your process, as you’re more from the school I like.

  2. I would be interested in more of this stuff about translating as well. The whole thing with Kijima’s word puns really opened the door for this kind of thing, I think it would be a good learning experience.

    For reference, I’m one of the guys on /m/ who’s been pestering you about these translations, and for extra bonus I’m also the guy who does the GIFs :)

  3. Actually, thinking about it, there’s one quirk of your translations that’s somewhat controversial, and I’ve always sort of wondered about. The nicknames. Is it just a attempt to preserve the familiar and friendly nature of -chan or something else, and what brings you to go with the nicknames you do?

    • Yeah, generally it’s trying to preserve the nuance of the honorific where the nuance is weird. Like, Yuuki’s use of -chan for Gentarou is kind of odd considering his demeanour, so I feel like a semi-embarassing nickname kinda works for him. Whereas with say, Cancer’s use of “Ryuu-chan” for Ryuusei, it’s entirely condescending, so making it sound like something a child would say kinda rubs that aspect of it in.

      Then there’s, for example, “Gotou-chan” in OOO which is just buddy-buddy cameraderie. Generally, you can nuke an honorific and not lose too much if you remember to write it into the tone of the sentence, but some of them are just such presences in and of themselves they need to have something done to replace them.

  4. Further essays on translation style and practices would be very appreciated. It’s a fascinating topic.

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