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Author Topic: Translation process - how to present text to translators?  (Read 1427 times)

Prof. 9

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Translation process - how to present text to translators?
« on: July 10, 2012, 08:48:26 am »
Hey all,

I'm currently working on my first translation project together with some other folks (see the userbar in my sig) and I was wondering what the best way to present the script to the translators is. How do other teams do it? Should the translators be working directly with the game scripts (with all the script commands and technical jargon and whatnot in there), or is the standard practice to extract only the text and the most important commands like who is speaking and variables, and have the team's hacker re-insert the translated text in the script? Right now the text editor that I built leans towards the former, but I'm trying to gain a little perspective; it seems geared towards hackers, not translators.

Thoughts?

LostTemplar

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Re: Translation process - how to present text to translators?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 09:11:40 am »
I'd tend to present only the actual text, and, as you said, the most simple command codes, to the translators. That way it's much cleaner and the translators are able to focus on translating the script. In ROM hacking even most translators are probably technically versed enough, so it's not that much of a problem, but who likes copying/inserting bunches of control codes into each string? However, even if you go with this approach, I'd definitely provide means to automatically check for wrong control codes because looking for missing end tags or wrong in-text pointers can get quite frustrating.

tashi

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Re: Translation process - how to present text to translators?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 09:49:17 am »
I personally do script insertion and translation, and my preference is to keep as many of the control codes away from the script as possible. It really disrupts my flow if I have to constantly be thinking about [newline] or [end] bytes. Try to make a parser so the translator can use a simpler syntax which you transform into the mess that gets shoved into the ROM.

Some examples that might not be relevant to you: If there is a character limit per line, do that with a parser and save lots of headaches. For formatting new lines, maybe a simple [newline] is all it takes, but if your game has multiple ways for inserting linebreaks, let your translator use something simple like "Dear Sir,CRLFBlah blah" and you can switch CRLF to [newline1] or [newline2] or [scroll] or [nextpage] as appropriate. Even if end bytes are the same for all strings, why make your translator type that out? Use a parser to append end bytes.

In my script files, I keep all the original Japanese lines, and then below each string, I prefix my English line with a > and use a parser to deal with formatting, end bytes, and commenting out the translated Japanese text (while keeping the untranslated lines in). That was important to me for debugging.

Nightcrawler

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Re: Translation process - how to present text to translators?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 02:11:18 pm »
I'd tend to present only the actual text, and, as you said, the most simple command codes, to the translators. That way it's much cleaner and the translators are able to focus on translating the script. In ROM hacking even most translators are probably technically versed enough, so it's not that much of a problem, but who likes copying/inserting bunches of control codes into each string? However, even if you go with this approach, I'd definitely provide means to automatically check for wrong control codes because looking for missing end tags or wrong in-text pointers can get quite frustrating.

Seconded. That's how I try to do it. You want to make the translator's job as easy and non-technical as possible. Some of it will depend on your skill level. It can be difficult to get a real clean dump from a game depending on how the text engine was. Some folks even go so far as to offer a fool proof custom editing program the translator works in. Of course, not everybody is going to be able to do these things, nor is it necessarily worth the time it may require. You will learn as you go too. The first script I ever dumped was the dirtiest. You will learn easy ways to improve and clean up each time you do one.

Remember to figure out a way to insert it first before passing it off to a translator. Sometimes, a very clean dump can be very difficult to insert back in without enough relevant information. I have seen people with entire scripts translated unable to insert back in the game because they didn't really think it through when dumping. Such tragedies often required manually going over and adding information to the entire thing or throwing out the script altogether and starting over. You don't want that to be you! It's an easy pit to fall in if you've never done this sort of thing before as a beginner.
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Ryochan

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Re: Translation process - how to present text to translators?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 06:01:21 am »
Thirding what's been said here.  Try to keep as much of the programming/coding out of the text you send the translator as possible.  I have only worked on a few things myself (both of which the programmers disappeared) but I have found that it is a lot easier to do the translation if one doesn't have to worry about the code all the time, plus it makes it a lot easier to locate untranslated sections of text depending on how the dump is done.

Also, make sure you keep backups of the script at all times.  I kept having to resupply one to my old group because for some reason the lead programmer kept losing the script, at least one time I know being a computer crash that was beyond his control.  You don't want to lose any work.
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Prof. 9

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Re: Translation process - how to present text to translators?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 06:13:24 am »
I got some feedback from my translator as well, so I'm currently reworking my tool to produce cleaner script dumps. Thanks for your opinions!