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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 2007-02-26, 16:04
velocity7
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GSL: Then perhaps I might ask you, based on that sort of policy, is anyone interested in taking up translating CLANNAD? Will it even finish within a timeframe of a year (or even five years)? I think not.

Recall that these free translations are done as a hobby, and on free time. What you're looking for is not here. If you want to talk about responsibility with a translation, I suggest you take it up with Himeya or another company that regularly does this for a living. A company like that will be able to bring a faithful and clean translation willingly and within a reasonable timeframe.

We'll talk when you can bring me a professional team of translators who are paid and willing to follow that route of yours.

Agilis: I agree with you on a lot of points there. Wikis don't solve most problems. But finding people who are willing to work with you is really tough, even if it isn't a wiki anyway.

Last edited by velocity7; 2007-02-26 at 16:15.
  #17  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:25
GreatSaintLouis GreatSaintLouis is offline
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GSL: Then perhaps I might ask you, based on that sort of policy, is anyone interested in taking up translating CLANNAD? Will it even finish within a timeframe of a year (or even five years)?
On the people interested, you tell me; it's your project, not mine, and it's not my responsibility to tell you where to find the sort of people who will do a translation justice. As far as finishing in a year's time or even five, well, that's up to the translators. It just seems that with as much lip service is done to the idea that this is a hobby and not a professional endeavor, a lot of people certainly get hung up in these expectations of when a project should be finished. If you truly care about the text and aren't just translating to earn praise from a score of fans, then it shouldn't matter how long you take as long as you do it right.

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I think not. If you can bring me a professional team of translators who are paid and willing to do the job, we'll talk.

Recall that these free translations are done as a hobby, and on free time. What you're looking for is not here.
You'll have to forgive me, then, for assuming that people might always adhere to personal standards of excellence and quality for the work they do, regardless of if it's a hobby or a profession. I suppose looking at it in this manner affords the translator a certain freedom from responsibility; if the translation turns out lousy, they simply have to say, "Hey, I was just doing it as my hobby, like in my spare time, okay? You want something better, pay someone to do it. It's not my fault."

But if translating as a hobby gives one the excuse to do a subpar job... well, I suppose it's the translator's perogative, but as I said before: maybe they should examine why they're translating in the first place.

Please note, in case you get the wrong impression, that I say this as a student of the Japanese language, as a writer, and as a studying translator with nothing but the utmost respect for the art, and not as just another 'fan' of the community with nothing better to do than bitch at the translators for not doing things fast enough. I say this as a challenge to excellence in a shared hobby, not as criticism of an effort I've never made.

Last edited by GreatSaintLouis; 2007-02-26 at 16:27.
  #18  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:25
Zaym
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Come on guys, they are doing the translations totaly free and on their spare time. If you can really find group of professionals to do the translation then go ahead. But the translators and editors are going out of their way to translate it into a language that us non-japanese speaking people can understand.
  #19  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:30
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Certainly I do not wish to be producing a subpar product out of these efforts, and I agree with you a lot on the basis that the Japanese language is a form of art in its own right. However, it would be well advised that at the same time, one should not expect the best from a fan-made translation to begin with. Of course, that's not an excuse to be subpar, but rather a suggestion so that people don't have such high expectations.
  #20  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:36
GreatSaintLouis GreatSaintLouis is offline
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I'm not talking about what the fans should expect out of a project; the fans really have no right to expect anything from a translator and their input is mostly irrelevant. If they were in a honest position to judge a translated work, that would imply they were already quite familiar with the original Japanese work itself.
I'm talking about what a translator should expect from himself; or rather, what standards of quality he should adhere to. For me, I'd refuse to release anything that I wasn't 100% certain was the best work I could produce, and I definitely would not go about a project with the attitude that it was only a hobby and at least it was being worked into some semblance of English so the non-Japanese fans could enjoy it.
  #21  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:38
velocity7
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Certainly not. I love CLANNAD. ;)
  #22  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:39
piano
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GSL: With all due respect, I wish you good luck in finding even professionals who would translate in such a fashion for anime. The fact stands that for most (meaning 99% of) consumers, this sort of accuracy is hard to verify, as they have no way to know whether it's translated in a style that mirrors that of the author. It's a fine balance between getting the emotions and the literal meaning across, and that remains something of a personal style in my opinion.

I know what you mean. I do take a lot more time than the usual translators to look up nuances and proverbs and make sure that I got it right (thus I'm certainly not as prolific). The fact of the matter is that there's no officially agreed upon style for certain nuances and proverbs, and it's really up to the translators to figure out what they really want for it.

I understand your love for the language, but with all these people waiting for your product, that no longer is the law of the land, and as purist as I do want to be, sometimes you'll just have to make do.
  #23  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:43
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So, because of deadlines, we have a practical excuse to sacrifice quality? Well, we're amateurs, we're not being paid, there's no market pressure. Why the hell do we have deadlines?

Oh, wait, it's because we've made promises about projects and in all the "hey look at me!" festivities and set a deadline for ourselves?
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  #24  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:45
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I did not presume to set a deadline at all. But given the history of projects that have promised things (such as the previous CLANNAD TL Project back in 2005) which fell into a deadlock after a year, you'd think another attempt would try to be as workable as possible, without falling into the same pit?

Last edited by velocity7; 2007-02-26 at 16:47.
  #25  
Old 2007-02-26, 16:51
piano
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It really depends on what you're working on, I guess. If it's something regular as manga, then you'll have to lean towards the deadline. If it's a visual novel, then sure, stick to quality.

If you're late, you'll learn how voracious the fans get. After a certain amount of time, some wannabes will immediately proclaim themselves awesome by rapidly producing rough MSPaint translations to get their 15 minutes of fame. Those people usually aren't much of a competition if you can fix your time issues, but you can find yourself denounced by the community if you continuously screw up.

I'm not saying that your reputation should stand more than your vision of quality - I'd be more concerned of the flood of low-quality products released out there, as I've seen several instances of lesser-informed people confusing those with the better releases because they tend to get the entire series in bulk from redistributors. It's in general bad for the community with all the misinformation floating around. If you want people to look at your well-done product, then you better have their attention.
  #26  
Old 2007-02-26, 17:44
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Originally Posted by piano View Post
...I understand your love for the language, but with all these people waiting for your product, that no longer is the law of the land, and as purist as I do want to be, sometimes you'll just have to make do.
You make it sound as if community translators have some sort of responsibility to fufill. This is most certanly not the case. I'm sure GP32 would love to get a comment in here if he wasn't already so throughly disgusted with the visual novel 'community'.



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  #27  
Old 2007-02-26, 17:45
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Well, last that I looked around, the 'market of eyeballs' for VNs is totally different from anime/manga/etc.

There's only a handful of people who have the energy to finish a full game, and the notion of a "speedsub VN" is sickening but extremely unlikely. Just like how probably no one would "speedsub" the entire manga series of KareKano. It'd probably take someone very skilled, very driven, to go that fast, that long.

And outside of superstar games like Air, etc, the probability that any two people/groups work on the same project to completion is rather low, and each year 2-5 new superstar games appear anyways so there's lots of prestigious projects to go around. Plus, they're mostly one-off projects.

In this kind of environment, us amateurs have the opportunity to *surpass* professionals. We're doing this out of love right? We have the time they don't, and hopefully, we have the standards they wish they could adhere to. If our love has flimsy standards, it's something of a shame. Out of love for my novelisation work, I've been slowly learning the complex field of typesetting and book design, something a pro would rarely have opportunity to control.

If outside pressure is what's making you compromise yourself, then do something about it. Why else would insani never make announcements except cryptic poems? Or why Wind simply disappeared for ages without a trace. What they don't know of, can't make trouble for you. And if you burn out midway, no one will ever be the wiser.

But hey, that's just how I see things. It doesn't put any more dinner on my table if I get more eyeballs, all I get is a warm fuzzy feeling, and I can make some hot cocoa and play a new game if I wanted that.

If you're competing with someone, well, up to you how you want to make compromises.
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  #28  
Old 2007-02-26, 17:46
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I think I'm beginning to better understand the thinking of the people who believe that nothing less than perfection is acceptable. Let me share with you some of my experience as a writer - when working on a story, having the outline of a basic plot in mind, after writing for a period of time I will realize that something earlier could have been worded better, or I could have done a better job at portraying a character. I might read about some profound historical event or the ideas of some philosopher, and then want to integrate that somehow into the main body to better define a point I’m trying to make. The end result is that I may re-write a single paragraph thirty times until I get the desired result. Occasionally I will get so irritated that I can’t express my thoughts into words that I will scrap the project, which is. in every sense of the word, counter-productive.

The analogy I’m trying to make (probably not very well) is that, in worrying about the nuances and proverbial meanings that a majority of people might not fully appreciate, the translators are placing on themselves an unreasonable standard of perfection. This standard may be what leads to some translations falling apart or taking five or more years to complete, for in my experience there are certain ideas that can never be accurately interpreted in English without making some compromise or losing some meaning.

If the people involved in the translation truly want to see the game complete, then it will be done, and the finished product will be something they can be collectively proud of. There may be alternate interpretations to a single scene (while reading through one of the scripts, I saw two separate versions at one point) but as velocity7 said, that’s what discussion is for.
  #29  
Old 2007-02-26, 17:58
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Originally Posted by GreatSaintLouis View Post
Your first responsibility is to the text. You must duplicate it in your target language as perfectly as possible. You must recognize--and acknowledge--every literary device the author uses, every bit of subtlety, and you must accurately translate them into English.
One must stop and consider here, this concept of 'perfection'. The target language being English, of course, isn't capable of duplicating 100% "every literary device the author uses, every bit of subtlety" that exists within the Japanese language. It's what I term the "lost in translation" factor (alternatively known as "unreconcilable differences", or "non-equivalents").
The line of compromise between the meaning of the individual words for the meaning of the entire sentence or even the entire paragraph is rather thin. And for the sake of coherency in English, not every single word can be acknowledged. Doing so in the name of "accuracy" results, in most cases, in a very cluttered and unnatural work.

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Second in the heirarchy is the author. You have a responsibility to craft a work every bit as good as the author's; you owe him that much, and fulfilling your duty to the text is where you start. Don't think your role is of some high importance--without the author's work, you would have nothing to translate, and he deserves your respect for his effort. Your respect comes in the form of releasing the best translation you possibly can.
Certainly, a translator's importance can never surpass the author -- but that's fairly obvious. By default, the term "fan translation" implies a high degree of respect for the author, does it not? Otherwise, why would one even be spending time to translate the work in question? As for the importance of a translator... well, without the author, where does one end up then, as a fan first and foremost? And although it depends on the mindset of the individual, there's no reason why a translator shouldn't hold a minimal degree of self-importance for what they are doing. After all, they are performing a service to the rest of the fan community with their work, work they do in addition to what they do in real life, in order to enrich everyone's experience.

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Finally, you have the responsibility to the fans to translate the author's work completely, catching every detail and presenting it so that your audience too can experience them. But they are a tertiary concern; if you succed in your first and second responsibilites as a translator, then you will almost automatically succed in the third; they do not come first. And if you're not willing to accept these responsibilities and do the work the justice it deserves, then maybe you should rethink for what reason you're translating at all.
Again, this concept of "completeness" and "every detail"... it's not exactly realistic, sad to say. Also, one cannot expect every translator out there to automatically be of a level of skill (in both Japanese and English) or level of maturity (there are numerous teenage translators) to be able to adhere strictly to this layout of responsibilities. A vast majority are on a learning curve; those who have quite bravely stepped up from being merely a fan, and wished to give back what they can to their respective communities. It may never be a "professional" work in the end, but I believe what they contributed and gained as feedback via the process is often, of more significance than the work that was produced.
  #30  
Old 2007-02-26, 18:06
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I should point out that there are externally-imposed time limits on the translation process. Wait too long, and the title will go out of print, making it much harder for people to purchase. Wait longer, and the platform will change out from under the game, making the game virtually unplayable.
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