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Translating a developer's comments, feedback requested

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I decided to translate some Twitter comments made by Keimaru, project manager and game designer for Ninetail.  This translation will be the centerpiece of an article I'm writing for LewdGamer.  Before this goes public, I wanted to make sure that 1) I didn't make any serious translation errors and 2) that the manner in which I chose to translate this is socially / professionally acceptable.  This took me several hours to do, so I can't say I failed for lack of trying.

 

VBHには非日本語OSだと、文字表示が崩れて不可視になるバグがあるらしく、かなり初期の頃に非日本語OSユーザーさんから問い合わせは来ていたのだけど、根本的な解決はできてなかった。・・・が、今日、海外ユーザーさんらしき方から、それに対応するDLLが送られてきた。
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609347515243065344
We've been aware for some time that Venus Blood Hypno has a bug affecting users of non-Japanese Windows. This bug causes Japanese characters to display incorrectly, making certain interface elements unreadable. We had reports very early on from users of non-Japanese Windows about this, but we weren't able to resolve the issue. Today however, a DLL file that fixes the issue has been sent us from what appears to be a user from overseas.

実際、うおーすげーありがたい! と思う反面、ちょっと悩ましい問題が・・・
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609347694646030336
On on hand, we're incredibly thankful! On the other hand, this presents a bit of a dilemma...

過去に日本のエロゲーは、一部卸業者に勝手に国外に持ち出されて、販売されて、それが取り上げられて国際問題になって、相当国内でもいろいろあって・・・ それから わざわざ日本国内販売only JPonly と書くことが義務付けられたのだけど・・・
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609348225280028673
In the past, certain distributors bought up Japanese eroge and sold them overseas, with no regard for the wishes of Japanese developers or potential consequences. This led to an international scandal where a title was confiscated, causing considerable turmoil within Japan as well. Since then, we've been obligated to display warnings like "For sale in Japan only" during game start-up and on the packaging.

今回のユーザーさんが、国内で非日本語OSでプレイしている、ならばまぁ、OK! てな感じですむんだけども、これが国外から非日本語OSに対応して! て話になってくると、ちょっと状況がだいぶ変わってくるんじゃないか・・・ウチ一社だけの問題じゃなくなるんじゃないか・・・と悩みが・・・
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609348934620704769
This user's request raises a worrisome issue. While there's no issue if users want to play these games in Japan on a non-Japanese OS, if the request becomes "Please support play on foreign computers!", then that's an entirely different matter. At that point, isn't it no longer just our company's problem?

つまり、本来販売すべきでない、すると問題が起こってしまう可能性がある販売経路のところのユーザーの求めに応じて、対応するのか? していいのか? という・・・ うーん・・・
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609349366516547585
Should we support users that we were never supposed to be selling to in the first place, since selling to these users risks another incident? Is it even ok to support them? I'm not sure...

 

正直、判断がつけられない。うーんどうすりゃいいんだ・・・ 公式で対応してしまうと、そういう会社としての判断にならざるを得ないし・・・・ ぶっちゃけ、ユーザーさんが善意でこっそり勝手にやりました、メーカーは無言で良いとも悪いとも言わない、あたりがグレーなままでいいんだけど・・・
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609350183961300992
Honestly, I'm torn. What to do...? If we officially support this patch, we can't avoid being labeled as "that kind" of company. The typical response would be to push the issue under the rug and leave users to do what they want in the shadows, with the company saying nothing.

ぶっちゃけ、今回かなり初期の頃に、中国系のユーザーさんっぽい方からも問い合わせが来てて、うーん・・・国内でのプレイ・・・だったらいいな・・・ というJPONLYの部分に対して、ユーザーサポートもかなりスレスレ感があったりもして、ちょっと対応に苦慮もしていたり・・・
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609351058582732800
With this game, we received very early reports of the bug from users seeming to be of Chinese ethnicity saying "I wish I could play this game within Japan." Despite our formal stance that these games are for "Japanese only", our response seemed pretty dodgy from a customer service standpoint, and we puzzled over how to deal with the issue.

そもそもユーザーさんが日本で買って、国外に帰郷して自分の個人の楽しみで自分のPCだけで遊ぶのはセーフなのかどうなのか、どこに線引きがあるのか、一企業として判断するのはひっじょーに難し
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609351483679637504
If a user buys a game in Japan, returns to his home country, and plays it on his own PC purely for his own enjoyment--is that ok? Where's the line? As just one company of many in this industry, it's extremely hard to make such a decision,

このモヤモヤ感・・・解決してくれる人はいるのだろうか・・・いやいまい。(反語
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609351709635145728
This nagging feeling... is there anyone who could resolve this issue? Ironically, there probably isn't.

いくつかのやりとりを経て結論。ほとぼりが冷めたころにこっそり勝手になおしとこう。元の吉里吉里でも解決してるらしいし・・・べ、べつに海外ユーザーの求めに応じてなおしたんじゃないんだからねっ あくまで自主的に、そう自主的になんだからねっ(苦しい言い訳)ただ立て込んでるので先になるかも
https://twitter.com/keimaru_9tail/status/609364091585495040
A conclusion arrived at after some debate: after things have settled down let's quietly fix this. The issue seems like it would be resolved with the previous version of the KiriKiri engine. It--it's not like we're fixing it because the overseas user told us to! We're doing this voluntarily, because we feel like it (guh). However we're pretty busy so it might be a while before we get around to it.

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I lightly skimmed through it, and the only significant errors I noticed were in these lines:

#3 line 取り上げられて in this case means "became the center of attention (言及の対象となるさま)

#7 line 国内でのプレイ・・・だったらいいな・・・ というJPONLYの部分に対して (国内でのプレイ part is not a part of the Chinese guy's words, it's a part of the JPONLY thing). The latter half (というJPONLYの部分に対して、ユーザーサポートもかなりスレスレ感があったりもして) says that they are limited and don't know by how much they can or should help people regarding the JPONLY issues (probably only talking about overseas users) and it makes the work of their support guys very complicated when people come to them with those issues (basically they don't know wtf they should do and that's causing them headaches) (スレスレ感 in this sentence means that they are already probably stretching the limits of what's allowed to do).

#9 I'm not sure why you added "ironically" here, I don't feel see any irony in that situation. ><

 

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--You specify Windows; the original tweets simply say "OS." Your assumption is probably correct, but there's no way to know this for sure. While when translating e.g. fiction, such things aren't terribly important (and saying "Windows" might actually be better), for official things like this I'd stick with the more literal translation..
 

 

with no regard for the wishes of Japanese developers or potential consequences.

This is an extremely... loose reading of 勝手, where it feels like you're letting your own feelings on the subject leak over and impact the translation. A simple "bought up [...] on their own" would be both more diplomatic and accurate.
 

 

if the request becomes "Please support play on foreign computers!"

More literally, it's "If this is a request from overseas for support for foreign OS's"

 

since selling to these users risks another incident

More literally, "Should we answer the wishes of users who shouldn't have been able to buy the product, who purchased it by means that have the potential to cause another incident, and support them? Is this right? That's... Hmm."

 

we can't avoid being labeled as "that kind" of company.

Should be "That would have to be our decision as a company"

 

The typical response would be to push the issue under the rug and leave users to do what they want in the shadows, with the company saying nothing.

Should be "To be honest, we could leave things in a gray area, where we let the users act with good will in the shadows while we say nothing positive or negative on the subject."

 

With this game, we received very early reports of the bug from users seeming to be of Chinese ethnicity saying "I wish I could play this game within Japan." Despite our formal stance that these games are for "Japanese only", our response seemed pretty dodgy from a customer service standpoint, and we puzzled over how to deal with the issue.

Should be "To be blunt, when we received the reports right after release from users we believed to be Chinese, our user support team felt they were really skirting the line with regards to the JP ONLY clause, thinking 'I hope these people are playing within the country.' They puzzled over how to handle the issue."

 

Ironically, there probably isn't.

He's just saying that he's answering his own rhetorical question. Perhaps "Well, no, there isn't." would fit.

(Finally, from a technical standpoint, you're jumping back and forth between "I" and "we." Pick one!)

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--You specify Windows; the original tweets simply say "OS." Your assumption is probably correct, but there's no way to know this for sure. While when translating e.g. fiction, such things aren't terribly important (and saying "Windows" might actually be better), for official things like this I'd stick with the more literal translation..

That was one of my main concerns here.  On one hand, I want to make the dialogue as clear as possible to English speakers and those less familiar with the context of the conversation.  On the other, I AM inserting words in his mouth.  There's a tension between clear expression of ideas and faithfulness to what was actually said.  In this case, the game is only supported on Windows.  "OS" is unnecessarily broad.  He used it, but it's not what he "meant"; he basically used OS as an abbreviation for Windows.

 

This is an extremely... loose reading of 勝手, where it feels like you're letting your own feelings on the subject leak over and impact the translation. A simple "bought up [...] on their own" would be both more diplomatic and accurate.

勝手に tends to have a negative connotation, which is why I phrased it like that.  I feel like there was implied disapproval.

 

Should be "That would have to be our decision as a company"

Are you positive there?  That would obviously mean I completely misunderstood the sentence, and actually much of the intent of the entire message.  I thought he was feeling a social pressure for he and Ninetail to act in accordance with the industry consensus, whether he personally agreed or not.

 

The #7 line was a pain, thanks for clarifying that.

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勝手に tends to have a negative connotation, which is why I phrased it like that.  I feel like there was implied disapproval.

It's true that there's a negative connotation there with a mild criticism, but I don't like adding a whole other phrase, because it makes it sound like "he said *that*". Personally, if I needed to clarify I would just do so in square brackets.

 

Try "unauthorizedly" instead of "with no regard for the wishes of Japanese developers or potential consequences"

In the past, certain distributors bought up Japanese eroge and sold them overseas, with no regard for the wishes of Japanese developers or potential consequences. This led to an international scandal where a title was confiscated, causing considerable turmoil within Japan as well. Since then, we've been obligated to display warnings like "For sale in Japan only" during game start-up and on the packaging.

 

過去に日本のエロゲーは、一部卸業者に勝手に国外に持ち出されて、販売されて、それが取り上げられて国際問題になって、相当国内でもいろいろあって・・・ それから わざわざ日本国内販売only JPonly と書くことが義務付けられたのだけど・・・

 

In the past, some eroge were unauthorizedly brought out of Japan and sold. That ended up receiving attention and ended up turning into an international issue. In Japan too, there were a quite of lot of things that happened. Since then, we've been obliged to put "For sale in Japan only/ Japan only" on our products.

 

Edit: I also use "issue" because "scandal" is quite a strong and specific word, which isn't the same as the words he used afaict.

Personally, I'd probably go with something like "without approval" there.

That sounds good. On the mark, and doesn't have any stray implications.

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Personally, I'd probably go with something like "without approval" there.

I also think you can safely leave out 取り上げられて.

 

過去に日本のエロゲーは、一部卸業者に勝手に国外に持ち出されて、販売されて、それが取り上げられて国際問題になって、相当国内でもいろいろあって・・・ それから わざわざ日本国内販売only JPonly と書くことが義務付けられたのだけど・・・

 

In the past, certain distributors brought and sold Japanese eroge abroad without approval [from the makers?], and it became an international problem [scandal?]. Then there was some turmoil here in Japan... in the aftermath of which we're now obligated to label our products "For sale in Japan only".

 

Maybe?

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That was one of my main concerns here.  On one hand, I want to make the dialogue as clear as possible to English speakers and those less familiar with the context of the conversation.  On the other, I AM inserting words in his mouth.  There's a tension between clear expression of ideas and faithfulness to what was actually said.  In this case, the game is only supported on Windows.  "OS" is unnecessarily broad.  He used it, but it's not what he "meant"; he basically used OS as an abbreviation for Windows.

 

 

 

勝手に tends to have a negative connotation, which is why I phrased it like that.  I feel like there was implied disapproval.

 

 

 

Are you positive there?  That would obviously mean I completely misunderstood the sentence, and actually much of the intent of the entire message.  I thought he was feeling a social pressure for he and Ninetail to act in accordance with the industry consensus, whether he personally agreed or not.

 

The #7 line was a pain, thanks for clarifying that.

 

If the game is only out for Windows, then that's fine.

 

勝 手 indeed has a negative connotation, but you're sort of overdoing it. C.f. "He did it without asking" vs. "He did it with complete disregard for the consequences." Both are negative, but the former is more like 勝手 while the latter goes too far.

As for the last thing, umm... You're definitely understanding the context right--if there were no pressure, obviously it would be easy for them to support the fan-made patch--but...

Heh. Now you're starting to make me doubt myself >_> Not that that's a bad thing, but it does mean I'm staring at this line far longer than I should <_<

But let's break it down:

そういう会社としての判断にならざるを得ないし

Let's get rid of the そういう and the double negative construction at the end to simplify things a bit without massively changing the meaning:

会社としての判断になる

I think this simplified version is pretty easy to parse: "[it would] become our judgement as a company."

Now, let's start adding things back in:

会社としての判断にならざるを得ない

That double negative there is an idiomatic expression (as you can probably tell with the unusual -zaru negation [c.f. ならず]) meaning "have no choice but to." So, adding that on to our previous translation, we would get "It would have to be our judgement as a company."

Now, on to そういう. You interpreted it as pointing at 会社, which would give you "It would have to be our judgement as that sort of company," which sounds kind of weird. I interpreted it as pointing at the entire phrase 会社としての判断, giving us "It would have to be that sort of judgment as a company." (I then stripped the "that sort" out of my translation because I felt that made it sound best in English.) I can't really give a good reason as to why I prefer my interpretation to yours, other than that it makes more sense, but... Blech. Maybe someone else can do better (or point out how I'm being an idiot >_>).

Though I will conclude by saying that, if I were to write out what you translated the sentence as in Japanese, I might go with そういう会社として認められざるを得ない.

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I think dowolf has it correct, though that is one painful sentence to parse.

 

公式で対応してしまうと

This part is pretty easy, right? "If we answer these demands officially,"

 

そういう会社としての判断にならざるを得ないし・・・・

This segment is related to the first segment above.

そういう is also a reference to "answering the demands".

It basically says that "answering the demands" is a "decision/judgment of the company".

My interpretation then, is that combined, these two segments mean something along the lines of:

"If we are to answer these demands, it would have to be a decision on the part of the company".

 

Edit:

As relating to the sentence following it, he's basically saying that the company doesn't want to make a decision on the matter.

If the company were to answer the demands, then it risks getting into international trouble.

If the company were to deny the demands, then it puts pressure on the users who make their own outs to the matter.

He would much rather have the company neither answer nor deny the demands, leaving the matter ambiguous and letting the users do what they will in the dark.

 

Edit2:

I feel like I keep stating the obvious.

Let's just say my point is that the sentence in question says answering the demand will force the company to make a decision.

He later goes on to say this (the company making a decision) isn't desirable.

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Alright, I think I have a good idea how to fix this up.  Thanks everyone!  It's interesting to see that some of the issue I had is that the language itself is vague, and therefore hard to interpret at times.  I wonder sometimes if such vague language tends to create the illusion of consensus, where people with different ideas get the wrong impression that they're in agreement when actually they're not.  Technical writing in Japanese must be terribly hard, since the focus is getting across an idea clearly and unambiguously with as few words as possible.

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そういう会社としての判断にならざるを得ないし

Oh man. I also read that wrong the first five times. I think I get why this line is so easy to get wrong. そういう会社. when you see this it immediately sounds like "the sort of company" in the negative sense, as in "the sort of company who supports those kinds of things". And the grammar parts in the area don't obviously conflict with that assumption so it's easy to overlook.

 

To show how close and confusing they are, here's what some of the wrong interpretations would look like if you wrote them out.

(世間、もしくは消費者から)そういう会社だという判断(評判?評価?)になりかねない。 

そいう会社とて評価されることになりかねない。

 

However, 会社としてのX unambigiously means "the action X done as a company" or "X (position, obligation) as a company".

The other hint is ざるを得ない is only used cases which the subject is forced to take some action. Even if the verb is なる the action will originate from the subject: 好きにならざるを得ない、強くならざるを得ない. It is not used to describe a situation which  forcibly leads to a bad outcome.

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I'm not able to help you out with the translation, but mind if I chip in for a couple typos?

 

On on hand, we're incredibly thankful! On the other hand, this presents a bit of a dilemma...

You typed on instead of one.

As just one company of many in this industry, it's extremely hard to make such a decision,

Sentence ends with a comma.

This is an encouraging read, thanks for the translation. :)

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