Jelena Macan and Nicolas Schuler
proofread by Chad Edward
Le Monde du Sumo in English: For Sumo Fans of the World
When we created Le Monde du Sumo (MDS), our main goal was to create an easily accessible, free periodical, filling a void in French-language sumo publications. Therefore, our target audience was clearly francophone.
Only several months and a couple of published issues later, our modest repute had already began exceeding our hopes. Direct and indirect feedback from abroad began arriving. Interested sumo fans who didn't know (enough) French couldn't enjoy our articles. There was no English-language equivalent of Le Monde du Sumo; so, we felt we should offer our work to all sumo fans by publishing an English-language version of our magazine. So, Le Monde du Sumo in English (MDS-e) was born!
At least in theory…
Work on MDS-e started auspiciously. A mailing group dedicated to its preparation was launched on St. Patrick’s day, March 19th 2004. The goal was to translate the complete French edition and to publish it with just a couple of weeks of delay. Since an article on legendary ozeki Raiden from Le Monde du Sumo #2 had already been translated, it was the first MDS-e article published on March 30th as a teaser. The Raiden article was also a recruiting call for volunteers from all over the world to translate and proofread the articles. The call was heard; new staff quickly joined; and, work started immediately.
The MDS-e format was soon decided, perhaps a bit too soon. We discovered that the decision to present a complete translation in the identical format of the original was too ambitious. The April translation of MDS #3 proceeded in unison with preparation of the original; but, soon it became obvious that the MDS-e staff would have difficulties keeping pace, though everyone worked diligently throughout April and May. Upon MDS #4's publication, it was obvious that the concept of MDS-e would have to be changed if all translations were not ready within two weeks. Not ones to buckle under pressure, the MDS-e staff gave their all to meet the deadline. Heroically, the lone active proofreader, John Gunning, almost single-handedly proofread the whole two issues of MDS-e. So, when the deadline came, two issues were ready to be laid-out and published in PDF format. July was just starting; and, the staff felt very pleased with themselves, awaiting anxiously to see their work published.
Overcoming the first obstacles
Alas, instead of triumph, July brought disappointment… The person charged with preparing layouts for the English version was the same as had already worked on the layout of the original version and simply had too much work to meet all the deadlines. Finally, we had to face the fact that this format of MDS-e was not viable, as priority had to be given to the French version. So, the MDS-e staff was temporarily "laid-off" without a single issue of MDS-e published, but with a promise that the editorial team would find an alternative, if only not to waste the work already completed.
It was probably this first stumble in MDS-e’s production that alienated several early volunteers; but, the remaining faithful refused to be discouraged. After a couple of weeks of discussion, the current version of MDS-e was decided on. Only the feature articles from MDS would be translated and published directly on our web-site in a special section. This more feasible process allowed a good part of initial translations to be used; and, the time required to publish them shrank to a practical length.
Starting from late October, the work on MDS-e recommenced. Finally, in early December, the first articles from MDS #6 were published on the web. After almost nine months of struggle, MDS-e lived! Work on articles soon became a smooth routine; and, even the neglected articles from past issues were eventually translated. When Le Petit Banzuke Illustré started with feature articles, it was suggested and agreed to translate them as well. Proofreading was made easier as the workload was divided among new volunteers.
The end of MDS-e?
But the original problem of MDS-e wasn't solved. There was still a solitary layout-man for both editions! Once again the publishing of finished articles proved to be the problem. Publication stopped again in the summer of 2005; and, this time the slump was compounded by the departure of several MDS-e staffers.
The articles that were already finished were published in late August and September; but, MDS-e now found itself without active proofreaders. With the editing team too busy with the French edition, and perhaps a little dispirited as well, nothing was done to solve that problem. So, although work on translations continued for several months, there was no hope of publishing them and all work finally ceased by the end of the year. The MDS-e mailing list grew silent; and. it seemed an ambitious project had met its untimely end.
A new start
In May 2006, breaking a five-month silence, a curious translator mailed the list to ask about the state of affairs. It was the impulse needed to start MDS-e moving again! It was finally clear that MDS-e could not go on without its own dedicated editing and layout team; so, as the veteran translator hated to see all that invested work and enthusiasm go to waste, she was soon recruited as an assistant editor.
So, a fresh recruitment call was sent and answered with familiar enthusiasm and alacrity. Some veteran staffers that were there from the start still remained and many new ones joined the work on resurrecting MDS-e. A new man to take care for web-layout was also found. Remaining unpublished articles were proofread and published, missed issues of MDS translated, and soon the backlog was reduced and finally disappeared. So, for the moment, the future of MDS-e looks bright!
The most important thing is that we had not lost our readership in the hiatus. We thank you, our faithful readers, for sticking with us, or for rediscovering MDS-e. You make our work worthwhile!
Meet the Monde du Sumo in English staff
This wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the devotion, often unrecognised, of all the past and current collaborators in the adventure of Monde du Sumo in English. So, to all of you a sincere THANK YOU!
||Chad EDWARD (proofreader)|
|Nicknames in games and forums||chadedward|
|Age and occupation||27, writer/photographer|
|Lives in||Covington, Kentucky, USA|
|Why did you join||Le Monde du Sumo has become my best source of English-language Sumo information. To contribute is an honor and pleasure.|
||Julien GRIFFON (translator)|
|Age and occupation||26, Student monitor (just another way to say I'm doing nothing) and translator|
|Lives in||Tokyo, Japan|
|Favorite rikishi||Takamisakari, like lots of sponsors, it seems|
|Why did you join||Nicolas is a close friend and he needed help with some things I knew: translation and HTML. I'm no big sumo fan, however (see my article entitled "A novice’s afternoon at the Kokugikan", in Le Monde du Sumo #6), I just like it more than most sports.|
|Todd LAMBERT (proofreader)|
|Susan LYON (proofreader)|
|Nicknames in games and forums||Yaezakura|
|Age and occupation||33, network technician and student|
|Lives in||Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA|
|Favorite rikishi||Kokkai, Tochiazuma, Iwakiyama, Chiyotaikai, I like pretty much everybody else too but those are my top favorites.|
|Why did you join||I wanted to use my occasionally-neurotic American-English grammar skills for something useful. And, of course, I love sumo!|
||Jelena MACAN (translator, co-editor)|
|Nicknames in games and forums||Manekineko|
|Age and occupation||29, university assistant|
|Lives in||Zagreb, Croatia|
|Favorite rikishi||half of banzuke and increasing number of oyakata|
|Why did you join||I really enjoyed reading feature articles in MDS, especially those by Thierry Perran, and so I was delighted with the idea of translating MDS for all those less familiar with French. And once I'd started I didn't know how to stop...|
||Olivia NAGIOFF (the very first translator)|
|Nicknames in games and forums||Naganoyama|
|Lives in||Cambridge, England|
|Favorite rikishi||Asashoryu, Musashimaru|
|Why did you join||I read the great Raiden article in an early issue - several contributors to the sumo forums had expressed an interest in reading it if someone would translate it - so I offered to do so. Then I was hooked...|
||Steven PASCAL-JOINER (proofreader)|
|Nicknames in games and forums||Inoshishiyama|
|Age and occupation||31, Writer|
|Lives in||Portland, Oregon USA|
|Favorite rikishi||Active: Tochiazuma, Ama, Kisenosato, (recently) Homasho. All time: Terao, Akebono, Maenoumi, the old Kyokushuzan|
|Why did you join||Sumo needs as much exposure as it can get and I want to help be a part of that. I think it is fantastic that Le Monde du Sumo translates their articles and I hope that their work will inspire other sumo publications to translate as well.|
|Jezz STERLING (proofreader)|
|Nicknames in games and forums||Jejima|
|Age and occupation||33, teacher|
|Lives in||Hong Kong|
|Favorite rikishi||The genki ones|
|Why did you join||I wanted to help out.|
||Stefano TASCHINI (translator, web layout)|
|Nicknames in games and forums||I have one on sumoforum.net but I never posted.|
|Age and occupation||34, electrical engineer|
|Lives in||Zürich, Switzerland|
|Favorite rikishi||I don't really favor anybody above the others...|
|Why did you join||Happy to give a hand! Le Monde du Sumo is always very interesting and I can only support the effort of bringing its articles to les anglofones. Moreover, this gives me the chance of playing around with html, php and the like...|
No longer active (permanent or temporary absence):
|Gwenaël Chapon (translator)|
|Denis Chaton (translator and proofreader)|
|Ken Coller (translator)|
|Moti Dichne (proofreader)|
|Denis Dupeyron (translator)|
|John Gunning (proofreader)|
|Yann Hamon (translator)|
|Barbara Patten (proofreader)|