Otaku USA Magazine
Manga Translation Battle 2014 Kicks Off

The third edition of the Manga Translation Battle is underway.

The competition, sponsored by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, pits aspiring manga translators in a competition to see who can best translate a given chapter of manga from Japanese to English.

The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Japan and a job offer to translate the manga in question, while other winners will also receive job offers or tablet computers.

Entrants can choose from four manga: Kamakura Monogatari, a supernatural detective series, Museum, a suspense horror manga, Nichijou, a surreal slice-of-life comedy, and The Crown of Thorn, a manga about a high schooler with special powers.

This year’s panel of judges includes MangaComicsManga.com editor Deb Aoki and professional translators William Flanagan, Matt Alt and Matt Thorn. The more Matts the better, I always say.

The Manga Translation Battle is a reminder translation is more about just one-to-one word replacement. Many of last year’s winners were praised for their unique word choice, readability and characterization – something to consider if you’re planning to enter.

The deadline for this year’s contest is October 31st, and the details are on the official page. Bust out those thesauruses and get crackin’!


Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.