Translating Anime

This will be mostly be a post made by a rather frustrated person, so feel free to skip if I sound too complaining or anything that doesn’t strike a right chord.

I just said I’ve marathoned all my Friday anime. I’ve watched uh… 5 episodes of 5 different shows. Raw. I don’t wait for subbed simulcast episodes. I’d kill my bandwidth and HDD space if I downloaded everything.

So, I’ve been trying to translate an ongoing anime recently that I liked, Kuusen Madoushi Kouhousei no Kyoukan. It’s adapted from a LN of the same name. And it didn’t get the love it desired. I saw Funimation’s episodes 1, 2 and 3. They sometimes missed out on crucial things. Not to say, fugly encode for the 480p and awful timing. So I wanted to “save” it. Almost broke an old good friendship in an effort to gather the ingredients.

Now, I more or less have everything I need that I cannot get later.

Here comes the main problem… I must translate it to English properly. The base script, if not good, won’t hold a candle against anything.

And I realised I was having trouble, and sometimes a lot of trouble expressing what I wanted to say properly in English. They say that you need to learn a subject 3 times the usual amount if you wish to explain or teach the same to someone else. I have been gradually thinking that translating anime is also quite similar. You need to not only understand what is being said and implied with the proper nuance, you also need to convey the same properly in English. Of course, having knowledge of English will help here.

This block I ran into when I tried to do so made me realize some things. First off, I watch anime and only comprehend as I can subconsciously, without putting in much effort to comprehend the thing fully. This needs to change. If I actually try putting the words into another language, not necessarily English, on-the-fly, and also track down words I don’t know (yeah, a lot of them come up and only show how little I know) which I don’t do at all, I’ll get better over time.

Maybe… downloading proper CR subs and  watching them again would help too. Since work done by professionals might help me find new ways to express existing things.

This is even more true for songs… A burning example would be one of my most favourite ones at the moment:

I love this song and Suara’s vocals and the composition. But… I never tried, even once, to actually dive into the lyrics, understand them and then try to express them into another language. Again, here it’s “just understand whatever I can subconsciously”. I feel this is something I need to do with songs often as well. Then also, my knowledge should go up, and I should also be able to see many songs in a new light.

I’d like to try doing the same from here on.

I’m skipping over the lame and true things that are relevant to me as a fansubber/leader of a fansubber group (ugh, it feels embarrassing to even use the word “leader”), and I decided to atleast fix up the translation part first, since that is more fundamental.


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