Not only did I spend a lot of time translating it, but my translation ended up sounding like stilted English. And that's the problem a lot of translators have: do you try to stay true to the original text, or do you write/edit it to make it sound really smooth and natural in the target language, thus majorly reworking the original author's word choice?
I've been trying to figure out what to do. I'd spent all this time translating it, plus the title was deceptive, and the original writing seemed sort of vague and circular in how the author was trying to make her point. I was thinking of not posting it because it sounds sort of odd, but I didn't want all that work to go to waste. So I've decided to post the stilted version instead of rewriting the English to sound like a regular blog post. Did I do the wrong thing?! I don't know! But I hope it makes sense. I need to let go and move on! So here it is, the translation of「私は日本のアニメは見ない」という外国人にありがちなこと:
Japanese anime have been popular abroad for a while. But even now, there are a lot of people throughout the world who have a prejudiced view of anime. Japanese anime are for "geeks who like Japan" or they’re what "kids" watch, so I decided to not watch them.
Until now, when foreigners asked me which anime I watch, I’ve usually said, "I don't really watch them." If I had seen any, it was just one of Ghibli’s, or what I'd occasionally watched with my siblings. Basically, I hadn't really seen them--that's because I decided I didn’t like them, and because of the image they have.
When I’d hear people talk, I’d think, "How pitiful." As a result of deciding not to watch anime, I've probably missed out on seeing a lot of great ones. It’s up to the individual to watch or not watch anime. And even if they disappear from society, they'll still live on. But saying, "I don't like that thing" can give the wrong impression, and that person’s life and outlook can seem narrow.
Other than anime, these things have often come up:
"I don't trust raw fish, so I don't eat sushi."
"I've never eaten blue cheese and it seems impossible. I will not eat it."
"Indian movie? I haven't seen one, not interested."
"Since I get along well with Japanese people, I don't need foreign friends." …etc.
A while ago, I met an American foreign student who wanted whatever she ate and saw explained to her. For instance, when we ate champon, she asked questions such as, "How was this soup made?" "What kinds of seafood are in there?" "Is the seafood in here also in America?" "Where does the shrimp come from?" etc. She ended up not eating champon, and I was disappointed that I couldn't introduce her to that delicious Japanese food.
Perhaps if she'd trusted me and tried the champon, she probably would've thought, "Unforgettable Japanese flavor." It would've been good for her to take even just one bite. It would’ve been good to do it, even if it tasted just slightly good.
It’s better to try eating something instead of being afraid. Then someone can decide if they like it or hate it. If someone doesn't eat it, they won’t know how it tastes, so they can't say anything about it. Even if it doesn’t taste good, it's good to understand that it's "bad."
A while ago, I didn't like anime or manga. At that time, after my foreign boyfriend (who's now my husband) pretty much forced me to watch anime, I thought, "Japanese anime are wonderful." Until then I'd decided, "Anime are something kids watch" and thought I was stupid for believing that.
Inside of me there's a subconscious "decision" box that's been cleared, but it's difficult. I really want to protect the box, and by making the box important, I protect myself, though it reverses unexpectedly.
When I try Out of the Box thinking (thinking outside boundaries), the best benefit for me is that I am not like others. And if I don’t like myself, I have to first try.
Maybe I will start to know things my entire life.