Tag Archives: Japanese

Resident Evil: Marhawa Desire

Videogame-based manga Resident Evil: Marhawa Desire‘s first volume is hitting the shelves this month around the world, and thanks to my favorite translation company Daruma I was in charge of the Spanish translation. The Spanish publisher is EDT (formerly known as Glénat).

This translation was a new experience for Daruma because, while we usually translate from trade paperbacks, there was none of those back then. So we translated every episode, some of them before even being published on Japanese magazine Shonen Champion, where they can be read before being put together in the trade paperbacks.

Residen Evil Marhawa Desire 1

I love both videogames and manga, so I’m very happy to help make this available to Spanish readers. And the comic itself was a great surprise. I hope Resident Evil fans will like it. I think the Hollywood thriller mood the series is known for can be found in this manga.

Localization for persona/ app

I was asked to translate for the Japanese localization (translation, etc.) of persona/, a Google Chrome application by Barcelona-based company Layers.


It’s an application made to check your Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds with comfort and style. It’s free and it installs in a minute, so if I got your interest why not try it now? Feel free to use this link to install persona/ on Google Chrome. Beware that you won’t be able to install it on other browsers.

Note: They recently got a persona/ iPad app, which you can use in English.

Record of Lodoss Wars: The Gray Witch

During this year’s Barcelona Manga Fair, Planeta de Agostini launched its Spanish edition for Record of Lodoss Wars: La Bruja Gris, a manga adaptation for the pioneering Japanese heroic fantasy novel.

Translation was ordered to Daruma, and I was in charge of the first draft. I translated every balloon and onomatopoeia, and I think it’s thanks to Marc Bernabé’s revision and Daruma’s logistics that the result came out to be quite good.

Record of Lodoss War: La Bruja Gris

I think this fantasy manga can be enjoyed by anyone older than, say, 12 years old, as long as they have any interest for in the fantasy genre.

It was a very good experience, as I read a lot of manga but I had never had a chance to help with manga publishing. I’m very interested in deepening communication and understanding between Spain and Japan, and I think with this kind of work I’m getting nearer to this aim.

Presenting Japoneschan

This week I made public a new service I called Japoneschan. It lets you convert Spanish words into Japanese characters (keeping the Spanish pronunciation), get translations through the Google Translate API, and many other things. I made this service in order to connect the Japanese and Spanish languages in both directions. For more information on how to use it, please read the Japanese or Spanish help pages.

The design and mascot character for Japoneschan are the work of Koga Takahiro

For the service to be comfortable and fast to use I’m using AJAX, but when you access a URL where you get the conversion results from the beginning (as the ones shared on Twitter, etc.) I’m reducing the number of AJAX queries, caching on the server side, etc. Many things I had never had the chance to build from zero.

I had a blast developing Japoneschan. Have I managed to get you curious enough to look up the Japanese characters for your favorite Spanish phrase? I hope I did!

The way I study Japanese

Since I get more translation and interpreting work lately, I wanted to share my method for studying Japanese.

When one’s been working mostly in Japanese for almost five years, one’s Japanese level is more than OK. And when I say I have JLPT level 1 most Japanese think my Japanese must be awesome, but JLPT’s top level isn’t actually that high. In contrast with other Japanese language qualifications, JLPT is only for people who don’t have Japanese as their mother tongue. This means most Japanese people haven’t ever heard of it, and also its aim is set to certifying one’s ability for communication in Japanese up to a regular employment level.

Some books I use as Japanese textbooks
Some books I use as Japanese textbooks

But knowledge areas appearing in any job are limited and without motivation and interest in many different things your Japanese learning could stall. That’s where I was saved by this studying method.

First, once we’re in this level we have to stop thinking as a foreign student and think about someone who understands Japanese. We probably need to use books made for Japanese people. The ones in the picture above explain useful bits and pieces of Japanese which you won’t find at exams.

Mondai na Nihongo by Yasuo Kitahara

For example, Yasuo Kitahara‘s Mondai na Nihongo show us many expressions and usages that aren’t perfectly correct but more or less widely used in nowadays Japan. I think it’s not good to ignore them, but it’s not good either to adopt them without even noticing. I prefer learning to understand and detect them, and not using them myself.

Otonago no Nazo by Shigesato Itoi

Shigesato Itoi‘s Otonago no Nazo is a compilation of corporate and business jargon, explained with some criticism and even sarcasm. If the previous book was a bit serious, this one is quite fun to read.

There are many books like these, but I think it’s also important to read fiction and manga. Lately I’m hooked on Bakuman, a comic which gives us the perspective of the people making manga.

And before finishing, I’d like to ask you to disregard possible imperfections in my redaction in Japanese and English. When I work with translations I always have a native specialist to check the texts, so quality is guaranteed. But I like writing this blog on my own as a way to practice and learn.

Self-public relations in Japan

It’s common in Japan to ask people to pitch their best qualities and skills when they’re writing a resumé or taking part in some social acts. They call it self-public relations, mixing a Japanese word and the English PR acronym. The resulting word, jiko-PR, is supposed to mean self promotion is a clear example of corporate jargon as there are perfectly Japanese words that would do the job.

It’s common for borrowed words to keep only the meaning that’s more relevant to the destination environment, and cases like this let us see clearly some differences between the Japanese society and the so-called Western one. This time around I’d like to stress the one-way communication nuance in the Japanese use of the word relations as in PR.

Self PR Self Promotion Public Relations

Public relations include communications of the one-way kind but also of the two-way kind. But the Japanese usage of jiko-PR (meaning self promotion) only has a one-way meaning. Words like these are worthy of being included in Shigesato Itoi‘s, corporate lingo dictionary, Otona-go no nazo (something like “the mysterious language of adults”).

This way of using the English word public relations proofs how established and strict are hierarchies in Japan’s business and corporate environments. For instance, it’s hard to find a magazine that reviews products in a honest way, as the companies selling these products are usually funding the magazine itself by investing in advertisement. So the magazine owes them –and their products– respect.

But now that Japan is on the social media train, I think it’s about time for having communications in all ways.