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Author Topic: What's the best translator to use for japanese games?  (Read 1486 times)

the_taco_shell

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What's the best translator to use for japanese games?
« on: September 05, 2021, 03:46:37 am »
I've been trying to translate a Japanese PSP game for awhile now, but I'm stuck in a loop as I'm trying to translate a certain part and the translators I used (Google translate, DeepL, and Yandex) don't make sense at all. Does anyone else have a better translator that they use? EDIT: Unfortunately I stopped working on my project as I screwed up when translating it.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2021, 06:52:57 am by the_taco_shell »

[Unknown]

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Re: What's the best translator to use for japanese games?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2021, 12:03:34 pm »
Unfortunately, automated translation tools just won't get things to make sense all the time.

An alternative you didn't list is OpenAI, which can be prompted to translate text as well.  But even so, it will get things wrong a lot too.

Ultimately, the best translator to use is a human being.  It helps a lot if you can get a grasp on basic grammar, and learn some common phrase patterns (like how adjectives are applied to objects, etc.)  After that, you can rely heavily on a dictionary to understand individual words and understand sentences, at a basic level.

I'd consider that a better translator, but there are still more complexities.  Slang, accents, puns, typos, and the like can obviously get in the way for any automated translation or a human with basic grammar understanding.  Then there are idioms, references, and even cultural knowledge that will get in the way.  Often it might require research to figure out a phrase that seemingly makes no sense, but in fact actually references something else.

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cccmar

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Re: What's the best translator to use for japanese games?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2021, 12:38:54 pm »
Japanese is pretty much as far from European languages as it gets, so machine translation will never be that good for it, unless we consider advanced AI translation in the (possibly) far-off future. It's just a language that doesn't work well with that, due to 'tons' of homophones, SOV word order, difficult writing and many other features that take a long time to get; in fact, you could likely learn 2 European languages with some degree of similarity to English faster than just Japanese. I'd use OpenAI as well, aside from what [Unknown] mentioned. For VNs, most things will do, mainly because of their very descriptive nature; for other types of games - it depends, you may have to create your own text hook or something. Aqualung did that for some SFC games and it worked 'somewhat', but don't expect amazing result without a human translator.

Alasker

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Re: What's the best translator to use for japanese games?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2021, 02:14:23 pm »
DeepL usually manages to output least wrong translations, but depending on input (e.g. sentences using only hiragana and katakana, dialects) they might end up wrong, because it has to select single "best" translation of multiple possible variants. Did you know, that clicking on words in translation window allows you to select alternative translations? That way you might come up with better translation, hoping you know the context and at least have a clue what translation should be.

Another way might be to use Japanese dictionary, e.g. jisho.org . It will help you parse sentences, grammar and provide translations for each word, but actual translation is up to you.

spotanjo3

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Re: What's the best translator to use for japanese games?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2021, 05:30:03 pm »
A human being, of course. And best of all is that you can make a new friend who is Japanese and can speaks both language fluently. And loved the video games. It will be awesome too. :)