To help celebrate the release of Why Shouldn’t a Detestable Demon Lord Fall in Love?! Volume 3 we decided to have a small interview with the translator for Demon Lord, David Prileszky! We hope you enjoy!
1) Introduce yourself, talk about how you got into translating
I’m David Prileszky, but most people probably know me by ‘Roro’. I’m a freelance Japanese-to-English literary translator, but I mainly work for Sol Press and 2d-market with some other gigs sprinkled in every once in a while. I always had an interest in translation, and that’s pretty much why I decided to major in Japanese and Translation Theory at university. I did some fan translations during my university days here and there in addition to my usual weekly assignments, then I got my first job in the industry around 2016 I think, when I joined 2d-market’s translation team. I joined Sol Press a bit later, in April of 2018, and I’ve been with them ever since.
2) Do LNs present any unique challenges? How do you go about handling them?
As someone from a manga background, translating narration and scene descriptions posed the biggest challenge by far when I first started out. In most other mediums, you can rely on the visuals to showcase the world, set the tone, show the characters, etc., but in light novels, you have to achieve the same through text. While I still struggle with this aspect of the translation sometimes, I’d like to think I’m getting better and better at it. Light novels give you the most creative freedom out of all mediums I’ve personally worked in, which can be a blessing and a curse. It certainly makes working on light novels more enjoyable for me over, let’s say, VNs, but it certainly complicates things. I find myself translating light novels ~20% slower than VNs simply because of the effort that goes into making them read like any other novel written by a native English speaker.
3) What are some of the things that you like about Demon Lord (both the series itself and working on it)? Some of the challenges of working on it? Anything particularly unique or interesting?
I love how comfy it is. It’s a charming story of an average family going about their daily lives with little to no conflict. Some people might find it dull, and it’s certainly not for everyone, but I think most people can appreciate a cute little story that takes your mind off your own struggles for a little while. The romance between Luina and Anima is tooth-achingly sweet, and the girls are just adorable balls of fluff that can cheer me up even on my worst days.
Working on it is an absolute joy for the reasons I just mentioned, plus the fact that it’s very well written in Japanese. As far as challenges go, Marie, and a character introduced in volume 2, Bram, are pretty challenging to work on. Turns out it’s not that easy to write a convincing three-year-old, and in fact, the biggest reason why Marie sounds as good and adorable as she does is because of my incredibly talented and hard-working editor, Adam. The challenge with Bram is a bit different; her character isn’t terribly difficult to render in English, or at the very least I’m much more comfortable with it, but she has a certain verbal tic that gave us a run for our money. We spent a lot of time spitballing ideas within the loc team before settling with a translation that we think best fits the tic and her character.
4) With volume 3 releasing soon, what are your thoughts on it? Any hints at things that happen in the story?
While the conflict in volume 1 and 2 was external, in volume 3 it’s completely internal. No more big baddie to fight, it’s just the family and whatever life brings for them. I’m personally a fan of this shift because now that our cast has been established, I don’t think there needs to be an external force to create situations that make them bond with each other. On that note, in this volume, you’ll get to see Bram and Anima bond and solidify their relationship, follow them to a festival and the events leading up to it, and watch Anima and Luina go on their very first traditional date. This book also sets up the events of the final volume, which we’re hoping to bring to you very soon.
5) Any final thoughts?
Originally, Mike offered to let me pick between Demon Lord and VRMMO Academy, and I couldn’t be happier that I picked this. While I’m sure VRMMO Academy is an awesome book, I’m honored to have had the chance to help bring this uniquely sweet and comfortable series to the west. I said when volume 1 released that this is my favorite project I’ve ever worked on, and not only has that not changed, but it’s also solidified itself as my top project with its consistent delivery of pure insulin straight into my veins. But I think that’s it from me for now. I’m excited to hear what you have to say about volume 3, and I hope to see you back for volume 4!