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What i should know when making a translation group?


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Hello,

I am interested in managing/creating a fan translation group but I'm unsure where to start and what I should know. I'd appreciate some advice from fellow fuwanovel members! I'm not very fluent with my Japanese but I'd love to help in aspects such as illustration. I can make a mascot design for our group, Icons for the members, Logo, etc for the blog and social media. I'd like to make a group with a fun friendly atmosphere where we can build a bond with each other! :) 

Edited by CarouselRose
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The two members any given translation project absolutely has to have are a translator and a hacker who can extract scripts and make a patch.  I say this first because even the most basic translation project has this as a requirement.

Ideally, the roles you should fill (with a clear distinction of who is responsible for what) are:

Translator

Translation-checker (ideally more experienced and/or more fluent than the translator, as well as possessing a strong grasp of the language you are translating to)

Editor (to clean up the more obvious/egregious grammatical mistakes and ensure certain aspects - like name romanizations, jargon translations, etc - are unified across the project)

Proofreader/QC (to read and check the final version.  Ideally should have a good eye for inconsistencies in the text and have a flair for word choice)

Hacker

 

A few pieces of advice:

1)  Pick a project that is both within the abilities of your translator and that the members are interested in.

2) Don't pick a project that is already slated for an official localization in the language you are translating to.

3)  Avoid projects whose fetishism (lolis, ryona, rape, etc) are problematic in your home country.

4)  Shut out the community BS.  You are a provider of a free service, not the slave of the community.  Obsessing over community reactions is unhealthy personally and to the project's potential success as well.

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5)
related to 1) but should be made clearer: start small. A 2000 line project, or even a 10,000 line one, is much more doable than a 40k line monster. I guess if you legitimately can't find a short VN you're interested in that's a problem, but if your translator is reading VNs in Japanese - as they should be able to - then might have some decent recommendations.

If you can use your illustration skills to edit UI/text images, that'd be a useful outlet for your skills. Many projects need image editing.

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If you are not the main translator it would be hard to be a "leader figure". The main translator needs to make sure that the translation is in the best shape it can be. And has to judge if other people are good enough to work on the project. And like Zaka said start small, it's a nice way to learn everyone strong and weak points.  But if you are looking for a group to bond with and want to use your creative skills you can always look for a doujin group. They are almost always in need for a redrawer/cleaners etc. Like Fuwa <star> Fuwa translations. We always are in need for a redrawer

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if you choose a vn with a already dropped translation, try search why they dropped, it's rare but sometimes the japanese developer can try take action against the translation and you will just lost your time.

other very important point,
USE CLOUD BACKUPS, EVER.
With all respect, but when I see a project leader saying 'sorry but my hd died today and i lost the translation' I can just react with facepalm.

Choose your game with carefull,
Your first translation project is something that can affect your life in a long-term,
One translation project is something that can take years, choose one like when you choose a wife... Well, I never get a girlfriend then not sure if it's right compare.
Anyway, ensure you will have time, in the next years something relevant to your life that can take time will happen, like college or university? Then isn't a right choice choose a long game right now.

Edited by marcus-beta
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who is the woman who would want a geek who stays every day of the week in front of the computer fiddling with japanese porn games?
Frankly, I'm curious how I would be with a girlfriend, I personally recognize myself as a short tempered person, I don't have much patience and get angry very easily, I don't think in me as the best of people to have a relationship. On the other hand when I like something I have a good patience, no...
Maybe weird persistence, for example, I've had games that only got a translation tool working after a year of trying (of course, not every day), me too I completed translation projects that took more than four years, I think this is due to the fact that I like visual novels, so I wonder if if I like a girl it would look like this too ...

Well, whatever, no need to comment more, i don't want make this a offtopic.

Edited by marcus-beta
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@Asonn I do agree it is difficult for someone other than the main translator to be a leader... but not every translator has leadership or organization skills.  Hell, I know for a fact that I  make a horrible project leader, because I don't have the patience to multitask when that multitasking requires me to be social, lol.

The main reason that we translators end up as the leaders is because a lot of us are on an ego trip that results in control freak obsessions.  To be blunt, most translators aren't good writers, which is why all those stages (editor, proofreader, translation-checker) are needed to clean things up. 

Ideally, you should find the most realistic and down to earth person in the group that has social skills and actually cares about the project to run things.  When a translator feels he has to run things from beginning to end, it almost inevitably results in poor atmosphere, fights over little things, the project slowing then stalling, and eventually disbandment.  There are probably translators who can keep an even keel and don't go on ego trips when running a group... but so far, I haven't met any, including myself.  That's why I don't run any sort of translation project anymore. 

Edit: In the end, this is just my opinion.  In any field, there are talented individuals who can do everything with a certain level of proficiency.  Generally speaking, the main translator should usually be the one who picks the project (or suggest several projects and lets the group decide as a whole, depending on the situation), because no translator is going to stick around for a project he isn't interested in.  It's too much work.

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I feel like organizing a server, then doing a group server project together (like making a mini-VN), or working on translating a shorter medium is better for having social interaction. Maybe because of the length of the text, lack of chapter releases (+ people following those releases), VN projects are pretty solidarity from my experience. I found more interaction/collaboration when I was helping with translating a LN in an existing discord server.

Edited by Chronopolis
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