How to Become a Japanese Translator

“I want to use my Japanese with work and become a translator!” I’ve written a number of articles in the past about how to translate for beginners and getting translation experience. It’s been a while since I wrote those and my attitudes towards translation have changed. This post is for people who have the Japanese skills and are now looking at becoming a translator.  If you are an intermediate/advanced Japanese skilled person and want to become a translator in the future, the following articles should help you. Useful Articles: Getting Translation Experience I – How to bulk up your Japanese skills … Read More…

Formatting Manga Translations

Many people want to translate manga but there is not much information on how to start translating manga. This series looks at different aspects of translating manga for beginners, with the aim of helping you be a great manga translation and improve the overall quality of manga translation online. Translating Japanese SFX in MangaTranslating Manga for Beginners Part 1: Resources Part 2: Translating SFX (Sound Effects) Part 3: Good Manga Translation Part 4: Translating Accents Part 5: Formatting Translations in Word Files This post looks at how format manga translation, in other words, how to write your translation in word … Read More…

All Games Should Be Localised Like Ni no Kuni

Localizing video games

Translation & Localisation in Games One thing they never explained in my Theory and Practice of Translation MA, was that translation and localisation are two different things. In fact, the subject of localisation was never touched upon at all. Which in hindsight, was a missed opportunity for myself, the other students, and lecturers. How can you teach translation if you don’t cover localisation? It wasn’t until I played the game ‘Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch’ that I realized the importance of localisation, especially in video game translation. Now, some companies leave the translation and localisation entirely to the translator. … Read More…

How to Translate Japanese Accents

Translate Japanese Accents

Translating the Japanese directly doesn’t always work, especially when you come across a character with a Japanese accent. This post looks at how to translate Japanese accents in manga, the kind of accents you’d come across and how best to translate it into an English accent. Many people want to translate manga but there is not much information on how to start translating manga. This series looks at different aspects of translating manga for beginners, with the aim of helping you be a great manga translation and improve the overall quality of manga translation online. Translating Manga for Beginners Part … Read More…

Soft Power and Translating Manga

Translating Manga

  The head of the Theory and Practice of Translation program for my MA was an elderly Chinese man who often made snide remarks about how translating manga wasn’t a “real” form of translation. A view I worry is often shared among professional translators. When the topic of manga comes up many people think of kids people, and never consider the adults that enjoy reading and working with manga translation. They often don’t consider the culture behind each page, the hard work that goes into translating it, or the implications manga can have on society’s perspective of Japan. They don’t … Read More…

What Makes a Good Manga Translation?

You might think translating manga is just turning Japanese into English, but that’s not the case. A good manga translation is a lot more than that. Many people want to translate manga but there is not much information on how to start translating manga. This series looks at different aspects of translating manga for beginners, with the aim of helping you be a great manga translation and improve the overall quality of manga translation online. Translating Manga for Beginners Part 1: Resources Part 2: Translating SFX (Sound Effects) Part 3: Good Manga Translation Part 4: Translating Accents Part 5: Formatting Translations … Read More…

Translating Japanese SFX in Manga

beginner translating manga

Translating Japanese SFX in manga might seem really difficult at first as a beginner but it’s actually a lot easier than you’d think! Many people want to translate manga but there is not much information on how to start translating manga. This series looks at different aspects of translating manga for beginners, with the aim of helping you be a great manga translation and improve the overall quality of manga translation online. Translating Manga for Beginners Part 1: Resources Part 2: Translating SFX (Sound Effects) Part 3: Good Manga Translation Part 4: Translating Accents Part 5: Formatting Translations in Word Files … Read More…

Resources for Translating Manga for Beginners

Translating Manga for Beginners

Many people want to translate manga but there is not much information on how to start translating manga. This series looks at different aspects of translating manga for beginners, with the aim of helping you be a great manga translation and improve the overall quality of manga translation online. Translating Manga for Beginners Part 1: Resources Part 2: Translating SFX (Sound Effects) Part 3: Good Manga Translation Part 4: Translating Accents Part 5: Formatting Translations in Word Files Manga Helpers Community This is a great website for people interested in manga, anime, light novels, and visual novels. But more importantly, people … Read More…

Lessons Learnt as a Beginner Translator

Japanese manga translation cho no michiyuki

Happy International Translation Day! Yes, September 30th is International Translation Day, a day when people all over the world celebrate translation in all its glory. A quick look on Wikipedia reveals that this has been going on since 1953 and always falls on the 30th September the day of the feast of St. Jerome, the Bible translator who is considered the patron saint of translators. As I am only new to industry I felt like sharing my lessons learnt as a beginner translator. These are mostly from mistakes I’ve made over the last year rather than from my MA in Translation, … Read More…

Translation for Beginners – Japanese Translation Agencies

I previously mentioned my studies as an MA student doing translation at SOAS in London. The biggest disappointment has been the lack of vocational information, in other words, useful information for working in the real world, such as with Japanese translation agencies (or agencies in general). There is a large focus on the academic side when 95% of the students are unlikely to become academics. I attended a free Q&A recently with a translation agency in London (who dealt with a variety of languages) who are finding it hard to get good translators. Their Q&A sessions was a way to … Read More…

A Review of MA in Thoery and Practice of Translation, SOAS

  For the past year, from September 2014 until September 2015, I have been doing an MA in the Theory and Practice of Translation (Japanese) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. (Updated 2016) My decision to do this had always been a Plan B as SOAS is seen to be a very prestigious school and there are not many Japanese translation courses in the UK. And due to reasons, my decision and application to the school was a bit of a rush job (done in just 3 days). I had looked at the program in … Read More…

Translating from Japanese to English for Beginners

“I want to be able to translate…” This post is for people interested in Japanese translating but don’t know how to because they haven’t had any formal training. I am assuming that the people interested in translating are at a skill level of between N3-N1 Japanese. Understanding Japanese, and understanding Japanese to then turn it into English are two different skill sets. This is because you not only need to understand the languages you’re translating from, but you need to know the appropriate language to use in the language you’re translating to (which I’m assuming is English). For example, although … Read More…

Getting Translating Experience II

“I want a job in translating but have no experience, and I can’t get any experience without a job…”   The catch 22 of the job world. This problem is even more prominent in translation as almost every position I have ever come across for Japanese/English translation demands at least 3-5 years experience. Many young graduates of Japanese related fields run into this problem. I find that many might not have the necessary Japanese skills to go into translating right after graduation and so often turn to teaching positions in Japan. Myself, and others, are stubborn and resist this approach until it’s … Read More…

Getting Translating Experience I

“I want a job in translating but have no experience, and I can’t get any experience without a job…”   The catch 22 of the job world. This problem is even more prominent in translation as almost every position I have ever come across for Japanese/English translation demands at least 3-5 years experience. Many young graduates of Japanese related fields run into this problem. I find that many might not have the necessary Japanese skills to go into translating right after graduation and so often turn to teaching positions in Japan. Myself, and others, are stubborn and resist this approach until it’s … Read More…