Comments on the translation

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#26 by imagker
2016-05-07 at 08:06
< report >
Hopefully my efforts can catalyze some useful discussion not only of the translation of Seinarukana itself, but perhaps of general flaws with the methodology used to translate VNs.

I'm a longtime fan of the franchise and have followed it since when Aselia's fan project was nearing completion. I also followed up on the translation NightEye shared to the community when he played Satsuki route that later switched to Narukana's. And, so, as a major fan I hope these issues will receive more attention. I don't want people to miss out from a translation that barely does characters and setting justice.

That said, no honorifics in the script bugs me, but the biggest concern is the botched portrayal of many characters and the translation errors in respects to the setting's exposition. In my opinion, Aroduc's approach to be liberal to read less like a, well, manga or light novel is probably the reason behind these problems. Context often gets lost when you force a rewrite to sound more "natural" in English by ignoring the original diction. The writing in manga/light novels/visual novels often have a habit of using interrogative lines that are rhetoric remarks or self-talk to imply/express ridicule or humor, and Seinaruakna is no different. Aroduc tried a bit too much avoid that. To me, the method of trying to translate in a way to sound more English than necessary is a bad one. To put it short and simple, if I wanted to enjoy English literature then I would, but anime, manga, light novels, and visual novels have a certain unique form of writing and culture to them and I hope I can enjoy that as much as possible in a translation.

Anyways, for those who don't know NightEye laid down most of the foundation with his translation (like Time Tree, Off-Shoot World, Ideal Trunk, and so forth) for the small fanbase that exists, especially between the long years waiting for Seinarukana to be released from its never-going-to-be-released curse. Most of the terms that he used didn't make it to the official release because Aroduc scrapped it all and did his own thing instead. Now, while NightEye's translation is not perfect and have some editing issues, many of the translation errors that you, sanahtli, have spotted were correct or translated much better in his, and that was before he had an editor to check over his work. The most consistent offense I've seen when I compare usually are in interactions between Nozomu and Rehme, Sorluska and Thalia, and humor involving Narukana in general.

Right now, I think the reading NightEye's translation (can get from googling NightEye159's archive) while playing the game simultaneously can act as a temporary relief for fans who care about story and character.Last modified on 2016-05-07 at 08:06
#27 by sanahtlig
2016-05-07 at 08:57
< report >I don't think the translation is so flawed that I'd go reference an alternative translation. The errors I've spotted have been scattered--certainly not pervasive. However I'm not fluent and there's a high likelihood I'm missing some (not to mention I don't listen to every spoken line). The errors are enough to subtly undermine my confidence in the translation and encourage me to listen carefully to the voices during scenes I'm particularly interested in. As a result it's taking me longer to get through the game, so even knowing as much Japanese as I do my experience as a player is being negatively impacted.

Have you seen evidence of pervasive errors? As in, more frequent than one error per 10 lines?

Also, I'm hesitant to pin any blame on Aroduc just yet. I faintly recall that another translator may have been involved early in the project.Last modified on 2016-05-07 at 09:05
#28 by shawurai
2016-05-14 at 16:33
< report >Is it just me or is there a part missing in the description of Satsuki's Water Shield skill.

The translations reads: "However, it's only effective against material damage.". The JP description should read something like: "It's useful against force damage but less effective against material damage.".

This should also be evident from the numbers: 100 Material vs 450 Force.
#29 by sanahtlig
2016-07-13 at 04:22
< report >I updated my translation commentary and posted it on my blog.

Translation errors in English releases often go undetected. Join me as I plunge down the rabbit hole to see how such errors affect the experience.
Seinarukana: A compilation of translation errors in the official English releaseLast modified on 2016-07-13 at 04:22

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