Machine translation patch

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#1 by depravity
2021-06-02 at 14:53
< report >If anyone has tried the machine translation patch, can you tell us if it's readable, please?
#2 by beliar
2021-06-02 at 15:01
< report >Doubt it. Took a look at that Discord channel. It seems to be cranking out VN machine translations every few days (most of them are not in the db). There is almost certainly no editing of any kind done there....
#3 by bestkatalyn
2021-06-03 at 18:17
< report >Since VNR doesn't work anymore, I use a similar simpler translator I created myself to aid my understanding of japanese. But I understand far more from spoken japanese, so I like much more those VN that have voiced protagonist.

But well, if it's already machine translated it will at least save me some trouble ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
#4 by n8marezero
2021-06-03 at 20:39
< report >TLDR: the MTL sucks.

The engine is Kirikiri so anyone can easily open the script files with Notepad++ and check the quality themselves. It doesn't contain the Japanese lines though so you can't directly compare the accuracy of lines, only how it reads in English.

I didn't test the patch itself and only opened a random script file but, well, it's not very readable in terms of making sense. It doesn't look edited either. For example there is no consistency with names and honorifics: sometimes you get 'Inaba-chan' then 'Mr. Inaba' and one time Inaba was referred to as a location lol.
There are funny lines like "He's a senpai model." or "If the dog's tail had grown, it must have hung down. It seemed that I was depressed." And this line
"She may not be surprised because she uses pressed flower bookmarks regularly, but ... she is a little surprised when she thinks of his usual behavior."
looks like the common problem that DeepL has where it duplicates a sentence for no reason but modifies the output in some way.

"--Inaba. I was with a well-dressed and elegant woman."
"Probably Inaba's mother. The snappy feeling of her work is not very similar, but her face is a little similar ... I feel."
The first 'I' should be 'She' so the common MTL issue of messing up subject/object of sentences is present all throughout this "translation."

This part was my favourite:
Shion "Yes, yes. That's fine, but don't be too noisy. I'm in the club, but I'm renting a desk."
When I came to the art room to get an old newspaper that I needed for pressed flowers, the art club members provided me with a place.
Nana "I don't have an advisor teacher today, so it's okay for a while."
Shion "It's bad. It doesn't interfere with club activities."
Member A "It's okay. Sometimes this kind of thing is fresh. If there is no stimulation, the sensibility will be rotten."
Nana "Senior, as expected. I have to learn too."
Member A "Ah, no, just because the teacher is serious, I just want to do it comfortably when I'm not there ..."
Judging from the happy expressions of Nana's, he probably knows and says.
Makes PERFECT sense, right? And how I love the use of 'Senior,' reminds me of a certain other translation...
inb4 someone reading with this patch misinterprets the lines and makes a thread like "wtf, there's NTR!? Nana and Member A fucked!"
On a serious note, you can use your brain to rearrange this mess into something that makes some sense, but you'll still be confused as to what is actually said there. I can tell that this is a case where just hearing the voiced lines you'd go "oh wow, so that's it. How did the MTL mess up something this simple so badly?" And the answer would be a lack of context and the "translator" not being human.

Those are just a few random issues I pulled out. I'd say if you only care about the game being in English and reading like English you can read the game with this patch, maybe it's even a fun read? lol
If you care about the writing making sense this patch is rubbish. If you understand some degree of spoken Japanese it's even worse as you'll notice non-stop how wrong the text is (similar to reading official localizations that rewrite original lines to mean something completely different, but that's a different issue/topic). Someone who doesn't know any Japanese could read with this patch while being ignorant of the problems. But they'll still notice how the text often doesn't make sense. Certainly not a smooth read, ever.

In the end it's up to whoever wants to use the patch or not. I suppose it's better to have this option than not?

OT: thinking about the main discussion of allowing MTL patches and the 'raw MTL vs edited MTL vs using MTL as a tool to check your translation' debate.. Take this patch as an example.
As my lengthy post should've shown the raw MTL sucks. As it's Kirikiri you could easily open the files and take the time to edit them into something readable. But because the translation is often wrong, lacks context etc. even if you edited the script to read well and have a good flow, aka edited MTL, those core issues would remain and the end result still sucks.

Now if someone who knows Japanese were to use MTL only as a tool to check their own translation, that doesn't seem like a bad thing to me. When the MTL makes no sense you'll know and ignore it. When the MTL makes you realize that you screwed up a part you can fix it. Used as a tool it doesn't do any harm. But dependence or over-reliance on MTL will mess things up. And frankly speaking I'm not sure if edited MTL isn't WORSE than raw MTL because while it may read better it gets even further from the original meaning. That's no better than a fanfic or a cheap knockoff. A raw MTL at least let's the reader make their own (partial) interpretation instead of depending on someone else's interpretation although the MTL itself remains as a flawed middleman.

But the "art" of translation is a vast field with many different approaches, neither being the "correct" one. And while learning a language yourself is obviously the preferred solution, you still end up only interpreting the text based on your learned (and flawed) knowledge of said language. So if you sample a group of people who learned Japanese (non-native speakers that is) and ask them to translate the same lines into English, you'll receive vastly differing results. They might mostly agree on the meaning of the source text, but disagree on how it should be expressed in the target language.

Sorry for the long post :D
#5 by depravity
2021-06-03 at 20:40
< report >@beastkatalyn you learned jap from self study or courses?
#6 by funnerific
2021-06-04 at 05:58
< report >
Now if someone who knows Japanese were to use MTL only as a tool to check their own translation, that doesn't seem like a bad thing to me. When the MTL makes no sense you'll know and ignore it. When the MTL makes you realize that you screwed up a part you can fix it. Used as a tool it doesn't do any harm. But dependence or over-reliance on MTL will mess things up.

It doesn't work like that. You could be wrong, and the MTL could be wrong too (most likely scenario). You could be right, and the MTL could look correct but be wrong because it's MTL bro, they're designed like that.Last modified on 2021-06-04 at 06:01
#7 by kiru
2021-06-04 at 09:08
< report >The worst mistakes are actually those that can make sense, but are still completely wrong. If that happens at the wrong place, it ruins quite a bit.

Also I feel like adding machine translations was a mistake. The forums will be full with this kinda stuff, soon enough..Last modified on 2021-06-04 at 09:09
#8 by bestkatalyn
2021-06-05 at 11:05
< report >@depravity Mostly a lot of anime and visual novels in the last 10 years, but it seems I got a substantial boost in progress since I started with untranslated VNs aided by automated translators. For example, I just couldn't hold myself back from trying Light's Silverio trilogy and to my surprise I understood like 80% of everything (with re-reads) even though their japanese is quite difficult and ended up loving them to a degree that I never expected. One of the best decisions I ever made╰(*°▽°*)╯.
The fact that the protagonists are voiced is a HUGE aid too.

@funnerific I have a lot of experience with this so I can speak for it. Most of the time I know immediately when the machine translator is wrong since the contexts doesn't allow it. If I have doubts I can try several translators with a particular word or expression. Overall it is a great help since language learning is a long process of input.
If you can gather in your mind a large mass of conversations and partially or completely successful translations, then your brain will average out and save those that had the highest success rate. It's particularly good when I try to figure out expressions from the context, something that I call active language learning.
Much like one can learn a language in a foreign country by just attempting to speak with people for a long time.

And I can make the opposite argument too. My experience lately with these "official" translations is quite crappy, since they have a tendency to add in a lot of "colorful" expressions like "fuck", "bitch", "asshole", when the text doesn't say anything near that. In some cases it's just a normal positive conversation. And other huge asspulls just to bring it closer to the western "street-culture dialect".
The end result is that a lot of sentences are worse than some machine translation results. I remember fan translations having much better accuracy overall ¯\_(ツ)_/¯Last modified on 2021-06-05 at 11:21
#9 by xero95
2021-06-05 at 18:34
< report >Expecting MTLs to not be a steaming pile of shit. lmao.
#10 by cubky
2021-06-05 at 18:55
< report >>Expecting MTLs to not be a steaming pile of shit. lmao.

Well people's standards did drop a lot recently. Or were they always this low?
#11 by funnerific
2021-06-05 at 20:08
< report >#8 I know, I know. Using machine translation actually cultivates a superior form of reading where you constantly have to use your imagination while thinking about multiple possibilites of meaning and developing a high contextual awareness, questioning every word and seeing every sentence as multiple possible sentences, composing your own story simultaneously to fill in the gaps and calculating uncertainties while contemplating the nature of ambiguity. Readers of Japanese just passively access memorised and thus already stagnant data, while MTL readers actively engage with the text on a much more fundamental level, being intellectually more in tune with the writer's intention and the truth of the text.

Isn't that right?
#12 by mutsuki
2021-06-05 at 20:34
< report >what i can say is mtl readers have much better english ability than me because to me mtl looks more like gibberish than japanese. i can actually probably read and understand japanese faster than mtl half the time
#13 by bestkatalyn
2021-06-06 at 01:01
< report >@funnerific Yup, you 100% got it 😋
But seriously, can't afford to just mindlessly gaze over a sentence, unless the voiceover indicates it's a phrase I know in and out. The active input part is the single best advice I can give for any language learning.
These days I apply the same trick with anime and I try to watch un-subtitled. It works without MTL because the japanese is way simpler than a lot of some "high-born" VNs. If I keep it up, soon it will be my 3rd language.

@mutsuki I don't remember how it was when I started reading like this around 5 years ago, but I swear that now my brain just patches over an incoherent sentence so fast that I fear I will get too used with broken english 😔Last modified on 2021-06-06 at 01:05
#14 by kotaero
2021-06-06 at 06:24
< report >I was going to leave a dumb sarcasm remark, but f*ck it. #13 Do you even realize what you’re doing to your third language? Not even the best human translator in the world, can effectively translate Japanese to anywhere near 100%. Even if one day Google was able to announce an AGI, so clever, he could even read context, I’m damn sure that not everyone is just going to read MTLs and be satisfied with it. Cuz y’know, THEY ARE NOT THE SAME LANGUAGE???!!!

By reading Japanese along side with MTL at this early stage in learning, you’re essentially force-fitting your English into Japanese, which is a slow and insidious way to build strong, irreversible bad habit to your Japanese later on. For the love of god, you already step one foot into the door but instead of using a dictionary like a normal human being, you picked MTL as your companion. Such a tragedy, I truly feel sorry for you.
#15 by rusian
2021-06-06 at 08:37
< report >Sure you could live in your fantasy world of jp your third language but I am gonna break it hahaha. the sound you hear kyousei in your vn could be 強制(compulsory), 矯正(correction), 嬌声(lustrous voice) and the word we all love "seifuku" which can mean 制服(uniform), 征服(conquest) and 清福(happiness). So yeah you have to use 100% of your brain to analyze every situation, tone and atmosphere to correctly understand the meaning of the sentence. Keep it up. I am supporting you.
#16 by bestkatalyn
2021-06-06 at 10:27
< report >@kotaero I don't think you understood the part where it's a long learning process of continuous input. Expressions are difficult, sometimes I know them beforehand, sometimes are translated entirely and sometimes I deduce them from context.
And I can say clearly that there is a lot of progress compared to when I started. What other results should be needed?

@rusian Interesting, I didn't knew any meaning of "kyousei", but I knew all 3 of "seifuku".
I don't think I ever confused "uniform" for "happiness" 😋. It's not much different compared to if you were to hear someone speak them, your brain has to fill in the context so the active human element in a translation is fundamental.

If I use this as an example, the MTL will sometimes give me the wrong meaning but Google Translate does take context into account. It's a machine learning dynamic algorithm, it doesn't just translate word for word. And it also learns from continuous input, similar to humans. Compared to 5 years ago, it is FAR better today. In another 5 years it might be 95% accurate.
#17 by bcirno
2021-06-06 at 12:11
< report >wow guys you are so good at understanding spoken jp!
this is great!
can you guys help me with this short audio clip? link
surely can't be hard, right?
thanks in advance!Last modified on 2021-06-06 at 12:11
#18 by mrkew
2021-06-06 at 12:53
< report >He says meido so they are clearly in a maid cafe and talking about how cute the maids are.
#19 by bcirno
2021-06-06 at 13:17
< report >#18, thanks friend!
#20 by bcirno
2021-06-07 at 12:12
< report >any other replies, guys?
#21 by lolifoxie
2021-06-07 at 13:26
< report >- 見れば、ふたわがかり叶わぬ程つばさが傷んでおる様子
- 見上げた大言壮語だ、さぎぬま。あの青二才が吹くようになったものよ。ありがたく馳走に与ろうか。冥途の土産にその首級頂いておく

Don't know what "ふたわがかり" means, looks like chuuni shit
So, not sure if つばさ is 翼 or something else
さぎぬま is a name
冥土の土産
And 首級 (しるし) is a pretty common word in a sengoku-like setting


Now I want my prize
#22 by bcirno
2021-06-07 at 13:37
< report >#21, awww, i really wanted to see some answers from guys with perfect speech recognizing skills above :(
sorry, i have nothing to give you as a prize... except my love <3
#23 by lolifoxie
2021-06-07 at 14:01
< report >#22 Well, honestly I was able to recognize this clip only because I have read tons of similar shit, lol
If it was hard sci-fi for example, I wouldn't be able to recognize almost anything (only by ear), most likelyLast modified on 2021-06-07 at 19:44
#24 by bestkatalyn
2021-06-08 at 13:35
< report >@bcirno Hopefully you didn't refer to me, I still have a long way to go :P
I was able to understand like 50% of that clip, and I can probably figure out a bit more with intuition.
But if I could apply Google Translate on such a text it might be able for it to get it close enough so that, in addition to what I already know, I could understand it almost completely.

Actually, I value what I can translate myself a lot more, rather than count on those "official" translations lately. At the very least I search a lot for true meaning and remember it, I am not happy with rough approximations.
For example, I recently re-read Tokyo Babel and Dies Irae and I was extremely put off by the amount of bad expressions approximations, very colloquial language when the tone of the conversation was neutral and forceful insertion of bad language (especially in Dies Irae).Last modified on 2021-06-08 at 13:39

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