A while back I read that Bakahou was translating with only a little Japanese knowledge, and feeding text through multiple translators.
When I decided to have a shot at it I checked the “about” page on his blog to find out what he uses, and then started googling them.
Somehow I came across Translation Aggregator. It’s made to streamline feeding Japanese text into multiple online translators. If the download link is not in the post I have linked to, then there is a newer version somewhere in the later posts.
Ten translators work straight away without needing anything extra.
ATLAS v14 which is one of the best requires you to install it. Click the link & follow the instructions for it. Instruction 1 is “set your computer clock to a year ago”, the post was made in 2009, set your clock to 2008.
MeCab can show you the Romanji for words, so even with knowledge from anime you might notice a few words you know. Do not install MeCab using a UTF16 dictionary, anything else is fine.
edict2 is a dictionary for Translation Aggregator. Right click the link & select “save target as” if your web browser tries to open it instead of downloading it. Extract it (it’s a type of zip file) into the dictionary folder in Translation Aggregator.
I copied the chapter I wanted to translate to a Wordpad file (since I don’t have anything better on my comp).
I then started working my way down my wordpad file.
I’d copy a selection. Look over at Translation Aggregator and read the translated windows. I’d try my best to work out what the translation was, and then write that underneath the Japanese part in my wordpad file. If you look at the pastebin link of chapter 4 in my previous blog post, that is a direct copy of what my wordpad document ended up looking like.
If I could not figure out what the sentence was, I’d look over at the MeCab and JParser windows in Translation Aggregator (you can mouse over the text in those windows for a definition).
It still was not easy.
The part where I translated that he ripped his wings off I had a bit of trouble with. One of the machine translators had the word horn in it, so I was trying to remember if he had horns, but I ended up just leaving it out. Apparently he had horns & broke them off.
Getting through this without any Japanese knowledge to back you up requires some dedication but I believe I’ve shown it’s possible.