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TakunDes

Need guidance on whether to start a translation project

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I'm in need of help atm on deciding whether or not I should start a new translation project. This may sound retarded, but the goal of the translation is hoping it will one day get localized in English and making the game more popular on the west, (not for profit since you won't earn anything anyway, but for bringing out general awareness of said VN), and of course to include it on the vndb database. I had this weird feeling that I wanted to try translating of said VN since it was still not translated since years ago and it was still not translated till this date. I had a couple in mind, which are Rebellions: Secret Game 2nd Stage, Caucasu or Madou Koukaku

I worked roughly a single day (somewhere close to 15 hours) on Zombie no Afureta before stopping due to the official localization and did over 450 lines, with some help from the original novel as reference. I translate straight from the CN version of the game, the novel and tried to translate them into English as well as comparing Japanese texts, the English novel and such.  I am British Chinese myself.  

(Just to note Zombie no Afureta got picked up by officials so that's good news)

Spoiler

LAI6Alz.jpg

Note I am certainly not a good English writer, with only being able to obtain a C during secondary school on GCSE and that's a pass. and studied Multimedia Technology and Design on Un in the UK so it's not related to Japanese at all, though I've read a ton of manga and anime. I'm a graduate now and 23 years old

I've helped translate manhua/manga in the past, with an editor helping me with editing while I translate. Japanese level close to N4.5-5 and able to read all Kanji. I noticed how time-consuming translating is when I tried to do those 450 lines, it is hard work no doubt, so I can understand why so many ppl dropped their projects in the first place. I've uploaded and placed two files here, in Japanese and the script I translated (Please open them in notepad plus), to see if ppl can help me to see if I pass the bare minimum for English translation and or on the vndb database. I did, however, modify some text different than their original meaning for  trying to make them makes sense 

I don't think anyone has ever tried to do CN> English translation as of yet, but I can imagine someone like phantomJS could probably have done better since he can also read Kanji

Criticisms and bashing are all welcomed and I would like to hear what majority of ppl thinks. on whether I should just mind my own business reading VN casually or should I start up a new project, obviously if I was going to make a shit translation I might as well stop, I do feel a bit embarrassed as I am typing this, so yes this is a "shamefur dispray"

I appreciate all the help and from the previous thread and I apologized If I offended anyone, as I don't mean to and I was certainly idiotic. Thanks for your time

Edited by TakunDes

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1 hour ago, TakunDes said:

I don't think anyone has ever tried to do [JP] > CN > English translation as of yet

That's actually not true.  There was a thread about this a while back and the general consensus was that this is not something we want to popularize.  You don't want extra steps in your translation pipeline because translation by its very nature distorts meaning.

Edited by sanahtlig

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Hello, just made this account in order to respond to your post asking for advice. Since it looks like you're open to the option of people speaking the truth then I'll do so:

I've roughly checked the translation (I'm N3 going for N2, believe me or not at your discretion), and even if I can more or less see that you understand in Japanese what is written in the text your translation does not show in a general sense what the text implies (yes, I know that you cannot translate literally when doing so in English). The main problems I see here are:

1. You claimed in your previous translation project attempt that you were borderline N5, which means that you don't even qualify for the most basic of levels in Japanese in terms of understanding what yuo read or even write / speak (although these last two in terms of translation matters are secondary) and in this thread you claim to be N4/5. At any rate your level is too low to even start attempting this, not even mention attempting to sell the game to a company, I'd recommend at least an intermediate level of comprehension between N3/N2 if you're considering to sell out, and not only that, but you have to have a decent English skill too, which, in my honest opinion, you don't show in your translation, even though you say yourself that you're not very good at writing.

2. Translating from a translation (in this case the chinese one) is a bad idea because when you translate you already lose the original meaning of the text, and retranslating a translation only warps the original intention of the text even more, I'm sure you're aware of that fact. What you're doing is a disservice to the author and the original work, but tbh when it comes to morals on the topic of translations everyone just sets them aside in a general sense so you shouldn't worry about this pointer too much if you don't really mind. People would read the patch anyways, this is how it goes around here.

3.  "I noticed how time-consuming translating is when I tried to do those 450 lines, it is hard work no doubt, so I can understand why so many ppl dropped their projects in the first place." This is just my personal opinion, but translating only 450 lines does not qualify you to understand the struggle of translating, but this is completely subjective. I can understand why you would get tired by editing script files in notepad though, that shit is cancer.

4. Last but not least, what matters the most is if you feel like you're ready to do something of this scale, to translate something. Have you checked other fan translations and their translation accuracy + english displayed in the text? Have you done the same with professional released translations? If you've done so (which I honestly don't think so) and feel like you can achieve similar results then go ahead and try, if not I would recommend to at least not make your work public until you feel like you're satisfied.

What I'm trying to get at is that I'm not discouraging you by any means, but in my opinion you should achieve a higher level of mastery at least in Japanese to understand the original text if you desire to work with the original text or to either ask someone for help in regards to your writing skills, so you can express better what you mean in the translation and minimize the amount of accuracy mistakes you can make. Take into account that these things can take years depending on the game length (even short games could take years) and people here generally take it very seriously when it comes to releases. Then again, I encourage you to at least keep translating while you study Japanese and in time you'll get better, just be sure not to release your work or attempt to sell it out until you feel like you're good enough.

That'll be all, god bless you and have a nice day.

 

 

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2 hours ago, TakunDes said:

I'm in need of help atm on deciding whether or not I should start a new translation project. This may sound retarded, but the goal of the translation is hoping it will one day get localized in English and making the game more popular on the west, (not for profit since you won't earn anything anyway, but for bringing out general awareness of said VN), and of course to include it on the vndb database.

So now that the I Walk Among Zombies announcement has gone out and I'm no longer panicking about the future of a project I worked on, I feel like I can comment on this.

If there's a game or series you hope will get an official translation, doing a sub-par fan translation is possibly the worst thing you can do, because the release of a fan translation directly and substantially cuts into the potential revenue from a localization, which is already a low figure. VNs and VN localizations are a relatively cheaply-produced good with a small market, correspondingly low revenue, and low (if any) profit overall. However, they're relatively expensive for how cheap they are to produce: they have high per-sale revenue. Since the resulting profit is still small (or negative), that means every sale matters a lot more than with most goods. VN fans are already partial to piracy, and giving them an excuse that a game "should" be free (e.g., by providing a free translation patch for a game install which you can only get by importing a hard copy from Japan at extremely high cost) only makes that inclination stronger. This, incidentally, is why fan translations that only work on the boxed release and not on the digital release make me particularly sad; even the most well-intentioned people are put off by the extra hoops and expenses of importing. Moreover, people are justifiably not going to be interested in re-reading something they already read, most of the time, even if the version they read was substantially worse than the subsequent official version. For every person who buys the official release to support the people who worked on it, ten or a hundred people will say they've already read it and just ignore it.

That said, I've done both fan and freelance translation, and I don't regret doing either, nor do I fault anyone for doing either. Fan translation is probably the only reason this medium has any kind market outside of Japan, and obviously I think that's a good thing (though it's a separate question whether fan translation is still helping the market grow today... likely not, IMO). The official VN localization scene is also still tiny in terms of its output relative to Japan's output (both in the sense of release velocity, and even more so when you look at the existing back-catalog), and that's not going to change any time soon. For any given game you look at, the odds are that it's not going to get a localization unless some crazily dedicated fans do it.

But it turns out, you never know. Maybe that niche game you've always wanted to see localized is actually going to be announced any day now, and all you're doing is putting stress on the people associated with that. It's not something I'd really considered before, but now that I've gone through it, I certainly do empathize with the small minority of official localization staff across the JP->EN industry who go around publicly attacking fan translation as a concept.

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1 hour ago, sanahtlig said:

That's actually not true.  There was a thread about this a while back and the general consensus was that this is not something we want to popularize.  You don't want extra steps in your translation pipeline because translation by its very nature distorts meaning.

Ye I just looked it up, it seems to be true so you're right

27 minutes ago, Random Person said:

...

 

Just want to make things clear, I was implying that I was hoping Official companies would localize the game in English, not in the way where one sells his translation. As I had no intention to do so and it is only for pro translators who fits the bill, there's no way I will ever be capable of doing that until I am of N1 level, and with a full team. It's mostly going to be for educational purposes,  I do understand where you're coming from though, thanks for the tip

22 minutes ago, Fred the Barber said:

 

 

Yea I can see your point, you made some good points there. Good luck on your future project, hope it's a good one.  I made this thread intentionally knowing myself that I am not good enough and wants to discourage myself from doing it as I am having these weird doubts, and with some of the answers here, I think I am feeling better. I can sort of see the future where this would go badly or in a way where one would get attacked and so on, anyhow I appreciate all the response xD

Edited by TakunDes

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To sum up in brief: Sharpen your Japanese skills, come back to the possibility of translating in the future, and don't bite off more than you can chew. Don't let the fact that you probably shouldn't be translating anything just yet discourage you from further Japanese study, though. 

In any case, best of luck. 

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Honestly there are several interesting VNs released originally in Chinese and idk if there's a single fan translation of one of those out there. Rather than working on JP->EN translation, CN->EN seems like a much more productive use of your time, not to mention that the average quality of cn>en vn tls that we have gotten has been pretty low too so standards might be different.

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