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General Discussion Theres a Clannad of AIR-headed Kanon fodder being shot by the Little Busters After Tomoyo on a Planet-arian.

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  #1  
Old 2007-09-15, 00:20
dukedhx dukedhx is offline
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Default Should fan translators be more responsible of the quality and accuracy of their work?

I recently tried out the Eng patch for Da Capo Plus Communication and I was totally appalled at the blatant inaccuracy of the translation. The translator has simply made up lines and stories to remedy his inadequate Jap skills instead of faithfully carrying out a job to reproduce what the plot has to offer. Enraged as I was, I rammed into their forum and spoke my mind with little reserve (or attention to grammar and spelling XD, we seldom pay any attention to those when we post threads in China...). This is what I posted and what they replied:

Me:Avatar, I regret to tell u this but I think u had barely got anything correctly translated... Maybe its best for u to resume this project when u have a better command of JAP. Sometimes, if u really wanna pull off sth, but is aware that u cant help but blowing the job, its never wrong to be patient and make sure urself is adequately prepared 4 the test instead of rushing into it to create a mess...

Avatar:I'm not the translator. My friend is the one who did it, I only posted it.
In any case, it doesn't hurt to have it around and he never advertised it as the best in terms of quality. Translating this has helped him improve his japanese, and he'll go on because it's something that he enjoys doing, it's not like he's doing it solely for other people to be able to play.

Me:First of all, good to know ur not the one who did it. Second of all, if Im gonna have any chance of dishing out all the "concrete" criticism, I think I may have to start a new thread and fill the first 20 pages or so withnot leaving any space 4 any "blanket statement". I wont fault ur friend 4 doing sth he enjoys, but that doesnt mean he gets to enjoy doing anything to sth we might enjoy! Does that make enough sense? I hope it does because by "barely" I think I done a hell of a job indicating the number of slips and mistakes in the translation, and hopefully the "outrageousness" of them as well. Last but not a bit possibly the least, its a dating-sim all-time classic we r talking about here, I seriously doubt if it can pass 4 one's tool 4 "lingual acquisition" for kami's sake! So if u really would love 4 me to start that "error-reporting-ish" thread and embrass us all, do let me know plz! 以上~~~

Avatar:Tell me about it. I decided to be nice, though, for reasons unknown.
In any case, I'll tell my friend what you said, I guess. But, do realize before anything else, that you're in no place to tell people what to do with their free time...besides, I haven't heard any other complaints from people who are somewhat fluent in japanese.
In any case, using proper spelling and grammar to get your point across might make your case look more believable...because right now, telling you something like "if you don't like it, ignore it", and not paying attention to what you said, looks like the best option. Just a piece of advice.
Finally, if this is just an attempt to troll, look elsewhere...you're not going to get anything out of me.

(Then the translator popped up, hit back with some foul language and challenged me to start the thread, but the reply was soon deleted before I could copy down what he replied.)


Avatar:This message has been deleted by Skyfall. Reason: Please don't make such posts.

(This is what I last posted:)
Me:Oh, I think I can single out one or two mistakes before I vanish from here. Otherwise some may actually believe that I'm actually fully of **** and just a dumb*** who drops by to let off steam.

A.出会い頭にぶつからないと気が済まないのか、 Game Translation:It's like striking your head against a brick wall to break it.... (Hilarious, isn't it?)
My(Correct) translation:She had to bang her head against mine everytime we met, otherwise she wounldn't settle.

B.実はこれが挨拶なのかな……? Game Translation:Or is it her form of greeting the tree? (Tree? Where in God's name did the translator get that idea?)
My(correct) translation:So is it, in fact, a way of greeting each other?

C.金属バットで肩を叩きながら俺は首をかしげる。 Game Translation:I rest my head on the pat. (LOL. It's really spinning out of this world!)
My(correct) translation:I pat my iron bat on my shoulder (as if I was a baseball player).

D.必死に国語辞典をひきながら、意味を理解するのに15分もかかった代物だ。
Game translation:The definition of desparation, threatening innocents' lives. Having understood the situation, I got there 15 minutes earlier. (Out of this world,...this is just so getting creative...again, out of this world!)
My(Correct) Translation: I ran the japanese(needs revision) dictionary like crazy(desparately) for the meaning of the words, and it still still took me 15 mins to understand it(the letter).

I can honestly go on and on here until the judgement day, the doom of the world...etc. Anyway, I'll e-mail the translator as I promised when I have time. By then, he'll get the "whole package"~~~

Now the questions: should fan translators start a project for which they have no chance of pulling off a satisfactory job? Do players and fellow translarors have a right to complain when their "one and only available recourse is precisely the price you paid for the translation: absolutely nothing."

Original thread:http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...=32695&page=10

PS:By "of" I meant "for" in the title of the thread...I just can't help making these mistakes recently....

Last edited by dukedhx; 2007-09-15 at 00:22.
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  #2  
Old 2007-09-15, 00:36
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
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I think the bottom line is pretty simple. If you don't like a certain translator's work, just don't download their patch. This Avatar fellow hit the nail on the head when he said that people are free to do whatever they like in their spare time.

Having said that, I don't think there's anything wrong with telling them about mistakes they've made either - but assuming your objective isn't just to act like a jerk, you'd want to phrase this constructively. It doesn't help anyone to hear 'Yeah, your patch is kind of sucky. We want a better one.'
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Old 2007-09-15, 00:55
KaioShin KaioShin is offline
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We don't need a scene police who checks each translation for it's quality. If you can judge the translation as perfectly as you claim just play the Japanese version. Let the others who are dependant on the translation enjoy it - I certainly did enjoy the translation a lot.
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Old 2007-09-15, 05:59
dukedhx dukedhx is offline
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Well, I won't have a single problem with anyone or anything if the translator had really put in a lot of effort and the end result was still largely unsatisfactory. I have a bone to pick only because it seems to me that the translator doesn't really care about the accuracy or whatever of his translation. And if he knew he was gonna produce sth sucky, he shouldn't have done it at all. If people still can't understand why he shouldn't, just image someone doing exactly the same things to one of your favourite movies.

As for my objective, if your assumption is justifiable, then I'm certainly the nicest jerk on the whole planet.

I know a lot of people would still enjoy it nevertheless and I'm abosolutely fine with that. I just don't want to see terrible things done to something that I really enjoyed, if that hasn't been made clear enough.
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Old 2007-09-15, 06:10
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In my personal opinion, in the visual novel scene, bad translation > no translation.

That pretty much explains my stance on this thread.

Maybe that will change when we have more translations--for example, I personally find a badly subbed anime ep very disappointing. But, for the moment, if you want to go translate something and you manage to do a better job than ATLAS, go ahead!

Last edited by Asceai; 2007-09-15 at 06:21.
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Old 2007-09-15, 06:37
pheriannath pheriannath is offline
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Quote:
And if he knew he was gonna produce sth sucky, he shouldn't have done it at all.
I disagree. The fear of doing badly or producing something substandard should never stop one from making the attempt. It is this very courage that fuels the fan translation scene; I believe such attempts should be applauded and encouraged, not discouraged. For my part, I honour the translator.

Quote:
If people still can't understand why he shouldn't, just image someone doing exactly the same things to one of your favourite movies.
You may not be happy with his work; that's your freedom. You could ignore it.

In my opinion, translators have a lot of pressure on them to produce accurate work; I feel it is more efficient for translators to focus on rough translating (as this guy seems to have done to the best of his linguistic abilities) and have a few team members edit his work and worry about accuracy issues.

This is precisely where Editors are needed; I'm sure this guy would appreciate the help and learning opportunities (I know I would).

Last edited by pheriannath; 2007-09-15 at 06:43.
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Old 2007-09-15, 06:49
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In these cases I tend to differ:

If it's authorized translations, it's the original makers that are responsible for the quality of the game's translations (they can maybe choose to avoid the responsibility by allowing/tolerating a translation but at the same time not consider it official).

As for unauthorized translations, there is no one "responsible" for their quality. It can only be a discussion about the translator's reputation, faithfulness of the translation etc. But it's not about responsibility in my opinion. Respect for the work, maybe.

Generally though, as translations become more frequent, their accuracy and styles will inevitably vary and there's nothing that can be done about it - it's up to the translation groups to build their reputation - whether they do it with accurate translations, or completely different interpretations (making the translated game into basically a different work altogether) is up to them - but if we are talking about unauthorized translations, I see no fundamental general ethical or moral obligation to anything - this was already given up when the translator decided to translate without consent.

As for authorized translations (such as freeware doujin VNs), if I was the original maker, naturally I'd definitely want a faithful representation - anything else doesn't make sense.
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  #8  
Old 2007-09-15, 07:27
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Yes, I get annoyed when I see a bad translation (I'm not saying DCPC is a bad translation, I've never played the translation). But like I already said on suki, you're not accomplishing anything by posting stuff like this. All this will do is scare off amateur translators in fear people like you will publicly humiliate their efforts. If you're from China, then I'm sure you know a similar thing happened to someone translating CROSS+CHANNEL. Did that accomplish anything ? NO.

You've made your point on suki, and the translator has told you he's more than willing to listen to your suggestions. You have been given a chance to correct any mistakes that you can find and will probably be given credit for them, so why go to another board and start it all up again ? I think you're well aware that you'll never going to be able to control what other people do to the games you like (you don't own the rights to them, you didn't write them, you just play them like everyone else), so it really just seems like you're trying to show off and publicly humiliate the translator. If you really wanted to discuss whether fan translators should be responsible for the quality of their works on this board, you really didn't have to specify which project you had in mind.

I want you to understand I do know where you're coming from, but you're handling it in a very poor manner.

Last edited by Chewy; 2007-09-15 at 07:30.
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Old 2007-09-15, 08:22
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Personally, I don't believe a bad translation is better than no translation, as a bad translation will be a misrepresentation of the original work and will mislead people into thinking something about the work that they wouldn't have had they had a good translation.

That being said, I think you could have acted a bit more cordially. Popping into a thread and randomly changing words into SMS-speak does not make it easier for people to take you seriously. Act polite, even if people are lashing back at you, because eventually it will seem silly to them and all the onlookers that they are lashing back at you while you are calm and composed. Being confrontational will only fuel flames and not really get anything resolved.
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Old 2007-09-15, 08:50
dukedhx dukedhx is offline
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Yeah, that's exactly what I'm trying to say: respect for the game, to which by translating without adequate skills and expertise, any translator is showing none.
If you're placing plame for making this too public to any frightening or humiliating effects, well, I think people deserve a chance to know and to be honest, I actually hope my posts do have those terrifying effects. That might seem a truly horrible thing to say at first glance, but I would like to remind everyone that it is also true that "bad translation is no translation". I know the translator for Cross Channel was genuinely scared off the project and it did accompolished nothing but shamed. Yet in that case, nothing was better that something. If you think having a foolproof, friendly and "highly habitable" environment to bring more translators into the dating-sim translation scene is a good thing, I can assure you it is not. What we need is not a legion of lowly qualified translators. A legion of translators might conjure up a legion of patches, but chances are huge that all those patches will turn out to nothing but disgrace to the original games.
As I see it, one way (probably the only) to improve the status quo of unauthorized translation is to have more committed and adequately qualified translators. The high quality and accuracy of the translation are, by all means, indispensable to a patch that can guarantee the applied game has a fair number of fans and players. If we have a lot of patches proven to be sucky, leaving a bad taste in the mouth, repelling people who could potentially very much enjoy the games, we'll definitely have a huge problem. My stance has always been clear, if not extremly clear, that I'm willing to help beginners to become "professioners." But I will definitely stand firm and hit out again if anyone tries to embark upon a project which he knows he is not ready or qualified for. So if I by any chance humiliated or scared anyone off his beloved dating-sim translation "career", I hope he can at least poke around the web and post threads about sentences and language points that he is unsure of when he feels he is ready to get "reinstated". Nevertheless, I do admit that I should have done it in a better/milder manner, I guess I was just too enraged....

Last edited by dukedhx; 2007-09-15 at 09:00.
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Old 2007-09-15, 08:51
dukedhx dukedhx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zalas View Post
Personally, I don't believe a bad translation is better than no translation, as a bad translation will be a misrepresentation of the original work and will mislead people into thinking something about the work that they wouldn't have had they had a good translation.

That being said, I think you could have acted a bit more cordially. Popping into a thread and randomly changing words into SMS-speak does not make it easier for people to take you seriously. Act polite, even if people are lashing back at you, because eventually it will seem silly to them and all the onlookers that they are lashing back at you while you are calm and composed. Being confrontational will only fuel flames and not really get anything resolved.

Thank you. That's exactly where I need to improve. ~~
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Old 2007-09-15, 08:59
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Coming soon to a PC near you. Narcissu Side 2nd.

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It's coming...
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Old 2007-09-15, 09:51
KaioShin KaioShin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedhx View Post
If we have a lot of patches proven to be sucky, leaving a bad taste in the mouth, repelling people who could potentially very much enjoy the games, we'll definitely have a huge problem.
I'd rather worry about new people getting turned off VN's due to the lack of them being available in English. So they hear about them, play Tsukihime and find that the genre is great. Now they look further and what if they'll find next to nothing? They'll move on. By applying the standards you want to enforce we'll get 1 translation a year instead of 5. That way the scene is dead before it even started. You can worry about quality control once you got things actually going. The way they are now, people are thankful for every translation they can get a hold off.

Your comments about paying respect to the game are also over exagerated. The very fact that a person is willing to spend months of their time to translate a game is a sign of utmost respect for it. They'll do it to the best of their abilities, if that's not enough for you, tough luck but it's unfair to say they don't try or even that they insult the original game. Do you scourge the internet for everyone who has done fanart of a game you like to cry at them how shitty they are for disgracing your beloved object of fandom? It's a GAME, nothing to get so offensive about as you did. If you don't want to play it, then don't - that should be the absolute bottom line.
Even actively encouraging people to drop a project because you think it's not good enough... I can't say how unbelivable it is to me how one can be such an asshole. I'll have a hint for you, the world doesn't revolve about you.

How was that lately about elitism?
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Old 2007-09-15, 10:58
dukedhx dukedhx is offline
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I definitely appreciate him spending so much time on it (I could only believe that to be true since you sound like quite a close source to the translator anyway) , but I think the end result isn't very reflective of the incredible amout of effort (which should be proportionate to the amout of time) he "must have" made. To my surprise, you seem to have a strong conviction that people should be spared from any reasonable criticism as long as they invest time (not necessarily effort), but how could one possibly be spared if he doesn't even show at least a willingness to consult with others online to trouble-shoot his unreleased translation in terms of linguistics. If he does exhaust all his resources and still comes up with such an offense/insult(if you still insist this patch does not(or patches in general can not) constitute an offense/insult, I could only assume you have willfully jumped the top of this thread) to the game, I'd be the one backing him because that'd be the game's fault that it was so hard for non-native speakers to understand.

As for the so-called exaggeration of the respect due to the games, I think I'll leave that to the spectators to judge. You see, I just don't really feel like venturing into a debate with someone who doesn't appear to be showing a lot of respect himself. But if i'm wrong and it turns out that you're factully full of respect, then I guess the whole of your respect must be for the "tree". And if that's case, feel free to share with us how you greet the tree in your backyard XD. I believe we are all very curious about that and I wonder if "sh*tty/a**h**e equals "hi/hello" in treeish~~~

And for the last time, I prefer for him to temporarily drop the project for his sake (and I'm tired of explaining why). The translation being poor is not what I think, it is the truth, a fact that does not look likely to change with the much anticipated release of the other routes unless he can exert his patience and hopefully achieve better Jap skills. And if there is a sensible reason why you find my judgement of the translation that hard to believe, it can only be that you do not speak Japanese. Even if you only had a basic understanding of the language, you'd have a rough idea of why I made that judgement. But then again, if one choose not to believe certain things, there is just no point or use trying to convince him.

Japanese dating-sim translation/localization is elite business, believe it or not.

Last edited by dukedhx; 2007-09-15 at 11:11.
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Old 2007-09-15, 11:38
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椢 (木) カイ, そこ, はこ, くぬぎ bottom, box, type of oak tree

...is all I can think of for "tree." Definitely incorrect, but that's the only way I can think of for him to have gotten tree.

In all other respects, I disagree with you. You're proving people's points of elitism. If you don't like the translation, don't read it. Did someone force you to download the patch, install it, and then read it all the way through? I highly doubt that. I consider myself nothing more than an amateur translator at this point, but it's people like you who scare people like me away. And it's something I enjoy doing and put a lot of work into- and I get help on parts I don't know or need checking- so yes, it's something I want to continue doing. Translating DOES help me learn the language. If you really want to help this person, offer to beta his patch next time around. At least be constructive with your criticism. Flaming is no way to get your point across.
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