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Author Topic: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.  (Read 4649 times)

GHANMI

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2019, 05:00:05 pm »
That sort of reasoning is incredibly easy to turn around.
The factors for and against a change like this need to be weighed for each individual change, and shouldn't be decided by blanket ideas of censorship and creative purity. And when I put "someone might be upset because this game seems to demonize a real group of people" and "someone might be upset because one word was changed from the original Japanese in an old game they like" on the scales... the second carries zero weight, even in what I would consider this generally inconsequential issue, where the odds of either of those possibilities is low. A video game is not a museum or history book, it's not necessary to keep every single wart of the past on general principle for the future's edification, especially since the original content is still available.

So I stand by my original post. If OP feels like the implications of the original name warrant a change, then change the name.

Side note: "People have seen worse" is also a terrible argument for anything, and generates all kinds of logical absurdities. "This bad thing is okay because it isn't the worst thing" can be applied to argue that basically anything is acceptable.

tl;dr: Some types of offense are more important and should be catered to more than other types of offense. Offend people offended with the second kind with zero restraints, because words in translations from foreign cultures are dangerous and violently harm those who choose to be offended by them, context and responsibility be damned.

Isn't that what you are trying to say?
Look, I get that you are totally a fan of more fan translations censoring "purifying" the source material in similar cases, and not as much a fan of the translator's internal dilemma over staying true to the original intent or trying to signal it somehow somewhere even as a disclaimer since these useless feelings get in the way of your preference.
But to try and imply there is moral superiority or logic in prioritizing offending some people over others is simply... very off. It's counterproductive even to defend censorship, since you never know when the next cut that chooses you as the "acceptable offense target" would come. That historical pile of useless past artifacts you despise so much has no shortage of cautionary tales against this.

Horrible time to be a translator right now if they have this responsibility for anything they translate. Even medieval theocracies, the pyre happy kind especially for suspicions of heresy, had more leniency with translators conveying foreign ideas and knew better than to burden them with cleaning them up, for practical reasons (since the resulting work wouldn't represent its original, and would be simply useless to get a complete fair evaluation and appreciation of that work).

Pluvius

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2019, 08:49:03 pm »
That sort of reasoning is incredibly easy to turn around.

Yes, that's how reasoning that's almost entirely based on a differing set of priorities works.  Here's another example:

Quote
The factors for and against a change like this need to be weighed for each individual change, and shouldn't be decided by blanket ideas of offensiveness and moral purity. And when I put "someone might be upset because this translation seems to change the author's original intent" and "someone might be upset because one bad word was translated correctly in an old game they might not even have known about" on the scales... the second carries zero weight, even in what I would consider this generally inconsequential issue, where the odds of either of those possibilities is low. A video game is not a hate group or polemic, it's not necessary to sanitize every single wart of the past on general principle for the future's edification, especially since the mistranslated content is still available.

Vanya

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2019, 01:09:38 am »
The irony here is that ultimately this type of censorship, termed political correctness, is an invention of the Nazis.

If the translator is this concerned about it, it would behoove him to seek the opinions of other translators and do as much research as possible to get to the truth of the creators' intentions here.

After every effort has been made to find the truth it is up to them to decide what to do next.

And asking about it here under such vague terms is largely pointless as no one can truly give an informed opinion with it being so far out of context. In other words if we can't research the source material then we really don't have enough to go on.

And that is ignoring that I think these sort of "what would you do" questions are inherently pointless since what we think we would do and what we would actually do if faced with the situation ourselves could be very different.

edale

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2019, 04:39:51 pm »
The irony here is that ultimately this type of censorship, termed political correctness, is an invention of the Nazis.
I'd say the Catholic Church beat the Nazi's to it by a millenia or two.

And the Roman's before the Catholics.

I could keep going back further...

chillyfeez

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2019, 05:33:01 pm »
I hope by now, edale, you have at least learned that this discussion topic will definitely not help your buddy decide what to do.
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edale

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2019, 09:04:39 pm »
I hope by now, edale, you have at least learned that this discussion topic will definitely not help your buddy decide what to do.
 :thumbsup:
Eh, gives him a few more viewpoints on the topic.

I really wish I could give more info on the specifics, but anything else I can think of to try and clarify would more or less immediately identify the game, which would make it a 1 min search on these forums to find out the person working on the project, which is something I'd REALLY like to avoid without their permission...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 09:17:28 pm by edale »

goldenband

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2019, 09:23:57 pm »
Which of these two possibilities is more likely:

1) The people behind this game used that enemy's name as an outlet for their diabolical, secretive anti-Semitism (even though anti-Semitism is basically a non-issue in Japan), and cackled with glee at their subliminal messaging; or,

2) The resemblance is either purely coincidental or, at worst, a product of the Japanese (and human) habit of throwing around foreign loanwords and imagery willy-nilly, and appropriating them to suit their needs, whims, and/or innocent misunderstandings (again, at worst)?

We don't freak out about "Mecha" vs. "Mecca", or about killing enemies named Bishop or Mad Monk. If some enemy name resembles Sephardi (Sephiroth?) or Mizrahi, it's not crypto-anti-Semitism. It's just the Japanese game developer version of the same thing that leads dumbass white dudes to get "exotic" kanji/Chinese character tattoos that actually say "ugly shirt" or "non-toxic" or whatever.

Vanya

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2019, 10:00:19 pm »
I'd say the Catholic Church beat the Nazi's to it by a millenia or two.

And the Roman's before the Catholics.

I could keep going back further...

No. That is just straight up oppression.

Regardless, it is what it is. Without further context it's hard to give a solid opinion.

edale

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2019, 11:02:34 pm »
Which of these two possibilities is more likely:

1) The people behind this game used that enemy's name as an outlet for their diabolical, secretive anti-Semitism (even though anti-Semitism is basically a non-issue in Japan), and cackled with glee at their subliminal messaging; or,

2) The resemblance is either purely coincidental or, at worst, a product of the Japanese (and human) habit of throwing around foreign loanwords and imagery willy-nilly, and appropriating them to suit their needs, whims, and/or innocent misunderstandings (again, at worst)?

We don't freak out about "Mecha" vs. "Mecca", or about killing enemies named Bishop or Mad Monk. If some enemy name resembles Sephardi (Sephiroth?) or Mizrahi, it's not crypto-anti-Semitism. It's just the Japanese game developer version of the same thing that leads dumbass white dudes to get "exotic" kanji/Chinese character tattoos that actually say "ugly shirt" or "non-toxic" or whatever.
The game is VERY rife with religious references, imagery, and connotations, so there's no coincidence the name was used. (though I personally doubt any malicious intent by the game's creators)
The Sephardi are actually the named group... and not just with a similar name...

Funnily enough, I've never drawn the parallel between Sephardi and Sephiroth. I always thought Sephiroth was named after the Seraphim; especially with his 'One-Winged Angel' epithet.

goldenband

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2019, 11:29:20 pm »
Hmmm, this is starting to sound very Shin Megami Tensei-esque. And that franchise seems like a whirlwind of mixed-up, cross-cultural, trans-religious imagery.

KingMike

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2019, 11:37:51 pm »
2) The resemblance is either purely coincidental or, at worst, a product of the Japanese (and human) habit of throwing around foreign loanwords and imagery willy-nilly, and appropriating them to suit their needs, whims, and/or innocent misunderstandings (again, at worst)?
LadyStalker, coming in 20xx from Gideon.
Including a character named Cocks (surely a misunderstood spelling of Cooks).
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Gideon Zhi

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2019, 12:43:17 pm »
LadyStalker, coming in 20xx from Gideon.
Including a character named Cocks (surely a misunderstood spelling of Cooks).

A flamboyantly gay character, no less. There's a bunch of ways you could romanize コックス. We've gone with "Cox", but "Kochs" would also be acceptable.

chillyfeez

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2019, 02:03:34 pm »
Yeah... Shouldn't "Cooks" have been クックス to begin with?
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KingMike

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2019, 02:36:50 pm »
I know it was brought up before with Wanpaku Kokkun (Panic Restaurant) for NES, that "kokkun" should be more like Cook-kun.
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Timbo

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2019, 10:16:21 am »
Just localize it. Modify the offensive name to the it's mistranslated one or find something more appropriate.

When I decided to do Relocalized I chose to go with Relocalized text to avoid this very issue.

Midge short for Midget is an offensive translation of Chibikko, another offensive word. The remake localized this to Minor.

Since both of the offensive items are acquired in the Dwarf Village. I went with Dwarvish. Since Dwarf also means little person and is not offensive, its accurate and has a double meaning.

Reiska

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2019, 07:03:52 pm »
IMO, your localization team should do what they're comfortable with.

If that means editing the reference to be something they aren't uncomfortable with, so be it.  If people dislike it, they're entitled to do their own retranslation.
If that means keeping the reference as-is and putting a disclaimer in the documentation, so be it.  If people dislike it, they're entitled to play the official localization which mistranslated the reference.
If that means using the official mistranslation, that's fine too.
If that means dropping the project entirely, that's also fine.

At the end of the day, fan localizers should feel proud of their work, IMO.  Just be honest about whatever choice you end up making.

chillyfeez

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2019, 12:15:41 am »
IMO, your localization team should do what they're comfortable with.

If that means editing the reference to be something they aren't uncomfortable with, so be it.  If people dislike it, they're entitled to do their own retranslation.
If that means keeping the reference as-is and putting a disclaimer in the documentation, so be it.  If people dislike it, they're entitled to play the official localization which mistranslated the reference.
If that means using the official mistranslation, that's fine too.
If that means dropping the project entirely, that's also fine.

At the end of the day, fan localizers should feel proud of their work, IMO.  Just be honest about whatever choice you end up making.

Yes.
+1 to this.
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FAST6191

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2019, 09:35:52 am »
IMO, your localization team should do what they're comfortable with.

If that means editing the reference to be something they aren't uncomfortable with, so be it.  If people dislike it, they're entitled to do their own retranslation.
If that means keeping the reference as-is and putting a disclaimer in the documentation, so be it.  If people dislike it, they're entitled to play the official localization which mistranslated the reference.
If that means using the official mistranslation, that's fine too.
If that means dropping the project entirely, that's also fine.

At the end of the day, fan localizers should feel proud of their work, IMO.  Just be honest about whatever choice you end up making.

While the bolded part is an option I would probably say that it should be a last resort and you should probably make every effort* to not go there, especially if you are late stages and presumably have an understanding of the story/world/whatever you are translating. For the case the OP then presumably they did the whole story (or near as does not matter), did not see anything in it that would cast it in an unfavourable light.
Personally I would not care either way but if they do feel the need to change it then so it goes.

*or every effort short of a complete rewrite, mind you if the engine is good you could go Samurai Pizza Cats.

Bregalad

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2019, 03:35:08 am »
I'm not going to go into too many details to protect the ID of the person who's working on the translation,[...]

A friend of mine has been working on a retranslation for a beloved PSX title, [...]

Basically, one of the enemies that you go around slaughtering was mistranslated in the NA release, but when translated correctly is the name of a division of Judaism.[...]
You don't want to tell us the name of the game.
You don't want to tell us the offending word in question. Since you say "it's the name of a division of Judaism" I think it could probably be one of the 12 tribes of Israel which are mostly common names used both inside and outside of judaism.
It's just a name of a single ennemey.

My conclusion :

1) You don't actually want our opinion as you keep everything secret and don't want to tell details about the project so this means you don't want us to help nor to take you seriously. It could just as well be a random attempt to troll us.

2) It's an enemy name and it was probably just taken randomly from foreign names, because Japanese likes to do this. It probably has nothing to do with actual anti-semitism. A villain having a jewish name does not make the game anti-semitic.

3) If your friends feels like giving the project up because of this, just let him give it up. Nobody can be forced to complete translations or romhacks as a hobby (no matter the reason for giving up).
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 10:41:12 am by Bregalad »

edale

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Re: Need advice on a sensitive topic for a retranslation.
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2019, 10:28:17 am »
You don't want to tell us the name of the game.
You don't want to tell us the offending word in question. Since you say "it's the name of a division of Judaism" I think it could probably be one of the 12 tribes of Israel which are mostly common names used both inside and outside of judaism.
It's just a name of a single ennemey.

My conclusion :

1) You don't actually want your opinion as you keep everything secret and don't want to tell details about the project so this means you don't want us to help nor to take you seriously. It could just as well be a random attempt to troll us.
I mentioned in one of the posts that the named group was the Sephardi.
It would be more accurate to say it's the name of a group/class of enemy, there are quite a number of them, and events surrounding them are plot-relevant.

This thread was mostly made as a way to help my friend see the various options taken by others when faced with similar dilemmas, without them having to put their own name out there.

I have asked for permission to post more details, but I won't without that permission. It would be a real dick move to publicly out stuff that was said to me in confidence, especially when it could easily be tracked back to the originator, and I'm not that kind of person.