Week 12 Relfection

Week 12 Final Reflection

With the last of the translated chapters finished, I have had some time to really look back and see what I have accomplished. Writing these reflections every few weeks has been a great way of seeing the journey I have taken. Not only has it been a way of seeing what kind of problems I have had, but also what kind of things I did well. Looking back at the reflection practice research we did first. I felt that I used in-action reflecting during the translation process quite a lot, the La Trobe University (2011) talks about the two types of reflection, and describes in-action reflection “It is like ‘thinking on your feet’ but the focus is on gaining a new perspective, rather than just solving the problem”. I think the best example of thinking on my feet, was when I used the Japanese words in my translation to match the joke in the story. I didn’t just solve the problem there, I learnt what to do when the same situationrepeated itself in the final chapters. This kind of learning helped for other things too, such as being able to recognise common phrases and words more quickly, and as a result the speed of translating the manga increased.

I felt that doing a translation for my project would also help my Japanese skills improve, and by doing a manga, I think that it has given me more confidence and more interest in reading more Japanese text, including the next manga volumes in the Yotsuba&! Series. As Ginstrom (2008) said “If you’re satisfied with your current skills, then you’re not improving. And if you’re not improving, you’re stagnating”. I totally agree, I think that I am personally never satisfied with my Japanese skills. Thinking about it now, choosing Yotsuba was a good choice for me. Not only was it a chance improve my Japanese level and skills, but it was also a good chance to learn about everyday life. The stories contained situations that would be commonly found when living in Japan. As my goal in the future is to live in Japan, the more I learn about everyday life will definitely help me.

As Fyfield (2009) mentions on his Japanese learning blog, Language learning can be broken into input and output, to learn any language you need massive amounts of authentic input. I think authentic reading is a good way of increasing vocabulary, and becoming familiar with grammatical structures. Fyfield (2009) mentions that when you read you are exposed to more words than you would if you were just listening to a conversation, so I hope the vocabulary that I learnt will be useful in the future too. Having someone to check my translations helped a lot too, as this reassured me and gave me more confidence with translating the story.

All said and done I really enjoyed the time spent on the project, and I really think that learning about reflective practices has made me think more deeper about my actions. I hope I can take this knowledge with me as I continue studying and also into my future career.

 

References

Fyfield, B. (2009, March 15). How reading Manga can be good for your Japanese [web log message]. Retrieved from http://rainbowhill.blogspot.co.nz/2009/03/how-reading-manga-can-be-good-for-your.html

Ginstrom, R. (2008, October 5). Becoming a better translator. [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://ginstrom.com/scribbles/2008/10/05/advancing-in-translation-career/

La Trobe University (2011). Reflective Practice in Health Sciences. Retrieved from http://latrobe.libguides.com/content.php?pid=177292&sid=1492295

Week 11 Reflection

I haven’t had any big problems with translating the manga in the past weeks. I am happy with this part of the project now that I have overcome the most of the previous difficulties. The most time consuming part I have found now is actually adding the English to the images using Photoshop. Moving forward with only two chapters to go, I must try to organise my time to finish the project. At the same time I must also allow time to study for exams, this could become a problem but I am confident in my ability. As the semester comes to a close, the busier everyone becomes. I am pleased that I have been able to follow my weekly plan so that I don’t get stressed out trying to finish everything on time.

As I go, I have been checking my translations with a Japanese friend and there hasn’t been any major problems. I still have to use dictionaries to check grammar and words. But I have found that with some of the new words, I remember them from the last time they were used. My speed in looking up words has increased a little too. Because it has been fun reading and translating this manga, I think in the future I will read more manga too. I think doing this will help increase my Japanese vocabulary. I have found for me vocabulary seems to be the biggest hurdle when learning a new language, so having fun while learning it is important for me.

I was a little slow in uploading chapter 5 this time because of a few tests and presentations I have had to do. I hope I will finish the last chapters quickly so everyone will have a chance to read them. This is the next major goal for me and I will work hard in the next weeks.

Week 9 Reflection

Since my last reflection I have caught up with my weekly plan, which I am pleased with. I used the time in the semester break well, and was able to get my translations onto scans of the Japanese manga using Photoshop. However I did find this a bit time consuming but still enjoyable.
So far I have only had a few problems with translating the text from Japanese into English. One of these problems was with a few Japanese specific terms that didn’t quite translate well into English, in the overall story it worked better to keep the terms in. To do this I kept the Japanese word in my translation but used Romaji (Romanization of Japanese), and added a note at the bottom of the page explaining the meaning. I think doing this works and also keeps the text a little more authentic. I have also seen this done in official English translated manga. Overall I have only found this problem in one area of the story. It was used a little later too as a continuation of the joke, and I thought keeping the Japanese word worked well for this. I checked with a Japanese friend of mine and we decided that doing this was a good idea too.

As I continue with the project I also feel that I am integrating New Zealand English well. Some words that I look up in dictionaries come back with American English, so I need to change these over. Words such as ‘store’ for example, I used ‘shop’. I hope that by doing these kind of small changes New Zealand readers will appreciate the translation more.
Another small difficulty I had previously was the use of Keigo (respect language). I have overcome my previous difficulties, by studying a little more about it, and getting used to the phrases as I find them. My current Japanese class is about Keigo in business and this also helped with recognizing the different forms. I feel with the remaining chapters I will have a better grasp of this as I continue to become more familiar with phrases used by the characters.

Another bonus result of doing the project was I found my speed in looking up Kanji (adopted Chinese characters) increased. I recognise more of the components of the Kanji characters in the dictionary. And also the number of strokes that make up each character. There is a few different methods that you can use to search characters in dictionaries, one of them is from the components, and another way is using the number of strokes in each part. I am happy with this as I am sure this skill will be useful in the future.

At this point in the project I am positive I can complete all seven chapters of the manga from the first book. This was something at the beginning of the project that I wasn’t sure I could accomplish. For the last few weeks of the project I hope I can maintain my speed and continue to improve my skills in translating.