Mon, 10 October 2011
You can hear more of Bill's history as a translator on the episode of ANNCast he appeared.
Bill also has a website Translation Dojo
Current Series for Bill are xxxHolic, Sailor Moon, A Bride's Story, Lucky Star, Kobato, and Gate 7.
Current Series for Mari are Ayako, Naruto, Inu-Yasha, Book of Human Insects, Bloody Monday, and Cage of Eden.
As a translator myself I found this episode very interesting, and wanted to add a few points of my own. 1) Witnessing the growth of Tezuka is -- unfortunately in this case -- also witnessing the growth of the translator. Metropolis, Lost World, and Next World were the first four books I ever did. I've never been able to bring myself to look at them again, but I imagine they must be a bit clumsy. Then again, maybe that suits the material. (Later on I did Swallowing the Earth, and that's a translation I'm quite proud of.) 2) Something that wasn't mentioned about the shortening of names is that it's a blessing if the word balloons are tiny. I did the translation for Zoo In Winter as well, and "Hamaguchi" is effectively 9 letters in English, 2 in Japanese. When they shortened his name and actually explained it, I breathed a sigh of relief. 3) In Japan it's not just about accents, it's also dialects. Different vocabularies used in different regions. Also, class has to be taken into account as well. I think using certain accents to represent a kind of universal back-woods farming class is one thing, but you wouldn't want a middle-class Osakan to sound that way. I think William's approach is the right one. 4) I think a modern translation of Sailor Moon should reference 90s pop culture, not modern. The reason being: for example,if a Japanese person reading that now is baffled by a reference to a 90s pop star, shouldn't the American reader be just as baffled? I think the reading experience should be as analagous as possible between audiences. Of course, that's totally the wrong path to take if you want to sell more books. KS