Translating manga

Ever since I came back from Japan I’ve been on the lookout for fun projects in which I could utilize my Japanese. Recently I stumbled upon Ubunchu!, a manga about Ubuntu. Created by Hiroshi Seo and published in Ubuntu Magazine Japan, there seem to be 14 chapters of which only the first 8 have been translated so far. Given publishing stopped in 2013 and the Google Group dedicated to translating the manga has seen no activity in 6 months it seemed like a worthwhile project to pick up.

Since the illustrator’s website offers source files (at least for chapters 1-11) there’s almost no cleaning or redrawing necessary. To make up for the lack of challenge, chapter 9 — which I started with — included a bunch of BL lingo which was “great fun” to research and “translate” as well as Revolutionary Girl Utena references I probably missed most of.

I’m not yet sure whether I’ll just create one blog post per chapter or add something to the projects section. In case of the latter I’ll add some note to this post. Regardless of that there’s also a Git repository. And here’s the first chapter:

Ubunchu! chapter 9: Revolutionary IME Kaname

/edit[2017-09-26]: Whoops. So … I didn’t touch this for about a year or so. But in the last 3 days I did chapter 10! ;)

Ubunchu! chapter 10: Outbreak of an interface war!?

/edit[2018-05-04]: The stars aligned for chapter 11! A friend of mine recently started translating manga, so I had the topic on my mind. Also there’s been a little activity in the Ubunchu Google Group and I stumbled upon one of my translations on a online manga reader website, so I felt there’s people that care about the manga. Lastly, it’s golden week, so I had some free time on my hands.

Ubunchu! chapter 11: My lady is fond of her old butler!?

/edit[2019-07-17]: Starting with chapter 12 there’s no source files any more. Keeping up with the one chapter per year pace, I translated chapter 12 (actually finished translating it—had done the first third last year already), but I don’t see myself finding the time to do cleaning and typesetting.

Ubunchu! chapter 12: Rule of a sister distro! Mint-chan

/edit[2020-12-03]: Two weeks ago I received an e-mail: “Do you know when the Ubunchu chapter 12 will be done? Or did everyone give up?” [sic]. I guess this is the universe pressuring me to keep up the one chapter per year pace. So here we go (again, cleaning and typesetting remain to be done).

Ubunchu! chapter 13: Break-up of a long-standing literature club

/edit[2021-12-04]: Keeping up the one chapter per year pace with what I thought to be the last chapter. Also, about a month ago I was contacted by folks wanting to do cleaning and typesetting. Fingers crossed that they go through with it!

Ubunchu! chapter 14: Smooth operators of hardware and hearts

Have fun reading. ;)