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About Translating

If anybody ever reads my INFO pages on my early scanslations (… and I thank you for doing so!), you perhaps already know that I’m pretty much teaching myself to read Japanese as I go. People have asked me about how I go about translating before, but recently, I’ve had a couple of more inquiries, which prompted me to create this page.

My most definitive response thus far was to dave, and I responded with most of following… slightly updated since then, ‘tho. ^_^;;

(Update as of September 16, 2009)

      For all my translations, I do or use or have used the following:
  • Japanese Basics
    • I’ve learned some basics from various sites and from my friend, Humpty. But most of my basic knowledge – sentence structure, basic grammar – comes from this site:
      • http://japanese.about.com/
      • It’s a cool site by Namiko Abe. She not only teaches Japanese grammar, but also provides little anecdotes on Japanese culture. Very insightful!
    • Understanding syntax is important. If you understand basic English grammar, you’re off to a good start. If you understand the structure of more complex English sentences, like prepositional phrases and clauses, even better; you can apply this understanding of English grammar to Japanese grammar, keeping in mind the difference in sentence structure.
  • Translation Program: JQuickTrans
    • It’s more like a dictionary, but it’s also a useful tool in deciphering complex kanji by their radicals.

There’s a whole lotta other sites and references out there that I have bookmarked, but the ones I mentioned here are the ones I use the most. Also, since I started translating, I also pay closer attention to a lot of the fan-subbed animes and try to learn how other translators (see menu on the right for listing of scanslators I follow and/or respect) translate things.

As far as being able to input Japanese text, you have to set your system’s language settings to accept Japanese text. I’m not familiar with Mac, and I’m not sure if I can explain it all that well. But I’ll try.

In PCs, you would do this through the control panel and clicking on the “Language and Regional Settings” icon. PCs are pre-installed with a multiple language input settings to allow the user to customize their PC to suit their language needs. In my case, I customized my system to be able to recognize Japanese UNICODE. I also modified my settings with Microsoft’s IME Standard keyboard service to basically allow me to use a standard QWERTY keyboard to input Japanese characters. So, whenever I type a word in romanji, like “su”, it will appear in Japanese Hiragana, す, or Katakana, ス, or Roman English, su, depending on which input setting I choose. My regional setting is still English; only my input setting is changed to accept Japanese text.

Anyhow, I hope you find this info helpful. Good luck with your editing and translating! Lemme know how your first one goes! 🙂


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