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Translation Accuracy


iamnoob
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Hello, this is basically a very short translation I did for AstralAir no Shiroki Towa. It consists of the first conversation between the protag and Yuki. ( ~ 40 Lines of dialogue)

 

Essentially, I'm wondering if any proficient translators out there would mind checking my translations.

I did very little editing and most of it was just machine translations combined with my own knowledge.

 

What I want to find out is if my translations are at least the bare minimum needed for a small project team. I'm planning to learn about 1-2 more years of Japanese to really translate but for now I would like to see how I have progressed.

 

If possible please be HARSH towards my translation but do give some helpful feedback :D

 

Known mistakes ( or just stuff i didn't bother editing yet)

1. Tone of each character

2. Honorifics

3. Editing stuff

( I'm more concerned I didn't butcher the meaning when translating)

 

Note: The parts in my translation where there are ???? means I'm very unsure on how to translate it. Most likely due to my lack of vocab.

 

 

 

Here is the conversation:

 

From 11:35  TO  16:10

 

My amatureishybishybadish translation

http://www.mediafire.com/download/u07bbas49uwp371/Astral+Air.txt

 

 

Edit: Just realized this is my 100th post xD

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I'm not good at JP but for me It lacks on looking on the bigger picture ...

For example, the part when you TL'ed as,

"Y: That's why no matter how much 
you have grown, no matter how much 
you have matrued, ‹C‚¯‚é‚ñ(I noticed them all.?)

Y: To YukiYuki, it's because Ri-kun is Ri-kun 
that I understand you." 

It will sound better as.

Y: No matter how much you have grown, no matter how much you have matured, I have noticed them all.

Y: It's because I'm YukiYuki, and it's because you are you, that's why I know this.

 

 

And... While Machine TL'ing.. You should really look at the comma's at the sentences. Sometimes, it loses it's meaning because of that.

Ex: "ゆきゆきは、ずっとおなじだよ。昔と同じで、ずっと変わらないんだよ。"

TL: Yukiyuki has always been the same. The same as I was in the past. Never changing.

My (sucky?) TL: Yukiyuki is still the same as always. The same like before, you have never changed.

 

All other real ppl who can read should give their opinions.. not the ambitious one(me).

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Wow... I was thinking this would just fade away but so many replies O_O

 

Thanks for all the help guys :D

 

Hopefully more will join in soon XD

 

 

and nice name btw XD

 

Thanks xD. 

Here's this thingy.

 

https://forums.fuwanovel.net/index.php?/topic/7458-whats-the-meaning-behind-your-username/?p=223723

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Apologies in advance because I just don't have time to read the whole thing...but I wanted to point out something.

 

I wonder when, a white figure of a
young girl appeared in front of me.
--> "how long" or "since when", not just "when".  There is no basis in the sentence for "appeared".  It says she is standing there, and you're wondering how long she's been there.

 

Not a single person or car could be seen.

--> What's actually written is no cars pass by and no pedestrians either, so you lost a little of the meaning again...

 

as if to say YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

-->  I wouldn't do this.  As much as that's a funny phrase, this is a serious moment, right?  It sure shouldn't be all caps.

 

After "I know this girl", the next line with the ?????????? means something like:

"And I did hope that I might see her again upon returning to this town."

 

We should all try to take care not to oversimplify.  That's good for anime subs but not for novels.  If you leave out the little bits of meaning, the writing loses its impact.  And the (non-Japanese-reading) editors won't be able to put it back, 'cause they won't know it's missing.

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I wonder when, a white figure of a

young girl appeared in front of me.

--> "how long" or "since when", not just "when".  There is no basis in the sentence for "appeared".  It says she is standing there, and you're wondering how long she's been there.

 

I was quite unsure of this translation to be honest. I have little idea what まし顔で meant. Thanks for spotting that mistake :D. Could you help me with what まし顔で means too? I'm still not sure.

 

 

Not a single person or car could be seen.

--> What's actually written is no cars pass by and no pedestrians either, so you lost a little of the meaning again...

 

I don't understand what meaning is being lost here? I translated it as such because I thought it sounded nicer this was in English.

 

 

as if to say YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

-->  I wouldn't do this.  As much as that's a funny phrase, this is a serious moment, right?  It sure shouldn't be all caps.

 

I was actually hoping to make people reading my translation to laugh a bit...... Of course it's obvious not to put it in a real translation but I just wanted to have some fun xD.

 

 

After "I know this girl", the next line with the ?????????? means something like:

"And I did hope that I might see her again upon returning to this town."

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH! You have no idea how long i struggled with that sentence before I gave up D:

A question if I may.

 

この街に戻ってきたら、

When I returned to this town,

 

会えるかもしれないと、

there was a chance I could meet her again,

 

そんな期待はたしかにあった。

such a chance was surely a certainty.

 

When I was translating this was what I understood from the 3 phrases and as you can see... it makes no sense. Could you explain to me where I went wrong? Also たしか means certain/definite right? In your translation there was no mention of  たしか being certain. Does it have 2 meanings or did I miss something? Also I don't see the word hope in the Japanese sentence. Why did you translate it as such? Oshiete Sensei :D

 

 

We should all try to take care not to oversimplify.  That's good for anime subs but not for novels.  If you leave out the little bits of meaning, the writing loses its impact.  And the (non-Japanese-reading) editors won't be able to put it back, 'cause they won't know it's missing.

 

Will take note of this. Also continued in my next post.

 

Lastly, thanks a lot for replying with such a detailed reply :D

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This is something I am very unsure about. The way I see it, when translating, there are 2 directions I can take.

One is to translate by converting words/phrases in Japanese to English and keep what most of what the words mean directly while keeping minimal addition of words or reduction of words and keeping the sentence structure as close as possible to the Japanese one.

The other is to understand what the Japanese line is saying then start from scratch and construct an English sentence that fulfills what the Japanese line said and add a few words here and there or removing some words and changing sentence structure.

For this translation I took the first method. The thing is I do not know which is the correct method. Of course the second method is much easier on the way English would sound and gives a better flow but it compromises the way the VN is meant to be read.

So I'm wondering is there a CORRECT method when translating?  Or is it just a personal preference/style.

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So I'm wondering is there a CORRECT method when translating? Or is it just a personal preference/style.

When you MTL, ppl mostly agree to the fact it's GG TL for a reason though, it's never a good choice to do so.

TL'ing is usually better when a person directly translates it as he/she understands what's happening in the story, the mood, the seriousness and other trivial stuff, like the usage of Nanodesu in the end of sentences.

Personal style is usually there depending on how the translator understands it.

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This is something I am very unsure about. The way I see it, when translating, there are 2 directions I can take.

One is to translate by converting words/phrases in Japanese to English and keep what most of what the words mean directly while keeping minimal addition of words or reduction of words and keeping the sentence structure as close as possible to the Japanese one.

The other is to understand what the Japanese line is saying then start from scratch and construct an English sentence that fulfills what the Japanese line said and add a few words here and there or removing some words and changing sentence structure.

For this translation I took the first method. The thing is I do not know which is the correct method. Of course the second method is much easier on the way English would sound and gives a better flow but it compromises the way the VN is meant to be read.

So I'm wondering is there a CORRECT method when translating?  Or is it just a personal preference/style.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this looks like you're referring to a literal vs liberal translation dichotomy.

 

I feel that at least for VNs, the readers prefer TLs to lean towards the literal side. 

 

More often than not, people see liberal translations as an attempt to conceal an inability to comprehend the original text, and rewriting it through guesswork. 

 

Also, leaning towards literal translations might be better for VNs because most of the audience are pretty familiar with the nature of the original language and culture. You could use 'bento' instead of 'boxed lunch'(or whatever) and people will still understand it. 

 

Then again, it's definitely not a good idea to reside at the edges of both spectrums. Completely literal translations sound like sh1t, and a story completely filled with liberal translations is just fan fiction. Perhaps this is indeed something that differs between people, and each translator should find their own sweet spot, considering both the target audience and the source material, medium etc. 

 

Some of the aspects of VN translating(or JP-EN translation in general) are discussed in articles like http://www.neechin.net/article/113/literal-and-liberal-conscious-translation-style-choice/

 

Give it a read, look through the archives, I'm sure you'll learn a lot :) 

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この街に戻ってきたら、

When I returned to this town,

 

会えるかもしれないと、

there was a chance I could meet her again,

 

そんな期待はたしかにあった。

such a chance was surely a certainty.

 

When I was translating this was what I understood from the 3 phrases and as you can see... it makes no sense. Could you explain to me where I went wrong? Also たしか means certain/definite right? In your translation there was no mention of  たしか being certain. Does it have 2 meanings or did I miss something? Also I don't see the word hope in the Japanese sentence. Why did you translate it as such? Oshiete Sensei :D

 

If you'd translate each part of the sentence literally it would be something like "When I return to this town I might meet (her), I definitely had that sort of hope." Obviously we don't speak like that in english so it's better simplified to something like what zoom said. たしか is a very hard term to translate because it does mean certain/definitely but it can have many different translations depending on the sentence. In this case it is used to specify that the protagonist really did want to meet her. Here are some example sentences with たしか.

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I'll try to answer the remaining things you asked me.

 

About "sumashi-gao" -- "composed expression, clear face".  Has nothing to do with what I was talking about before though (appearing vs. standing).  By the way, where's your dictionary?

 

About "期待" (kitai) - this is what I translated as "hope" -- should be valid.  I don't see how you got "chance" out of it, though.  But that might be what caused you to misunderstand it.  Again, maybe use your dictionary more.  You can use WWWJDIC http://www.edrdg.org/cgi-bin/wwwjdic/wwwjdic?1C  after you look up a word, click on Ex and read some of the example sentences

 

"Tashika" was already answered by Beato so I won't repeat that.

 

About "Is there a CORRECT method when translating"

No.  I mean sure it's possible to get stuff completely wrong, but as far as the style goes, translators and their critics have been grappling with that for years.

So I can only give you my opinion.

I'm not an expert at all, but at least I know what my goals are.

-I want all or most of the Japanese meaning to be retained in a translation.  If I have to throw out some bit of meaning, I want there to be a good reason for it.

-Maybe this is a good reason: not wanting it to shout "This is a translation!"  I want to be able to tell it's a translation of a Japanese game, rather than a story written from scratch, just because of the content, not because of strange language quirks.

 

So, I try for a happy medium, somewhere in between the extremes of (1) full-on literal but awkward, and (2) complete paraphrase which fits the situation but doesn't really mean the same thing.

Maybe another way to say it is, I want to be fair to the Japanese author, but I also want to be fair to the English language :-)

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There is a balance between literal and liberal. Be sure to check with others to find it, because it's easy to lean too far in either direction.

 

This gonna sound like some abstract shizzle, but I suggest the following (mainly because I don't feel like writing a lot -_-): Do not translate from Japanese to English. Translate from Japanese to meaning to English.

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  • 2 weeks later...

:makina:

I think that's kinda obvious haha.

Perhaps you can elaborate more? I understand that you are a veteran in this field.

 

The fact that you got got wrong most of the indirect references and more complicated structures is a sign that you don't have enough experience and study with grammar and reading. I think you know enough to enjoy the scene and sense what are the emotions in it, but not enough to recognize and recreate every part of the narrative in english. I don't have much experience with the nitty gritty parts of translation, but like Fiddle says, translate the meaning, not the Japanese sentence structure. If a character is trying to get a point something across, translate the line into an English line which gets the same point across.

 

machine translations combined with my own knowledge.
What I want to find out is if my translations are at least the bare minimum needed for a small project team. I'm planning to learn about 1-2 more years of Japanese to really translate but for now I would like to see how I have progressed.

 

If you are interesting in studying Japanese, I'd advise you switch to Translation Aggregator with Jparser (J-E look up dictionary). I cannot stress this enough, you'll make no further progress with machine translators.

If you want to try translating web comic chapters or short things for fun, by all means, but it's not a releasable level. The reason why I suggest studying and reading more first, is that translating is a lot of work and not a very efficient way to get better at Japanese.

Edit: Pabloc and others have said the same thing, but better.

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A piece of advice:

1) Don't touch MTs even with a stick.

2) Study JP until you will be able to read VNs (with MeCab/JParser if necessary).

3) Read 5-10 VNs in JP (depending on their length).

4) Once you will be able to read rather comfortably, THEN start thinking about translating simple stuff.

Jumping into translating too early will be very discouraging. If you don't have solid foundations, learning-by-translating will be very inefficient, too.

And "translating" with MTs is absolutely pointless. No, seriously, you can't translate anything if you rely on MTs even in the slightest way. This is a very simple fragment, and yet you managed to twist Yuki's words quite a bit. Well, that's precisely how MTs work. That is - they don't. :P

 

There's no such thing as "perfect" translation, ENG and JP are just too different. But, good translations are certainly doable.

You have to remember the point of a translation - conveying the meaning of original text in another language as faithfully as possible. Sometimes you can use the same words and expressions (some idioms have very nice equivalents), but usually you will have to rewrite sentences to make them actually readable in English. Preserving similar meaning is the important thing here, using similar words and expressions is secondary and pretty much optional. Actually, sometimes they can convey something completely different. That's why overly literal translations can be surprisingly inaccurate (and hard to read to boot).

Translators with poor writing skills should probably aim for more literal TLs though. Writing quality can (and should) be improved by editors, meaning twisted by translator's poor grasp of English is much harder to fix.

As for keeping the sentence structure close to the JP one - that's a rather bad idea. Even if it's just a raw, to-be-edited translation, it can easily lead to errors (unless the editor is also familiar with Japanese).

 

In short: preserving similar meaning > using similar words and expressions; literal ≠ accurate.

 

cant agree more. i was just like that.

since japanese vns use many idioms and all that, so you have to be careful when using machine translator.

don't ever let go of the context, and feel what the chara wants to convey (in vns of course).

and keep a close eye on the particles like 'no', 'ni', 'de'. they what makes the sentences readable and understandable.

if you're too lazy to tamper with ith/aggregator and all that.. here's a lil present for you :

https://kipchu.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/visual-novel-help-translation-tools-for-playing-untranslated-visual-novels/

jparser and mecab have always been my BF from the second i read untranslated vns. :wahaha:

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  • 3 weeks later...

https://whiteeternity.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/prologue-patch/

 

Welp looks like I found an answer sheet.

 

I guess mine wern't too bad considering I didn't bother editing mine at all..

 

Then again.... some of those translations were sins against mankind.....

 

also...

 

( The sun begins to set )  <--- how the hell did I not understand when translating that     -.-''

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile........

 

 

*Gurgling death sounds as I die happy this is getting translated*

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  • 2 weeks later...

Meh, I'd hold off a bit before you get your hopes up. I still don't really have any translators at the moment that can actually translate accurately. 

 

Well you can see my translating ability is...... :makina:

 

I'd be happy to help in other departments,  I don't want to see this die D:

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