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And what about Key?

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19 hours ago, adamstan said:

Probably it doesn't follow some rules that Fred considers unbreakable (Like, I vaguely remember him saying that honorifics should be banned in translations)

They shouldn't, it's pretty simple if it's a VN that takes place in Japan about japanese people, honorifics have no reason to be removed, honorifics is part of japanese communication paterns, it doesn't make any sense to remove them.

On the other hand if it's a VN that doesn't take place in Japan about non-japanese people such as Sharnoth or Ghakthun, then yeah honorifics should definitly be removed.

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34 minutes ago, Nier said:

if it's a VN that takes place in Japan about japanese people, honorifics have no reason to be removed, honorifics is part of japanese communication paterns, it doesn't make any sense to remove them.

Yeah, this - if characters and setting are Japanese, let's not pretend that they are not.

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Sorry but even most of the VNs set outside of Japan still are written by the Japanese to the Japanese with Japanese culture in mind so don't pretend that this part of culture is not in them. 

This also raises other question that what do you even think is Japanese in the first place. Is Wagahai or Sukisuki Japanese? Is Subahibi Japanese? Please tell me

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38 minutes ago, Kiriririri said:

Sorry but even most of the VNs set outside of Japan still are written by the Japanese to the Japanese with Japanese culture in mind so don't pretend that this part of culture is not in them.

That's because that's how the japanese speak and since these are written and voiced by the japanese of course it would have honorifics, they can't change their language. However these are characters that are not japanese in a non-japanese setting it doesn't make sense for them to say "san" or "sama", Sharnoth takes place in England and Ghakthun takes place in France or in a french-like setting, nobody in none of these countries says "san", "sama", "kun" etc So english speech pattern would be more inlined with these games and does not need to make any use of honorifics, unlike the japanese language that is bound to make use of them.

Edited by Nier

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20 minutes ago, Nier said:

english speech pattern

That's the term I've been missing.

It seems to me that the conflict is based on this:

 - For some part of readers (mostly native english speakers, I think) certain japanese speech patterns sound unnatural and wrong, while for other readers some english speech patterns sound wrong and unnatural in japanese setting.

I remember the comment somebody made in one of the discussions, that "No english-speaking teenager would speak like this" (it was about "reading the mood" or "moving your body" if I remember correctly). However, OTOH, I completely don't care what would American or English teenager say, and I don't expect Japanese characters to speak like them.

I don't think there is easy "one fits them all" solution, and I think it's impossible to establish hard rule regarding honorifics and similar things - it will be different for each story. For example, Fureraba did pretty well without them (even though it's set in Japan), but (as in my example in earlier post) I think it would be impossible (and pointless) for Princess Evangile.

 

Edited by adamstan

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18 minutes ago, Nier said:

That's because that's how the japanese speak and since these are written and voiced by the japanese of course it would have honorifics, they can't change their language. However these are characters that are not japanese in a non-japanese setting it doesn't make sense for them to say "san" or "sama", Sharnoth takes place in England and Ghakthun takes place in France or in a french-like setting, nobody in none of these countries says "san", "sama", "kun" etc So english speech pattern would be more inlined with these games and does not need to make any use of honorifics, unlike the japanese language that is bound to make use of them.

However in no way are honorifics part of the language but part of the culture.

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47 minutes ago, adamstan said:

I remember the comment somebody made in one of the discussions, that "No english-speaking teenager would speak like this" (it was about "reading the mood" or "moving your body" if I remember correctly). However, OTOH, I completely don't care what would American or English teenager say, and I don't expect Japanese characters to speak like them.

Sometimes it's a case of "this makes no sense in english", which is a big problem if you're translating into english. "Read the air" for example isn't a problem of "nobody in english speaks this way", it's a problem of "congratulations, you've written a sentence that makes absolutely no sense. Throw yourself a party." It's a phrase that can be translated a number of different ways, and if they decide to go with "read the mood", they're probably not good enough at english to decide on "read the room". 

Anyway on Little Busters, it may or may not be accurate but to be honest it isn't a nice read in english. Even if I liked the story, I couldn't in good faith recommend it to people. 

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1 hour ago, Darklord Rooke said:

Anyway on Little Busters, it may or may not be accurate but to be honest it isn't a nice read in english.

I could agree that it's more on a "bland" side, but that didn't bother me as long as there weren't broken sentences. At least for dialogues, I treat translation more like a subtitles, so as long as I can easily get the meaning, I'm fine. But indeed, if one expects "good english writing", that blandness may be a problem.

And after thinking about it some more, I have to admit that Clannad's translation is much "livelier" - and it's better that way. It looks like there were some liberties taken here and there (judging by length of spoken and written lines ;) ), but it worked out really well - for example exchanges between Tomoya and Akio (I'm currently on Fuko's route) sound and read great.

Nevertheless, they kept the honorifics :P

Spoiler

But it is understandable - there are moments, where they are needed. For Kotomi it made great difference whether Tomoya called her "Kotomi" or "Kotomi-chan". Maybe I'm not smart enough, but I don't see good alternate way to translate it. With English name one could use its diminutive form (like "Annie" for "Ann" etc) - but then, that's what adding "-chan" does to Japanese names, doesn't it? So the alternative would be to translate names (or rather, give the characters new western names), and some anime dubs do that, but for me it would be horrible.

 

Edited by adamstan

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