The Secret Life of Translators

Or: My Time. Has Finally Come.

I’ve paid my dues, people.

Over the years, I’ve translated some REALLY shitty movies. Imagine the worst movie you’ve ever seen and then take away all plot, all budgeting, all special effects, all artistic DIGNITY–now add a questionably attractive Japanese girl with ill-concealed acne scars and bad razor burn in her Bermuda area, exposed by her scanty latex bikini… Enter the dastardly villain (probably the best boy grip, shoved into a cardboard outfit–they cannot afford another actor). …She’s spent the first half of the movie throwing ill-choreographed punches in a seedy parking lot and now the villain’s going to show her where it’s at. This is the obligatory Torture Scene. The scene ALWAYS starts with Mr Clean Citrus Scented Cleaner, poured liberally over her tied up body, while the baddie cackles about how it’s a horrible other-worldly substance that will now cause her enormous pain–the girl screams, but won’t reveal whatever info. it is that he seeks. So he has no choice. He must untie her, throw her on the ground and spend the next five minutes grinding¬† his boot into her vulnerable, soft stomach. In the sound-booth, someone abuses the ‘tomatoes getting squished’ button without remorse, and the girl screams and screams.

(Close-up of boot getting ground into stomach.)
//squish, squish, squish//
-Tell me the code.
-Never will I betray my friends…. AGHGHGHGHGHGHG IT HURTS!!!
//squish, squish, squish//

Me, as I translate: Fuck. What IS this garbage? Who watches this?

I try to imagine the intended audience for a 100 min. straight-to-DVD film of this nature, but not even the lowest strata of unwashed otaku moldering in their gloomy, spunk-encrusted Lolicon-dungeons could possibly be interested in such crap. That’s how bad it is.

Move on to question two: Am I getting PAID enough to¬† do this? And… well. Yeah. So I trudge on. But yet I dream, that one day, I will get an assignment that speaks to ME. …And after a year and a half of softsoft-core, ninja girl shenanigans, pro-female wrestlers and shameless Power Ranger knock-offs, it does get a bit better.

No more live action, I move into anime series–little girls breaking into the world of acting–little girls selling newspaper and being cute–little girls donning princess tiaras and kicking ass for the Lord. And I LIKE little girls, I mean, they’re fun and all, still, not entirely my thing. But a translator-for-hire asks no questions. Like a spy working in an isolated cell, she receives her assignment handed down from way across the ocean, from a shadowy figure known to her only as—-


But we’ve just wrapped up a series (little girls/princesses). A new season begins and I wonder, with a little trepidation, what story I will now be following for a 52 episode duration… It could be about professional golf, it could be about little girls and their grade-school dramas, but no, not this time, because God is smiling on me–I know now that he exists and is just and good because my newest show will be about….



(With a publishing house as a back-drop, no less!)
But I think after all this time… I’ve earned it >:P

In other news, today was my last session with W until (–) is born… =( I will miss going over there and chatting about art and drinking coffee–but we will have a chance to resume once I’ve recovered a bit… In the meantime, if you haven’t had a chance to see his drawings yet, here you go (this time, they are definitely big… =)

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