Sarah “Alys” Lindholm. An obsessive translator, a linguist, and occasionally a lexicographer. I do freelance translation for both corporate and private clients, and am also employed as QA Translator for FUNimation Entertainment. Former gigs include stints as DVD Coordinator and as Translator for A.D. Vision. As a lover of language and sometime resident in the Land of the Rising Sun, Japanese has fascinated me since I first encountered it in the mid-1990s. The creative exercise of translation has fascinated me for almost as long.
Why “The Detail Woman”?
A good question! Like most translators, I tend to obsess over details. But one day a coworker felt my detail-oriented nature so strongly that she called me ザ・細かい女 (za komakai onna–there is no “the” in Japanese, so adding it to the front of a Japanese phrase is humorous). Being called a komakai onna in Japanese isn’t necessarily flattering; it carries a connotation of being “fussy” and getting hung up on inconsequential things, or having a cheeseparing mind, so to speak. But the translation that immediately occurred to me on being called this was “The Detail Woman,” which in English sounds much nicer. Since I’m the kind of person who likes to think of herself as “meticulous” rather than “anal” but can also laugh at herself because she knows she’s got a component of “fussiness,” I’ve used the nickname in both languages ever since.