Death Mage Translation and Donations FAQ
Dear readers, I am writing this post to address questions regarding how the translation of the series works, how donations work and how they contribute to the translation. Older readers might already know a lot of what’s written here, but I’d like to clarify things for the large number of newer readers!
Q: How long does it take to translate a chapter?
A: I have a full-time job in a Japanese government office and Japanese-English translation makes up the majority of the work in that job. I consider myself experienced at translation and translate faster than most. Even so, a single Death Mage chapter is anywhere between 5,000 and 8,000 English words (For reference, my honors degree thesis was 10,000 words). I’ve recorded my top-speed translation a while ago at something like 1300 English words per hour (non-stop, full-concentration), so a single chapter would take somewhere around 4-6 hours if I could keep up that pace non-stop. However, translation isn’t something you can actually continue doing for that long at full concentration so I need to take breaks or work at less-than-full concentration, and sometimes it’s slowed down by difficult Japanese phrases/terms that I need to look up. Thus, realistically speaking, it actually takes quite a bit longer than 4-6 hours. Finally, editing work is also needed to clean up my typos and errors, which further adds time to the process. Shoutout to my wonderful editors who help me greatly with that.
Q: How do you translate?
A: My Japanese reading/grammar skills are pretty good, and I mostly use jisho.org to help me with words that aren’t in my Japanese vocabulary. Note that I also do a lot of rearranging of sentences from Japanese to English to make it flow well. For more detail on the work that goes into that process, see this article.
Q: Why do you need donations to translate the series?
A: The translation of this series is a very heavy time investment for me. It takes a lot of time to translate even a single chapter, and without getting some income from it, I can’t justify investing the time to do it.
Q: How do I donate?
A: Please donate to my PayPal directly via this page. Note that Patreon donations go towards the maintenance of the site and will not contribute towards sponsored Death Mage chapters.
Q: How does the donation system work?
A: $150-$250 in accumulated donations will make up one sponsored chapter, and the actual amount will depend on the length of the chapter.
Q: Will my donation make releases faster?
A: Unfortunately not. Donations come in faster than I can translate, which means that limiting factor for release speed is not the amount of donations but my translation speed. Since I have a full-time job and social life outside of translating this series, my release schedule tends to be quite irregular.
Q: So how often do you actually release chapters?
A: My tentative goal is to release one chapter per week, but realistically, it depends on how busy I am. Expect somewhere between 2-4 chapters a month.
Q: Where can I see the current status of the translation and donations? / When is the next chapter coming out?!?!?!?!
A: There are stickied posts in the Death Mage channel of our Discord server that I keep updated with the current number of sponsored chapters in the queue, the amount donated towards the next sponsored chapter as well as the next chapter’s translation progress and estimated release date.
Q: I donated, but I haven’t seen my name credited at the top of the chapter!
A: As there is a queue of sponsored chapters that grows faster than I can shrink it, it may take several chapters before your donation is credited, since it will be credited for the last chapter in the queue at the time of your donation. If you have any questions regarding your donation or would like me to credit your donation with a name other than the one that is on your PayPal account, please message me on Discord.
Q: Why can’t we have another translator who can release faster and do it for free?
A: Yes, I actually get asked this question by some ungrateful readers. I’m tired of explaining why, but I will guarantee you that if another translator were to take this series, you would see a drastic drop in translation quality and/or a drastic reduction in release speed. At the risk of sounding cocky/full of myself, trust me, I’m the best you’ve got.
Thanks to all the readers for your support! I love seeing the positive comments in the chapter comment sections and on Discord. I love translating the series, and I couldn’t do it without you guys.