December 4, 2023
SWET’s Manga Special Interest Group Going Strong
By Emma Hanashiro
Among the members of SWET, the number of those working in the manga localization industry has steadily increased. With manga sales remaining high and increasing avenues for digital manga distribution, work opportunities and the number of people active in the industry will also likely grow.
Given these circumstances and the specific working conditions and, at times, specialized knowledge needed to work with manga, I felt that a special interest group could better meet the needs of SWET members working with or wanting to work with manga.
This desire sparked the creation of the SWET Manga Special Interest Group (SIG) in the Spring of 2023 and the establishment of its Discord server. Starting with the core members of Jan Mitsuko Cash (manga translator and editor), David Goldberg (managing editor), and Emma Hanashiro (editor), the Discord server now has 17 members with diverse backgrounds and experiences at many of the manga publishers in the industry.
The SWET Manga SIG Discord Server has several chat rooms called channels centered on editing and translation, career help and advice, and self promotion and personal updates. Members can message freely and often post job listings, manga-related news, and thoughts on the changes in the industry. Veteran members often share their insights on the industry and offer advice to people looking for work. Conversations are casual, and the server functions like a coffee shop where people can chat. Past discussions in the server have included the future of manga translation and the impact of AI, recommended tools and resources for translators, and translation rates across the industry. We have also critiqued and reviewed the resumes of fellow members.
The group is not limited to people currently working with manga. Some members translated in the past, and others would like to translate manga. Anyone interested in the manga localization industry is welcome to join. As Jan Mitsuko Cash shared, "The SIG is creating an avenue for future manga professionals to break into the industry right as previous methods are disappearing or becoming less accessible." Another member stated, "[a]s a translator and editor working outside the manga and light novel industries, I have been grateful for the opportunity to spectate the discussions and get a peek into the experiences of my fellow translators."
In the future, the SIG has tentative plans for Shop Talks and a potential manga-specific mentorship program. Should you like to join the SIG, please contact us via the SWET address.