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[personal profile] gold_panner
Do you know the reason I first started translating the novels? 

Well, I'm going to tell you. Slash/yaoi haters and people who will lose respect for me knowing I ship slash pairings, avert ye eyes or forever hold your peace. 

I got into KH just before I went to Japan on exchange a few years ago, and I desperately wanted to read the manga which I had a lot of trouble finding online at that time. So when I went to Japan, one of the first things I did when I was given a little freedom was raid the book shop at the train station for anything related to KH. I did find the manga! But then, I saw something else.

To most people it would look like this:


To me it looked like this:


Being in the middle of the honeymoon phase in my relationship with Akuroku, you can imagine my burning need to own this book. Despite it being a novel, not a comic. Despite my Japanese being nowhere near good enough to make much sense of any of it.

I bought it, of course.

Staring at the lines of basically illegible text made me I feel like all my dreams could come true and all the secrets of the universe would be revealed to me, like I was staring at sentences of subtext that would make my fangirl heart explode... if only I could figure out what it said.
I began work trying to decipher the book with the use of three huge dictionaries, including a kanji dictionary, until my host mother took pity on me and let me borrow a little electronic dictionary that had belonged to her son. Being both old and designed for Japanese people, the dictionary was incredibly hard to use. I had to use a paper dictionary just to use the electronic dictionary, at first. Then I learned how to use the 'jump' function, which made life a whole lot easier. But still, it had no kanji (Chinese-based logographic character) input panel which meant that if I wanted to look up an unfamiliar kanji word with no furigana (pronunciation guide lettering), I had to count the strokes, browse painstakingly through the ginormous paper kanji dictionary until I found it, then play a game of trial and error until I figured out which reading was used for the particular word I was trying to look up... 
All in all, it was very difficult. I thought it was amazing. When I was a kid I loved keeping records of random things and compiling notes and folders and making projects for myself. This was like that, except with the reward of EPIC BEAUTIFUL GAYNESS.
And so that's how I worked through my first absolutely terrible translation of Axel--Seven Days. I wrote my 'translation' (I use this word loosely) above the Japanese in the actual book, which means I am forced to see it every time I read the book. This means being subjected to lines like 
this breeze is always blowing together, and everyone was thinking. why did Hayner say that thing.
should be: You'd think we'd all be thinking how great it would be to stay together like this forever, so why would Hayner go and say something like that?
The words from Hayner's heart shocked everyone, and Roxas dropped his eyes slightly.
should be: Roxas felt his heart give a thud at Hayner's words, and he lowered his gaze just a little.

a memory--that, yesterday he terribly lost that memory. memory--to do with himself, all those memories were completely lost. somehow. 
do i really need to explain this

hgrfvgrehjfdgf. This almost physically hurts to look at. And you know what? The 'better' translation I did a year later, which you can find here on my journal as well as on Heartstation is probably riddled with a lot of the same mistaken grammar and colloquialisms etc. I really should go back and re-do them, but I can't be bothered to at this point think they should stand as a testament to my growth. 8D Besides, I bet the stuff I did just this year will look embarrassingly awful in a year or so. I hope so, anyway!! I never want to stop getting better...    /tangent
Anyway. Things got a lot easier once I purchased my baby, my beloved, my darling casio ex-word (XD-SP6600), which I then never went anywhere without while in Japan. (Even now I take it to all my classes because of the English-English dictionary that helps me understand complicated words and fake being smart like a boss.)
The translations didn't really get better, though, for a very very long time. I chipped away at the novel on and off over the year I was over there, alternating between that and translating manga into cheap cute exercise books. It got to the point where I'd be doing this in class instead of studying for the JLPT (which I was supposed to do on my own at my desk, the actual classes going waaay over my head), until I got caught and chewed out over it. But it was around then that I started to realise I didn't really want to be an English teacher in Japan, and that translating was an awesome hobby. I didn't realise that I wouldn't mind pursuing a career in it til a lot later, and I didn't decide on it for a fact until even longer after that, but this was when the seeds for my plan for the future were sown, I guess.
When I got back to Australia, I didn't touch any of it again until I saw a post over on KHInsider forums lamenting the fact that the novels never made it overseas, and I realised, I have the exact novel they're talking about! I already translated most of it! I could just type it up, let's see how--OH GOD HOW DID I EVER THINK ANYTHING
...So I basically had to re-translate as I typed it up, beset by many new obstacles, including my absolute lack of experience and skill regarding posting on the internet. Looking at the formatting of my older LJ posts is one of those laugh or cry things, and considering how I'm so basic even now, that's really saying something. But at the time I was on a rush of confidence and power thanks to owning my own computer for the first time in my life (a laptop I could bring into my own room and privacy and ge;fjkd), as well as the heady new experience of posting things on a forum and having people reply back. 
Holy crap! So many people are reading it!! Thank you so much!!
I really posted this. After eight people replied. wgltjfkdwglfd

This also began my love-hate-addiction to KHInsider forums, but that's a whole other story. 
In any case, the confidence in myself didn't last long, but my stubbornness not to give up did. 

And it rewarded me greatly. My Japanese has gotten better, I've found a way to justify my existence in the KH fandom, I've met some fucking awesome people. All these things make the time and effort I spend on the novels worth it, and are what drive me on when it's hard or boring. 
But I'll never pretend that the first reason I ever considered buying a novel in the first place isn't still relevant.
Sometimes I had to actually put the book down and breathe properly because the subtext fills me with overpowering glee. For example basically the entire way through somewhere in time.
Except, the overpowering glee I feel backhands me with crushing pressure, because I know that it's my job to be impartial and leave my own slashy bias out of it (same for my endless hatred for Xion). And I do my absolute best, I promise. I think very carefully about each word, trying to make sure it reflects what was meant by the original. And I still have a lot to learn about translating, and I know I come off as stiff and awkward a lot of time time, but I'd like to think my translations are at least unbiased. 

And then I find that there's someone out there who notices every single thing I had a fit over and makes the sort of comments I made in my own head when I read the Japanese except funnier and with gifs and I feel so joyous I want to roll and dither around on my bed forever.

lahgejfkhgbdv I cannot even explain how awesome this is to me!! I was already following this hilarious blog when they posted the first novel jibe, and I was so floored, I wanted to scream something like THIS IS THE REASON I EXIST (in fact I think I did capslock something along those lines at [ profile] onthecount 's offline msn window, why she puts up with me is a mystery)
So I guess what I want to say now is, thank you to everyone who's stuck with me and supported me so far. Even though there's no real end to the journey, I've really come a long way, and thinking about it today got me all nostalgic (also embarrassed but mainly nostalgic). I know I haven't posted new translations for a while, and I have no idea how important anyone else thinks it is, but I still feel vaguely guilty about it. I promise I will translate the BBS novel, when I'm feeling more motivated and have more time.
Besides, what kind of subtext will there be?? Aqua/Terra? Terra/Ven? Ven/Vani? Eraqus/Xehanort??? Lea/young children *salivates at the possibilities*
Thank you for reading this giant tl;dr ♥ stay safe and happy, and may gay subtext abound in all your media.


Date: 2011-04-06 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i am cracking the fuck up at this. /dead

Date: 2011-04-06 01:42 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-04-06 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She puts up with you because you're precious and she loves you. :D <3 I hope you make a lovely career translating all the things, and I hope it continues to be as rewarding as it has been. <3

Date: 2011-04-06 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
♥♥♥♥♥♥ Aww ♥ Thank you! I'll do my best~


Date: 2011-04-06 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are awesome!! I loved yaoi way back in the day [which is really about 6 or 7 years ago, lol] and still will read some side stories on the side, but I found this whole entry to be truly awesome hearing about your passion for translating and how it has developed. I hope that fiery passion never dies and keeps on burning bright with all the years to come!

Re: 8D

Date: 2011-04-06 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, thank you so much! I think yaoi is like pringles chips; once you pop you can't stop... And thank you again!! I will do my best!

Date: 2011-04-06 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw sweetheart! You will always have my undying support in your ventures! You have patience and perseverance like none other and I know no matter what you put your mind to you will achieve it! <3

Not related but sort of, I am writing a paper on translating the Bible right now. I managed to bring Japanese versions of it into the cited works lol and Omg, I can't even begin to fathom what a task the whole thing must be. But it's fun discussing the issue translators deal with and idk, I felt like your post timing was relevant lol!

Date: 2011-04-07 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
;A; Thank you so much! And ahhh liesss you are too kind!! And you also have passion and vision and mad skillz ♥

That sounds really interesting. If you ever want to post rambles on what you found out I'd love to see that actually! But then again, I know how it feels after you get an assignment done... never want to see it again... haha

Staring at the lines of basically illegible text made me I feel like all my dreams could come true and all the secrets of the universe would be revealed to me, like I was staring at sentences of subtext the word of god that would make my fangirl heart explode lead me to salvation...? Ahaha

LJ is being such a bitch right now, so I'll add this here in case I can't post again for a long time: I'm very sorry to hear about your loss, and I hope you're feeling okay.

Date: 2011-04-06 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Your translations are so fantastic; I love hearing the 'story' behind them as it were :D So many trials (esp. the trial of the Paper Kanji Dictionary XD) to get from then to now, but you made it! CONGRATULATIONS~~~~ \o/

I also especially love your cover graphic because that has why I got the novels in the first place as well XDDD Though unlike you, I unfortunately did not have the sense to keep my horrifyingly bad first attempt at translating off the internet ''orz The promise of subtext is a great motivator.

Oh god, I just read through Somewhere in Time again... I had forgotten how ridiculously subtexty it was. WTF was Axel doing!? AND THAT TUMBLR XD I'M LAUGHING SO HARD. I haven't played through the games in ages, but it's making me want to... I've not been in the fandom much lately and I had forgotten how much I loved it and all its ridiculously subtexty-ness <3333

And you will translate the BBS novel? Ah, I look forward to it! (But don't feel guilty! I'd love to see your translation of it whenever you can get it done) XD Lea/young children... I was going to say there wasn't really anyone much younger than him, but then I remembered Ienzo. Poor Ienzo... with both creepy!Even and creepy!Lea possibilities XD

using this icon juuuust for you AGAIN

Date: 2011-04-07 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Thank you!! I have so much to improve on it's daunting to think about, but at least I've improved enough to get a hell of a good laugh at myself 8D;

And hey, don't pay yourself out!! I've read your first attempt and it a) actually makes sense in English and b) is accompanied by INDONESIAN VERSIONS. ;D

I have this doujin where Axel comes back from CO, and the first thing he does before reporting to Xemnas is sneak into Roxas' room to see him. Roxas is alseep, so Axel bends down to kiss his face (that scene is the cover of my FST! :D). I have a feeling it was set before this scene, before Roxas sits up and bashes heads with him. I MEAN SRSLY AXEL WHY WAS YOUR FACE THERE. WHY. HOW DOES NOMURA LET THIS STUFF FLY JUST JAHSDLEFS:C

AND YES that tumblr is so funny, I can't remember who first showed it to me... maybe someone linked it to me on twitter... but I was like, crying with laughter. I love how it's evolved from 'Axel is a creep' to 'Axel is so gay'... and I love how they hardly have to take anything out of context even 8D

I say, play though them! But perhaps skip Days in case it makes you remember why you stopped playing the games!! Or is that just me

I will, for sure! I even have it! It's just, the contents page is annoying me. I don't really know how to set it out, there are like Chapter 1-A and 1-B and stuff like that. It's only a small issue, easily resolved with some messing around, but my brain has turned it into a LA LA LA I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT~ thing right now...

Poor Ienzo... who grows up to murder them all!! (Wasn't he the one who convinced them to keep going, or something...?) Srsly though, if it turns out that Ienzo was partly in charge for like, doing experiments on Lea and Isa or something, I will be very gleeful. First, I'd love any more evidence to show how badass Ienzo/Zexion is. There are too many fanbrats who think he's 'emo' cause of his hair :/ ALSO it would give a whole new layer of meaning to why Axel offed Zexion so coldly in CoM. If they are gonna retcon things why can't they do things like this ;~;


ANYWAYS I hope you are doing well, chickadee~

Date: 2011-04-06 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
sjsdfjdfksjdf I could fucking finally access to this--

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TYPING THIS UP. People like you are the reason this fandom is filled with awesome--people like you who are putting all their passion, desire and strength into doing something they love and keep doing it, wanting to get better, and succeeding. Cause, boy, you surely DID. Get better. It's wonderful to know you're realising this yourself finaaaaalllyyyyyy

♥♥♥ *happy dance, joy joy joy!*

Reading all of this makes me go kjsdfkl;sdf,klsdfj,jsdfsdfjffsa or something, cause it reminds me of how awesome it was to spazz together about anything that was newly revealed~ I really miss this.

But I'm so happy you realised you have gotten better and you brought us all so much joy and happiness with your translations! Never stop!

Date: 2011-04-06 10:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
sorry to spam you but i've just looked at this link you gave us there

this, this blog thing

and the gif with axel's hand creeping closer to roxas has made me LAUGH TEARS

i am still in tears

omg this is so fucking hilarious

by which i also mean: I MISS U

Date: 2011-04-07 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

isn't it the best thing ever, sometimes the blog makes me laugh until i cry too

and i am SO GLAD it's made you so happy :DDD


Date: 2011-04-07 12:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

No seriously, it's people like you who does that, writing amazing fic and encourage everyone by being a little sunflower and connecting people together, who are the reason this fandom is filled with awesome ;3;

And... yes, I am realising I got better BUT I still have a long way to go!! At least I can get a good laugh out of looking back, that's the best part XD

I miss it too! Oh my god. Like when we were spazzing over msn and translating the cutscenes together!! Just wait until BBSv2 comes out, have you seen the trailer...? :D :D :D I KNOW WE WILL SPAZZ SO HARD PIA

You know, I love to go and read the comments on my old translations sometimes, because I always see comments from you on every single one and they make me smile so much. Thank you for sticking by me all this time, Pia, and always taking the time to tell me what you think and feel about the things I do. Hell, I've noticed you always do this, you're such a lovely and kind person. I can't even count the number of times I've randomly come across a beautiful comment of yours on a fic I was reading. Thank you for being that kind of person. But especially thank you for caring so much about me. *lol teary*

Date: 2011-04-10 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
SDKLJSDK see, i didn't even know BBSv2 was gonna come out--only for american and japanese people??

lol yeah, i tend to do that. i'm one of those people that just cannot keep their thoughts inside and have to tell everybody everything. it's quite annoying because i can't shut up, at times. i'm also too emotional, which triggers pretty emotional comments <___<"

Date: 2011-04-11 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No no, you're thinking of BBS final mix! This is a whole new game, Birth by Sleep -Volume 2-...!
^that's all we know about it so far!

I don't think that is a bad thing at all!! I think people put a lot of effort into things like fic, and comments like yours would make their day. I don't comment on everything I read, cause I feel shy, but I also feel like the author deserves to know that their work was enjoyed... so I really admire you, who can express your feelings naturally and beautifully :3 I know I love your comments!!

Also I meant to tell you: the zip folders I downloaded for your FST didn't work ;A;

Date: 2011-04-12 02:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thank you! it looks awesome *A* omg a pathetic squeal out of my throat just by seeing riku >____>;; wtf iiiiiis thiiiiiiiisss, i wanna know! i hate waiting DD:

ahhh you're silly, sam. i told you right from the beginning there's no reason to be shy at all, because you're so awesome. *huuugs!*

whyyyy did it not work ;_;? i'm just downloading it myself to see...

Date: 2011-04-06 12:54 pm (UTC)
ext_197528: (Cinderella)
From: [identity profile]
This is awesome and so are you. <3

Date: 2011-04-07 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ahhh o///o thank you!!

Date: 2011-04-06 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
your translations are fantastic!!!
Don't feel ashame or something like that. it's like me with english just that japanese is waaay more difficult so YOU'RE AWESOME REALLY ADKJANFAFJAKLDJ!!

That is actually what fandom can do on us.
you're so persistent I really admire you and thanks for sharing this to get to know you a little bit better <: Let's keep our fandoms alive ;3; (I love how you love akuroku LOL, that unicorn in the cover is amazing hahahaha)

Date: 2011-04-07 11:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww ;A;// thank you so much for your kind words!! And no! Japanese is not more difficult, just difficult in different ways ;D I really admire your English! ♥

Let's keep our fandoms alive
^If that means you will keep drawing, then yes!! Forever! :D

I'm glad you like the unicorn o3o I should give up my translating and become a graphics designer, right?? 8D; *joking*

Date: 2011-04-08 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
yesss!! I guess I'll keep as much and I feel I can
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<:>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

yesss!! I guess I'll keep as much and I feel I can <:
and I hope the same for you, as long as it makes you <i>happy</i> then just don't stop!!

haha and yes, totally you should study design and stuff hahahaha

Date: 2011-04-12 03:48 am (UTC)
way2dawn: Riku smiling on the Dark Beach (AxelRoxas/let's go be awesome sugar)
From: [personal profile] way2dawn
Awww :) *cuddles you forever*

You are doing just fantastic, never give up.

Date: 2011-04-12 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*is gleefully cuddled*

Thank you! And I won't, you can be sure!


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