Saturday, 4 September 2010

One Month Off

I have a tendency to use song titles as the titles for my blog posts, but it's always nice when they fit completely and don't require some sort of shoehorning. It's pretty much one month exactly until I'll be back in Cambridge and the workload will start again, nad until then I've got pretty much nothing I need to do, so for the first time in a while can spend my time doing fuck-all without the niggly feeling that I should be revising or getting work experience sorted or any of the other crap I've had for the last year or so.

Firstly, a comic from the new but quite funny Hipster Hitler, which I've failed to resize properly to take the image borders into account, but fuck it, it'll do:



So in this month off I've not really got anything planned. Which means if people can come up with plans that involve me I'll be pretty keen for them. If anyone wants to come down and see the sights of Liverpool and (god forbid) Manchester then I'd be happy to put them up for a few days and show them around.

I'm going to see Muse this evening at the Lancashire County Cricket Ground at Old Trafford, and it feels weird because I'm not stupidly excited about it. Usually this is something I'd have been looking forward to for weeks, if not months, and yet I'd almost forgotten about it until a week or two ago. I think part of this is just because their new album is pretty crap, and though they're still probably the greatest live band in the world, I know deep down the show won't be as good as it could be if they just stuck to their older stuff. The rest of it I think is just that it's the week after Reading, and my "shit I'm doing in the future" list has been completely dominated by the festival for the last few weeks and even the Muse gig has just sort of been shoved to one side and forgotten about.
Either way, it should be a pretty good gig, and though I'm a little ill right now I'm expecting to enjoy it a fair bit.

The only other stuff I've really got for the next month is writing entries into this blog (which is more than some other blog writers seem to be doing :P) and fansub work. I've taken a foray into typesetting and working in After Effects recently, and it's fairly fun. Most of all I just like how I can feel myself developing and getting better at using it. I was cranking out signs yesterday that would have taken me ages to get through and perfect, and I was producing them in minutes. There's been a bit of a bitch in that we discovered yesterday that the raw we've got has a 1.33:1 pixel ratio, and we've been working with it under the assumption it had square pixels, so we've now got to fix all the signs we've done so far so that they won't look stretched in the final release. It's not a huge amount of effort in After Effects, but given there's like 20 signs done it's still a fair bit of time even if it's just a 30 second job for each one.

Frostii are still looking for translators, and it's a pain in the ass to find them. Mostly it's because every fucking group under the sun seems to want translators right now, and it's really not helped by tons of shitty no-name groups filling up all the listings as well. I don't mind the idea of people starting groups, but I swear half the people looking for translators are basically people who have no experience doing fansubbing, but reckon they can start up their own group and do it themselves if they can just get someone to translate the Japanese for them.

Half the problem is that translation is the one thing that you can't just learn in a few weeks. Timing, encoding, typesetting, even editing to an extent are all things you can learn how to do. It takes a bit of experience before you can do them particularly well, but ultimately they're learnable skills. Translating spoken Japanese into English takes several years of language courses and preferably living in Japan, so just being eager to learn how to do it so you can be in a fansub group doesn't really cut it whatsoever. It also doesn't help that you get people applying who really seem to underestimate the depth of Japanese knowledge required. Just because you've done night classes for a year and know some words doesn't mean that you know anywhere near enough - I know a fair bit of Japanese and I know I'm still absolutely fucking miles away. Even people like Meroigo who have been studying Japanese intensively and live in Japan aren't fluent enough (by his own admittance). If you can't watch anime fairly comfortably without subtitles, then it's a fairly good indication that you're not fluent enough in Japanese. It's not hard.

But yeah, looking forward to this month, because I always enjoy spending days lazing around doing what I want. The lyrics to Thank God it's Monday by NOFX are extremely relevant.

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