English Translator, Letterer Demographics Among 2020 Manga Releases Revealed

posted on by Kim Morrissy

Manga letterer Phil Christie compiled information about the demographics of translators of letterers among 996 English manga books released from January to September 2020. He counted 127 active translators and 109 letterers. He also roughly determined the gender of the translators and letterers from their names, and compiled that information into two pie charts.

The information was pulled from releases by Dark Horse, J-Novel Club, Kodansha, Manga Planet, Seven Seas, Square Enix, Udon Entertainment, and Yen Press. The majority of releases credit individual freelance translators or letterers, with agencies being credited for 9.1% of translator credits and 7% of letterer credits.

Manga lettering is a graphic design job that involves putting the translated text onto the page. According to veteran letterers, the amount of time it takes to typeset a single page can be anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the amount of text and the extent to which they must redraw or redesign assets.

Phil Christie is credited as a letterer on various English manga titles, including Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, and Big Order.

Source: Phil Christie's Twitter account

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