Material Polka Ch. 01 Manga Translation


So in my quest to learn Japanese I decided to try my hand at translating a manga.

Title: Material Polka
Author: Naru Kobayashi
Summary: Lesbian school girls murder each other with deadly weapons and explode into candy.
Download: Here

If you’re interested in reading the rest of the series, you can buy Volume 1 and Volume 2.

It was a lot of work. Not something I am likely to repeat. A big thanks to my friends who helped proofread!

Surprisingly, the actual translation was the easy part. I did have a few difficulties: I wasn’t sure what the president said in one line of her speech, although I think I got the gist of it. It’s hard to decide how to translate Japanese naming conventions. Onomatopoeia were frankly the hardest parts to translate.

Typesetting the words into the images wasn’t too hard either. It’s a bit difficult because Japanese is written vertically and English horizontally, so the bubbles are the wrong shape for English. I ended up having to use some awkward looking dashed words and adjust the font sizes. Still, not too bad.

The hard part was preparing the images. Someone scanned them in, and whatever scanner they used picked up white splotches all over the place. I went through and took these out of most of the solid black areas. In the non-block areas it was too much for me, although I did try with a few of the worst offenders. Also, the scanner picked up all these pixel patterns which just don’t look good. Nothing I could do about it though. There were a few places where the author wrote in Japanese directly on the background without using a text box and I would have to redraw the background to take it out, so I just drew boxes over them.


13 thoughts on “Material Polka Ch. 01 Manga Translation

  1. Congrats on the translation job! I can totally relate to the onomatopoeia comment – that stuff’s a real bitch to translate into non-retarded English.

    1. Thanks! I ended up using words for a lot of it, like “Thump, thump”, “Tap, tap” etc. Not the best but oh well.

    1. I took a year in college and have been studying on my own since then. I’m only able to do it with heavy use of a dictionary, but I figure the more words I look up the less words I’ll have to look up in the future.

  2. The story is very interesting and well played out. The plot not only grabbed my attention but the creativity and horror that the main character was put into that situation is really giving me the chills. When will chapter 2 come out? I hope that it will be here soon so that I can read it. Not only that the ending is making me intense what will happen next.

    1. Sorry, I don’t have time to do this for the rest of the chapters. 🙁 It is very time consuming. Glad you enjoyed it though!

        1. Sadly no. 🙁 I don’t have time to do everything. Although somebody contacted me recently who was interested in continuing it… that was like six months ago and I haven’t heard back from him though.

          1. I really want to know what happens next in the 2nd chapter. This manga is very interesting.

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