Beautiful Eyes Activity Book: Informal vs. Conversational Translations

I am so excited to share with everyone what Ramon and I have been working on for the last TWO years. We originally were working on a short story. Then we changed directions and turned our efforts into an activity book. After so much time, we are happy to announce illustrations and Tagalog translations for the companion activity book to Beautiful Eyes is almost ready for print.

One of the challenges of putting this book together was figuring out the translations. Who knew for an easy reader, this would take so many cumulative hours to complete? First my parents, Pat and Carmen Romasanta did the translations (with a lot of debate and "Don't listen to him (or her), do it this way," from both parties, LOL. Then Karen Llagas who teaches Tagalog at UC Berkeley edited the translations. Afterwards, translations were shared with friends from Bindlestiff Studio (Thank you Nina and Paula!!) and a teacher from Bessie Carmichael Elementary in San Francisco (Thank you Tina!!).

The current draft of the activity book uses formal Tagalog translations of the English text. However, I've gotten some great critique and feedback about this. So now I'm at a crossroads, do we go more conversational, or stay formal because conversational might be more familiar for our readers (both adults and children)? Our audience will most likely be students from the United States who will never get formal Tagalog training. So conversational would be best. But is it? Can formal Tagalog be used instead? I'm torn, which is why it's taking me so darn long to make a decision (Sorry Ramon!). What do you think?  Let me know your thoughts, that might help me make a decision. AAAcccck!! Also, I never knew this, but Tagalog is so deep there are so many different translations that can be used for so many words. As I go through this process, I'm finding feelings are attached to certain words, and translations are based on emotion of the sentence. But word choices are many because a single word can have multiple meanings.   

As you ponder this if it makes sense (Translation is hard - that's the take away) here's one of our draft pages and what editing looks like around here. I love editing on hard copy, but we've also used Google Docs with success for both Beautiful Eyes and Journey for Justice in the editing process.

In case you're wondering, the activity book is a sweet companion to the original Beautiful Eyes. The books asks the reader what their beautiful eyes look like, what their hands look like, and what they look like when their mad, sad, frustrated, tired, hungry and more! So it's a coloring and drawing book that should be kept as a keepsake, so your kids can show it to their kids when they get older and say, "See, I have feelings too!!!" Because we all know, sometimes our kids don't think we know how we feel. But we do and we did. Happy Friday everyone!  


 Don't mind the latin place keeper in the images. They're just there so we know where to put the Tagalog translations on the page. 

Don't mind the latin place keeper in the images. They're just there so we know where to put the Tagalog translations on the page. 

Gayle RomasantaComment