So I, Addis, recently had a fan email me asking if it was alright to ask us some questions regarding the work we do. After answering her questions, I decided I wanted to share with everyone my answers so that you all can see a glimpse of behind the scenes. If any of you have any other questions, please feel free to ask and after 48 hours, I’ll try to compile all the questions together and make a post with my answers.
1) How many people collab in this website?
As the creator of ExR, I do all of the posting for the site, however, Sacchan, one of my ex translators, is getting her masters degree in website management. So if I have issues with certain aspects of the site, she fixes it. But at this point in time, I am doing around 98% of the website.
2) How many people are needed in manga and manhua scanlations? (i.e. cleaners, translators, etc.)
Scanlations depend on what each person is capable of doing. When I first created ExR, it was only Yuanyulin and I. I cleaned, typeset, proofread and even translated our first series and Yuan went over my trans to make sure I got it correct. After doing Aruhi and Sayonara Game, I decided I needed more help and recruited some of my fans from my Omegaverse Addicted Scan days and started to form a larger team.
Some of our projects only have three people working on them. One person translates, while another cleans and then I will do the typesetting, proofreading and QC. Most of our projects usually only have four people working on the chapter, a translator, a cleaner, a typesetter and then I will proofread and QC.
3) How many people participate in the translation of the Chinese novels?
It depends on which Chinese novel. The Legendary Master’s Wife has six people working on it currently. The translators: Ceti, Crystal, Jouissance and Yan
The Chinese checker: Rara and me, Addis, as the editor and proofreader.
Any other series usually has one to two translators and one editor.
What do you do as an editor?
As an editor for our novels, I’m currently the only editor for three projects: GDC, LMW and SH. But I am the final proofreader/editor for two other projects: PTSB and MWR. The only series I do not touch are those translated by Rui since I don’t like angst, so Yuu does the editing on those chapters.
An editor’s job isn’t as easy as some people think it is. I have a minor in English Language and this makes it a lot easier to spot errors in the translated text. Editing the translations consists of trying to bring the fans a correct, consistent, accurate and complete work with little to no errors.
4) How many projects are you currently working with?
On our Japanese manga side there are currently four cleaners, four typesetters, six active translators and four on hiatus translators. And then there’s also me. I try to help out as much as I can my doing everything but the translating. So on the Japanese side, we have a total of nineteen people. We do five series at a time, one to release every workday.
On our Chinese novel side there are currently ten translators, and three editors, myself included. Add in Rara who helps with LMW on occasion and we have fourteen people.
So combined, I work with a total of thirty two generous volunteers who don’t mind being my *cough* slaves *cough*.
We have five ongoing novels.
5) Do you have deadlines? If so, who decides them?
We do have deadlines for all of our projects. As the creator and basically CEO of ExR, I am also the one who decides deadlines. I have sheets galore of days that certain things are needed and I am in contact with everyone almost 24/7 for any questions.
6) What different steps do you follow in order to translate?
First we get the raws, decide the translators, the translators translate it, tag me on Line when they’ve added the chapter to our Google Doc and then I edit it.
7) Do you get paid, or do you have another job?
We do not get paid for any of this. The only income to help keep our site afloat and buy more raws/manga is the generous patrons on Patreon.
All of us, except for those still in school, have outside jobs. I work as a catering chef for six to ten hours a day, come home then work for two to five hours on anything ExR related.
8) Does anyone here also work as a “professional” translator? (i.e. for a publishing house)
Yes, only one person in our group does. Though we’ve been offered to get paid for our Japanese manga before. However, we were told we would not be able to pick our projects. Which, for us, was a no go.
9) What do you think of translation? Is it just a job, or is it a hobby? If it’s a hobby, what do you enjoy most about translating?
I personally love translations as it let’s you see a whole different world and so many genres you would otherwise be unable to in my original language. For most of us, this is a hobby. I’m not speaking for the entire group, but most of us were brought together because of these translations and stories. We love BL and yaoi and wish for others to fall in love with it as well. It has become a passion for many of us to share these works for those who cannot read the original text.
10) What is the most difficult part of translating?
From my experience it is trying to find the right words to express the original meaning. Sometimes a word is too strong in English where there’s also times where it just doesn’t have enough feeling. Trying to keep the original meaning, emotions and dictation while converting it into an entirely different format is, essentially the base and hardest part of translating. There are also times where a sentence makes perfect sense in the original language, i.e. a Chinese pun, but when translated in English, it becomes a jumbled mess of words that make you want to slam your head against a wall.
11) How does this website get funded? By donations?
As said before, our website is run off of donations from our Patrons on Patreon.
12) Imagine you were asked to translate something you don’t agree on ideologically, but you’d get paid a huge amount of money. What would you do? Would you translate it anyways?
This is a half half answer. Half say yes, half say no. Some say it’s just a job, others say they will only translate what they want to do.