I'd think it's a fairly safe assumption to make that one ambition of pretty much any non-Japanese manga fan is to learn to become fluent in Japanese. And for many an otaku, the first step down the road to Nihongo-mastery is to try one's hand at translation. The legions of eager fan-translators populating the internet is testament to that shared passion.
Now JManga and the Digital Comic Association, with the blessing of Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs, are tapping that natural impulse to bring the cream of the amateur translating crop forward. That's the aim of the Manga Translation Battle, as JManga challenged fans to submit their translations to a few select chapters.
Now there are just eleven finalists left, and now you (yes, you) are going to be part of the judging process. All you need to do is head over to their promo page on Facebook, and pick your favorites. You'll also be able to see their sample work, demonstrated on chapters of Tomonori Inoue's Coppelion, Nana Haruta's Chocolate Cosmos, and Akira Saso's Shindo. The winning translator will get a free trip to Japan to attend a symposium at the Japan Media Arts Festival, as well as a grant as the official professional translator. For some of the more amateur translators in the running, that could well be a dream come true. Also, the runners-up win iPads, so there's that, too.
Who are you voting for? I know I'm missing the point somewhat, but I'm inclined to vote for one of the translators who worked on Coppelion, but mainly because I like Coppelion.
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