Manga Translation: A World of Differences and Headaches
Last week, I was in Tokyo for the 3rd Annual Manga Translation Battle awards reception and symposium. Held at Roppongi Hills at the Academy Hills school, the event attracted roughly about 75-100 attendees, largely professionals who work in publishing and translation.
As part of the event, a group of manga editors and executives from the manga publishing industry spoke about trends in both Japan and US and why manga translation and localization is so important because it can help bring Japanese comics content to overseas markets. But it became clear as the talk progressed that the topics covered focused on production issues, like horizontal vs. vertical word balloons and flopping/colorizing pages to appeal to a Western comics market that is used to color pages that read L-R. Reflecting on the event the next day, I threw out a few thoughts, and this conversation ensued.