Monday, May 9, 2016

Seeking Non-English Translations

It came to my attention today that there's a Thai translation of one of THE GALLO songs based on our transcription and romanization, and it got me thinking --

We've talked to good friends for a long time about adding other language translations to this blog, as a lot of THE GALLO's fans local in Japan speak languages other than English. A lot of this never came to fruition aside from a couple of Russian translations a friend did (which unfortunately aren't back online yet), but with the Thai translation, it's gotten me thinking about this topic again.

I'd like to add lyrics translations in a variety of languages for international fans all over the world so that even if they don't speak English, or if they don't speak it as well as their native language, they can enjoy THE GALLO's songs the same way we do -- with a full understanding of what's being said.

So, this is an open invite for foreign language translations. But, I do have a couple of conditions --

(1) Send me an Ask or Submission over on Tumblr if you're interested. Please don't just start sending translations; I do want to talk about things first! Do let me know what language you'll be translating into.

(2) For the sake of clarity and fluency, I'm only going to accept at this time translations from people who natively speak the target language. That is, for example, we need you to be a native speaker of Spanish, and not just studying Spanish. I want to make sure that the translations we provide are top-notch for the people relying on us for accurate, understandable lyrics!

(3) I strongly prefer people who are about a JLPT N2 level or higher when it comes to Japanese. I know it's easy to glance over Japanese text or pop things into a dictionary and think you know what's being said, but we pride ourselves on accuracy and depth of translations -- I want to know that you know what you're talking about in a translation, and not just winging it. Jojo's lyrics are full of historical references, difficult-to-read kanji, and adult themes. It's important that these things can be conveyed correctly to our site's visitors, and it's important that footnotes (like the ones we have all over our English translations) can easily be provided. As in, if you need to do research in Japanese to explain something (as we often do), you're capable of that.

(4) The above point kind of already implies it, but I want to say this clearly: we will not accept submissions based off of our English translations or any other language translations. We will only accept submissions based on the original Japanese. Again, you need to know and understand the source material.

  • There are a lot of nuances that end up getting lost in our English translations.
  • There are a lot of words that do not translate smoothly to English, but might have an equivalent in another language.
  • There might be an idiom we used in English that you accidentally translate verbatim into your own language.

For these reasons and more, we need translators to be working from the source Japanese matierals. (Which we can provide if they are not online on our site already. We have all lyric books and most lyrics already typed up in Japanese -- no problem.)

If you've stuck it out this far, thank you so much for considering this! And please don't be too scared by the above. If you're uncertain about any of the points, or not sure if your Japanese level is quite where we'd like it, please drop me a line where mentioned above. I'll be happy to discuss things with you!

(Of course, because of the difficulty of Jojo's lyrics even for folks who know Japanese well, there can sometimes be times where you might not know this or that from what's being said. My comod and I will be here for consultation if you ever need it, but we do want you to be capable of handling most translation on your own.)

**Of course, all translations will be credited and a link to the translator's website/blog/portfolio/whatever can also be posted if desired.**