I’m currently translating the first of the prologue chapters and plan to have it done sometime this week. Since this is my first attempt at translation, I’ve looked at how others do it and decided (tentatively) to use this as my process:
- First Pass: This is where I do a bulk translation using MTL just to get a rough idea of what is going on context-wise (don’t worry, this is nowhere near the final product. More like a very early beginning). I make use of a couple of translation engines and look all of them over to see if there is a general pattern to it and then compare it to the original sentence.
- Second Pass: I then go line by line and check with dictionary sources (and what I remember of Japanese which I took during university) to determine if what was produced in the first pass is salvageable or needs to be tossed out. This includes entirely re-translating the sentence manually if it is so far off the mark as to be unusable.
- Proofreading/Editing Pass: After everything is translated, then I read through it to make sure it is intelligible and I’m not outputting Engrish. While I do believe in being accurate as far as translating, I believe even more strongly in making sure it reads well for English speakers. (You can blame Estelion (also known as The Grand Arbiter of Translation Ethics) for this philosophy, although I hope to become as proficient at it as he is in the future).
- Final Check: This is to make sure that everything was done correctly and no errors somehow slipped through.
- Post: And then I release the chapter out to the world like a plague and hope it spreads.
So with the above, you can see behind the curtain a bit. Currently I’m in the second pass stage and hope to be done by the end of the week. For those of you who wonder why I bother doing the first and second pass and not just do a second pass, the simple answer is time. Performing a bulk translation pass for the first run through saves me a lot of time later on. Granted, there are some sentences which are so garbled as to be useless but 80% of the material is usable hence the time savings.
I also wanted to say the above process will change as time goes by, I learn more Japanese and as I get better at it. As mentioned on the main translations page, I’m committing to at least release once a month, but I’m aiming for it to become weekly. It all depends of course on other things such as RL and my original works (which I will be posting at the same time as well and I hope you enjoy them in between the translated releases).
Now, some have suggested I go ahead and build a bit of a backlog before posting, but I will be posting this prologue as soon as I am done in order to show I’m committed to translating this series and to get feedback if I am doing it right.
I hope you enjoy reading it and look forward to your feedback!