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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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  #16  
Old 2007-09-15, 12:42
dukedhx dukedhx is offline
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How many times do I have to say it is not about me downloading the patch, it is about the game being maimed..... and about flaming....whatever....just think of me as a jerk who has been rambling for the entire time........I've given up.....~~
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  #17  
Old 2007-09-15, 12:43
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If you don't like it, there's only one thing you can do.

Do it yourself.

It's the only way to be sure :)
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  #18  
Old 2007-09-15, 12:45
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This is like asking fansubbers to make sure they're translating everything correctly, like what others have said if you don't like it don't download it applies...
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  #19  
Old 2007-09-15, 14:04
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Personally, I think that if the translation comes off as bad, it means that the translator has either little or no respect for not just the game, but his own skills, assuming his skills are of an agreeable standard.

As for the issue of a bad translation over none at all, I'm kinda on the fence on this one. Personally, I'd rather have a bad translation than none, but then something inside me kicks in and I don't know where do I stand.

And well, showing displeasure is one thing, how do we show it is another matter. Tact and consideration for the other party are heavy matters to weigh, especially if it's about the other guy's reputation.

Still I agree with most of the people on one thing: You don't like it, don't touch it. Unless you can do better. And it does seem the Original Poster can do better so why not help the poor guy out?
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  #20  
Old 2007-09-15, 20:18
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Then again, it's good that *someone* complains (respectfully, hopefully) about such things, so that the ignorant masses (myself obviously included, of course) can tell whether the translation is or isn't as good as may (implicitly or explicitly) be assumed to be, in order to make an informed decision about downloading it or not.

Nobody's forcing any of us to download anything, but the more we know...
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  #21  
Old 2007-09-15, 22:38
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The short story is, we can't, and shouldn't stop people from making whatever they want to make and releasing it. Censorship is bleh.

However, it cuts both ways, as a community, we have just as much right, and possibly duty, to give honest, non-inflamatory commentary and opinions on the quality of what's released.

Just as those who don't know the language must use the translation to read a work, those of us to DO know the language, should give an honest characterization of whether the translation is 'faithful' (for some definition of faithful') or 'good enough' (same deal) so that people don't get misled. We can't stop the flood of crap that comes when anyone can do whatever they want. But as a community we have a duty to guide people the good points without making them blindly wade in crap.

To put it in other terms, the relationship between translator and reader is one of trust. I read your translation, trusting that what I'm reading, is as close to what the original was, to the best of your ability to convey it to me. However, it is a trust where I won't know I was betrayed, unless someone else shows me with a competing translation or similar work.

And any idiot can come out and shout that X sucks, blahblahblah. Same thing goes on in literary criticism. And the same system used to keep things in check will probably have to apply here. Anonymous can say all they want, but Anonymous has little credibility, and what little they have by posting their own translations of whatever, is destroyed anyways because they're posting in flaming tones.

Same goes for non-experts, I could shout all I want about the greatness of Haskell, but it's useless to the world, since I suck at functional languages in general. I can't tell the difference between crap and gold here, so I should shut up.

If you want to make decent commentary, you're going to have to build credibility in the world, one way or another, by being a respected translator, editor, or whatever that's needed to let people think "huh, maybe this guy might have a point." Fans of anonymity might hate the fact that reputation and trust actually have social value despite its downsides, but that's life.

It doesn't seem like we have people of that sort of credibility really, so all we see around are bitch-fests.
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Last edited by Agilis; 2007-09-15 at 22:41.
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  #22  
Old 2007-09-16, 06:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dovac View Post
This is like asking fansubbers to make sure they're translating everything correctly, like what others have said if you don't like it don't download it applies...
Yes, with the difference being a fansub group (not talking about Anonymous'es here), due to the media, quickly has a more or less good reputation after a few episodes. That is not so obvious, with VN translation until you get the patchie thing.

I think the OP felt 'cheated' by the inventions and approximations. I do not condone his flaming attitude, but somehow it was right to mention them to the translator.
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  #23  
Old 2007-09-16, 13:05
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How about you help him out with correcting the mistranslations? That'd solve everyones problem wouldn't it? Unless you have no time of course. Be his editor.
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  #24  
Old 2007-10-22, 08:38
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The main issue here is that you believe you can actually scare the translator off or emotionally affect him by posting in such a way. So which is it, do you want to help, or do you want to scare him off?

In any case, you're not changing anyone or anything that way, at least not any mildly smart people...

The game not being "maimed" (according to your standards anyway) may be important to you. But you don't own the rights, and you can't stop people from doing what they want, no matter how much you try.
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  #25  
Old 2007-10-22, 09:40
Arkanos Arkanos is offline
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Hi. This is the translator of the DCPC patch here. Apologies for the necrobump, but since I'm currently being referenced rather heavily without my presence even being there, I figured I should say a few words. :b

First of all, having gotten a good grasp of your argument, Dukedhx, you definitely have a point in one part; some of my translations were questionable at best. However, your attitude was simply deplorable; one meant to humiliate and desecrate, rather than improve or help. As anyone can see from the thread you linked, you posted essentially wanting to pick a fight, without actually showing any proof of knowing what you're talking about; in fact, given the way you wrote your first few posts, there was far more reason to believe that you didn't. To paraphrase my exact saying in the post that was deleted: "I'd gladly look at any mistakes that you find and bring to my attention; however, until then, I'd continue to think that you're just talking ****."

I've seen that you've at least cleaned up your post and backed up your accusations since, and you know what? I'm -glad- for that. Ever since I've released the patch, I've had plenty of offers of help from people to edit, but pretty much all of them were the "I don't know Japanese but I can help with english grammar" kind; a nice thing to have, but something right now unnecessary to the project, so having someone who does know what he's talking about is almost a breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, I was aware of those problems; in particular, the specific examples you cited, before you posted them.

To shed some light onto this, this project has been in progress since almost 3 years ago. All the examples you cited were from one of the earliest scenes in the game, something like 10-15 minutes in; the timestamp I have for the time of creation of the translated textfile of that scene reads January 28th, 2005. Back then, I decided to start translating with nothing more than some very esoteric Japanese knowledge, a bare-bones Mandarin Chinese education, and a Japanese<->English dictionary. At that point, it was simply something for me to help develop my knowledge of Japanese. Only as I started to actually make progress, finish routes, and see my Japanese improve, that I realized that I had a product that might just be worth releasing to the public.

After that, I simply focused on translating what had not been translated yet, for the most part; I went back and fixed obvious grammatical errors or typos to the best of my ability, but didn't touch the nature of what I had translated 2 years ago. I do plan to go back and re-work my translations from years ago sooner or later, although in my view, this isn't an entirely necessary deed until the product is "complete"; at least compared to all the other work still to be done. I have made no bones about this being a vastly unfinished project; anyone who's seen the multi-line summaries can attest to that. The main reason why I release these patches anyway is to avoid situations where I may get swamped by rl concerns, and forget about the translations sitting uselessly on my HD. I'm a big fan of giving the user the power of choice.

Don't get me wrong though; I'm definitely not proclaiming myself to be anywhere near "good" yet. Tamaki's route, for instance, gave me tons of trouble due to lots of the conversation revolving around the mystical, traditional Japanese customs and legends. However, I made it -absolutely clear- on the project website that this is amateur work, and not high-quality work at all. I had stated that some of the dialogue may sound weird not due to the game text, but due to my own lack of skill in the language. I'd stated that I had no formal Japanese learning. I'd even said to friends, and still think, that if an equivalent english patch comes out and it's of noticably higher quality, I'd gladly give my own project up now (to the public at least). I really can't do much more than this to warn the user of what kind of "quality" my work is, although I'd like to think that at this point, it's passable.

Most people who have gave me feedback on the translation has made one thing clear to me; that the translation, and on another level, my skills, had evolved as the project plodded on. Perhaps if you haven't already, you should play through the whole patch, then judge whether it's worthwhile or not. Of course, you may not have time for that, but if you don't, I do wonder why you have time to post on message boards about your utter disgust of something which you downloaded of your own assent, knowing full well of the quality of the product (or at least, I hope you did).

Am I doing the people who use my translations a disservice? I don't think so, especially since I did state my "qualifications" and credibility on the project website; it is up to them whether they choose to download it or not, and if they do, whether they choose to see it as an accurate translation or not. I also doubt that any of the compliments I received would turn to complaints if I publically stated every mistake I made in the public releases.

Am I doing the game a disservice? Somehow, I think you'd have to ask Circus that. Or ask people who do know Japanese well and has played through my patch, whether I've destroyed the spirit of the game or not. Have you?

Am I doing a disservice to people who wish to make a patch for DCPC themselves, possibly a more accurate one? If anything, I think this patch may have encouraged that. I've received a few offers on help of translating the project; there just needed to be a foundation in place first, perhaps. The fact remains that in the two years between the release of DCPC and the first public release of the project, the only mumblings of people wanting to translate it to english were from myself, my own posts asking for help on the programming side. I don't think I've hampered anyone who wanted to do what I did; the signs point more towards people getting behind this project, and making it into a better one that it currently is.

So to sum things up... if you truly wish to help the community, why don't you include an english translation in your chinese translation of DCPC as well? You obviously work faster than me, so getting people to choose yours over this project wouldn't be an issue, since this one is incomplete and likely will be for awhile. Alternatively, you can let me know of any major mistakes I've made in the translations, and I WILL correct them in due time. (yes, I do plan to credit you for the examples you gave up there, unless you tell me you don't want to be of course).

Or, you could waste your time whining on message boards about a project that has zero effect or influence on yours, and doesn't really give a damn about what you think about it unless you actually do have something constructive to say. Time which I'd think could be better spent.

But hey, as I said, I've always been a big proponent of choice.
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  #26  
Old 2007-10-22, 17:46
GreatSaintLouis GreatSaintLouis is offline
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Not trying to have a go at anyone in particular, but occasionally the attitude of this community towards this issue is quite apathetic.

The bottom line is, if anyone is going to create and publicly release a game patch, it ought to be done to the best of their abilities, which hopefully signifies a quality, well-polished product. The well-worn mantras of "If you don't like it do it better yourself" and "We're just doing this as a hobby" and "If you don't like it you didn't have to download it" are excuses that manage to wholly sidestep the entire issue; that is, taking pride in one's work and having respect for the original work from which you're creating a derivative effort. I would presume as part of some greater human work ethic that we would all attempt to put our utmost effort into any sort of creative project be it hobby or not, and to make claims like "It's only a hobby, do it better yourself" attempt to shift the burden of fidelity--and the responsibility of the task--on to any observers who dare to note a flaw in a work.

This is not to say, however, that there aren't more tactful ways of pointing out issues, and often the line between pointing out flaws in a piece of work and some sort of self-centered entitlement vis-a-vis "Make it better for me NOW!" is quite small and often crossed with reckless abandon. However these voices can and should be ignored and only legitimate comments with concern for the work addressed--that is, if the translation's author even cares about the work once it is released.

Which is another thing: if someone is going to release a translation, maybe they should ask themselves why are they doing it. Are you doing it simply for the glory and personal fame, the bragging rights that go along with being able to say, "So yeah, I totally translated Ramune on my own"? If that's the case, then release your shoddy patch and fade away. Whether there are problems or not shouldn't matter to you, nor should public feedback on the quality of the work. If you're doing it for 'the fans' (which is a Herculean task indeed), then you'd know there are going to be all sorts of pedants--some fluent in Japanese, most not--looking at your work in microscopic detail, and you'd better make sure it stands up to their scrutiny. If you're doing a translation out of love for the original title, as a personal exercise, or for any other reasons purely your own, then if you are a human being with any reasonable amount of standards, you will produce a work to the best of your ability that will reflect your love for the title, or your ambition in the exercise. I'm not saying a perfect work, but one you've done to the very best of your abilities, to exacting standards, and one that you ought to be able to step back from and say, "This is the best translation I've ever done." If that is indeed true, then nobody in the community will have cause to comment.

Rather than just try to shift the blame and responsibility onto the reader in an oppressive sort of "deal with it and don't say anything" mentality, I propose this instead: translators, if your work is not of quality and you know this, then don't release it. It will reduce the amount of unhelpful bystanders poking at limp parts of the text and telling you in very loud e-voices what went wrong, and it will reduce the tired rhetoric of hobbies not having to be things of quality.

Again, I'm not directing this to anyone specifically, but to the community as a whole. Simply because we share roots with the anime fansub community doesn't mean that we have to be all about quick and dirty and 'good enough' projects; there's no reason the visual novel translation community cannot become infamous for its adherance to quality and fidelity in its works. Look at everything insani's done, or alamone, or for those of you who still have Haeleth's partial Kanon patch read that. THOSE are translations done by people who cared about the original works, even if they were just demos or short doujin titles. It can be done, it's not impossible, and I hope it's a direction we as the community will begin to take.

Last edited by GreatSaintLouis; 2007-10-22 at 17:50.
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  #27  
Old 2007-10-22, 18:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatSaintLouis View Post
Rather than just try to shift the blame and responsibility onto the reader in an oppressive sort of "deal with it and don't say anything" mentality, I propose this instead: translators, if your work is not of quality and you know this, then don't release it. It will reduce the amount of unhelpful bystanders poking at limp parts of the text and telling you in very loud e-voices what went wrong, and it will reduce the tired rhetoric of hobbies not having to be things of quality.
While I agree with the sentiment, here are some things I believe to be the case that might make this message a bit negative:

1) The amount of work involved in creating a 'quality' translation is a lot higher than creating one that is not 'quality'. I know that quality is an awfully subjective term, here, but I'm talking about what I would personally consider quality, I suppose.
2) The number of people capable of producing a 'quality' translation is very, very small.
3) There are nowhere near enough translation patches for visual novels in this community. It's not a crowded medium like the anime fansubbing community.
4) If there were more translated releases, even if they are not 'quality', it might encourage more people to become involved in creating more translation patches. Then we can start worrying about 'quality'.

Now, I know that quality is a lot more important than quantity for the majority of people around here that are quite fluent in Japanese and can play all these games anyway, but I for one would prefer more full-game releases than the existing situation of about 4-5 'quality' full game releases, with another couple following after an undefined delay. This isn't the anime fansubbing community where basically everything gets translated, even if it takes a while.

As I see it, the main negative effects of low-quality translations to the community would be:
1) Possibly harmed perception of the quality of the original visual novel works.
2) Possibly harmed perception of the abilities of visual novel fan translators in general.
3) Discouragement of high-quality releases of games that already have low-quality releases.

I don't think 1 is anything to worry about. There's a ridiculous number of terrible anime fansubs around, but I don't think those ever truly damaged the reputation of the series' themselves.
2 is a possible concern, but I don't think that's very important at this stage.
3 isn't really an issue until we have a lot more games being translated.

Now, while I would love to see more high-quality translation releases - and I'm sure everyone else would, too, I think the current 'rate' of such releases is a bit tragic at the moment and I don't want to discourage amateur translators, especially considering that quite a number of people might prefer a low-quality translation over no translation.

Last edited by Asceai; 2007-10-22 at 18:42. Reason: Improved sentence flow
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  #28  
Old 2007-10-22, 19:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatSaintLouis View Post
I propose this instead: translators, if your work is not of quality and you know this, then don't release it.
As someone who does not speak a single lick of Japanese (you may, but as I only skim this forum from time to time I wouldn't know), I actively encourage that this advice not be heeded.

If you're an amateur translator and know that your work is probably somewhat subpar please release it, just take care to note that the translation as a whole may be a bit shakey, and request that someone with greater skill give you a hand cleaning things up a bit for a final release.

Personally, I'm not very picky. Why? Because I can't afford to be picky. I've already burned through nearly every completed commercial release that I know of (and a nice chunk of my bank account as a result), and damn near every freeware release that I've seen.
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  #29  
Old 2007-10-22, 19:54
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Or, on the other hand, if you're an amateur and, given the amount of time and or effort you are willing to put into the piece, you've got a choice of making

1) A low-quality translation of a full game
2) A reasonable translation of a short freeware game or demo

by all means you may want to consider #2. Since insani decided to take a bit of a nap, and we haven't done an al|together this year, there's been a bit of a lapse in released translations of short freeware games / demos. I mean, the DejaVu folk are still doing stuff (including charming zigzag titles that don't get the notice they deserve), they seem to be the only ones! I think we need to get more free games and demos translated.

I'm working on one at the moment, but at a snail's pace (and because I wanted it to remain semi-secret, I've mostly refrained from asking for translating/image editing/game hacking help in doing it. This has slowed me down a touch!)

Last edited by Asceai; 2007-10-22 at 19:59.
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  #30  
Old 2007-10-22, 19:54
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To this day I still don't understand what Arkanos did wrong. On the project page he clearly and repeatedly stated it will not be a quality translation. That should be enough. The English fan translation community is too small right now to be picky about this. We can and should provide constructive criticism to each other, but to publicly stop someone like that is going way too far.

Look at it this way. Arkanos worked on DCPC, his Japanese improved and he has become a better translator. He'll go on and fix his previous mistakes and maybe he'll go on and do more for the community in the future. We all have to start somewhere in the learning process. So now the question is, should he have released the work he did while learning for those who don't know any Japanese ? Well, I think Asceai's post above (#27) covered that already.
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