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Dear Translation Requesters

Aizen-Sama

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Disclaimer: At the end of this post I get pretty salty, so be aware of that. This post endorses MY and MY OPINION ONLY. The numbers about the costs of a translation team were researched before putting them here.

Hello guys. Aizen-Sama here with another spicy rant. Although I haven’t been around the forums as long as other users who have spent their time here several years (I have spent around 7 months more or less at the present time being) I have seen that there’s a huge problem that I’ve mostly seen here, in Fuwanovel, more than any other site that congregates VN fans. In fact, I think that this doesn’t happen anywhere but here, but again, what do I know? I don’t really visit Reddit nor 4chan that much, let alone interact there.

Anyways, what I want to address is a problem that has been going on since the beginning stages of this site, and that problem is the Translation Requests, or what I like to call “e-beggars” (yes, I know this term has been invented already).

First and foremost, the majority of people that make these Translation Request posts are usually new users and I’m fully aware of that. But this has been blowing up lately. I know that 4 posts in the last month and a half doesn’t sound like that much, but the proposals are getting so ridiculous that it’s hard to believe sometimes if the guys asking these things are for real or if they’re straight out trolling.

Let’s take this post as a quick example. You’re scrolling through the forums and see this post, and then the thought comes to mind “Another typical Request Post. Sigh. Let’s see what this guy’s asking for…” and then you see this:

These posts show nothing more than ignorance and arrogance, as well as no interest towards these groups they are begging to translate something for them. Do these people even understand what it takes to translate a medium length VN? A medium length, around the 35-40k line mark in my opinion, could easily take a year. And the guy in this post begged for 5 medium and long length VN’s to be translated, one of them being >50 hours long.

But don’t be mistaken, the worst part about that post wasn’t the amount of VN’s he was begging for nor their length. It was the last statement: “Thanks in advance”. Although it sounds stupid, that’s what triggered me the most. A shitty “thanks in advance” is not something that motivates people to do these things. People have to put themselves in a translators’ shoes sometimes. Not only him, but also the people who aren’t translating, but the ones who edit the text, proofread it, the image editors, the quality checkers, etc… Do they think that the task can be easily done if the guy in question knows Japanese? Not even close.

The secret of a translation project.

I know this is hard to believe for the e-beggars, but the translation of a game requires an enormous amount of time, and one year to finish the TRANSLATION, not editing, of a medium length VN is a very decent deadline. And I’m talking about a medium length game, not a long one. Majo Koi has around 47k lines. Supposing it had one sole translator and the translator in question did 100 lines a day, the game would be finished in around 470 days approximately, this taking into account he diligently does 100 lines a day, no skipping, no nothing. Let’s convert that into hours spent in total, since that tends to shock people more; 470 days doing 100 lines a day, if the translator is an experienced one, meaning that he has done this before or is a professional in the field, he could get rid of that task in about an hour. But an amateur translator, basically the bulk of the community in itself when it comes to fan translations, could take around 1,5 or 2 hours to do the exact same number of lines. That could mean than in total, just translating could take from 470 hours for the experienced translator, which means around 20 full days translating something, to 705-940 hours for the amateur translator, which is around 30-40 days translating nonstop. And this would be just translation, I’m purposely taking out the other processes such as editing and QC’ing. Do you e-beggars understand the amount of work is being put in these projects? This is why Translation Request posts should be completely banned off this site and instantly deleted. Then again, where would I put my insulting memes towards the op’s to gain likes for no reason?

Let’s throw in another question now that we’re shifting towards that matter: Is fan-translating Visual Novels even worth it in the first place?

Before I answer (although it’s probably known what I’m going to say, given my tone) let me address this: I by no means think that fan-translation is bad, in fact, it has been the reason why we’re getting official localizations now and I think that no amount of praise of thanks can equate the amount of work the translators of these projects did in order for this genre to be known better in the Western community.

But, as sad as it sounds, fan translating at this moment is not worth it. Why? I’ll put in some of the reasons:

  • -          Although some members of the vocal community throw in the occasional thanks once the patch is out that’s all the team who translated the game gets. Nothing more, nothing less. Some people might say that recognition counts as some sort of reward as well, but personally I don’t think that’s the case.

  • -          No reviews of the translated VN’s are usually made (this is what in my opinion spreads the awareness of these games), only discussion threads are made, which is pretty sad in my opinion.

  • -          I’m going to quote something that Clephas said in one of my posts, that sums up this next point:  “Another thing is that most people in the community will never even try to experience fantl from the other side of things... they don't realize how much time it eats up, that emptiness you feel when you realize you've used dozens of hours of your personal time only to put out a patch that people bash left and right for 'errors' and other shit.”

  • -          The work put in to translate the game itself is not worth, meaning that the compensation that the translator/team worked for it is not even close enough to what they should be getting.

Lastly, I want to address the problem that comes with donations, awareness of localization costs/translation costs, and ignorance.

I’ll cut to the chase; for the people that think that with donations alone you can “pay” a translator to do some kind of game, you’re WRONG. Let’s put an example of what could a medium VN translation cost: let’s suppose that the team consists of three persons, to translate a 1.5 million jp character VN (equating to a 45k line count approximately). The translator gets 1 cent per Japanese character, the editor gets 1 cent per English word and the QC gets a quarter of a cent for each English word. In total, the final price equates to 33k dollars JUST FOR THE TEAM TO TRANSLATE A SINGLE VN. And these prices are apparently pretty shitty for a translator, so yeah, there you go. Besides, why donating a random group of guys, who could easily run away with the money and machine translate the game, or not even translate the game at all, when you can just support the official localizers? Contrary to what some people think they are actually releasing more games than ever and the 18+ industry in the scene has never seen so many official releases ever.

Summing up this 3 page-long essay of frustration:

  • 1.       Please for the love of god don’t e-beg or Request for translations. Just no, it triggers people off and it only shows how ignorant you are about what happens behind the scenes.

  • 2.       Fan Translating in this actual moment is NOT WORTH, only people who are very commited and have a strong resolution will be able to start one, and very few out of those will actually finish the project.

  • 3.       Donations are NOT a solution to encourage Fan Translation, it ruins the very concept of it and it’s also ILLEGAL. Don’t support an already illegal activity by paying it.

  • 4.       Before posting retarded shit on the forums please look for other posts similar to what you might want to post. Maybe looking at the responses could enlighten you and help the other users not waste their time by reading the same shit over and over again.

  • 5.       Before criticizing Translations and patches for “errors” and “typos” and being a little whining bitch how about you try to show interest on how much effort people put on the translation of these games behind the scenes? (This goes solely to the people that haven't experienced working on a fan translation and whine non-stop about "how bad the translation of this is" and blah blah blah.)

Anyways, I think that’s all the rage out. For those of you who haven’t dozed off already have a nice day and all of that stuff.

And if you smash that like button you will get your very own… DIES IRAE MACHINE TRANSLATED PATCH. Yes! This is not a scam at all, your own personal Dies Irae Machine Translated patch. If you leave a like you can choose between a Google, Bing, or a Skype translated patch. I’ve invested so many hours on them, it was totally worth though ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).



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^ pretty much.

People, even if new, should first do some interior or exterior research before posting these retarded posts that have already been done to death. The level of ignorance shown with these posts/threads only comes to show how much people don't know and/or don't care about what happens behind the scenes and just want the end result.

And it indeed isn't, if you aren't doing it for:

  1. Learning, like say, practicing for better linguistic skills or just overall better understanding of a language.
  2. Have huge amounts of motivation and drive for it.
  3. Want to get involved more in the scene, or use it as a stepping stone in your future career, or something of that sort.

I'm very much triggered that people aren't double-checking on what they're doing on the  internet or in general, and donations for fan-translations are a very good example of that. If they'd just dig around for a bit, they'd find pretty easily that paying money for fan-work is in most cases illegal.

People honestly should pay more attention before bashing something they don't like, but that part of humans won't change, ever. Things be dumb and unfair to the end, so better get a thicker skin before sliding deeper. Or at all, really.

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After that title I expected a simple post with something like "Sod Off".

Would have probably amassed more likes. Maybe. And it does sum up the post if you want to achieve the pinnacle of curtness.

 

I agree that said posts do annoy me, especially knowing personally how long these things can take, so I just don't read them.

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Okay, let's see what's my opinion here or I should said few elaboration here.

  1. In regard of translating cost here, guess I'd learning something new here which is quite interesting. Although if I may nitpicking here Majokoi was only 40,000 lines though instead of 47,000 lines, but I knew it still take long time though (Sorry).
  2. About saying translation bad, it's not only the fan translation problem. Even Conjueror who hailed managed to made Tokyo Babel translation very good was facing critic in regard of translation. So yeah, there's always the people who nitpicking too much in regard of translation (And I think most of them were at 4chan iirc).
  3. As for e-begged, suddenly I'd remember back when VNTL was one of site that I'd visit to seeing the VN translation progress there. I'd always see the comment from one user that always asking like when Miyako route translated (He also made parody of UBW chant in regar of Miyako). Oh, and another people there also always asking euphoria to be translated iirc. For more e-beg, just read this thread (To Sekai directly though) and you could put your insulting meme there if you wish (By the way, I'd amazed that the OP there (Shini44) was very quick to change his stance from hopeful to Sekai to distrust Sekai in about 12 hours, while Sekai didn't do anything at all). By the way, I think it would be called entitlement by Decay if you speak about e-beg.
  4. From the reason that fan TL not worth, I think one of those could be improved here and that's in regard of the review. In fact, I think the translator could send the patch to the reviewer of Fuwanovel, then the reviewer write his/her opinion about the translated game and publish it on Fuwareview if the translator want to raise awareness of translated game there (Sort of like review copy system). Just saying my idea here.

Other than that, more or less I kind of agree with the blog post here.

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8 hours ago, Kiriririri said:

TLDR

Dear Aizen-sama

Some people are not very smart and you can't blame them for not knowing everything.

This. With regards to anime, subs are just all there, like magic. Thus, if one's accustomed to that, without much thinking, it's not too farfetched to imagine that you could just request for some vn titles to be translated. They wouldn't know anything about anime-sub groups, let alone VN translation projects. IMO it's less egregious than say, asking an artist to draw for free.

As for everything else... is shit, dutifully ignore.

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Speaking from the heart, I agree with most of what Aizen-sama said.  I also approve of his use of my quote up there. 

Now, to be clear here... it hurts horribly the first time someone criticizes your translation.  I experienced this repeatedly as a fansubber for anime and it only gets worse for VN fantranslators because it is text and not audio.  Do you know the reason so many translators experience 'burn-out'?  It's a combination of the sheer amount of work they put into what was, to them, a labor of love, only to have some smartmouth jackass publicly insult them for typos, nitpick about word choices, and generally make an ass of themselves...  As he quoted me saying above, when you put that much time into something, only to have someone snipe at you over the details, it slowly corrodes your motivation, leaving you apathetic toward translation in general.  Moreover, when you are a translator looking for just a few words of encouragement and you get some ****head wailing about how the translation is behind schedule, it pretty much shatters you. 

Human beings aren't designed to work without some sort of compensation, whether it is a full belly, cash, emotional satisfaction, or social encouragement.  With something as time-consuming as VN translation, the pathetically small amounts of money offered by those who want to 'pay' a translator and the emotional satisfaction from a job well done just aren't enough to motivate one to finish one of these projects.  If you worked the same amount of hours some people put into fantls in a retail job in the US, you would actually make more money than you could from a 'professional' translation job in many cases.

So... for those who think translation is 'easy' or 'pays well', get a clue.  Even I never seriously thought companies would willingly pay what that kind of work deserves when I was a newbie, and that was over a decade in the past.

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I wish the community would be a bit more tolerant about translation quality of fan translations, or at least offer criticism in a more constructive manner instead of just bashing it. While I never worked on a fan translation, I worked with a few team members on a mod for a computer game for years. So I do know what it's like to work on a huge project in your spare time. And there are times when just hate it and want to pack it all in. And when you then just get some bashing comments instead of encouragement, you really want to scream out...

Spoiler

f5ff8bbf2baedef02048f6de48f8b821ad10334a

 

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6 hours ago, OutoftheBox said:

If it's such a thankless job then why are you involved in so many projects? 

Maybe because he wants to share more games with the world,despite it mostly being a thankless job. People can rant about stuff and still be involved in said stuff. I absolutely hate this aspect of translation as well but i still want to to be a translator. 

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1 hour ago, OutoftheBox said:

The only thing worse than people requesting translations is the people that bitch at them.

Thank you for exemplifying the exact reason people give up on translations. I'm glad such healthy mentality as "don't bitch about work, just work or get out" is so prevalent. 

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Quote

Is fan-translating Visual Novels even worth it in the first place?

One saving grace, I think, is that your TL will last forever.

The person who comes along 5 years later could still potentially appreciate your work the same as someone who read your patch the day it came out. Also, 95%+(?) of the people who read the game won't ever comment. You're gotta remember those people as well, amidst the tomfoolery.

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Translations are clearly magic performed by bored weaboo eager to show off their wizardry to the masses--so long as they're treated to a bit of perfunctory appreciation.  If the first weaboo refuses, there's surely five others that would jump at the opportunity to grab a moment in the spotlight, to seize that brief flicker of happiness in the grim darkness of their pathetic and isolated existences. 

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4 hours ago, sanahtlig said:

Translations are clearly magic performed by bored weaboo eager to show off their wizardry to the masses--so long as they're treated to a bit of perfunctory appreciation.  If the first weaboo refuses, there's surely five others that would jump at the opportunity to grab a moment in the spotlight, to seize that brief flicker of happiness in the grim darkness of their pathetic and isolated existences. 

Not like real life is actually better :sleep:

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