How do you prefer these words/phrases English TLd?

Posted in

#1 by NowItsAngeTime
2021-03-28 at 18:40
< report >There can be arguments and/or controversies about how things in certain visual novels. Some localization companies or even fantranslators have their own preferences.

1) Honorifics in general

Aka things like -chan, -san, -sama, -kun, -senpai etc.

This seems to be one of the more common ones. Do you want them written as is romanized (eg "Michiru-sama")? Or do you want English equivalents (eg Saotome-sensei -> Ms. Saotome)? Or do you want something more localized? Or do you just want them removed entirely? Or does it just depend on the setting or type of VN?

2) Onii-chan

This is a more specific question in relation to the above. Some translations prefer just romanizing "Onii-chan". Some will just go with the "Big Bro" or "big brother". More recently we've gotten stuff like "dude" or "broski". Which is your preference?

3) Referring to characters as ___dere in universe

Leaving that Fata Morgana controversy aside, occasionally a character will make a joke that another character is a tsundere or the sort. Would you want terms like these left as is? Or would you prefer some kinda of localization that makes fun of the trait without referring to the name in text? Or just have some kind of TL note?

4) Name Order

In Japanese, people will refer to full names as "Last Name First Name". In English, we would normally do that as "First Name Last Name". When a character refers to someone as full name, which order would you want? Similarly, if a character refers to a character by their last name would you want them to keep that in the translation? Or would changing it to their first name depending on the character or situation?

5) 仕方がない/Shikatanai OR 仕様がない/Shouganai

Whenever a character says it one common way it's translated is as "It can't be helped". However, there are many ways this could be translated, and some translators recently do it different. How would you prefer it?

6) さすが/Sasuga

Commonly translated as "As expected of ___". Similarly to Shiktanai/Shouganai, this tends to be translated to something that sounds similar like "This is ___, after all." What do you prefer?


7) Japanese jokes and puns

This is something more specific and tends to show up more certain in comedic visual novels. There are jokes that rely on making puns based on Japanese names, or other kinds of words. Would you prefer the jokes to just be told as is with some kind of translation note? Or do you prefer the joke to be changed to some kind of English equivalent?
#2 by mutsuki
2021-03-28 at 18:53
< report >lmao i prefer them not english tled at all
#3 by darwin
2021-03-28 at 19:01
< report >If people really want to read a translation with all of its japanese intact, they may as well just read it in Japanese. Otherwise, just deal with it being an english parody, since it’s impossible to fit one language into another. (Though I never said to tolerate bad translation that aren’t faithful to the original work)
#4 by draconyan
2021-03-28 at 20:45
< report >Hi Ange

1) and 2) you want to think about your public, as in every TL: VN readers are usually weebs, so it's not an issue and it's sometimes expected to leave honorifics and oniichans in. If you're translating a more down-to-earth title, without many of the usual tropes and more suited to a general audience, it may be preferable instead to opt for localizing them. If you decide to localize them you obviously need to respect the usual rule of translating the meaning and not the words, and it takes more work.
I'm aware of the broski controversy although I didn't read the VN in question. Even if it's a translation which captures the original meaning and inflection (which I have no idea about), you have to take into consideration that there will be a part of your community that will be very unhappy about such a liberal choice, and decide whether you want to ignore them or comply to their expectations.

3) I'd say just localize it. It's not particularly hard to find a phrase to describe it within context, and it shouldn't come up that often anyway.

4) Keep the original order. No reason to alter how characters refer to each other.

5) 6) Dunno, just use the one that sounds better in context? It's hard just to pick one.

7) I generally try to find an equivalent that makes sense in English as best as I can. If it's somethinig deeply rooted in the culture or in the language, use TL notes.
#5 by shinytentacool
2021-03-28 at 20:47
< report >I don't really care
#6 by ecchihieronymus
2021-03-28 at 21:36
< report >1) Keep honorifics. It's important to the reader to know what kind of relationship people are in. I'd say in specific circumstances it would take spice/flavour away or add it where there was none.

2) Your will hear onii-chan, why not write onii-chan as well, even 'non-weebs' will figure out pretty quickly what it means or they'll have google to help them out. No hand-holding here.

3) Keep the original, adds spice and is kinda 4th-wall-y, I like it.

4) Kinda important imo, keep it. It's another way to gauge the relationship of the people interacting if they're using the family or given name. This is already lost in some H-doujin translations which is why they then have to add unnecessary TL-notes.

5) Shouganaina~, can't be helped, this is something I don't care about, the more variety the better, at least in this case.

6) Same as above.

7) This is kinda tricky and depends on the VN itself. Is it jam-packed with jokes like Sankaku Ren'Ai? Localize and change all jokes, you can't have TL-notes in every other text-box. Is it a one or two-off difficult to understand joke? Put a TL-note in the text-box OR produce an extra TXT or PDF document explaining jokes, like we've already done in the PAST (WHY WAS THIS CONCEPT ABANDONED?!!?!? It's an amazing tool to learn things about Japan and the language! Bring it back!).

Bonus related to my brackets in the last one: TL-Note documents as a whole could solve a LOT of these problems, have some basic stuff for every VN like the honorifics and what they mean and then add VN-specific information. All the things we could learn!! Of course the TL shouldn't go overboard and write another entire VN within that document ^^
#7 by bobjr2000
2021-03-29 at 05:28
< report >1. Romanized as said above mostly nerds play vns that understand what is being said
2. Romanized same as above, only reason might add side not if they don't make it very obvious in game not related or something. But 99% its pretty obvious.
3.Same above again most people know what is so fine.
4. This only weird but keep it same as last and then first name if that is the right order. It just sounds weird to hear it one way then be read the opposite.
5. no pref
6. no pref
7. Ya this can be tough one. I can understand why do it one way or another. I do think fans appreciate more if leave it close as possible to original maybe a cliff note some where if its not that obvious to non natives.
#8 by kiru
2021-03-29 at 06:42
< report >Localization is fine. Just don't forget it needs to make sense. Things I've seen before:

First name-san -> Mr./Mrs. First name (that doesn't work in English)
sensei -> professor (while it's just a teacher, tried to justify with an entire original sentence that makes the character turn into something they actually aren't)

It needs to be making sense, in that in an English environment this is the equivalent. So let's take school. If you have first name -san, you can just leave out san. Last name san is the more distant thing, so you can probably equalize that to just a "last name". Unless it's like some special school for rich people, where Mr. or Mrs. might be fine.

You will lose information, but the point is, that in English that difference isn't made. Sure, you might find a story where it goes from First name - san to First name, and there's meaning in there, but in the end, there is no English equivalent. Instead of trying artificial and unnatural things, it's probably better to ignore this small part altogether. Simply put, nobody speaking English is ever going to find themselves in a situation like that. You usually use the first name with a lot of your classmates, so even if romance develops, that's not really changing. This is localization.


That said, I'm not necessarily that big of a fan of localization, if it's not a full one. (as in, including text and voices) But for what it's worth, the main target group you want to hit with actual localization mostly doesn't know enough Japanese for that to be important. The group that knows enough to understand all the difference, yet doesn't know enough Japanese to no longer care, is pretty small (if loud). The thing is just, my most hated thing is changes that you WILL recognize even if you know absolutely no Japanese. Easy example is localized nicknames or names. Don't. People pick up on names, regardless of what else they might or might not understand. Iwaihime's English version changes nicknames for example. That's a BIG BIG NO. Outside of having English voice acting as well, that should never happen. It might not be sounding too normal, but the names shouldn't be already, so that really doesn't matter.Last modified on 2021-03-29 at 06:45
#9 by wertville
2021-03-29 at 18:27
< report >These answers are assuming a work that's targeted towards the general VN audience, and not something more mainstream/casual.

1+2) I prefer it to be left as is, but if it has to be changed I want it removed completely, unless it would be natural to use an English equivalent. These are generally not shared traits between English and Japanese, so pick one or the other- I can't stand "Big Brother" and etc. being used as a proper noun.

3) I don't see why they would be changed. Anyone who would be reading a work where it's used would have a general idea of it's meaning. In cases where a meaning has been somewhat flanderized in the west, the context of the usage of the word should help judge the more nuanced meaning.

4) It should always be left the same.

5) Whatever sounds best in English with the given context. There's no need to shoehorn in set phrases, especially when that Japanese word covers a variety of meanings.
6) ^

7) Depends on a lot of factors. I'm mostly okay with whatever here, so long as it isn't adding jokes where they don't belong or making them political/pop cultural where they weren't before.
#10 by vormanax
2021-03-29 at 19:22
< report >I'm generally always on board with things like this being left as is, however which way I lean and how strongly I feel about it depends on the setting of the VN. If, like most VNs, it's set in Japan, then I strongly prefer honorifics, etc to be kept. I mind Onii being translated to brother a bit less, but I still clearly favor romanization.

On the other hand, if a VN plays in another country, either a real one or a fictional one that isn't supposed to be Japan-like (language included), then I think it often makes sense to leave them out or localize them. If the characters are supposed to be from that country, they wouldn't be using those honorifics/words in the first place, and the use of them in Japanese would already be an [other language] -> Japanese localization, so dropping them is fair. It still wouldn't actually bother me if they were kept, though.
#11 by ninius
2021-03-29 at 19:47
< report >1. Idc either way, unless the characters aren't Japanese. If they're not Japanese, but French for example, then absolutely NO honorifics. Those would kill the immersion immediately.

2. I'd like something else than onii-chan, be it just "brother" or "bro", as long as not onii-chan. Here's a good example why: When I was a kid and tried to read a manga that was translated in English, I thought one character's (step)brother's nickname was literally "Onii-Chan". At that time it didn't even cross my mind that it would mean "brother" in Japanese.

3. Idc tbh.

4. Same as 1. If Japanese, then Japanese order, etc.

5. If it means "it can't be helped" then what's wrong with that translation? Idc, as long as it's understandable in English.

6. Again, Idc. See above.

7. English equivalent definitely because the joke is lost if it needs explanation and not funny anymore. I've seen western memes planted here and there in VNs (Myth for example) and I loved it because I understood them and lol'd.Last modified on 2021-03-29 at 19:48
#12 by fkr008
2021-06-01 at 03:51
< report >1-4 Keep it JP

5-6 I guess it depends on the context (?)

7 is tricky, while I'd like to know the original, It would be difficult to translate and understand. English equivalent is the best option, imo. (Maybe put a .txt file for the original joke? Because I like to read these kinds of stuff.)

I've also read about people complaining about characters using third person to address themselves. Tbf, I don't think changing it or keeping it 3rd person is changing the characters.

And about translating "English" into another language. Please stop it. I already stopped reading 2 VNs because of this.Last modified on 2021-06-01 at 03:55
#13Post deleted.
#14 by onorub
2021-06-10 at 02:29
< report >For a good while, i was in favor of localizing all that stuff, but after thinking how regular novels would approach it, nowadays my answer is "don't even bother and just add a glossary into the game to explain all of that".
#15 by siotechua
2021-06-10 at 06:57
< report >1. I would preferred that the names would be written as Romanized because it would be somewhat weird in a way that if its not Romanized and also most visual novel readers begins with watching anime, reading light novel, or reading manga, which most of the names in the subtitle are Romanized. So, most likely we are more used to romanized honorifics

2. For the Onii-chan, I can say that it depends on the person whether he/she likes it or not because the word "Broski" or "Dude" is just a type of a fun translation they want or they just want to put it in that way because of how the person's characteristic would fit (e.g. Sora from 9-nine-)

3.I have no answer to that

4. Better off use the "Last name, First name" format since it is a formal way to introduce yourself plus it would be confusing if they translate it to "first name, last name" due to the voice of the character who is introducing. And also like I said in no. 1, visual novel readers are used to these kind of format because how they were introduced to anime

5. Both words have the same meaning but have different uses in terms on the situation. I don't have the knowledge of japanese sentence but it is still similar to english sentences where you need to use the proper word even tho they have the same meaning but different uses.

6. Same with number 7, depending on the situation and the sentence of the japanese

7. It hard to translate JP jokes because it will lose the originality of the humor. An example of an humor VN would be "Sankaku renai", they have a lot of jokes in this VN but on how I played this game it loses the humor of a person, which is why I didn't much liked the VN because I see only few humors in this game.

Reply

You must be logged in to reply to this thread.