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some people who do know might get irritated reading 'desu' at the end of every sentence.

"Irritated" is putting it lightly. It makes me just as annoyed as when I see "baka" in an English script.
It's a completely foreign and needless element to add. There's less value to it than that extra exclamation mark in a series of exclamation marks.

PS: If you write "baka" in an English script, I hope you get some bubble gum stuck to your jeans next time you sit down.

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Why not put all sentences that ends with "desu" with an exclamation point? Problem solved?

I actually know people who end every sentence in an exclamation point.  In addition, it tracks more often with females and adds a sense of naive enthusiasm (which resembles what we'd term "moe").  I think that more or less captures the quirkiness of the speech without being annoying or adding bloat to the text.

Edited by sanahtlig

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We anticipated that including desu would raise some questions 8). To be honest, I was curious myself after I'd seen a couple drafts of the translation. So we brought it up to our veteran translators and asked them why they were adding the desu. After a lengthy discussion, they all commented that this stood out as a character trait (a cute and peculiar one I'd imagine) of Lycoris's. So, this is why we've decided to include it.

I must raise a question about the qualifications of your veteran translators, as after having worked for almost five years in the business of translation (one of them for MangaGamer) I have yet to see a professional circle where transliterating a completely foreign word was thought of as a good idea, with an exception when it might be a core aspect of the narrative (like sensei in Natsume Souseki's "Kokoro"). Transliterating Japanese speech quirks like desu is a practice seen exclusively in fan translations, which at best caters to a few people in the already established audience that understand weeaboo lexicon, and at worst causes confusion among average readers who just want to enjoy the work without learning another language. One thing it always tells of though is that the translation has been done by an amateur.

If you're doing a proper translation, you translate the voice of the character, not the literal words, and once you get the hang of it, all the speech quirks you need will come naturally to you in proper English. The very fact that you're obsessing to keep a foreign and mostly redundant quirk in a sentence dislodged from context at the cost of clarity already gives me the impression that the translation wasn't done by someone experienced in the field. You should check The Fruit of Grisaia, and how masterfully all sorts of speech quirks are treated in that translation.

In any case, I'd suggest running another background check on your veteran translators, as from the way they sound they seem anything but.

Edited by Conjueror

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I don't think one questionable choice is reason to accuse the entire staff of being incompetent (with the accompanying blow to morale that would bring).  I think it's better to judge their work as a whole (as seen in the first gameplay video), rather than obsess on one particular aspect.  To say as a potential backer, "I have no confidence in your translation after this desu fiasco, even if you fix it, because it shows your staff is incompetent.  Not funding this!" would be quite the melodramatic turn.

Edited by sanahtlig

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Have an on/off option in the settings for desu and other verbal tics with a TL note explaining what they are.

If it's set to "on", put them in untranslated

If it's set to "off", just ignore the tics entirely.

No option to translate them? 

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Have an on/off option in the settings for desu and other verbal tics with a TL note explaining what they are.

If it's set to "on", put them in untranslated

If it's set to "off", just ignore the tics entirely.

No option to translate them? 

Into "This word is untranslatable"? Might as well just cut it off.

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Well, pretty much. Still haven't seen any way to translate it that wouldn't make the sentence sound extremely dumb.

That's why, yeah, either just leave it as it, or cut it off completely, much better.

I'm really not in the mood to be nice, because it's morning and I haven't had my caffeine, so I'm just going to say that people should ignore this piece of advice.

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I'm really not in the mood to be nice, because it's morning and I haven't had my caffeine, so I'm just going to say that people should ignore this piece of advice.

Kinda like what I wanted to say with the ideas of putting random English words at the end just to make it sound unique.

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 Kinda like what I wanted to say with the ideas of putting random English words at the end just to make it sound unique.

So 'putting random english words at the end of a sentence is bad' suddenly means 'the word is untranslatable, don't bother?' I'd love to hear how you made that leap of logic. Considering I'm not a fan of sticking random words at the end of a sentence and I believe the word is very much translatable. If you think English doesn't have the depth to imitate the effects of that word, then you have a poor view of the English language. 

This reminds me of Contance Garnett, who was a ferocious translator and a trailblaizer, but one of the main criticisms levelled against her was that when she got to a sentence that was too hard, because she was focussed on speed she’d just skip the sentence and keep going. It’s one of the reasons why people don’t recommend her translations for quality, because others had no problems translating the lines she omitted. Just like Koestl had no problem localising speech ticks, Conjueror hasn't an issue with it, and indeed most localisation studios have no problem with it.

Edited by Rooke

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 So 'putting random english words at the end of a sentence is bad' suddenly means 'the word is untranslatable, don't bother?' I'd love to hear how you made that leap of logic. Considering I'm not a fan of sticking random words at the end of a sentence and I believe the word is very much translatable. If you think English doesn't have the depth to imitate the effects of that word, then you have a poor view of the English language. 

This reminds me of Contance Garnett, who was a ferocious translator and a trailblaizer, but one of the main criticisms levelled against her was that when she got to a sentence that was too hard, because she was focussed on speed she’d just skip the sentence and keep going. It’s one of the reasons why people don’t recommend her translations for quality, because others had no problems translating the lines she omitted. Just like Koestl had no problem localising speech ticks, Conjueror hasn't an issue with it, and indeed most localisation studios have no problem with it.

So please give me something that neither "putting random English words at the end" nor "making the character sounds like a 3-years-old learning to speak"?

And when did I even make that leap again? There were some people suggested that, and some fan translation groups did that before, so I just took them as example, that's all.

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 So please give me something that neither "putting random English words at the end" nor "make the character sounds like a 3-years-old learning to speak"?

And when did I even make that leap again? There were some people suggested that, and some fan translation groups did that before, so I just took them as example, that's all.

There have been plenty of suggestions in this thread, from the use of intensifiers to completely rewording things like Grisaia. 

You certainly made the leap from that to untranslatable at some point. The options are always between various degrees of literal translations and localisations, people who advocate for 'literal translations or nothing' are offering suspect advice (and the literal translations always come with footnotes.) You may have a preference for one, like I lean toward localisation, but the other option is never discounted because different people prefer different things. You may hate what the localised versions sound like, but others prefer it done this way, because just like you think the localisations sound stupid, I think tacking 'desu' on the end of English words in an English translation sounds laughably bad. But you notice I didn't mention that...

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 There have been plenty of suggestions in this thread, from the use of intensifiers to completely rewording things like Grisaia. 

You certainly made the leap from that to untranslatable at some point. The options are always between various degrees of literal translations and localisations, people who advocate for 'literal translations or nothing' are offering suspect advice (and the literal translations always come with footnotes.) You may have a preference for one, like I lean toward localisation, but the other option is never discounted because different people prefer different things. You may hate what the localised versions sound like, but others prefer it done this way, because just like you think the localisations sound stupid, I think tacking 'desu' on the end of English words in an English translation sounds laughably bad. But you notice I didn't mention that...

Nope, I wanted to know the way of handling the exact "desu" word, not just "we can just do it like we did with the others". In Japanese, using "desu" is completely normal (well, although she overdid it a bit), so if you reword it into some kind of "is there anyone even speak that way?" language, then we have a problem. I haven't read Grisaia so I'm not entirely sure how exactly Makina speaks, but if she only used weird words at the end of a sentence, and they translated it into corrupted broken English, then I don't really think I like it either (again, I haven't read it, so don't jump on me for this).

And now that you mentioned "different people prefer different things", isn't that applied to your opinion as well? 

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 Nope, I wanted to know the way of handling the exact "desu" word, not just "we can just do it like we did with the others". In Japanese, using "desu" is completely normal (well, although she overdid it a bit), so if you reword it into some kind of "is there anyone even speak that way?" language, then we have a problem. I haven't read Grisaia so I'm not entirely sure how exactly Makina speaks, but if she only used weird words at the end of a sentence, and they translated it into corrupted broken English, then I don't really think I like it either (again, I haven't read it, so don't jump on me for this).

And now that you mentioned "different people prefer different things", isn't that applied to your opinion as well? 

And as I said, you can read them in the thread.There's probably been 2 specific suggestions, and maybe 2 or 3 other more vague ones which deal with techniques. I have to run out the door in probably 15 mins, so you'll have to hunt them down yourself, it shouldn't take too much trouble.

The way you reword it is to figure out how the tone is changed in the character, figure out what it does, and find a way to imitate this as best you can. The specific suggestions which were mentioned imitate the real way people actually speak (I know this because I hear it all the time and it annoys the bejeezus out of me.) And yes, shoving words at the end of sentences is bad... most of the time. Depends on how it's done.

And yes it applies to me as well. If you read my first post on the issue, I went out of my way to advocate a literal philosophy as well as a localisation philosophy, with the provision that literal philosophies always come with footnotes.

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Makina has multiple bizarre speech habits. Desu is one of those, and it was taken into account when formulating her manner of speech in english. It's something Koestl actually spent a lot of time putting together. You can't just copy that style for any other character who overuses that word. I don't have any great examples off-hand so here's a random out-of-context screenshot of no pertinence to anything, because I just feel like posting it anyways:

M2huYxL.jpg

I guess the point is that you don't translate it directly, but it still gets translated anyways if you do your job right. That is, you break down the character and find a writing style that works in english and best matches her personality, weird speech tics and all, and rebuild from the ground-up using that style.

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 And as I said, you can read them in the thread.There's probably been 2 specific suggestions, and maybe 2 or 3 other more vague ones which deal with techniques. I have to run out the door in probably 15 mins, so you'll have to hunt them down yourself, it shouldn't take too much trouble.

The way you reword it is to figure out how the tone is changed in the character, figure out what it does, and find a way to imitate this as best you can. The specific suggestions which were mentioned imitate the real way people actually speak (I know this because I hear it all the time and it annoys the bejeezus out of me.) And yes, shoving words at the end of sentences is bad... most of the time. Depends on how it's done.

And yes it applies to me as well. If you read my first post on the issue, I went out of my way to advocate a literal philosophy as well as a localisation philosophy, with the provision that literal philosophies always come with footnotes.

Couldn't find anything other than "put something at the end", "throw it away" or "do it like we did with others". There was the one idea of using exclamation point which sounds good, but won't work at all when she speaks in lower/sad voice.

I have no problem with footnotes btw.

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Hi

One of the translators on the project here.

We decided to leave the desu in the English version for a couple of reasons.

1. To generate this discussion and see what people have to say. Obviously desugate has really picked up steam. Which is great. Debate shows passion for the art and loving or hating it is a much better response than no response at all. Yes, it is a marketing test. Thank you for participating. :)

2. Its not so much a verbal tick as it is a mental tick that reveals itself verbally. Lycorice is an interesting and fun character. The desu appears only a short number of times. We present it when she herself repeats it. She says desu once just about all the time. Whats interesting for us is why she says it twice. She is confirming her answer to who she is speaking to. She is confirming to them she understands what they are saying to her but maybe more importantly, she is confirming her response to herself. Yes, there should probably be a footnote about it or have it mentioned in her character profile. She's a couple of beers short of a 6 pack that is true.

I see a lot of Japanese work that completely gets the life sucked out of it by poor translators, translators in a hurry or translators who are not qualified at a cultural and or language level for the work. I think Western audiences deserve better.

About us. We've worked in translation for literary, film, music and television projects both in Japan and in Hollywood. We've been translating for almost 20 years. We are native Japanese and English speakers. We live and work in Tokyo and love Japan. Desu.

KumaDog, desu.

 

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