Not a Schedule

Alrighty, so this isn’t me making a schedule for my translations. If you don’t know yet, I’m too flaky for such grown-up things. But here is a sort of plan for the release sequence I’ll start implementing soon:

5 consecutive Chongfei Manual chapters

10 consecutive Captivating Crown Prince chapters

1 Royal’s Cute Little Wife chapter (until it gets picked up)

2 Black Belly Wife chapters (until it gets picked up)

5 New Project (orz) chapters

And so on until I get to finish something… I’ll start when I’m done translating CCP ch20, and I’ll start the cycle from Royal’s Cute Little Wife ch2.

And as you’ve seen, I’m picking another main project, because it was too good to leave for later, sigh… It’s not that it has any ground-breaking plot, but the MC has a glib tongue, and the ML is shameless, so their dialogue is an absolute delight to read. I live for this MC’s retorts. Well, you’ll get to see it soon.

I hope the mental pressure of not knowing when I’ll disappear again is a little relieved by knowing exactly what chapters and how many to expect…

Why translating The Captivating Crown Prince is a pain in the butt

Well, time for some whining… Although I highly enjoy the story, it’s a real pain to translate.

Reason 1: Just look at this:

两人一人冷酷是个战神一人温柔是个贵公子,不论是身份还是容貌都是万里挑一的人,再加上两人的身份和能力这京城里觊觎两人的女子不知道有多少,但两人却从来不多看一眼,到后来竟然有传言将军府的冷将军和丞相府的幻公子竟然是断袖,两人当时听到后大怒,但后来想着若是这样能够让那些女子离的远些也好,所以就没有澄清任由流言流传,而且他们心里也觉得他们不会如同平常人一样爱上一个女子所以从没有考虑过婚姻大事,导致了现在两人只要在一起就会收到众多女子痛苦的眼神。

That is all one bloody sentence. Holy run-on!! Have mercy! This is not just one or two cases. It’s pretty much the norm with this novel. Just the part I put in bold alone could make a sentence with three clauses. Seeing so many characters clumped together is panic inducing for me. Sigh…

Compare it with a typical paragraph from Chongfei Manual:

原來他都知道,他在知道的情況還跟她生活了那麼久,他心里一直是怎麼想她的?柳氏只覺得臉上火辣辣的,又羞又憤。難怪這麼多年他一直對她不冷不熱,他們只有魏一個孩子,每當她提出想再要一個時,他總興致缺缺。不是他對房事不感興趣,而是他對她不感興趣。

Isn’t it so neat and tidy? Small chunks, smaller sentences. Bliss…

Reason 2: When it gets poetically descriptive. I really need to cut some things out due to them not fitting in a normal English sentence structure, or because they’re so lame, I just can’t… And because some words just don’t work in English. Don’t worry though, I’m a stickler for preserving meaning, so the cutting is minimal…

Example, describing someone’s face as a deity having carved it with a knife and shaped (or whatever verb) with a cleaver. Can you see why I would simply say a chiseled face as if carved by a deity? I hope people won’t mind me doing this, because my brain would really die otherwise. Or another example: twinkling eyes like stars, embedded (the way one would embed jewels) on an outstanding/jade (treasure-like) face. Sigh… I admit, I really half-ass it through half of these descriptions because I would rather not spend 20 minutes scratching my head over them.

The only reason I get motivated for this novel is my f*ing libido. All those cute guys~ Phew, got this rant off my chest.

About The School Prince is a Girl

I’ll be deleting this project from my page. You can still read chapter 1 if you have it bookmarked, or from NovelUpdates site.

I do feel very sorry for getting your hopes up. The novel really is quite good as many of you expected. But I have to honor the author’s wishes. It was brought to my attention that she’s getting extremely stressed over the copyright infringements of her work and has even recently reduced the amount of chapters she releases. If this keeps going on, I feel she might lose the motivation to write, which will be a huge loss. I really don’t want to add to the chaos and her stress.

I went and read her latest post where she talks about this and I could truly feel her frustration. She said one of those pirate sites’ reason was to increase the fan base for her novel. She also said she already had a growing fan base and her original publisher is doing a good job at publicizing her work. Thus there’s no need for a third party to get involved. That really resonated with me. I’m not justified in translating her work without permission in order to enlarge her international fan base. She’s not getting anything out of it. Though I’m also not doing it for profit (those ads you see belong to wordpress and are not financing me), and my only reason was that I loved the novel and wanted the non-Chinese readers to also get to know it. But that’s only my selfish reason.

As for not getting permission, I can’t write Chinese. So if I wanted to contact the author, I’d need help from a native. And furthermore, I translate for free, so I can’t pay the authors anything. I don’t see a reason why they’d agree to let me translate their work. And I never wanted to get involved in any legal issues as this is simply a hobby and a means to help me learn the language (though it only helps me read so far, speaking it is too far a goal).

I’m disappointed as well, but I hope you can understand. I intend to ask someone to help me message the author and seek permission to translate the free chapters, but I’m not holding my breath about it. Besides, it would still leave you hanging in the end. The best solution is to get the licensing rights for an English translation, but that’s beyond my power. My best hope is for one of those big sites that are already doing this with other novels, though they seem to be only interested in popular novels with male main characters. But maybe one day they’ll decide to progress and include their female readership, and this novel might then get a chance.

I believe this novel would be very popular with teenage girls. There are already so many silly, wish-fulfillment novels for teenage boys, but there seems to be a stigma around the ones intended for girls. I only ever hear people criticizing them (example: Twilight), and it’s usually criticized by people that are not even the target demographic. Yes, I feel the novel is immature, but I’m also too old for it. Hence I treat it as a guilty pleasure. It’s simply fun to read. And teen girls would go crazy over it.

Thank you for reading. I’m bummed. I’m reconsidering my life choices. I’m depressed and I envy male readers so much right now. It’s like they’re the default readership and everyone caters to them first. Just look at Qidian Intl.’s novel choices. Not even one female MC novel. Is it up to their translators what project gets picked up? Are all their translators male? Maybe in some time, they’ll start introducing female MC novels as an option for the other half of their readership. Ya, I know, it’s not like they owe us anything. I should get up and do it myself if I’m unhappy with their choices. I’ve heard it all. As much as I’d like to do it myself, I lack any sort of business mind or leadership, so really, I can only complain and wait for someone else to pester them into adding variety.

Why Translate the Novel from the Start

About Black Belly Wife, I have a lot of respect for the first translator, who sadly got fed up with thieves and has decided to drop all her translations. She introduced a lot of novels and enriched many readers’ experiences.

But it concerns my personal taste. The way she translated was very summarized, keeping mostly the dialogue and sneaking in the relevant information in between, while skipping over scenes, descriptions, and info dumps. Maybe she did it for speed, maybe she prefers a more concise way of writing, maybe she was using text-to-speech method of translating, or maybe it was something else entirely. Regardless, the source material integrity wasn’t preserved, and it’s my preference to stick to it.

Thus I’m translating from the start, so I can give readers the chance to experience the entirety of the novel and appreciate it better. I really felt it was a waste otherwise.

And the reason I’m writing this note is to passive-aggressively copy-paste it to the start of each chapter until 23, because apparently not everyone clicks on the project page to read the notes (even if I pointed them toward it at the beginning of chapter 1). Well, what can you do. And I realize that there may be people who are willing to sacrifice quality for speed, and wouldn’t mind reading the summarized version of the novel, but I’m simply not that type of translator. Average as I am in my quality, I still try my best to be loyal to the source material. When I change things up, it’s only related to style, flow, and making things sound proper in English; I always preserve the original meaning and intent of the words.