The state of anime/manga/vocaloid/jpop translation

As someone with an interest in anime/manga/and general otaku-type stuff and has been consuming such content online for over a decade, I have witnessed the different ways that translation of the mediums has come about/ Fansubbing, official translation, fandubs, fandubs + abridging, 4kids, funimation, fantranslation manga groups. With an understanding of all these glorius things, today I would like to address the current state of fantranslation, along with the current state of official translation. Before I get into it, let's discuss the two.

In this article, I will be using "Unofficial translation" to discuss the following types of translation:

I will use "Official translation" to refer to the following:

Benefits of Official Translation:

Benefits of Unofficial translation:

The current state of unofficial translation

For the longest time, unofficial translation was a reliable way for fans to enjoy their favourite anime/manga/whatever, one of the most reliable ways, in fact, in terms of time of availability (due to the impatience of those who fantranslate) and in accuracy (although often not professionally trained, these fantranslators' passion for the medium makes up for it, and their familiarity with the mediums (anime/manga/whatevr) gives them more context, at times). If a new honeyworks song was uploaded yesterday, you could expect to watch it fansubbed by today, and an english cover by next monday. At the time of posting, I guarantee the most recent honeyworks songs have yet to be translated, probably not even a translation uploaded to a site like animelyrics or vocaloidlyrics. It seems people just are not interested in fantranslating anymore, although I do not understand why not (I say, while not using my understanding of the japanese language to help translate). Another case of this is in the recently aired Di Gi Charat season, Di gi Charat Reiwa. Despite the show being easily streamed worldwide legally, being uploaded to youtube, the show was not quickly subtitled. I have seen more "Where can I watch this subbed?" threads on recently airing shows, not just shows unsubbed from the 70s, than I have in the past 10 years of reading forums.

One would start to think the lack of fantranslations would be the presence of official translations, which is certainly true of anime, but there has been no shortage of reports of employment abuses in the anime translation industry. Underpaid staff is an issue run rampant. In cases where fans who have already translated full works are given paid offers to officially translate sequels, like a certain chinese bl novel, reports of being rushed and having to sacrifice translation quality are also reported. In a world of bad conditions for those who officially translate, why is there also a lack of fantranslations?

More on the state of official translation...

I don't know guys, I think underpaid staff and rushed translators might be a bad idea...

It shows, too. Fans are upset with translations, albeit, most people causing uproar are those calling western anime industry "woke" with "blue hair and pronouns", so not the strongest critiques, but I can personally atest to the quality of subtitling being lower than usual. While subtitles are not always 100% accurate, and there may be good reason for that (i.e. localizing), I feel I have to often clarify what is actually being said, in Japanese, while watching subtitled anime with friends, more often than I used to have to. Minor translation errors are the least of my worries, but I recall a time I was watching Higurashi Gou, whilst it was airing, and the subtitles, during a scene of detailed explanation, were highly erroneous, which kinda matters when watching a show like Higurashi.

The state of anime/manga/jpop/vocaloid/etc. translation seems to be in a weird, if not, almost inactive, place. As the amount of people using the internet and getting into anime increases, it seems those translating the mediums increases. A very strange phenomena, indeed. I'm interested in fan-efforts to translate and preserve media, and would love to help out, if I can, so if you know any projects, let me know, if not, feel free to share with me your thoughts on the current state of anime translation.

In other news, Cl-
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/  /   | |       + ◇⊂(・ω・ ヽ That's enough news for today.
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- dashlake