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Looking for candidate stories to translate (classic Japanese or other copyright-free stories)

locksleyu

Kouhai
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In order to brush up my translation skills (in the hopes of someday becoming a professional translator), I am planning on translating a few Japanese stories into English. Ideally they would be from the public domain (i.e. something available on Aozora Bunko) or another copyright-free story.

Originally I was thinking of one of Akutagawa Ryuunosuke's stories, but he is so popular that many of this works are already translated. But if you know of one that you think would be well-appreciated but doesn't have an English translation yet please me know.

Or if there are any other authors or stories you would enjoy reading in Japanese let me know.
 

cocoichi

Sempai
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You don't necessarily have to create something new. Since you want to brush up your skills, I would recommend you to translate something that is translated already. Then when you are done, you can compare it to the other translation. See what is different, and try to evaluate which parts of the translation are done better by you, and which one are done better by someone else. If you translate something new, you have nothing to compare it to.

I have worked at a translation agency (sales department, not translation itself), and in my experience no translation is ever the same. Give 10 certified translators 500 words to translate, and you will get 10 unique translations. Let certified translators look at each other's work, and they will always find something to comment or correct.
 

locksleyu

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Cocoichi, Thanks very much for the valuable response. I agree it is a great idea to try and translate a story that has already been translated before for the purposes of improving my translation abilities.

However, in parallel to that I still think it would be fun to translate stories which have not been translated yet and post those online. I feel this will have it's own type of satisfaction since I will be allowing people to read another that they would not have done otherwise.

So if you or anyone else has any suggestions for stories to translate that haven't been translated, please let me know.
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
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What is your Japanese language background/level and what sort of things have you read and enjoyed so far? As you mention, Aozora is loaded with public domain literature. Have you read any of the titles there? Translate something you like. Do it well and it will find its own audience itself.
 

locksleyu

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What is your Japanese language background/level and what sort of things have you read and enjoyed so far? As you mention, Aozora is loaded with public domain literature. Have you read any of the titles there? Translate something you like. Do it well and it will find its own audience itself.

Thanks for the response Mike. I agree it would be ideal to translate a story I loved, and am actively searching for one from within some of the classic stories that are available.

To honest, I am more into modern novels and short stories (fantasy, surreal, dark, sci-fi, etc.), for example Shusaku Endo, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Keigo Higashino, and of course Murakami Haruki. But from what I understand the stories from all these authors (and most modern authors) are still under copyright so translating their stories and putting the result online probably wouldn't be the best thing. I am not sure if these authors, or their agents/publishers, would actively pursue searching out and trying to remove such fan translations online, but I thought it be safest to use copyright-free works.

Also to answer your question about Japanese level - I have read over 50 adult novels of many different genres and I consider myself reasonably fluent reading Japanese, so I am open to anything.
 

Toritoribe

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I've just read 手品師, and now I'm thinking about why Mike-san chose it... (why the man became a magician, why Mike-san became a driver or why I took this occupation...)
 

Mike Cash

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I've just read 手品師, and now I'm thinking about why Mike-san chose it... (why the man became a magician, why Mike-san became a driver or why I took this occupation...)

No special reason. It was just a story I've read before.
 
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