Do you know what a Webtoon is? At the end of last year, they were introduced on TV as a trend that would take off in 2022. Webtoons are digital comics from Korea known for their characteristic vertical scrolling—essentially manga made for smartphones and tablets. We expect rapid growth for this genre, and the global Webtoon market is said to grow to 1.87 trillion yen ($ 16.45 billion) by 2027.
In Japan, the companies Shueisha and Shogakukan have set up specialized departments for Webtoons, and KADOKAWA has announced that it will release 160 in 2022.
I don’t know how true that is, but our company is getting a lot of inquiries about manga translation (both ordinary manga and webtoon). I wrote in the previous blog (Corona and manga translation) that the number of inquiries has increased, but since this year began they’re really pouring in.
As I said in the title, you can trust AGM for services from translation to DTP, so here’s a little introduction about what we have to offer!
For general translation of games and other content, the cost is calculated by word count (and it changes based on the language), but for manga translation, the cost is calculated per page. Because Webtoons don’t have pages (as they’re vertical and scroll continuously), we calculate it per word.
The cost also changes based on DTP costs, and if onomatopoeia, signs, etc., need to be translated or left as is. If such things do need translation, whether the original text needs to be deleted or not can also affect the cost.
Here is the workflow for this service:
- Receive the files
These are usually .ai files, but we do receive them in other formats as well.
- Create a glossary
This is an indispensable process when translating games as well. If you don’t decide the character names (and their tones), place names, school names, company names, etc. beforehand, it will be difficult to keep them consistent later.
- Number the text to be translated and create an Excel file for translation
The extracted text is translated by a native speaker.
- Insert translated text into manga
A DTP specialist puts the translated text back into the manga. Japanese is written vertically, but when possible we change the speech bubbles so that the translated horizontal text does not look odd.
- Native Check
A native speaker checks the translated pages for spelling errors or mistranslations but also ensures there are no oddities to be found in the formatting or anywhere else in the manga.
We receive final confirmation from the client and fix any changes needed as quickly as possible.
According to our veteran staff, in the past when translating manga, it took a lot of time and effort between sending a book, scanning it, and translating it. Now that you can send files and have the DTP work done with translation, clients can receive a convenient, readymade file. I hope more publishers release manga in other countries and increase the number of Japanese manga fans worldwide!