Illustration of Translator responsibilities

Translator

Translation requires not only the understanding of two languages, but a strong cultural understanding of the cultures you’re translating to and from, a high reading comprehension level, and last but perhaps most important, strong creative writing skills. Without these skills, while you may be able to convey the basic information in a text, you will struggle to have an overarching creative vision. To be more specific, you will have difficulty conveying the tone of the series and the individual personalities of each character.

Because of this, we mainly only accept experienced translators who are native speakers of American English, although we welcome anyone who wants to try out.

For the workflow, a translator will write a rough draft, revise it themselves, then send it off to an editor. The editor will make comments and suggestions and then the translator and editor will go over them together. Often times the sound effects are translated first so that SFX letterers can get a head start. Once the translation has been lettered, a quality checker and a beta reader will make a final round of checks and suggest changes based on their reading experience.

Illustration of Translation Checker responsibilities

Translation Checker

TLC’s, as we call ‘em, review translations to make sure the conversion from Japanese to English hasn’t created any mistranslations. This is something we’d like to do more consistently with every script, but because it’s hard enough to find competent translators, it’s even harder to find competent TLC’s.

Still, it’s something we eventually hope to make a normal part of the translation process. If you’re interested in trying out for this role, let us know!

Illustration of Editor responsibilities

Editor

TBA

Illustration of Beta Reader responsibilities

Beta Reader

TBA

Illustration of Cleaner responsibilities

Cleaner

The bulk of cleaning happens through fully-automated Photoshop actions (but we call them scripts.) The creation and tweaking of these scripts is the job of the cleaner.

Sometimes, certain details such as patterns on a page need to be restored after they have been run through the clean script, and the cleaner is in charge of these areas as well. For readers of Takagi, cleaners restore all of Takagi-san’s noses and the patterns on desks.

This role is experience-only, and we are always looking for cleaners who know their way around low quality paper.

Illustration of Cleaner-Lite responsibilities

Cleaner-Lite

This is the easiest but most tedious role in our group. A cleaner-lite has three main jobs:

  • Rotacropping freshly scanned raws

Raws are often tilted and thus need to be straightened (rotated), then have the excess cropped (together forming the word rotacrop).

  • Bubbling

This is the process of removing text from bubbles and boxes, handwritten text, and sound effects. If it doesn’t need to be redrawn, a cleaner-lite removes it.

  • Dusting

When a page is cleaned, the cleaning script often leaves behind specks of white and black that have to be removed. This is by far the most tedious part of being a cleaner-lite, but we have scripts to help make it less terrible.

Illustration of Letterer responsibilities

Letterer

TBA

Illustration of SFX letterer responsibilities

SFX letterer

SFX letterers are in charge of creating all text that doesn’t have a font assigned to it. Most of the work is creating sound effects (SFX) but they also make signs, labels, etc. The ultimate goal is to mimic the original styling of the Japanese as closely as possible, although when it comes to composition and placement, we do whatever looks the best.

There are two branches of techniques SFX letterers use. The first branch is “typed text” which uses the Photoshop text tool. This is mainly used for smaller SFX and other kinds of specialized text like signs which need to be edited into the proper perspective.

The second branch is “handwritten text” which utilizes custom brushes, a tablet, and sometimes third-party software like PaintTool SAI and Krita; however all work ultimately needs to be exported to Photoshop. It should be noted that while tablets are very useful, they aren’t a requirement as the pen tool in Photoshop can be used instead. We handraw most medium to large SFX.

For the workflow, SFX letterers first receive the finalized translation, then work is divvied up among SFX letterers depending on how much they are able to do. Work is also often assigned based on technique branch. Some SFX letterers are better at making small SFX using the type tool, for example.

Work is usually assigned before the Japanese has been removed, but SFX letterers are free to ignore it as it is the job of redrawers to remove it.

Illustration of Redrawer responsibilities

Redrawer

Redrawers remove all or at least most of the Japanese text that is placed directly over art. This is straight-up art restoration and thus requires prior experience. This role is best explained visually, which is why we have provided a gif to go along with this text.

Illustration of Quality Checker responsibilities

Quality Checker

This is the most senior position in our group. When all the work is done, quality checkers go over certain or all elements of a release, making any final adjustments to ensure that everything is up to snuff. In order to be a quality checker, you need to have a very firm grasp on our group’s style.

Usually, existing members grow into this position overtime, so this is a role we will likely never recruit for.

Illustration of Raw Provider responsibilities

Raw Provider

We scan physical copies of almost every manga we translate. This requires a scanner of decent quality that can generate 600dpi color png files. For magazines, we mostly scan at 400dpi grayscale, but for volume raws and color pages, we scan at 600dpi.

Because of the legally questionable nature of this role, we don’t usually credit our raw provider. If you are interested in providing raws, please email us or DM an admin on our Discord server.