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Old 2008-04-12, 02:07
DragonmasterX DragonmasterX is offline
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Default Where do cultural notes go in visual novel translations?

In anime, I've seen cultural notes at the top of the screen while the subtitles are displayed on the bottom. I think I've also seen them at the beginning and end of episodes.

But where can cultural notes be placed in visual novel translations? I've only played them in Japanese, so anyone that's played them in English have an idea?

I'm playing Kanon - Nayuki Route, Janary 25 morning. Nayuki's mom says "Maybe we should have red rice for dinner tonight." Nayuki blushes to this comment. Among Japanese people, the fact that red rice is consumed on happy occassions like birthdays, weddings, graduation ceremonies, etc. is common knowledge. But the average Westerner probably doesn't know that. Where would a cultural note about the meaning of red rice go?
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Old 2008-04-12, 02:21
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I played the partial translation by Haeleth and he did a brilliant and fabulous job of adding links to certain words within the dialog for displaying cultural notes (to the top of the screen as you mentioned) throughout the the partial translation he made, hope NDT follow in his footsteps (Haeleth you are a man amongst men, kudos).
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Old 2008-04-12, 02:22
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If you could hack into the system, maybe you can include it as an extra menu option on the main title screen which unlocks each new "cultural reference" in a glossary of sorts as you pass it in the VN.
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Old 2008-04-12, 02:26
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Many translation patches don't actually contain these notes - rather, the TNs are placed on the site where the patch was downloaded. Phrases of interest have numbers above them, and the player can go find that note in the online list. Of course, this list can be distributed with the patch.

Personally, I wish there was some way of scripting it so that if there is an additional TN to a phrase, you should be able to click the page and a little bubble will pop up. But that would be complicated and far too much work when you can just put in a reference number and curious players can find out for themselves.
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Old 2008-04-12, 04:35
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NNL/Insani used musica's furigana support to add numbers above terms of interest in the Wind translation, and included a numbered list of cultural notes in the in-game help.
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Old 2008-04-12, 08:48
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Depending on the engine, you could add some kind of footnote/superscript/referencing system, but it's not a general case solution. Often it's a hack, though there are occasionally games with 'encyclopedia' features that you can hijack for this purpose.

Translation notes in an attached file can work but people often won't notice they're in the notes while they're reading, and so they would just go on, happily misinterpreting the line. So you'd need something like a superscript or a big[1].

Sometimes, having notes is unavoidable, but it's often best to write as if you couldn't write notes to begin with. Things should be written in a way that will carry over enough sense of the proper meaning so that the character reactions and such make sense.

In your example, something like "Maybe we should celebrate with a red rice dinner tonight." would have brought across a good amount of the meaning, though it's not 100% correct.
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Old 2008-04-12, 10:14
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Yeah, we're trying to adapt Higurashi without resorting to in-game notes, by giving short explanations or else writing around the word/situation to provide enough understanding to follow what's going on, even if we don't explain it fully.

We should probably get together a separate translation notes file; we've even toyed with the idea of adding NOTES (like TIPS) as short scenarios in the actual game script.

I think there's some means of adding "hypertext" available in more recent Nscripter versions too, which would be pretty useful for notes once that's implemented in Onscripter.

Mion (Sonozaki Futago-tachi)

Last edited by Sonozaki Futago-tachi; 2008-04-13 at 17:15. Reason: ran away from the spam!
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Old 2008-04-13, 05:50
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notes.txt.

Hurr hurr hurr.
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