Irene Ying: 翻訳者の涙

When Seung first presented May Sky to me, I had approximately zero idea of what it was going to be involved when I started; this was by far the longest and most complicated piece that I'd ever translated. After much genuflection and world-splitting frustration I managed to learn a few things ... I think.

  1. If it doesn't make sense, I probably messed up the grammar.
  2. If it REALLY doesn't make sense, [object ↔ subject] is probably the issue.
  3. ;;;```Coding and formatting the code: the reasons I will never pass intro CS.
  4. I like food.

Another *headsmack* was that I often tried to put words into the mouths of the speakers ... usually incorrectly, and in either case that was not my job. It was (and is) a tough lesson to learn — how to suggest what the original text was suggesting, without falling into telling. And how far did suggesting extend? I ran up against this. A lot. In a story like this, where so much is flowing underneath the surface of the text, there was an overwhelming urge to, like Minori, do a little dance while attempting to show just how great the story is ... and damaging the text in the process. Seung reminded me over and over that the text speaks for itself.

Remembering previous adventures, I reread May Sky multiple times, but not enough — I failed many times to realize I was setting up for the next scene. Possibly the hardest lesson for me to learn was listening to the voices of the speakers while I read. In this case I could barely tell what their voices were; I (sometimes) knew what they were saying but couldn't see the style of their words. I missed their humor, their insights, and their irony. I completely did not realize that Chapter Six was written in the present tense. So you can see how all this was one very long lesson to me in listening to the piece and the characters inside. If I'd had more time that's what I would have tried to focus on more. Since that was not the case, I will be spending some time after the release to study the original and the translation more.

Leaving all that aside ...

With plenty of Seung's help — and thanks to the skill and artistry of the original writing — the piece has, I hope and pray, survived my run at it. It's an incredible story, and I'm very grateful to Scrubbing and Seung for the story and the experience.

As for me? Every time that I play through the translated game, I get a little thrill when Minori opens up that lattice door. I hope you can have the same.

1 December 2008
Irene Ying