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Romhacking => Script Help and Language Discussion => Topic started by: Bregalad on April 24, 2016, 09:56:42 am

Title: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on April 24, 2016, 09:56:42 am
Unlike most people on this forum (and elsewhere) I am usually not very picky about what is a "good" and what is a "bad" translation, I can tolerate some level of freedom and do not consider that replacing "?!" by "!?" is an outrage to the original text and automatically makes a translation shitty.

HOWEVER I really do not appreciate translators that leaves japanese grammar particles such as "-san", "-sama" in translated text. I see this in anime subtitles all the time. I downloaded a brand new Chono Trigger translation for French language, supposedly a huge improvement from the previous available patches, as it was translated "directly from japanese". This is interesting and all, but they refer to Lenee as "Lenee-sama" which is just, horrible. This means that they were not able to translate the text properly, and had to leave things in japanese because of their incompetence to have an equivalent in the target language.

In this particular case it should have been translated something like "Her Majesty the Queen Leene" for example, to mark a form of respect. We do not use "-sama" as a mark of respect in any western language, and this should not be in the text, period.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: justin3009 on April 24, 2016, 10:04:58 am
This is one of the many reasons why that I plan to work on Sailor Moon - Another Story in the near future and get a more cleaned up translation out.

The game does the whole -san, -chan and all that bit not too mention all the actual Crystal names and such are still their Japanese counterparts.  I'm thankful for what was there but it was just overall a sloppy way to incorporate it.  It's not bad, but it doesn't feel quite 'professional' in a sense and can leave the person playing confused.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Gemini on April 24, 2016, 10:12:33 am
To think that Altus uses this crap in their official Persona translations and some people back in the days of Innocent Sin begged me and Tom to keep them. Yuck.

Another suggestion would be: don't use Japanese quotation marks, they make no sense whatsoever.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: jink640 on April 24, 2016, 11:40:04 am
I agree completely. I know that the word "cringe" gets thrown around a lot on the internet, but there isn't much that will rattle me more than when I hear honorifics being thrown around in English.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Seihen on April 24, 2016, 06:57:37 pm
This, a million times over. I think it's a bizarre misunderstanding among anime/manga/game fans that the suffixes actually matter more than they do. Not that it's totally their fault -- any and every program about Japan likes to talk about it like it's some sort of life-altering construct of Japanese culture.

But really, 90% of the time it rarely actually matters and the speaker probably isn't even aware of it. Since it does NOT exist in English, including it needlessly takes the reader out of the experience by asking them to try to process some sort of arcane aspect of a foreign culture. Considering it has no impact on the plot or character development, it's purely detrimental to the reader's interaction with the story.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 24, 2016, 07:16:44 pm
I think they add color, but I understand that many disagree with me.

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Considering it has no impact on the plot or character development, it's purely detrimental to the reader's interaction with the story.

Only if they are not aware that countries and cultures exist outside of the United States.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: STARWIN on April 24, 2016, 08:11:48 pm
Since it does NOT exist in English, including it needlessly takes the reader out of the experience by asking them to try to process some sort of arcane aspect of a foreign culture.

Well, for most people a culture where english is used is also foreign. Any language being the current lingua franca should expect all kinds of abuse.

I think it is acceptable for a translation where what is written is also spoken, such as subtitles or games with voice acting. Unnecessary for pure text.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Seihen on April 24, 2016, 11:07:13 pm
For anyone else interested in a discussion on the subject from a professional and fan translator, this article here is a good read.

https://missdream.org/editorials/professional-translation-and-the-american-manga-industry/

I don't agree with 100% of what she says, but I think it provides a slightly clearer explanation on the cultural context of -san, -sama, and more natural ways of dealing with them in translation.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Rotwang on April 25, 2016, 12:34:07 am
Why make Japanese the exception, when in the English language we still say "Kaiser Wilhelm" or "Czar Nicholas II" or refer to French women as "Madame"? Who really gives a fuck when English is so bastardized anyway? This sounds more like a personal beef to me.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 25, 2016, 12:44:11 am
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Why make Japanese the exception, when in the English language we still say "Kaiser Wilhelm" or "Czar Nicholas II" or refer to French women as "Madame"? Who really gives a fuck when English is so bastardized anyway? This sounds more like a personal beef to me.

Yeah, English is pretty stupid. There's too many nonsensical variations on how letters should be pronounced and there are a number of letters that simply are not necessary or don't make sense:

c = s, k
q always has to have a u behind it (when it makes a ky or kw sound so there's no need for q in the first place)
i isn't necessary since y makes the same sounds AND more
x isn't necessary at all (eks, z)

Plus, any language that has silent letters is a least a little stupid. If they aren't supposed to be pronounced THEN DON'T FUCKING INCLUDE THEM!!! Get rid of them...
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Rotwang on April 25, 2016, 01:02:17 am
Do yourself a favor and never try reading anything in Welsch, you might have an aneurysm.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: jink640 on April 25, 2016, 01:04:02 am
Don't even get me started on why the hell knife has a K.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Rotwang on April 25, 2016, 01:11:16 am
You mean to tell me it isn't pronounced k'NEEfay?

But seriously, English suffers from this thanks to the Norman invasion and the subsequent French corruption of the language. English and German were almost the same language before that happened. That's why we still have words like knight (Knecht) and light (Licht) where in the German equivalent you pronounce the parts that are silent in English. The French just couldn't handle that pronunciation and that's why it's like this today.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mevoid on April 25, 2016, 01:40:02 am
What about f and ph. Why does ph have to exist?! It sounds EXACTLY like f. There is literally NO difference.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Seihen on April 25, 2016, 01:55:00 am
Why make Japanese the exception, when in the English language we still say "Kaiser Wilhelm" or "Czar Nicholas II" or refer to French women as "Madame"? Who really gives a fuck when English is so bastardized anyway? This sounds more like a personal beef to me.

Umm... I'm not sure I understand where you're going here. "Madame" is a word in the English language. It may have been borrowed from French, but it's still considered an English word now. So the usage of it isn't necessarily wrong.
Czar is also an English word and so is kaiser (ever eaten a kaiser roll?).

For that reason, the usage of "sushi" and "karaoke" in an English translation would be perfectly okay. The issue is when you simply toss in foreign language into your English script when it either has a proper English translation ("What time is it?" "Well, let me check my ude-dokei!" -- use "watch" instead) or has no semantic value (is it really necessary to translate slight differences in speech patterns between men and women?).

And for the people complaining about phonics... umm.. wow, this thread got derailed fast.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on April 25, 2016, 02:13:56 am
"Madame" is a word in the English language. It may have been borrowed from French, but it's still considered an English word now. So the usage of it isn't necessarily wrong. Czar is also an English word and so is kaiser (ever eaten a kaiser roll?).

For that reason, the usage of "sushi" and "karaoke" in an English translation would be perfectly okay.
You make it sound like someone created the English language once and then set it on stone.

Madame, Czar, and all, became English words because people started to use them. If enough people use san, sama and all, they'll become English words too.

It doesn't matter if there's already another "proper English translation", if people use the new imported word more, the old "proper English translation" is forgotten and the new imported word becomes the "proper English translation" from that point on.

The word tsunami is a good example: no one used it before 2004, you had tidal waves or seismic sea waves. In Spanish we had "maremotos", but I've never heard that word used again since then...
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 25, 2016, 02:21:21 am
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And for the people complaining about phonics... umm.. wow, this thread got derailed fast.

That happens. If four people are sitting at a picnic table talking about the same thing but two start a tangent they are not expected to move to another table. :)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Seihen on April 25, 2016, 02:56:17 am
The word tsunami is a good example: no one used it before 2004, you had tidal waves or seismic sea waves. In Spanish we had "maremotos", but I've never heard that word used again since then...

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tsunami

The word tsunami has been used in the English language since the early 1900s. I knew the word before I ever even knew any Japanese as a child growing up in the 1980s/1990s in America. So no, the word wasn't a new borrowing.

As for the rest of your points, if you assume that "just using a Japanese word is totally okay because the reader should spend 3 hours researching Japanese culture," you're either an awful translator or don't care about readability.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on April 25, 2016, 03:21:20 am
Glad I am not the only one who think this is an annoyance.

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Only if they are not aware that countries and cultures exist outside of the United States.
Quote
Why make Japanese the exception, when in the English language we still say "Kaiser Wilhelm" or "Czar Nicholas II" or refer to French women as "Madame"? Who really gives a fuck when English is so bastardized anyway? This sounds more like a personal beef to me.
I was talking about a FRENCH translation, however the principle applies to english as well.

(I am pretty sure the Russian emperor's title should be written "Tsar". "Czar" sounds like a Hungarian spelling, or something.)

Quote
But seriously, English suffers from this thanks to the Norman invasion and the subsequent French corruption of the language.
I guess you have no idea at which extent modern French has been corrupted by English the last 20 years. Many false friends, like "abuse", which in french, means "using too much a product", is constantly used by the media for its english meaning "using violence of someone else", which in turns makes the population use it that way.

In the professional world it's even worse, we are flooded with things like "management", "marketing", "leadership", etc...

But perhaps we're relatively privileged in international comparison, French is the only language I know that have another word than "Computer" (or a close derivative) to mention a computer.

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The French just couldn't handle that pronunciation and that's why it's like this today.
I cannot know how it was in the middle ages, but today, definitely not. As a French native which learned both German and English as foreign languages, I can assure you that German pronunciation is dead simple and is absolutely no problem for us. (The German phonemes are almost exclusively a subset of the French phonemes, the only exception is 'H' sound which exists in German and not in French). English pronunciation, on the other hand, is extremely tough and I probably won't be ever able to get it "right".
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on April 25, 2016, 03:36:35 am
The word tsunami has been used in the English language since the early 1900s. I knew the word before I ever even knew any Japanese as a child growing up in the 1980s/1990s in America. So no, the word wasn't a new borrowing.
Eh, OK. I should have only spoken for Spanish.

Still, the point is the same. Imagine a Seihen in 1897 creating a forum thread saying "Stop using the word tsunami, we already have a proper English translation for tidal waves, it's not okay to make the reader spend 3 hours researching Japanese culture" etc etc.

That's what you would look like for someone reading this thread in the future when these "awful" translations of anime/manga/dorama have become very popular and everyone knows what is san or sama.

Surely in your translations you use words like "smiley" instead of emoji, "pornographic anime" instead of hentai, etc. Those proper English translations must be a blast to read.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on April 25, 2016, 03:49:30 am
A forum thread in 1897 ? :huh:

More seriously, I have absolutely no problem with Japanese words being imported in other languages. What I do have a problem is japanese grammar being imported, because the translators were not able to translate it a proper way to the target language.

-san / -sama are not Japanese words, they are grammar particles. The concept of grammar particle doesn't exist in western languages, and there is absolutely no point in "importing" them that way.

Also I'd most certainly spend time researching japanese culture, even if it takes more than 3 hours. HOWEVER I still do not want to see these particles in neither French nor English translations.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on April 25, 2016, 04:05:48 am
HOWEVER I still do not want to see these particles in neither French nor English translations.
That's great, you should always have the chance to ignore these translations if you want to.

But you should not tell other people how to do whatever they want to do, *specially* if you're not paying anything for it.

They may use -san or -same because they prefer it like that. Most of their readers probably prefer it like that. You may lose a ton of information when you remove them. If these people don't need to spend 3 hours researching Japanese culture to enjoy this extra information, let them have it.

Sure, this translation (http://www.gamefaqs.com/gba/919683-hagane-no-renkinjutsushi-meisou-no-rinbukyoku/faqs/30504) with its constant "Nii-san" may sound fucking awful to most of us, but to its Japanese nerd readers it may properly convey the real emotions of the speaker, in ways that the cold "Edward" or "Ed" of the official translations may not.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Rotwang on April 25, 2016, 04:09:11 am
I guess you have no idea at which extent modern French has been corrupted by English the last 20 years. Many false friends, like "abuse", which in french, means "using too much a product", is constantly used by the media for its english meaning "using violence of someone else", which in turns makes the population use it that way.

What the fuck does that have to do with anything I said?
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Zynk on April 25, 2016, 04:18:56 am
I think it depends on the circumstances, like in Japanese schools, some ppl want to be addressed as "senpai" for instance. Or someone wants or doesn't want to be called without a honorific. *raises flame shield*

And, how do you localize the "first name basis" rule? I notice that the Japanese are very particular when someone calls you by your first name (especially by nickname) or surname.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on April 25, 2016, 04:41:07 am
And, how do you localize the "first name basis" rule? I notice that the Japanese are very particular when someone calls you by your first name (especially by nickname) or surname.
I have no idea how it is in english speaking countries, but in French speaking countries, it's exactly the same. You're supposed to call your friends and family members by their first name, and your professors, supperiors, etc... by their family names, precessed by "Monsieur" or "Madame". You can do exceptions on a case by case basis of course, for example between guys it is common to refer us by simply our family names, but between girls that would never be possible. It's all a matter of context.

That is why they should translate from Japanese properly, by using the equivalent speech in the target language.
Quote
That's great, you should always have the chance to ignore these translations if you want to.

But you should not tell other people how to do whatever they want to do, *specially* if you're not paying anything for it.
So, because I used something that was given for free, I do not have any rights to say my opinion whatsoever? Because people give something away of their own will, they are doomed to have no feedback and stays low quality? What's up with this bizarre mentality? (also, offering paid romhacks and translations wouldn't be legal anyway, so it's not like they had  a choice)

And sure, I am free to ignore this translation and I probably will, also, if it disturb you that I voice my opinion about something I didn't pay for, you are free to ignore this thread.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on April 25, 2016, 04:47:17 am
(also, offering paid romhacks and translations wouldn't be legal anyway, so it's not like they had  a choice)
Newsflash: Offering ROM hacks and translations for free doesn't make it legal.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 25, 2016, 03:15:29 pm
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I think it depends on the circumstances, like in Japanese schools, some ppl want to be addressed as "senpai" for instance. Or someone wants or doesn't want to be called without a honorific. *raises flame shield*

Like Shiine from Akazukin Cha Cha. He wanted everyone to call him "Shiine-chan". To me that was a hint (with other things taken into consideration) that he was a lonely boy that was somewhat desperate to be considered "a part of the group" or "just one of the guys".
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: BlackDog61 on April 25, 2016, 03:41:23 pm
For anyone else interested in a discussion on the subject from a professional and fan translator, this article here is a good read.

https://missdream.org/editorials/professional-translation-and-the-american-manga-industry/

I don't agree with 100% of what she says, but I think it provides a slightly clearer explanation on the cultural context of -san, -sama, and more natural ways of dealing with them in translation.
A great read, thank you!

And I agree whole heartedly with not liking the presence of san/sama/sensei/nee/nii and friends in a translation.  8)

But I'll still be thankful and glad for English translations. ;D
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on April 25, 2016, 05:29:36 pm
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But I'll still be thankful and glad for English translations. ;D
Sure, in this case Chrono Trigger SNES has already been translated in French by a group #1, in maybe year 2000 the "original" translation which I played through countless times. Then in maybe 2008 group #1 updated their translation patch to make it even better.

Finally in 2016 group #2 release a French translation which was supposedly better, because based directly on the japanese script. That's where my disappointment comes from. If this was the 1st translation I'll be very glad, but since it's pretty much the 3rd one, the expectations are much higher. And to be honest, translation from group #1 is in my opinion better, even though it is not based on the Japanese script. How ironic.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on April 25, 2016, 07:28:42 pm
And to be honest, translation from group #1 is in my opinion better, even though it is not based on the Japanese script. How ironic.
You don't seem to know much Japanese, so you can't really tell which one is better. You can only judge how much you like each one, but I could make up an entire script from scratch that you might like better, and that doesn't make it a better translation (or a translation at all.)

To you "less san and sama = better", so of course the translation based on the English one was going to be your favorite, since that one already had been stripped off that information (and a ton of other stuff too.)

The official SNES English translation of CT was an inaccurate piece of shit, and any translation based on that is an even worse piece of shit. (In fact, any translation based on another translation is automatically a huge piece of shit, but eh... That's for another topic.)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: hanhnn on April 25, 2016, 08:07:28 pm
Now let's start discuss about how we don't we Mr and Mrs in our language, because it's stupid.  :police:
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 25, 2016, 08:10:36 pm
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The official SNES English translation of CT was an inaccurate piece of shit, and any translation based on that is an even worse piece of shit. (In fact, any translation based on another translation is automatically a huge piece of shit, but eh... That's for another topic.)

While I wouldn't call it a piece of shit, for the most part I agree with this sentiment. I've been replaying CT recently and you can tell the dialogue was rushed because it def shows. A lot of lines sound awkward or could be reworded to sound smoother or make more sense. There are also some really jolting transitions from one part of a conversation to the next.

There are plenty of memorable moments but I personally am not too attached to the english script. I've been wanting to try one of the re-translations again but I can't really remember what I thought of any of them. I'm the type that would prefer a more accurate translation so long as it doesn't sound stiff/awkward because then it's not really that much of any improvement over the stock trans.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Gemini on April 25, 2016, 08:18:34 pm
The official SNES English translation of CT was an inaccurate piece of shit, and any translation based on that is an even worse piece of shit.
You can pretty much apply that to anything coming from Woolsey just because his writing is barrel bottom in general, not just for what concerns translations. Remember that horrid game he created with his team? Same issues. Sometimes it feels like he grinds most of the text into some kind of random noun generator, waiting for hilarious results to pop up. Works like a charm, especially when you can come up clean by pointing "time constrains" as the cause (which in some cases could be, but it's really a constant, so...). Terrible demons, youch.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mrrichard999 on April 25, 2016, 10:35:17 pm
I wonder what Dr.Floppy would do.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Cargodin on April 26, 2016, 03:17:45 am
I think it honestly depends on the setting. If a game setting takes place in Japan, I think it's fair. As someone who doesn't mind it either way, I think that's just the difference between a Persona 3 localization vs. a Phoenix Wright localization. Suffixes and titles get way more complicated in Jidai stories, so I also think they play a bigger role than they would, in say, a Wild West setting.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on April 26, 2016, 03:45:49 am
I think it honestly depends on the setting. If a game setting takes place in Japan, I think it's fair.
You got a point.

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You don't seem to know much Japanese, so you can't really tell which one is better. You can only judge how much you like each one, but I could make up an entire script from scratch that you might like better, and that doesn't make it a better translation (or a translation at all.)
Absolutely. What I really meant is that the end-result in French language looks better with the older patch from the other group. I do not really care if it is 1:1 faithful to the japanese original, as long as it is understandable and well written, and that the storyline is kept intact, and that no stupid jokes are made up.

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The official SNES English translation of CT was an inaccurate piece of shit, and any translation based on that is an even worse piece of shit.
Please give me a reference that it indeed a piece of s**t. Do you speak japanese? To me it doesn't look like a piece of s**t at all. The english is perfectly understandable.

I had to play many French translation from official games where the language is actually not understandable. Secret of Mana and Breath of Fire III comes to mind. And don't even get me started on Final Fantasy Adventure, Square's 1st RPG to have ever been translated in French. Now THOSE are shitty translations.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on April 26, 2016, 05:42:59 am
Please give me a reference that it indeed a piece of s**t. Do you speak japanese? To me it doesn't look like a piece of s**t at all. The english is perfectly understandable.
I wasn't talking about how understandable was its English, but about how accurate its J->E translation was.

I can speak Japanese as good as English, that is, barely at all. :D But I try to read it, and some of the things that helped me the most at the beginning were "parallel reading" the scripts of games like CT or FF7, which had the original Japanese scripts, the official English translations and some fan re-translations scripts available.

In any case, here's a simple reference for CT if you're interested: https://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Translation_Differences.html
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on April 26, 2016, 10:24:08 am
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In any case, here's a simple reference for CT if you're interested: https://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Translation_Differences.html
I did not read the entiere thing very carefully, however, I do not feel that any of what is described here makes the translation a shitty translation, not even a mediocre one. Some names were changed, some things shortened due to space constraints, and references to religion and alcohol were partially removed because Nintendo forced them to, even though it's obvious the original game mentions religion and alcohol even after the censorship. (one guy outright mention getting drunk with lemonade... come on).

Finally I have to doubt what this page says when it mention Ayla refering to Crono as "Cro". Since you can rename Crono to your liking, I do not see how this is possible - although it's entirely possible that she calls him "Cro" no matter how your rename him - or that she uses "Cro" only if you didn't rename him. I guess I'll have to check this out to see how it's handled.

You seem to be one of those guys that think any change, even slight, from the japanese original is an outage. Be it a name change, a change that was imposed by technical constraints such as screen space, or censorship which is due to Nintendo and not due to Square, or replacements of "?!" with "!?", you think this is an outrage, and that the translation is a piece of s***t, when in fact this is just your opinion.

Personally I do not mind such changes, as long as they are consistent. If the text is proper and fully understandable in the target language, I do not mind. However, if all names are kept "intact" but that the text is a word-to-word translation of the Japanese original which barely makes sense in the target language, then I certainly won't find that it is a good translation, even if I do not speek any Japanese.

I agree this can lead to problems, for instance, when the j2e re-translation of FF4 was released, I first thought it was an amazing translation because it was well worded, and very clear. Only later when the truth was uncovered and that I learned that many side-stories were simply made up, then I change my mind.

CONCLUSION

I must say I might have been a little harsh with this new CT French translations. I expected it to be a major improvement over the previous one, it is not. It is just different, makes different choices and compromises. I was sort of attached to the original translation, which is why it is not to my liking.

The usage of japanism is limited, but they're still here and there, and I find it disturbing and un-professional. They only use Lenee-senpai (or was it -sama I don't even remember) once, and use just "Lenee" everywhere else. They also have laughter left in japanese "ku ku ku" which in French sounds completely idiotic and do not soud like a laughter at all, if you didn't "study" japanese.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on April 26, 2016, 02:42:31 pm
You seem to be one of those guys that think any change, even slight, from the japanese original is an outage.
I'm the complete opposite, actually. I don't play translations anymore, so I don't even give a shit about what anyone else does with their translations.

I just stated my opinion of it because I happened to have read the original text and the translation some years ago. To you, san and sama means low quality; to me, making up shit and omitting important stuff means low quality.

You're free to have a different opinion, stop thinking that one's opinion is better than somebody else's opinion, or that the quality of a translation can be measured objectively as a hard fact.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: tryphon on April 26, 2016, 03:03:53 pm
To you, san and sama means low quality; to me, making up shit and omitting important stuff means low quality.

One doesn't exclude the other.

Removing -san and -sama is not omitting important stuff, except in the case of a very Japan oriented story, in which case it should be used, as Cargodin told. In other situations, it's, at best, ridiculous and deserves the translation.

The problem with Japan -> English/French translators is that they are quite rare, and so we "take what we have", even if they don't have good skills in their own languages. I'm lucky : I worked with 2 translators (Hiei- and Eien Ni Hen), and both of them did a marvellous job (go play Phantasy Star Generations  2 and Psy-O-Blade if you don't believe me), but I've played French translations so badly written that I switched to the English one : at least, if they were bad written, my English was not good enough for me to notice :)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on April 26, 2016, 04:27:31 pm
The problem with Japan -> English/French translators is that they are quite rare, and so we "take what we have", even if they don't have good skills in their own languages.
You got a point.

Quote
but I've played French translations so badly written that I switched to the English one : at least, if they were bad written, my English was not good enough for me to notice :)
Same here.

Quote
stop thinking that one's opinion is better than somebody else's opinion, or that the quality of a translation can be measured objectively as a hard fact.
What makes you believe I ever thought either of those points?
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Isao Kronos on April 26, 2016, 08:46:44 pm
i'm sorry for your loss bregalad-kun-sama-chan
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Jorpho on April 26, 2016, 11:23:02 pm
I think I already mentioned once that apparently the official Rayearth sub (http://www.carbon-izer.com/mirror/rad/rad10.htm) insisted on translating the suffix "-chan" as "-ster".  So, it's not entirely absent from English.

My bugbear is when "Kore wa... [trailing off]" gets translated as "This is...", which is not a way people in English talk, ever.  Something like "What's this?" or even "Huh?" would be more appropriate.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Isao Kronos on April 26, 2016, 11:36:55 pm
rub a dub dub thanks for the grub
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Rotwang on April 28, 2016, 02:34:26 am
(http://i.imgur.com/U5XNV2I.jpg)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: jink640 on April 28, 2016, 02:38:29 am
Please tell me that picture is not an official published translation
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Rotwang on April 28, 2016, 03:00:41 am
It's apparently from an infamous fansub. I don't know where exactly it came from, some of my friends who are into anime showed it to me.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: reyvgm on April 28, 2016, 03:43:30 am
I've never really minded san/sama (as long as it isn't overused), but I've always had an issue with the  "big brother" translation. No one calls their big bother -> Big Brother. You call them by their effin name.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 28, 2016, 04:05:44 am
Here's something I'm curious about and this seems like a good time and thread to ask.

I was watching an episode of Cutie Honey: The Live and when Yuki got kidnapped she was very sympathetic to her captor and kept referring to him as what I guess equates to "criminal-san". Suppose this were a translation where keeping the honorifics wasn't desirable. How would some of you translate this without losing the joke in the process?
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: jink640 on April 28, 2016, 04:08:07 am
Here's something I'm curious about and this seems like a good time and thread to ask.

I was watching an episode of Cutie Honey: The Live and when Yuki got kidnapped she was very sympathetic to her captor and kept referring to him as what I guess equates to "criminal-san". Suppose this were a translation where keeping the honorifics wasn't desirable. How would some of you translate this without losing the joke in the process?
Probably make her talk in a very polite way. ya know, without calling the kidnapper a piece of shit or whatever.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 28, 2016, 05:03:06 am
Quote
Probably make her talk in a very polite way. ya know, without calling the kidnapper a piece of shit or whatever.

heh Yeah. I guess she could call him "sir" and stuff. LOL

To expand a little, I was thinking of this as applying to a video game translation (instead of where I got the idea, which was a TV show) where you would have plenty of freedom for possible ways that you could deal with this situation: someone being kidnapped, being excited/enthusiastic about it once they knew what was going on and going so far as to begin helping the kidnapper to the point of eventually doing everything for them (even taking him back to your house and having your friend call in the ransom demand when he is unable to continue his role due to feeling sorry for himself). That's what happened in the episode anyway. Good show. :D
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: jink640 on April 28, 2016, 04:50:47 pm
I just realized while playing Persona 3 that the san sama chan stuff doesn't really bother me unless voice acting is involved. I guess I am getting used to seeing honorifics in English text now  :D
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 28, 2016, 07:06:39 pm
Quote
I just realized while playing Persona 3 that the san sama chan stuff doesn't really bother me unless voice acting is involved. I guess I am getting used to seeing honorifics in English text now  :D

I've always played the undub so it's seemed natural to me. Even added a little charm in a few situations.

I only played the stock version for a few minutes. LOL
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Azkadellia on April 28, 2016, 07:45:20 pm
FLCL really got away with honorifics.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Jorpho on April 29, 2016, 09:49:20 am
I was watching an episode of Cutie Honey: The Live
They made a series ?  I saw the movie, but gee, this is news.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on April 29, 2016, 03:23:00 pm
Quote
They made a series ?  I saw the movie, but gee, this is news.

Yeah. It was from 2007. 26 eps.

(http://fcache.veoh.com/file/f/tl1305249.jpg?h=5b931030341f907781d1c67774bb885a)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: ckrit on May 11, 2016, 11:30:44 pm
Here's something I'm curious about and this seems like a good time and thread to ask.

I was watching an episode of Cutie Honey: The Live and when Yuki got kidnapped she was very sympathetic to her captor and kept referring to him as what I guess equates to "criminal-san". Suppose this were a translation where keeping the honorifics wasn't desirable. How would some of you translate this without losing the joke in the process?

Mr. Criminal

Sounds as silly as in Japanese and you have a perfect translation right there.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Hiei- on May 21, 2016, 01:56:25 pm
I've never really minded san/sama (as long as it isn't overused), but I've always had an issue with the  "big brother" translation. No one calls their big bother -> Big Brother. You call them by their effin name.

Depend, it can be the case with very young kids even in Western countries but for adults, it's clearly never happen or it's very rare.

I don't like to see -san -chan -sama and such kept but the big bro doesn't bug me that much, as it's sometimes hard to put the name, especially if this name is near never used (in a anime for example), as they near always use the family name and so seems completely off.

The problem with Japan -> English/French translators is that they are quite rare, and so we "take what we have", even if they don't have good skills in their own languages. I'm lucky : I worked with 2 translators (Hiei- and Eien Ni Hen), and both of them did a marvellous job (go play Phantasy Star Generations  2 and Psy-O-Blade if you don't believe me), but I've played French translations so badly written that I switched to the English one : at least, if they were bad written, my English was not good enough for me to notice :)

French translations are pretty good since a few years ago. For example, if you try the Earthbound or Mother 3 translations, you can see they feel pretty nice. But I'm okay with you for translations which was made like ten years ago, they were often done from english (and english ones weren't also pretty good 10-15 years ago) and the biggest problem at that time was how to fit all the texts in the game, which were often fixed by cutting some texts, like the old official translations.

The general rule I noticed is "the more texts the game have, the better the translation might be" as bad translations I saw are often for games with a few texts (NES games for example) that everyone can hack/translate. When it's a game with a lot of texts, it's often mean "a big/deeper hack" so the size of the translated texts are rarely a problem, which often give a far better translation. I did some old translations back in the day, before I learnt japanese, and you often had to keep a specific size for the texts, so you were forced to cut some lines and remove some of the dialogue contents (It's also what happened to the official french translation of Secret of Mana. The translation doesn't look that bad for a 20 years one but when you compare it with the japanese version, it feel like 2/3 of the dialogues were cut to fit in the rom, probably to spare some money and avoid using a 32M cartridge, as Secret of Mana is a 24M one).

And, of course, if it's a translation made from english, the english one should be good or else it'll also impact the french translation. But I'm one of those who think it's better to translate a game from a good english translation rather than translating directly from japanese with some limited knowledge of the language.

Japanese to English translators are a lot more common than Japanese to French translators, unfortunately for the french romhack community. I guess I know most people from the french romhack community and I don't think I'm wrong when I say that I saw less than ten Japanese to French translators in the whole community during the last 15 years.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: BlackDog61 on May 21, 2016, 04:27:45 pm
The general rule I noticed is "the more texts the game have, the better the translation might be" as bad translations I saw are often for games with a few texts (NES games for example) that everyone can hack/translate.

Interesting point.
Ah - wait! Doesn't that explain why good translators are all the harder to find? (They're busy for a long time on a long project.)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Hiei- on May 21, 2016, 05:12:31 pm
At least, it's was I noticed about french translations, I wouldn't be able to tell if it's the same about english ones ;)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on May 22, 2016, 08:16:46 am
Quote
bad translations I saw are often for games with a few texts (NES games for example) that everyone can hack/translate.
Well they have to get started somewhere. One can't just directly make great hack/translations on the first try, so it's better to savage small games rather than making huge projects for large games that never ends up being anything near completed anyway.

Quote
And, of course, if it's a translation made from english, the english one should be good or else it'll also impact the french translation. But I'm one of those who think it's better to translate a game from a good english translation rather than translating directly from japanese with some limited knowledge of the language.
That's probably what happened there. The old french version of CT was a great english-french translation based on the quite decent jap->english translation officially made back then. There is some alterations that were made to the game such as name changes and minor alcohol censorship, but honnestly this is fine and doesn't really change the game in any way.

The new version was just made by guys who are so fan of the japanese language that they left things over in japanese a little everyhwere - and the french is incorrectly spelled in a couple of places. They also made the choice to keep japanese names like "Kaeru" for frog, which makes no sense in French unless you studied in japanese. So they made lot of IMO poor choices that were fine in the first translation.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on May 22, 2016, 08:21:11 am
They also made the choice to keep japanese names like "Kaeru" for frog, which makes no sense in French unless you studied in japanese.
How was he called in the previous French translation?
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on May 22, 2016, 04:07:23 pm
"Frog" which is just as foreign, but it doesn't sound nowhere as out of place, because French speaking people are much more likely to know what "frog" means in english than what "kaeru" means in Japanese.

The DS version uses "Gren" which is simultaneously an abbreviation of the french word "grenouille" and a deformation of "Glenn" the real name of this character, which is a great idea (even if it introduces a pun that wasn't here in the original game). But by the time the DS version was released, everyone already refered to this caracter to as "frog" because they played either the official English translation or the first fan translation.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: mz on May 22, 2016, 06:44:23 pm
So... Now not only you don't mind words that "make no sense in French", but you also prefer words that never even were in the original game in the first place, but were introduced by an arguably shitty translation...

It just shows how much in love you are with that translation and how biased your opinion is, in case that it wasn't clear enough already.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: ckrit on May 22, 2016, 07:24:15 pm
You know, I was thinking of a good translation for his name that still carries some deeper meaning, but what about Croaker, as in someone who forebodes evil. I really can't remember his personality all that much, but it does kinda fit the story. (Unless I remember wrong of course.)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on May 22, 2016, 08:41:53 pm
Quote
You know, I was thinking of a good translation for his name that still carries some deeper meaning, but what about Croaker, as in someone who forebodes evil. I really can't remember his personality all that much, but it does kinda fit the story. (Unless I remember wrong of course.)

If you're talking about the frog from Chrono Trigger, he was super serious and all about business/honor/protecting the throne. Even though his speech patterns remind me more of something European he very much reminds me of the serious samurai type that are in so many movies and stories.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: ckrit on May 22, 2016, 09:52:39 pm
If you're talking about the frog from Chrono Trigger, he was super serious and all about business/honor/protecting the throne. Even though his speech patterns remind me more of something European he very much reminds me of the serious samurai type that are in so many movies and stories.

Actually, I was just going through the game a little, and his speech patterns are just really... normal. I have no idea why they decided to change this in the translation, but he's supposed to sound like a regular guy who was forced to be brave it seems. His friend Cyrus has that whole medieval thing going on, though. It's the first time I looked at the game in Japanese since I started learning Japanese many years ago, and it dumbfounds to see he's a completely different character originally.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on May 22, 2016, 10:08:52 pm
Quote
Actually, I was just going through the game a little, and his speech patterns are just really... normal. I have no idea why they decided to change this in the translation, but he's supposed to sound like a regular guy who was forced to be brave it seems. His friend Cyrus has that whole medieval thing going on, though. It's the first time I looked at the game in Japanese since I started learning Japanese many years ago, and it dumbfounds to see he's a completely different character originally.

I believe it depends on the version you get. I think for the GBA version they toned down his ye olde English-isms. In the SNES version it's so thick that he is some times difficult to understand (at least he was the first time I played the game as a kid).
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on May 23, 2016, 05:19:45 am
[...] shitty translation[...]
[...]biased opinion[...]
Well, whathever. Being rude doesn't prove your point any better than if you'd do so politely.

And my point is, "-san" or "-sama" doesn't mean anything in neither English or French, and shouldn't be used by translators, period.

Finally if you do speak French then you're free to play the new translation and have your own opinion. If you don't then please just refrain from telling me which translation to prefer in a language you don't even speek.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: justin3009 on May 23, 2016, 03:51:52 pm
When it comes to Chrono Trigger, the SNES and PS1 versions did the whole 'ye old English' thing but the DS translation completely removed that and made him more of what he's SUPPOSED to be.  Actually, didn't the DS version get a completely new translation?  Either way, I much prefer him without the old English style but it was a nice touch back then honestly.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Midna on May 25, 2016, 09:45:49 pm
Yeah, Chrono Trigger was completely retranslated for the DS, meaning Frog went from speaking entirely in Early Modern English to speaking in modern English with a somewhat formal tone. (Apparently Tom Slattery wanted to have everyone from the 600 AD period, not just Frog, speak in EME in the DS translation--meaning Magus would have talked like that, too--but he had to keep schedule.) It had the amusing side effect of the international marketing using a line from the SNES version that was translated differently on the DS, which caused the intended connection to be lost.

I'm actually starting to wonder if the "new French translation" Bregalad is talking about was based on the Chrono Compendium one, because that also has a load of untranslated Japanese honorifics and, IIRC, the "Kaeru" name.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on May 26, 2016, 04:59:37 am
meaning Magus would have talked like that, too
Errr... Magus is originally from -12000 BC
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SunGodPortal on May 26, 2016, 05:04:46 am
Quote
Errr... Magus is originally from -12000 BC

Born around 12,000 BC, raised in 600 AD. :)
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: GHANMI on June 04, 2016, 09:40:54 pm
I believe it depends on the version you get. I think for the GBA version they toned down his ye olde English-isms. In the SNES version it's so thick that he is some times difficult to understand (at least he was the first time I played the game as a kid).

Someone familiar with the various French versions here. Just to get this out of the way:

This game was never released officially in French on SNES, Final Fantasy 6 was supposed to in 1994 but in the end ties between Nintendo and Square worsened and NoE only got Secret of Evermore in Multi-3, and had to get their JRPG fix from Enix and Natsume.
Due to the pathetic situation of SNES releases in Europe, everyone there would just import/pirate the English version, so everyone was familiar with that one.

In 2009, Chrono Trigger DS got a brand new French localization alongside its English retranslation by Slattery (a German and Spanish translation were supposed to be included too judging from internal graphics like "the future refused to change", but eventually they included those in the smartphone versions).

Much like people like to bash Slattery's stuff as "dry", "literal" and "awful" for not keeping the same corny changes as a certain previous translation, some French fans were declaring the French translation "incorrect" because it was done from Japanese and as such didn't have ANY of the English name changes. Some "incorrect" names include Slash Flea and Ozzie, now following the original Toriyama weird food-themed naming conventions Sauce Mayonnaise and Vinegar (slightly altered for easier pronunciation in French, I think it was Mayonay?), but also Kaeru who should have apparently been in English as Frog instead of Gren. Some even accused the French version of "spoiling the plot" or "lazily removing his alias name" and "on top of that not grasping the concept of proper L/R romanization".
It's like Final Fantasy X German controversy redux, where some people complained from the German translation being too accurate to the Japanese script to the point it doesn't match the very liberally-translated English audio (by the same translation branch credited for Squall and Zidane's drastic mood changes between the PAL/JP versions and the US/UK version).

I'm actually starting to wonder if the "new French translation" Bregalad is talking about was based on the Chrono Compendium one, because that also has a load of untranslated Japanese honorifics and, IIRC, the "Kaeru" name.

For what it's worth, the 2015 French fan-translation is apparently based on the JP ROM with VWF hacks made for it from scratch among other things. They're making one for Final Fantasy 6 too if I'm not mistaken. I'd say they were probably exposed to the Japanese text and had to have a basic idea of what each text means (considering CT's script is rife with unused lines in the JP version which aren't even there in the US one, and that throws off the count quite a bit if they were just comparing script dumps).
Not to say they couldn't have made some shortcuts using that Chrono Compendium version's script (btw, that ROM is based on the US version ROM), but the previous French fan-translation kept "Frog" in English so it's not like it's conclusive proof they're a fraud (if they used Magus instead of Maou or Demon King I wouldn't say necessarily the whole translation is based off Woosley's script either).
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on June 05, 2016, 02:19:16 pm
Quote
For what it's worth, the 2015 French fan-translation is apparently based on the JP ROM with VWF hacks made for it from scratch among other things.
It is based on the US ROM, but on the japanese script.

Magus is called "Maoh" which is I think a fine choice. Having frog as "Keru" is veird, considering most people aren't expected to know this means something in japanese. They could at least have francised it as "Kaël" if they really wanted to keep the original name.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Kallisto on June 08, 2016, 07:57:23 am
If I recall...most of today's European languages have Germanic language as the parent since the languages are quite similar to old Germanic.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on June 08, 2016, 03:14:13 pm
@Kallisto and your point is?

Technically, only German, Dutch (including Flemish dialects), English, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish are considered Germanic languages (this includes the dialects of those languages, obviously). Other languages have many Germanic influences, but aren't Germanic at core.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Kallisto on June 19, 2016, 06:11:47 pm
 :-X

Good grief what is in RMN's water today?
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: shadowmanwkp on June 27, 2016, 05:27:31 am
If I recall...most of today's European languages have Germanic language as the parent since the languages are quite similar to old Germanic.

Latin and Slavic languages beg to differ.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: SC on July 12, 2016, 08:39:35 am
I hope consensus here is literal translations are bad.
To me there must be a middle ground between transmiting the meaning and being literal.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: cccmar on July 12, 2016, 09:19:37 am
Latin and Slavic languages beg to differ.

And Finno-Ugric languages, and Albanian, and Basque, and Irish, and Greek... so yeah, many European languages are not Germanic at all. More people speak Romance languages natively than Germanic languages, as a matter of fact.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Kallisto on July 13, 2016, 02:31:20 am
Oh I think there was a bit of a misunderstanding. I should have said there is certain languages in Europe that are similar in the way it is spoken, and written.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: GHANMI on July 13, 2016, 05:21:12 am
I hope consensus here is literal translations are bad.
To me there must be a middle ground between transmiting the meaning and being literal.

It depends on which liberties the translator takes.

"Literal translations" from Japanese would result in stuff like Breath of Fire 2. A lot of what's called "literal translations" nowadays actually does fill in the blanks left by Japanese grammar, with appropriate context, moved around clauses, appropriate cultural equivalents for expressions, and the personal interpretation of the translator, or it wouldn't be readable.

But the reason why it's called "literal" is that somehow it's perceived to be inferior for not being as extensively rewritten as some SNES-era localizations. Nowadays, some go as far as saying Protectobor-tier rewrites and censorship are also a requirement for any proper translation.

More on point, I don't think preserving in a translation the "Fernandito" nickname for some Telenovela's "Fernando" is an inherently bad thing, and so I wouldn't be peeved in a translation by "Nobunaga-sama" or "Mitsuhide-dono" or "Fumi-chan" if it's a very Japanese setting.

Grammatically-correct literal translations in the sense they don't have the translator assume the role of a co-writer more than what's absolutely needed, aren't an inherently bad approach, and do have their audience. The opposite approach isn't without its faults (just look at the Dai Gyakuten Saiban situation).
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Viewer on July 15, 2016, 08:02:52 pm
It depends on which liberties the translator takes.

"Literal translations" from Japanese would result in stuff like Breath of Fire 2. A lot of what's called "literal translations" nowadays actually does fill in the blanks left by Japanese grammar, with appropriate context, moved around clauses, appropriate cultural equivalents for expressions, and the personal interpretation of the translator, or it wouldn't be readable.

But the reason why it's called "literal" is that somehow it's perceived to be inferior for not being as extensively rewritten as some SNES-era localizations. Nowadays, some go as far as saying Protectobor-tier rewrites and censorship are also a requirement for any proper translation.

More on point, I don't think preserving in a translation the "Fernandito" nickname for some Telenovela's "Fernando" is an inherently bad thing, and so I wouldn't be peeved in a translation by "Nobunaga-sama" or "Mitsuhide-dono" or "Fumi-chan" if it's a very Japanese setting.

Grammatically-correct literal translations in the sense they don't have the translator assume the role of a co-writer more than what's absolutely needed, aren't an inherently bad approach, and do have their audience. The opposite approach isn't without its faults (just look at the Dai Gyakuten Saiban situation).

"Lord Nobunga", "Sir Mitsuhide", "Ms/Mrs/Madam/Lady Fumi", not to mention the dialog around it which helps shape the character's relationship with each other and the world. Simply slapping a bunch of translators notes at the beginning of a piece to define the meaning is ultimately lazy, in my opinion.

I assume you mean "Probotector", the modifying of the Contra/Gryzor series in Europe to change the characters into robots? This was only done because if it had not, the games could not be released in that region due to laws against depiction of violence towards human characters. The setting remains the same or slightly different, and there are minor graphical edits, but the gameplay itself does not change.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: GHANMI on July 16, 2016, 10:46:42 am
"Lord Nobunga", "Sir Mitsuhide", "Ms/Mrs/Madam/Lady Fumi", not to mention the dialog around it which helps shape the character's relationship with each other and the world. Simply slapping a bunch of translators notes at the beginning of a piece to define the meaning is ultimately lazy, in my opinion.

I assume you mean "Probotector", the modifying of the Contra/Gryzor series in Europe to change the characters into robots? This was only done because if it had not, the games could not be released in that region due to laws against depiction of violence towards human characters. The setting remains the same or slightly different, and there are minor graphical edits, but the gameplay itself does not change.

I don't see lots of reasons why what would work for translations from other languages shouldn't work for Japanese. You don't see much people saying Sultan instead of Emperor, Vizir instead of Prime Minister, Khan instead of Commander, is unacceptable in translations and only the (ironically) literal translation of the title/honorific is acceptable. As long as it's done in moderation and where it's appropriate to do so (and not stuff like Elizabeth-sama in something about England) it shouldn't cause allergic reactions, the way Japanese characters in the backgrounds do for 4Kids.

And... I think you're defending Contra's European localization here? Well, to each his opinions,  but that's not exactly an example of a stellar translation. That game's whole setting and story got changed and not for the better, the graphical changes and censorship covered everything save for background stage art and robotic enemies.
That game was even more censored than what NoA's censors mandated, and the supposed German "Europe-wide" laws "mandating Protectobor-like localizations" supposedly seemingly didn't mind Castlevania games and countless Amiga games with copious amounts of gore and dismemberment... so I don't buy the "it's impossible to release otherwise" excuse (even in Germany).
As for the "gameplay got preserved so whatever butchering happens to everything else it's the same" excuse? I don't think it's very rewarding to play a game with missing text or cutscenes supposed to reward the player, and in the light of the localization policies in Europe shifting away from censorship, I guess neither players (who began importing uncensored releases), critics or companies saw much positive points in it. In fact, one of the earliest translations here were retranslations of Konami's Cybernator and a Twinbee platformer, both missing most of their text yet you wouldn't find many agreeing with you they're superior or recommended versions.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on July 16, 2016, 12:33:09 pm
I don't see lots of reasons why what would work for translations from other languages shouldn't work for Japanese. You don't see much people saying Sultan instead of Emperor, Vizir instead of Prime Minister, Khan instead of Commander, is unacceptable in translations and only the (ironically) literal translation of the title/honorific is acceptable. As long as it's done in moderation and where it's appropriate to do so (and not stuff like Elizabeth-sama in something about England) it shouldn't cause allergic reactions, the way Japanese characters in the backgrounds do for 4Kids.
Chrono Trigger does not take place in japan but in a fantasy world, so your argument falls apart.

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That game's whole setting and story got changed and not for the better,
Who even cares of the story for a game like Contra, seriously ? Are you seriously telling me you'll be playing a game of this genre for its story ?

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That game was even more censored than what NoA's censors mandated,
The north American release of Contra wasn't any tiny bit censored, unless I'm mistaken.

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Castlevania games and countless Amiga games with copious amounts of gore and dismembermen
Castlevania games do not display violence against humans being but against mostly undead monsters, and the european version just copied the American censorship where applicable. Germany probably relaxed their laws eventually.

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I don't think it's very rewarding to play a game with missing text or cutscenes supposed to reward the playe
There is no missing text or cutscenes, in the original Contra there is almost zero text and custcenes exept the "game over" title.

You seem to be mentioning the scenes added to the Japanese release, which was made after the US release. Those are also not present in the original arcade game. They were never meant to be there, they were just added for the Japanese FC version and only that version.

Speaking about that, I wonder whether the original arcade Contra was allowed to be released in Germany censored, uncensored, or not released at all.

EDIT : Here is a longplay of the original, arcade Contra game (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD9G7OCmsfk), on which the NES game is based. The arcade came with no manual obviously (except perhaps a manual for installing the board in a cabinet and how use switches, things like that). Please tell me where you see any story in this game.

EDIT2 : This is pure speculation, but my guess is that Contra's difficulties to be released in Germany was not only about violence, but because of the omnipresent of the red falcon symbol, which looks incredibly similar to the reichsadler (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichsadler).
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Ghost-Tank on July 16, 2016, 05:42:19 pm
I've noticed that Old English seems closer to Proto-Germanic than Old High German.

Also, K is for Knife Ball.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Midna on July 16, 2016, 06:50:32 pm
I believe the arcade version of Contra was released unedited as "Gryzor".
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: KillerBob on July 31, 2016, 12:14:42 pm
There is no missing text or cutscenes, in the original Contra there is almost zero text and custcenes exept the "game over" title.

You seem to be mentioning the scenes added to the Japanese release, which was made after the US release. Those are also not present in the original arcade game. They were never meant to be there, they were just added for the Japanese FC version and only that version.
Where did you get this info from? The Famicom version took advantage of the technology of Konami's VRC2 chip. The only reason for the cut content in the overseas versions is because Nintendo's NES licensing program only allowed North America and Europe distribution to include first-party hardware in its cartridges. Konami handled the manufacturing of their own games in Japan. Similar downgrades had to be made for Salamander/Life Force and Akumajou Densetsu/Castlevania III. And Gradius II was simply not released outside Japan. All of these games used different custom made ships by Konami.

The original Arcade game and Famicom/NES game is two different beasts, it wasn't just a simple conversion. They were made by two different teams. Don't know how detailed the plot/objective was for the Japanese Arcade version but while Red Falcon is the name of the terrorist organization in the Arcade and Famicom Contra, the NES localization made it the name of the alien leader.

Plot summary of the FC and NES versions:

Japan
In the year 2631, a meteor crash-lands in the Galuga Archipelago. Two years later, the area is seized by a terrorist organization named Red Falcon that seeks world domination. 2 soldiers, Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, are deployed to neutralize the terrorist threat. During the mission, it is revealed that the enemy is harboring alien entities, likely originating from the meteor. The soldiers eventually stop the terrorists and eliminate the aliens.

EDIT: Was looking into the Japanese manual backstory and my posted summary of it is wrong. It's clear right from the start that the Red Falcon organization are alien invaders, there's not even an attempt by either the manual or game to make that a surprise. Thank you, incorrect wiki article.  :P

North America
Rather than in the future, the game takes place in then-present-day 1987, where an alien race, led by an entity termed Red Falcon, has infested a Mayan village and is planning universal domination. These aliens likely originated from what was presumed to be regular space debris that crashed near the region 30 years prior. 2 soldiers, Bill “Mad Dog” and Lance “Scorpion” are sent to destroy the alien threat. Eventually, the aliens are destroyed, resulting in the entire universe being saved.

Europe
Also set in 2633, the plot of Probotector sees a future where science thrives. Top secret scientists discover that a malicious alien entity, Red Falcon, has set up a fortress in the fictional Galga Islands and intends to extinguish the human race. Sent to eliminate the aliens are 2 specialized robots, RD008 and RCO11 (replacing Bill and Lance). The robots ultimately stop the alien threat, saving the entire universe (same as the North American release).
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Bregalad on July 31, 2016, 12:35:27 pm
Well, all you said is correct, but I'd add that for the US and EU release, the story is purely from the manual and not from the game itself, so it only half counts. Again, in such an arcade-style role, the story plays pretty much no role in the game.

You are correct that the japanese version was not released after the US version, but both were released simultaneously, in February 1988 (http://www.mobygames.com/game/contra/release-info). My previous statement is wrong. However, what I wanted to emphasis, is that the US version was not made after the japanese version, and as thus is not a "stripped down" version of the japanese release, but instead a different version.

I didn't know about differences between Salamander JP version, I'll have to check this out !

PS : I do not see any meaningful differences between Salamander and Life Force, except the title screen and how the HUD is organized on the screen.
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: KillerBob on July 31, 2016, 01:30:09 pm
Well, all you said is correct, but I'd add that for the US and EU release, the story is purely from the manual and not from the game itself, so it only half counts. Again, in such an arcade-style role, the story plays pretty much no role in the game.

You are correct that the japanese version was not released after the US version, but both were released simultaneously, in February 1988 (http://www.mobygames.com/game/contra/release-info). My previous statement is wrong. However, what I wanted to emphasis, is that the US version was not made after the japanese version, and as thus is not a "stripped down" version of the japanese release, but instead a different version.
Ah, now I see what you meant. And yes I agree, the story is just decoration for a game like this. But as a kid the simple manual stories could greatly enhance the experience no matter how silly they were. The presentation leave a lot to be desired in game localization from back then. Almost every game got dumbed down, the only great thing with Nintendo of America was their quality control. A lot of bug fixes were made before the games were brought over to us, but that was also due to the extended development time many games received.

I didn't know about differences between Salamander JP version, I'll have to check this out !

PS : I do not see any meaningful differences between Salamander and Life Force, except the title screen and how the HUD is organized on the screen.
The differences in Salamander are nice but miniscule, a fancier title screen and staff roll with different endings. The biggest plus IMO is the Gradius-like power meter. You're also able to equip three options instead of two. It is apparently using Konami's VRC3 ship. To me the differences are so minor that I'm actually unsure if not a regular Nintendo MMC could have handled it? But I'm not that knowledgeable about it.

EDIT: After a quick playthrough of Life Force, I noticed that the stars in the background on stage 5 aren't animated like they are in Salamander. Might be more of these subtle differences in graphic...
Title: Re: Message for translators: Please no NOT use -san / -sama / etc...
Post by: Reiska on August 10, 2016, 05:43:16 am
It's like Final Fantasy X German controversy redux, where some people complained from the German translation being too accurate to the Japanese script to the point it doesn't match the very liberally-translated English audio (by the same translation branch credited for Squall and Zidane's drastic mood changes between the PAL/JP versions and the US/UK version)

Not to dig up an old topic, but I'm curious and genuinely unaware: in what way were Squall and Zidane's personalities altered in translation?