GGP is the creator of Gravity Tales (gravitytales.com), one of the biggest novel translations sites around. Each month the site receive millions of views for translated works like Zhan Long, True Martial World and The Nine Cauldrons. They also host a myriad of original novels like The Divine Element and The Blue Phoenix.
The following is our short chat with him.
EdgeNotes – I should get the joke question out of the way first. Why won’t anyone translate Instant Kill?
GGP – I would say that the terms is the worst part of picking up a dropped tl. You have to relearn all the translations and check back to the old translations if you do decide to start translating it again. Thus, people are less likely to pick it up vs. picking up a new novel.
(Notes: Since our interview wumtranslations has picked up the series. You can find them at wumstranslations.wordpress.com.)
EdgeNotes – Tell us about how you got started in novel translation.
GGP – Basically, I was in Mexico (Cancun to be specific) and after reading a bunch of stuff, I was super bored. Afterwards, I somehow found Helloshorty’s translations of Zhan Long and after reading the translated chapters, I proceeded to read the raws for Zhan Long . Afterwards, when Helloshorty dropped ZL, I picked it up and started translating.
EdgeNotes – Can you give us a short history on how much Gravity Tales has grown since the early days?
GGP – Gravity started with like 50 views daily at the start, by March of last year, it was hovering at 7-10 million views per month. In the past 3-4 months, we’ve grown from the 10 to 15 to 25 million views last month and predicted 30 million this month.
Along the way, we’ve also diversified from just Zhan Long, Battle Through the Heavens and The Alchemist God, into about many more novels that range from original to translated.
EdgeNotes – Where do you think Gravity Tales will be in 2 years?
GGP – Honestly, I don’t know. The most I’ve thought ahead to is about 1-2 months since the huge variability in translations will literally change any long term plans. However, I do still think that gravity will still be around at the very least.
EdgeNotes – Do you have any long term projects currently under wraps?
GGP – Hmm, this is sort of a secret that isn’t a secret. We have a sub site that hosts translations and I’m quite excited for its growth.
EdgeNotes – What do you do during your free time apart from translating and editing?
GGP – Besides that, if you had asked me that a month ago, I would have had something but now, not really.
I used to play league and swim. Still swim, league has been replaced by Starcraft 2.
Also do quite a bit of music stuff.
EdgeNotes – What are your favourite novels?
GGP – Okay for translations, probably Demon’s Diary, the novel that I’m translating.
For non-translations, I honestly don’t know. My taste changes every few days.
EdgeNotes – Any reasons why you find Demon’s Diary such a compelling read?
GGP – I would say that the best part of DD is in the fact that the MC deals in “Ghosts” and “Demons” instead of the normal warrior hack and slash or the long range mage attacks. DD’s early arc is entirely focused in a Sect whose practitioners are focused on various “dark arts”. Since I’ve last checked, DD is the only novel that shows the side of Dark Cultivators that don’t practice the sword or “regular” stuff like that. That and the cliffs of DD can be extremely infuriating which is a “good sign”.
EdgeNotes – In your opinion, what kind of novels makes for an ideal translation project?
GGP – Short chapters, fast pace, good plot, few terms. But the better novels usually have more complicated settings which can conflict with one or more of the things that I just listed
EdgeNotes – What was your initial impression of translating, and how much does it differ from what you currently do?
GGP – My initial impression of translating was that it was going to be quite a bit of work (translation wise). I now realize that as a site owner, it’s a LOT of work and most of it is non-translation wise.
EdgeNotes – Do you enjoy the actual process of translating and editing? If not, why did you stick with it?
GGP – Right now I mostly TLC which is super boring. Basically it’s a glorified editor that checks the translations for accuracy in translations + grammar. However, I somewhat like the job since it’s super fun seeing the possible ways someone can translate something.
EdgeNotes – What’s your message to aspiring translators?
GGP – Try it! Try translating first, then try translating 10 chapters before publishing your chapters. Nothing’s worse than doing your work and no one reading any of it so you want to generate interest as fast as possible
EdgeNotes – Referring to your original “survival kit” guide, would you say it’s more important during the early phase to push out more translations quickly by yourself or take the slower but better quality translations + editing route?
GGP – I would say a mix. However, with more emphasis on pushing out more translations while better quality should be focused after chapter 25.
EdgeNotes – Here’s your sales pitch. Should translators join Gravity Tales?
GGP – Translators should definitely apply to GT even if they don’t have any experience or anything of the sort! Requirements among other things are found here – http://gravitytales.com/recruitment/
Guides on Translation
PART 2: THE NOVEL TRANSLATIONS SURVIVAL KIT
PART 3 – PUBLISHING YOUR TRANSLATION