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Author Topic: Increase in translators responsible for increase in fan translations?  (Read 1666 times)

filler

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I'm considering taking the JLPT N2 when it's offered this December. In checking stats related to the test, I ran across this chart.



When looking at this, my first thought was "If Japanese language learning has increased this much, why aren't more people translating scripts for fan translation projects?"

Then I thought of my previous post about fan translation metrics, and I realized that perhaps they are.



I started fan translating around 2002. At that time there were around 250,000 JLPT examinees. By 2017, that number was almost 900,000. That's 3.6x as many Japanese language learners in 2017 as there were in 2002. So my next question is, were there 3.6x as many fan translations completed in 2017 as there were in 2002?

In 2002 there were 28 fully-playable English language fan translations completed. 28 x 3.6 = 101. There were 89 fully-playable English language fan translations completed in 2017, so the number is slightly off, but it's not so far from what you'd expect.

So my question is, has the increase in Japanese language learners had a causal effect on the number of completed fan translations, or do you think the two are unrelated?

FAST6191

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My first thoughts are that the JLPT is a piece of paper and it is not like ROM hacking is taught in schools. However the latter is probably only good for speaking about the hackers themselves. That said most translators I have spoken to either don't have such a thing or only have it just in case they are talking a particularly uninspired human resources/recruiter type, and if Japanese is going to be a skill you sell that is not a small number.
I would also have to ponder the nature of the JLPT. There were a few competitors for a while and some alternative paths. If those have since imploded, merged and the JLPT got its protection racket type thing going on...

Similarly this side of an AI ROM hacking is not ever likely to be easy as a whole, however it is a whole load less arcane, quite a bit more stable and people with more modest skills are more easily able to make a dent at least.

I could go a bit more cynical at this point (Japan sliding down world rankings, if indeed that number does show more competition in dwindling sector the portfolios come into play, if said people have not only grown up with games but always known games as mainstream (a point I will place in the PS1 era) but I will leave it at the bracketed section. Similarly while Japanophiles/weeabs have been around for centuries I find the nature of things today almost unrecognisable compared to 10-13 years ago, and back then I was told it was similarly changed from what is now 15-20 years ago. I don't know if I can say bubble popping as much as bubble completely morphing into something else entirely.
Also just because the flames keep me warm at night then I will bring up the number remaining discussion.

filler

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My first thoughts are that the JLPT is a piece of paper and it is not like ROM hacking is taught in schools. However the latter is probably only good for speaking about the hackers themselves. That said most translators I have spoken to either don't have such a thing or only have it just in case they are talking a particularly uninspired human resources/recruiter type, and if Japanese is going to be a skill you sell that is not a small number.
I would also have to ponder the nature of the JLPT. There were a few competitors for a while and some alternative paths. If those have since imploded, merged and the JLPT got its protection racket type thing going on...

Similarly this side of an AI ROM hacking is not ever likely to be easy as a whole, however it is a whole load less arcane, quite a bit more stable and people with more modest skills are more easily able to make a dent at least.

I could go a bit more cynical at this point (Japan sliding down world rankings, if indeed that number does show more competition in dwindling sector the portfolios come into play, if said people have not only grown up with games but always known games as mainstream (a point I will place in the PS1 era) but I will leave it at the bracketed section. Similarly while Japanophiles/weeabs have been around for centuries I find the nature of things today almost unrecognisable compared to 10-13 years ago, and back then I was told it was similarly changed from what is now 15-20 years ago. I don't know if I can say bubble popping as much as bubble completely morphing into something else entirely.
Also just because the flames keep me warm at night then I will bring up the number remaining discussion.

I'm not interested in debating the virtue of standardized testing, but if I follow you, you're saying that ROM hacking itself has become more accessible?

FAST6191

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Only part of that was on the merits of testing. The other was questioning how viable the JLPT was as a means of assessing the amount of potential translators. Japan is odd when it comes to its languages tests (if nothing else see TEFL and Japan vs the rest of Asia) and during that time various other courses were consolidated and JLPT rose up to be the main one people care for.

As for hacking being more accessible, at least as far as translation hacking goes, then to an extent. In the DOS and into the visual basic era you would often be second guessing your tools and working around their foibles which really seems to turn some people off.

Equally many of the later consoles variously do things which make it nicer; I am in no way at all surprised when a Japanese DS game hitherto unhacked uses shiftJIS or EUCJP encoding, and while it may not be strict encoding (so very few do the u16/non http://www.rikai.com/library/kanjitables/kanji_codes.sjis.shtml stuff) it is still enough. Not to mention the general amount of space you have available; I can burn 10 megs on the average DS game without caring at all, maybe not for a memory loaded file but in general I can, even do it without much concern on the GBA. How many 8-16 bit era games even were 10 megs, let alone able to spare that without some kind of silly mapper/bank/custom chip storage handler/...?


filler

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Only part of that was on the merits of testing. The other was questioning how viable the JLPT was as a means of assessing the amount of potential translators. Japan is odd when it comes to its languages tests (if nothing else see TEFL and Japan vs the rest of Asia) and during that time various other courses were consolidated and JLPT rose up to be the main one people care for.

That's a great point. The number of folks learning Japanese may have been the same in 1984, but since the test was new they weren't yet taking it. That increase could be just an increase in test takers, not in Japanese learners. In that case, I wonder what the number of Japanese majors were in the 70s and 80s compared to now.

We know the ROM hacking scene didn't actually start until 1993, so the increase in fan translations is not simply an effect of more people using RHDN. Especially since patches are listed by the released date, and not the submission date.

EDIT:

Equally many of the later consoles variously do things which make it nicer; I am in no way at all surprised when a Japanese DS game hitherto unhacked uses shiftJIS or EUCJP encoding, and while it may not be strict encoding (so very few do the u16/non http://www.rikai.com/library/kanjitables/kanji_codes.sjis.shtml stuff) it is still enough. Not to mention the general amount of space you have available; I can burn 10 megs on the average DS game without caring at all, maybe not for a memory loaded file but in general I can, even do it without much concern on the GBA. How many 8-16 bit era games even were 10 megs, let alone able to spare that without some kind of silly mapper/bank/custom chip storage handler/...?

Speaking of newer systems, the other odd thing is that the only system that follows the trend of JLPT examinees, and overall English translation patches, is patches for the Famicom/NES. Patches for all other systems show flat growth. That might support the idea of "ease" of hacking, since that platform is well documented and popular.


« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 08:30:45 pm by filler »

werewolfslayr925

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My curiosity is getting the better of me:

There seem to be spikes in '09 in the two charts in your original post. What happened in 2009 that may have caused an increase in Japanese speakers/ROM translators?
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filler

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My curiosity is getting the better of me:

There seem to be spikes in '09 in the two charts in your original post. What happened in 2009 that may have caused an increase in Japanese speakers/ROM translators?

My only guess is the 2008 financial crisis led to a portion of folks having some free time due to unemployment which can lead to additional project work, as well as some folks making an effort to change careers hence an uptick in test takers. Any other ideas?