- Sukijanai kedo Aishiteru or What took her so long?
- May 2nd, 2008
The first project I've ever attempted to translate into English was Sukijanai kedo Aishiteru. I started it about four years ago, but it would've never been scanlated by me if it weren't for Memento miraculously being in the same ICQ chat room as me. As well as me impolitely asking her why she was translating my manga. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
I finally finished the last chapter of volume one today. It's ridiculous how long it took me to translate one book, meanwhile I was able to complete many other mangas. Of course, there is a reason for that, and it's not (only) laziness this time. SkA is just about one of the most difficult mangas ever to be translated.
First of all, they use sloppy slang all of the time, which can't be found in any dictionary. Secondly, there are a lot of word games, especially sound word games which are very difficult to translate. Finally, many dialogues are full of allusions.
Since SkA describes everyday life, I think there’s much that western readers have trouble understanding. For example, in this last chapter, the child makes some gestures with his arms and beside that is the line 小さく前へならえ (chisaku mae he narae). In school during PE class, Japanese children learn to stand in order by using their hands to fit in the right space after the person before them, which is called “mae he narae”. Together with “chisaku”, it means that you’re doing it incorrectly, because you’re not straightening your arm or something else. That’s all fine and nice, but how does one translate something like that?
SkA’s difficulty might be laughable for someone who lived in Japan, but I only studied the language in another country without daily contact to Japanese people. It's just since the last 8 months that I came to live together with a Japanese person on 12m², which fortunately brought me a lot of insight in everyday speech.
So now, volume one is finally done. It's also my favourite manga.
I can't believe there are still 3 volumes left to translate...