Inaccurate Translations

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#1 by silentinsanitys
2012-07-23 at 09:32
Am I the only one who noticed how terrible the English translations are, normally I don't mind some variation from the original meaning, but wow, MangaGamer really did a horrible job! There are some lines read completely different from the voiced meaning (text "oh, hey Haruka" actual voiced " oh, Haruka you've came over again?) and the worst part is that they don't try to hide it! lines that the voice goes on for a while are shorted up to a few words which feels obviously awkward.

am I the only one who finds this annoying?
#2 by thelasling
2012-07-23 at 09:37
you should have looked in the already exsisting threads because it is already a wellknown fact about what a bad job the mangagamer translators did with this one.
#3 by yorhel
2012-07-23 at 09:38
Before ranting about a bad translation, please indicate which version you are actually reviewing. If you randomly pirated this VN, chances are you got the old translation. In which case, yes, that is absolutely terrible. If you recently purchased it from MangaGamer, you're supposed to get a good translation.
#4 by silentinsanitys
2012-07-23 at 09:55
I gave it a fair rating since i know what they're saying, the translation shouldn't be taking into consideration with the actual game in rating. I'm current going through my friends collection so some of the game are rather dusty.
#5 by horseband
2012-07-23 at 19:41
"oh, hey Haruka" actual voiced " oh, Haruka you've came over again?

Both give off a similar meaning and in the end the scene doesn't change because of it. I don't see the big deal and if this is the worst thing you could think of I'd say they did a pretty damn good job.

Translating isn't just taking the original Japanese and making a literal English version of it. Sometimes lines get changed for flow sake or to better adapt to the target audience. Sometimes the translator just sucks.

Old version is horribad and no one will argue there. 2.0 Edelweiss is passable and much better (50x better). It's quite possible your friend has the older version which was full of inaccurate translations, terrible English, spelling mistakes, and grammar mistakes.

Read stuff in Japanese if you want to read it exactly how the author wrote it. Also, I've read Japanese novels where what the character is saying is different from the text. It's much better to compare the original Japanese text with the English text if you want to check accuracy.

Hell, even the Bible isn't the exact same as the original.Last modified on 2012-07-23 at 19:56
#6 by herki
2012-07-24 at 04:22
I doubt even the new version is any good. MG's only good translations are KnS and whatever nukige they made Apoptosis translate.
#7 by horseband
2012-07-24 at 04:32
Good is relative. Compared to the original it's amazing. On it's own? Probably slightly below average, but there are countless translations released that are way worse. And they actually edited it this time around! But the actual translation itself probably isn't the best, granted I never cared enough to go back and actually analyze it.

That said, it's not exactly a complex novel in regards to plot, characters, or anything really. I doubt they missed anything big or important, but I wouldn't be surprised either way.Last modified on 2012-07-24 at 04:33
#8 by herki
2012-07-24 at 04:43
Yeah, I'm sure it's readable, but there's no one good working for MG. The only reason no one questions the quality of MG's translators is because they have no other options for the games.
#9 by hentaikun
2013-07-03 at 10:47
Not bad actually but MG are improved a lot nowadays
#10 by cross
2013-07-03 at 10:50
^ You fool! Only 21 days longer and it would have been a year...
#11 by john-henry
2014-06-19 at 19:46
Am I a fool too?? 14 days more and it would be a year, again!!
#12 by danpmss
2015-07-13 at 00:17
7 more days and it would be yet another year!Last modified on 2015-07-13 at 00:17
#13 by sanahtlig
2015-07-13 at 18:32
Kouryuu did a pretty good job with Soul Link.
#14 by eieio
2016-07-05 at 21:37
OMG!! 8 more days and it would have been a year!!Last modified on 2016-07-05 at 21:38
#15 by [deleted]
2017-07-20 at 20:06
You Fools!!!
You forgot to post again and now it's actually been an year! (plus 8 days).

Now to remain on-topic, there seems to be a new company that takes the cake on inaccurate translations: MoeNovel. But it's more like a disaster than a translation. Sekai Project seems to come to mind too, but it's like MG early days, they're actually trying to improve (but with mixed results though).
#16 by infernoplex
2017-07-21 at 16:30
Yup, Edelweiss ver.1 might have been a mess but it seems after it we had several worse TLs than it. Already mentioned MoeNovel is a good example. But something more recent also deserves an honorary mention: MiKandi with their translation of Libra and also Sorceres's Dream by YOX-Project.Last modified on 2017-07-21 at 16:32
#17 by molester
2018-07-22 at 20:21
It`s been a full year and one day! :O
#18 by [deleted]
2018-07-22 at 21:05
And the award for worst translation team goes to...SakuraGame! Honorary awards go out to Hybrid Translations and NekoNyan, of course, and Sekai Project gets the combined award for shitty translation and shitty business practices.
#19 by krykry
2018-07-22 at 21:06
I assume it's not really the fault of translators, but the industry's English adaptation process itself. Folks in the bussiness not always know how to actually TREAT visual novels and they attempt to adapt them to English the same way books are adapted (i.e. adapt entire situations as a whole instead of adapting them to voiced lines, and are adding stuff to make it more natural in English which in the end - backfires).

I'm quite certain that the translator and the person in charge of adaptation (name of the position in charge of "making it more accessible to native English speakers) often do not even play the game, and only are given the script in form of text.

You can't get a good product translation like that. ...You guys are better off learning Japanese, one year of intensive learning and you'll get to enjoy anything and everything.Last modified on 2018-07-22 at 21:11
#20 by [deleted]
2018-07-22 at 21:18
#19 Most game translations do work that way, but I doubt that's the case with most VN translations; excepting the cases where a company like Atlus or NISA translates them, of course. Overlocalization is a problem in a lot of translations, but it's generally not a problem in the VN scene unless you go back to something like Divi-Dead or Eve: Burst Error, with some exceptions like r32088.
#21 by [deleted]
2018-07-22 at 21:52
@20 how does Atlus, a company that leaves words like Kouhai and Aniki intact in some of their games, overlocalize? they're the biggest localization company to even attempt to retain honorifics and they have the most faithful translations seen in any mainstream game. Not only do they have some of the most popular JP series in the west, but they also are the most fan translation-esk, keeping some words that even most fan translators will remove.

You may disagree with some of their choices, but I don't think Atlus is the company you want to talk about when talking about overlocalization. They're way better than half of the shit out there. They're not perfect and some of their works is worse than others, but using them as an example in this situation

I wish every company as big as them were like them, because that way we'd have no more train wrecks from Nintendo and Square Enix.Last modified on 2018-07-22 at 21:53
#22 by [deleted]
2018-07-22 at 22:22
#21 With Atlus, I was referring more to the "translating with only the script" than overlocalization. The only example I can think of where they made that mistake was Revelations: Persona (which to be fair, was possibly among the worst examples of it I've seen). Their problem is more with their ideologies creeping their way into translation and occasionally just forgetting to translate lines altogether. They're not nearly as bad as Treehouse or NISA can get, but I'd still never call them a model studio.
#23 by [deleted]
2018-07-23 at 22:21
You guys, seriously. I said to hold on from updating this until Sakuragame's Fortissimo releases to highlight how fucked up the situation is.
Anyways. It's been a year, let's take a look at what happened since then:

Like it has already been said, SakuraGame is the new king of bad translations. They're a Chinese company who gets licenses using shady tactics and their main audience are the Chinese. Their "English" translations are an afterthought, a way to earn money from suckers who don't know best and are usually a (badly) edited Machine translation. Initially, they did DLsite shovelware that no one would mind being badly translated, but once they got money they moved on to ruin actual games like Fortissimo FA and Hikoukigumo no Mukougawa. It's highly unlikely they'll go bankrupt soon or that they improve their translations, so I think it's better to raise awareness with the Japenese developers, telling them of they shitty practices in hopes they don't get as many licenses.

Another thing is Sekai Project. Out of their 5 major releases since July 2017, they managed to fuck up 4: Hoshimemo, SakuSaku (minor, but still counts), Leyline and Maitetsu. The last one was particularly bad after promising early in the year that they'll improve.
My opinion is that they simply don't care, even Dovac (ex-CEO but still an officer and co-founder) said so in a document "apologizing" for fucking up every single project he was project lead of. They keep adding stuff to their already gigantic backlog and most of their old stuff on it doesn't even have a release date set.
Fun fact: Tenshin Ranman announcement will be turning 3 years in two days and still doesn't have a release date. While Sanoba Witch, another game done by the same developer but being translated by a new localization company (NekoNyan) already has one.
Their reputation is at an all time low but somehow still has its blind fans who are willing to throw money at them.

Now that we're talking about them, NekoNyan is a new company that spawned from Shinku Translations, most likely after they were disgruntled by how SP handled the games they worked on (Hoshimemo, SakuSaku). Their first release, Fureraba, is KamiMoege. The translation is good but initially had quite a quantity of typos, weird localization choices and a significant number of grammar mistakes. I blame it on their main Editor who's still a rookie, but I expect him to improve once he starts to work on more projects. They later fixed most of the typos in a patch and they hired a new guy to work on the grammar mistakes. They also announced that they'll port the stuff from the Vita version into the base game in a couple months so I expect the grammar fixes then. Like I said earlier, they managed to get the license for Sanoba Witch and they got a release date which is October 26th, and it's being edited by Decay himself so I expect it to be of significantly higher quality than their first release.
Overall, I have high hopes for this new company.

Moenovel shat out another release: Cross Channel, so RIP any hope of seeing a good translation of that.

Jast finally released something: Trample of Schatten!!
EDIT: It seems that a scene was removed from the game. What a shitty move.
Also from the Q&A session they had at AX this year, they're waiting on a fix for Django and Sumaga by Nitro+. It seems that the games don't work on Windows 10.

Besides that, Mangagamer released Magical Marriage Lunatics with a fairly mediocre translation, but nothing worth talking about.

Anything I'm missing?Last modified on 2018-07-24 at 22:01
#24 by [deleted]
2018-07-23 at 23:02
#23 JAST licensed Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi., which you'll never convince me wasn't a decision made for purely monetary reasons. They also licensed Princess X ~Boku no Iinazuke wa Monsterkko!?~, which seems also to be a horribly misguided attempt at demographic pandering. It seems they've just stopped listening to fan demand; with the curious exception of JAST Blue. Muramasa seems to still be a distant dream...

Sekai, in a move I still don't understand, managed to get the rights to the Muv-Luv duology/trilogy, replacing Degica on Steam as the publisher. Yet another example of a good game with a decent translation in the hands of a shitty company.

Evenicle received some criticism, mostly from 4chan, due to incessant and unnecessary use of contractions.

The good news is that Moenovel's Cross Channel sold like rotten dog shit, so hopefully they won't try to touch any more plotge.

I'd be cautious about NekoNyan. A lot of the problems with the games the staff translated for Sekai Project were obvious editing/TLC problems, but there were some notable blunders for which blame can be squarely put on the translator. Fureraba, meanwhile, reads like it was written by a non-native speaker who learned English from an exclusive media diet of Glengarry Glen Ross and what a senior citizen thinks teenagers talk like. That said, I think that they will be able to improve, but I wouldn't expect MangaGamer levels of quality anytime soon.
#25 by eacil
2018-07-23 at 23:31
OMG George Henry Shaft is on steam dispensing his holy words to the crowd. linkLast modified on 2018-07-23 at 23:33


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