Winner Announced in 2010 Kurodahan Press Translation Prize
This year's entry was an extremely short story, only a few pages of text written by a dog... in addition to testing the translator's skill at understanding broken, slangy Japanese, it also demanding skill at expressing it in English well. Needless to say, this is a rare combination.
For the third Kurodahan Press Translation Prize we selected 忠告 by 恩田 陸. Perhaps because of the brevity of the test piece, we received an astonishing 92 valid entries, and the judges needed every day they had to read through them all and score them fairly by mid-December. The final scores were received on December 15, and the winner is Mikhail S. Ignatov, a resident of Arizona, USA.
Ignatov-san chose to go with all lower case letters and terrible spelling to represent the dog's broken, all-hiragana Japanese in English. It reminds me of the old (and still superb!) archy and mehitabel books, and, like them, is a lot of fun to read!
The translation is slated for publication in Speculative Japan 3, which is still in the planning stages. It has a tentative publication date of mid-2012. More details will be announced as they become clear.
In addition, I'm happy to announce that once again this year we will be putting the complete prize package up online, including all of the submitted translations that we were authorized to post (anonymized, of course).
You'll have to buy the book to read the winning translation, though!
The judges and I would like to thank everyone for taking the time and effort to translate the story and submit it this year... only one person won, but we hope that you will all remember that while there are a number of wrong ways to translate something, there is never only a single right way. Please, keep at it, because Japanese translation surely needs all the help it can get!