Not only did I finish a translation, I finished a translation off of a spoken source. I can't remember the last time I did that, but it's been at least seven years. I had forgotten how hard it is, compared to just sitting and watching.
Translating is a funny thing. It seems like it should be really easy -- I understand what is being said, so all I need to do is write it down, right? Ah, if only. There is the obvious problem that concepts in one language may have no easy equivalent in another language. Puns never translate. Strange cultural references, yay.
But this time the part I found really hard had to do with... well, comprehending too much, in a way. I haven't been sitting idle for the past two years, for all that I also haven't been translating. Sitting and reading novels in Japanese has done wonders for my confidence in my reading comprehension. And I have been watching a lot of stuff raw and understanding it just fine. So based on all that progress, translating now should be easier, right?
Except for one little trick. Comprehending things does not mean that one has to fully grok every little word and nuance of a sentence. Get the general feel, then move on. There's no need to dig to make sure that every little detail is right. But good translations demand picking every little nit. So on the one hand I zoom through things thinking "this is easy, I understand everything that is going on and I can translate this in no time", but when it comes down to actually putting words on paper I come screaming to a halt and am thoroughly confused as to why. And so I get frustrated -- it should be easier than this, right?
I think in the long run taking on two ambitious translation projects will be good. But in the short run... let's just say it's a lovely opportunity for some self exploration and self improvement. And at least the folks that I whine to about how frustrating it is are nice and sympathetic -- as long as I give them the translated piece sooner or later. ;)
Now to figure out how to subtitle in this modern age, and explore the mysteries of the BitTorrent. (Which is probably going to require some web space...)