Which light novel would you rather have me translate: Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko or Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru? Check out the samples and vote below the cut!
Edit: The poll is now closed. Read Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko here.
I’ll leave the short translation samples up here so that you can get a feel for my translation style. While I keep in honorifics, I translate puns and localise anything overtly Japanese. This is not because I assume the reader does not understand Japanese culture but because I’m uncomfortable with making out the Japanese aspects as something exotic or superior to the English language, which is something I feel happens too often in fan translations.
Here’s how the translation is going to work: I’ll be posting up the translation in chapter-by-chapter installments. These posts will probably come once every 2-4 weeks depending on my pace. Between the translations, I’ll also be posting my regular editorials, so non-LN readers don’t need to worry about not being pandered to.
===== Oregairu =====
“A Reflection of My High School Years”
By Hikigaya Hachiman, class 2-F
Youth is both a lie and a form of evil.
Those who glorify youth are only fooling themselves and those around them, believing that their actions are justified by their surroundings. They make out as if any kind of serious mistake is a mark of being young, a footnote in the story of their lives.
An example: All people say about boys who join a gang or who commit crimes like shoplifting is that “boys will be boys”. And if they underachieve on their exams, they will promptly claim that school is not just for studying.
By calling that “youth”, they distort all logic and common sense. They even refer to their lies, secrets, sins and failures as the spice of life. Even then, they identify those very evils and failures as inapplicable to them, as if they are special cases. Their own mistakes are excusable by society, yet they refuse to acknowledge everyone else’s youthful indiscretions as anything but their own follies.
If failure is the mark of being young like they say, then someone who has failed to make friends must surely be at the prime of his life. However, I am certain the hypocrites would disagree. They speak nothing of worth. All of this is merely their double standards at play and nothing else. In that case, it is a deception. Falsehood, deceit, secrecy and fraud are the highest forms of debauchery.
They are evil.
Hence, he who represents utmost righteousness is, paradoxically, he who refuses to glorify the idea of youth.
Therefore, in conclusion:
You should all get fucked.
===== Hentai Ouji =====
Say they hold a popularity contest to decide what the best swimsuit style is. What would be number one?
Is there anyone who has not thought about this eternal question of life even once? Before you ask, I ponder over it every day.
There are people out there who reveal some dirty hidden thoughts when they claim that bikinis are the best, what with how liberating they’re meant to be. Breasts sure are liberated when you can see them sticking out.
No, wait – hold on. There’s also the one-piece type swimsuit, a stellar hit among those who like to fantasise about pure girls.
However, the question I ponder is even more complicated than this. Let’s not forget the third mythical power – that of the competitive swimsuit.
Before you laugh and point at me, I’d like you to check out the girls’ swimming club activities pronto. It’s not as boring as you think. Without any doubt, you will realise that the competitive swimsuit is the stuff of magic. Just in case, however, I hold no responsibility for the enormous difficulties in life you may face should you barge into the pool in the name of research on this magic.
So, you ask, just how would you observe the swimming club?
At my high school, the field grounds are directly adjoined to the outdoor pool. Although a reinforced metal and concrete wall cruelly stands between them, I discovered a thin gap on the corner of the wall on my third day of high school. It was a blind spot from the pool side, an oasis where you could catch a glimpse of this paradise from heaven.
Naturally, peeping is a crime. An absolutely heinous crime.
But hey, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!
Good luck on your endeavors then!
Haha, thanks! Same to you! I’ll be back before you know it ;)
For what it’s worth your blogging has inspired me to have more fun with my own writing. Anime blogging tends to be so serious it’s easy to burn out. It’s obvious that you enjoy writing this blog and it has been a treat to read it. So often anime blogging is about who can bitch the best and so finding an blogger who is obviously having fun with their writing has been a real motivating factor for me to try and improve me own writing, something I didn’t even realize I had become a bit burned out on before reading this blog.
The last time I was given the whole get a girlfriend/life speech I told my mom(in my case it’s only my mom and sisters who really feel that way) that if I go out and get a girlfriend she is going to be someone like me. The thought of me going out and finding a girlfriend who is as much of a nerd as I am scared them enough that they haven’t brought it up in years. A hollow victory perhaps, but a victory none the less.
Also, count one vote for HenNeko. Between those two that is the one I would like to read.
I have to admit, I’m curious why you are heading to the Philippines, mind if I ask what you are doing? That doesn’t seem like the type of place to go for the holidays right now. Do you have family there? If so I hope they are doing alright. I work with a woman who is originally from the Philippines and the devastation has been horrific. If you are going there to bring relief of some kind I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks a lot for the compliments! They really mean a lot to me. Glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying writing yourself. I think people do tend to write better when they’re having fun.
Ah, yes, I don’t talk a lot about myself on this blog, do I? I’m half-Filipino. My trip to the Philippines was something my mother had planned a year ago, so hearing about the typhoon made me feel very dismayed. Luckily, my extended family over there lives inland and was completely unharmed. We’ve been sending money over for the last couple of months now and we’ll be bringing boxes of food over when we go. It’s primarily a family visit, but relief does come into it, I guess. Thanks for the good wishes!
(Also, what you said to your mother sounds almost identical to what I said to my mother! Funny, right?)
My parents mostly don’t care has long has I’m in school and see friends from time to time. I’m a pretty attractive guy so they assume I just just too difficult and people around me assume that I’m arrogant which I guess is better than the truth. I was relieved when my friends told me it was the general opinion of people that didn’t knew me instead of just being seen has a weirdo (And also creeped that so many people I didn’t knew talked about me. I was told that some girls I never talked to really hated me).
I’m going to start an art blog one day has soon has I get Photoshop to work properly and get a bit more skills with it on my tablet ahah.
Voted for Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru, the text seems more entertaining.
I’m not big into LN though. Played/read only one and it finished with a gay relationship because I cared more about making my rival mad than the girls.
I also think that I am mightily attractive ;) Don’t think I’ve ever gotten hate from random females, though. You sound like you have a pretty interesting life lol. Good luck starting up your art blog!
Also, I think you’re confusing LNs and VNs. But in any case, I also deliberately go for the stupid bad endings in visual novels. The gay ending in Clannad is pretty hilarious.
Anyway, thanks for voting on the poll!
Oh yea it was a VN. I actually though that there would be porn at some point.. So I was disappointed. I’m actually relieved to know that LN are not the same thing (it means I’ll probably actually read it). That VN had it’s moment but it was just way too long at times.
I really enjoy your blog and I hope you’ll have a great trip! Happy New Year and all!
While it’s sad to see you go Froggy I have to say that i’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. I don’t think there’s been one that hasn’t made me laugh and many of them have inspired me to comment. Regardless of what anyone says to you, know that you have achieved something worthwhile with Fantastic Memes.
On another note, it’s awesome that you’ve decided to give translating a go. My Japanese isn’t nearly good enough to do something like that, though I intend to try my hand at translating visual novels once I feel i’m good enough. I’ll be sure to keep up with your posts, especially if you decide to translate HenNeko XD
I hope you have a wonderful time in a Phillipines! I haven’t been myself but a close friend of mine spent a large portion of her life living there.
Haha, thanks – I won’t be gone forever, though :) Actually, the next couple of weeks will be the busiest this blog has ever been, with one post being published a day for twelve days straight.
But in any case, thanks a lot for the encouragements! I’m glad this blog has made you laugh. Good luck with your blog, too, and also with learning Japanese. Take care – oh, and tell your friend I said hi!
I originally was going to vote for Hentai Ouji, but this other one… I don’t know if it’s the way you chose to translate the wording or not, but its got me hooked.
Good luck translating! I’ll be following this eagerly.
Hard to tell whether the quality of a light novel is in the translation or not, isn’t it? If you’re interested in comparing, here’s how the Baka-Tsuki translators rendered that same excerpt: http://baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=My_youth_romantic_comedy_is_wrong_as_I_expected_v1_Prologue
Here’s the version by Nanodesu
Good commentary is few and far between. I, a newcomer and relative nobody, find your blog to be entertaining, well-written and successful in providing viewpoints I had not previously considered.
Take pride in your achievements, I daresay you’ve provided more insight to people around the globe than you would barista’ing coffee and coffee-related beverages at Starbucks.
I voted for Hentai Nekonekokoneko-chan no desu wa kawaii modo de, but OreGairu’s gonna win because it’s awesome and you translated it with what I can only imagine as burning, righteous passion.
So, you voted based on cute character designs over story? I’ve taught you well, my friend.
On another note, thanks a lot for the kind words! On a practical level, I really do think this blog has been a lot of help for me, because it’s helped me out in deciding what I want to do for the rest of my life. I would much prefer to write for a living than serve coffee, like you said.
Always great to have the approval of some British guy I don’t know ;D
Tell your dad you know an anime blogger who got both a job and a fiancé through anime blogging
Damn, that’s hard to beat!
I would love more SNAFU: Tales of anime’s Dark Knight
Good luck with your trip to the Philippines. I hope your family pulls through – even if they are inland and unaffected by the typhoon directly, no doubt there will be some sort of effect on the entire nation as a whole. Reminds me of the time in 2011, I was scheduled to go to Japan for a Student Exchange Program in Spring, but the March 2011 earthquake happened. I was dismayed, but after a month or so I finally managed to resume my trip to Japan. I never regretted it, must say it was one of my best times of my life. I hope it’s the same for you.
As for the whole “get a job/life/girlfriend” thing, well, I have a job, so my parents can’t really complain about that (though it’s just a parttime job which will end soon the moment I begin my masters), but I did kind of get nagged by my mother to get a life or a girlfriend. I do believe I have a social life of some sort, though, I mean, I hang out with my usual circle of friends every few months, up 4 times a year! And……oh….that’s it.
And girlfriend? Who needs girlfriends when you have thousands of anime heroines at your disposal, either available through dating simulations or girl games (gyaruge) or anime? Playing Agarest: Generations of War (which I’ve gotten from Steam) right now, and I’m enjoying pairing up my 5 heroes with my favorte heroines (15 or more to choose from). Awesome stuff.
That led me to start thinking of writing a thesis on Japanese Role Playing Games and their narratives. I mean, I did do a thesis on visual novels and game narratives for my Bachelor’s, so this is a step up into the popular Japanese Role Playing Games genre.
Oh wait. now I see why peope think I’m leading such a sad life. Ha ha, but as long as I’m happy, I don’t care what others think of my hobbies.
As Long As There’s Love, It Doesn’t Matter If He’s My Brother, Right?
And oh man, as I was reading your comment, I felt pretty envious of you. Doing a thesis on visual novels? You are a true man among men. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.
Oh, and thanks for the well wishes! I think I’ll have a lot of fun in the Philippines, even if there was a natural disaster there recently and I can’t speak the language at all. Staying overseas is always a great experience. I can see you would agree with that, judging from your own experiences in Japan.
Nooooo! I’ll miss reading your clever and entertaining posts. I’m following a whole bunch of blogs, but yours is the one I enjoy the most ;-). It’s definitely got me thinking about anime more than before. Will be looking forward to more posts when you come back!
I voted for OreGairu. Never read any LNs before (well, except for yours) but it looks interesting.
Anyway man, have a safe trip and enjoy yourself.
Awww, shucks! You’re making me blush, mate!
Heh heh, I’m pretty sure I’ll have fun. See you next year!
I hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip…
You need any help? I would be happy to help edit or something. I’ve learned a bit of Japanese (at one point I translated a chapter of the Kokoro Connect light novel before I realized it was crap and gave up) but it’s not great by any means.
Also I vote for HenNeko but I’m sure they’re both shit so whatever.
Thanks for the offer! I actually wouldn’t mind having someone read over my scripts to make sure they read in natural English before I publish them. If I ever need help. I’ll be sure to let you know.
Belly buttons + swimsuit appreciation > Scowls + bitter hipster misanthrope, duh.
Well, have fun with whichever one you end up working on. And take care on your trip! I’ll see if I can increase my own output once exams are over.
I’m expecting at least 20 new posts from you by the time I come back. Anything less and I won’t put up with your CHEAP TRICKS anymore.
Good luck, man. 12 days of Christmas series of posts is something I would actually prepared beforehand if I’m actually joining, but I didn’t do any of the sorts, lol. I was also actually hoping that time will give me an inspiration to make my 12 days of Christmas for this year a different format from last year… no dice though, so yea, I’m most probably skipping out on it this year.
As for the LN, I’m picking OreGairu FYI. I’m actually more interested in that (HenNeko is still awesome though) and additionally, and this may be me, but I feel like your style with words is more compatible with OreGairu, and would make Hachiman even more awesome than he already is xD
“Additionally, you can specifically suggest any series you’d like me to translate in the comments”
Oh man, dude you’re too generous, and as I’m a greedy ass, I’m taking up on your offer (More priority on the completed ones please.)
Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu
Psalms of Solomon
Tsurugi no Joou to Rakuin no Ko
Parasite Girl Sana
Ibara no Majinai-shi
Tasogare Sekai no Zettai Tousou
Yuuutsu na Villains
Antiliteral no Arcanist
Shuuen no Shiori
Mismarca Koukoku Monogatari
Maou na Ano Ko to Murabito A
Boku to Kanojo no Game Sensou
Shouldn’t be too hard. Tehe~
(On a serious note, please just pick one or two series to your liking^^”)
In any case, I wish you and your family in Philippines well!
Froggy, it’s nice knowing your family was relatively unaffected by the super typhoon! It would be nice if we could somehow meet up (if it so happens you’re staying somewhere near the Capital).
And wow, you’ve become really proficient in Japanese. Hats off to you! Wishing you luck on whichever translation project you decide to undertake. UwU
Ah, yes, it came up suddenly. I won’t be able to organise any meetups until after Christmas, so we’ll see what happens after that.
Hope you’re doing well too!
[…] also decided to spend more time reading light novels and playing visual novels. As for the light novel I’m translating, the poll results are in and it looks like I’ll be translating Hentai Ouji to Warawanai […]