Most people would agree that the vast majority of the text within a manga is dialogue. Taking a step further, a huge portion of shoujo manga features teenagers in an urban setting using colloquial language. As a proofreader, it’s important (in my opinion) to understand the nuances of different styles of English, but the informal language is where I struggle.
As a part-time social recluse, I have difficulty determining how people normally word things when they communicate face-to-face. What makes it worse is that different people, especially from different parts of the world, have differing connotations with certain phrasings/contractions. I remember a few years back, while we were discussing what kind of speech patterns would best bring out Naruse’s personality (Naruse is from Namaikizakari), Joey said that she thought ‘gonna’, an informal contraction for ‘going to’, sounded like something a gangster would say. Where I’m from, we don’t exactly have much of a ‘gangster culture’ (so to speak), so it definitely wasn’t an association I would have ever made. In fact, I say ‘gonna’ all the time, and I’m the furthest thing from a gangster.
So, as this all came to mind, I thought, “Who better to ask than the ones that do all this scanlating stuff for?” In other words, you guys. If you’ve bothered reading through all this, I would appreciate it if you leave a comment letting me know how you view words like ‘gonna’, ‘wanna’, etc. Would it sound right to you if an average high schooler used those contractions in a manga (of course, I wouldn’t use them for uptight characters and the like)? And do you say ‘have a bath’ or ‘take a bath’? ‘It’s not’ or ‘It isn’t’?
Anyway, today I present Nice Guy Syndrome! Psst, I tried really hard for the SFX on around page 21. See the ‘ta-da’? Made that screentone from scratch. Also tried pretty hard to get the drop shadow outline the inside like that (there’s probably an easier way to get that effect, but meh). Do you like it?
P.S. I’m currently labouring away at chapter 33 of Gakuen Ouji! It should be out in a week or two! Or three!
(Featured image is by afd42.deviantart.com)