VNDB Suggestions!

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#576 by [deleted]
2019-06-19 at 16:12
Thanks. Maybe shining17 can weigh in again?
#577 by ramaladni
2019-06-19 at 16:39
#573 You mean, it's a good argument against? The thread made it quite obvious that people don't know how to judge translations. And as far as the localization goes, the fans, and by fans I mean the people who actually bought this game, love it to death.

It's quite obvious this feature would be misused, and since the suggestion was ignored I guess it won't be happening anyway.Last modified on 2019-06-20 at 01:48
#578 by [deleted]
2019-06-19 at 17:18
^ I don't see how the feature could be misused, as it's just adding people who worked on a translation the same way we currently add staff credits. It's not like a tag or trait that could be misapplied. Unless you mean that people will use the knowledge of which translators worked on which games to harass them.
#579 by ramaladni
2019-06-19 at 17:35
#578 I mean, the problem is, are we going to add just translators or the whole localization team? Are we going to add editors and quality check? What if some of the translation decisions came from the Project Manager?

If the localization companies themselves don't point out who translated the game, are we going to trust unofficial sources, like discord comments and such? (or people's memory lol)

What if there are multiple translators? Will their individual contribution to the work be specified? What about some edge cases like the Maki Fes fan TL, that had like ten different people working on it, or will this not be applied for fan TLs since it's easier to find that information? Will be partial patches be included in this (including demos/trials), or only full releases?

Or for example, you have fan translators who start working on a translation and later on they go official but the patch is still released somewhere, somehow... You just know who was behind the release, but will their identities be protected?

Dunno, I'd just like to hear some more details from the people who suggested this.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 17:38
#580 by rampaa
2019-06-19 at 18:05
The thread made it quite obvious that people don't know how to judge translations.
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

And as far as the localization goes, the fans, and by fans I mean the people who actually bought this game, love it to death.

It's quite obvious this feature would be misused
No, it cannot be misused (at least not easily). Just because you are against the idea for whatever reason doesn't make it prone to misuse.

Are we going to add just translators or the whole localization team? Are we going to add editors and quality check?
I've suggested a translator(s) field. So no, that field shouldn't have QCers or editors.

What if there are multiple translators? Will their individual contribution to the work be specified?
I think that would overcomplicate things, so I say nay.

... or will this not be applied for fan TLs since it's easier to find that information?
Of course we would have the translator(s) field for fan translations as well. Same goes for demos/trials.

Or for example, you have fan translators who start working on a translation and later on they go official but the patch is still released somewhere, somehow... You just know who was behind the release, but will their identities be protected?
Translator != "Leaker". The fact that we let people know who translated somehing doesn't mean that they are the ones who leaked it after going official. Case-in-point: link We know which group translated it but we don't know who leaked it, now do we? :)Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 18:21
#581 by truetakuma
2019-06-19 at 18:11
@577, is a good suggestion.
The freedom to choose vn depending of the translator is no different to choose a work depending of the Seyuu, artist or publishers name.
Most of the times people will depend of translators to appreciate VNs anyways. If anything, the topic have showed some people will stick/drop a translator no matter what. How should be implemented, tho, is a matter of discussion.

Side: You assume that if people are complaining they did not bought the game. I am not sure how that's hold true.
#582 by dk382
2019-06-19 at 18:30
I've recommended adding translation credits twice before, and it was shot down both times for mostly practical reasons. If we were to treat translation staff like the rest of our staff db, how much would that bloat the staff summaries? (A bit, probably.) Especially for games with multiple different language translations. (Could be offset by more UI customization options, or the ability to collapse/expand certain elements.) How do we draw the line for who we count as translation staff? (Pretty easily, at translators and editors imo.) What about the million fan translations out there who have had god knows how many people working on them at various stages of development? (I proposed this feature for official/commercial releases only last time to avoid this.) There were also people not wanting translation staff added because they weren't involved in the original creation of the VN. (Which is a silly concern when so many other staff we see weren't either, such as staff responsible for ports.)

There is some concern among the translation community that such a feature would be used to aid people in organizing and launching harassment campaigns against translators they don't like (particularly by those who hate "liberal translation"), because this is the world we live in now. I don't know how realistic that fear is, but the fact that this feature suggestion was motivated by that hatred is alarming. You'd like to think it would be used responsibly (only using it to avoid translations done by staff whose style they dislike, which is fine), but considering how common online harassment is becoming, I don't think the concern over potential misuse is irrational.

At the end of the day, vndb is an information database and the way people use such information is not vndb's responsibility, but I do think this is an issue worth pointing out and thinking about. Privacy concerns over the concentration and categorization of information become more serious when it involves members of our own community because that's when the potential for abuse becomes most threatening. We have to ask questions like what do we do about staff who wish to remain anonymous? Do we include an option for people to opt out, or would that compromise the integrity of the database too much? Should we include officially listed credits only?

I've suggested a translator(s) field. So no, that field shouldn't have QCers or editors.
Why limit it to only translators, though? If this feature is just so you can track and judge people for the translations they work on, you should know that translators are frequently not responsible for the final look and feel of a translation.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 18:34
#583 by rampaa
2019-06-19 at 18:47
Why limit it to only translators, though?
Because, I feel like it will be followed by a slippery slope argument about how we can't have all those things therefore we shall have none and I want to avoid that at all cost. Knowing the translators alone would be much much better than the current state. So I am making a petition for it only.
#584 by xamph3dx213
2019-06-19 at 19:46
I agree with #583, and for those who think this would lead to harassment: No it won't, it will just lead to people boycotting and avoiding certain works by a certain TLer because they don't like their TL choices, that is in no way harassment. Criticism is also not harassment. If by "harassment campaigns" you mean by going on twitter and trash talking them or something? Not harassment, there is a block function, plus it's the internet, grow a spine.

Now if you mean going at them and finding out where they live, doxxing, sure. But those types of people are very few and would already know who TLs certain works by just searching for it. The idea of implementing the TL name in there is simply just a way to easily show fans who TLed it, for good or bad.

I love a certain VN's TL? I'll easily know, and see that name on other VNs and go "Hey, I liked that guy's other translations, I am more interested in that one now." I dislike a VN's TL? "Well, I'm not a fan of how he does things, so I'll be cautious about this guy's next work or just avoid it since it made my experience less enjoyable."

I see no way how this isn't a good idea, in fact, I see it as a win-win. TLers get their name more out there, possibly providing better works so people know them as a great one, and fans easily know who to love and avoid if they so choose. Oh, and yes, avoiding a certain TLs work is perfectly justified and reasonable, vote with you wallet as they say. If the companies are so worried that they'd lose that much, then that should say something on what the fans want, no? To say avoiding works and criticizing is a bad thing is practically saying companies can do whatever they want and their consumers just have to suck it up. They need us, the consumers, not the other way around.
#585 by dk382
2019-06-19 at 20:18
I never said that avoiding purchasing VNs or criticizing translations is bad. In fact I specifically said that using it to avoid translators you dislike is a valid use. Please do not put words in my mouth.
#586 by xamph3dx213
2019-06-19 at 20:22
You said "harassment campaigns" You'd have to explain then. A lot of form of entertainment I've seen refers to what I said as "harassment" so I apologize for jumping to conclusions. Also, I was more talking in general to anyone who thinks so, using your talking points as a response mostly, so sorry again, didn't mean specifically you.

Edit: you didn't. At least in your latest post on it, you did not say it was a valid use, just "But harassment and it is alarming!"Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 20:26
#587 by [deleted]
2019-06-19 at 20:24
@dk382 I agree with what you've said here. I think adding translators as staff would be useful, and furthermore it would be more clear than the current method of haphazardly adding translation teams as publishers to releases even if they're not listed as such on storefronts, official sites, etc.

Limiting it to translators and editors fits with how staff is currently used, and limiting it to official credits or public statements and aliases that have been linked in some official way (e.g. MangaGamer tweeting out "X translator, previously credited as Y, worked on this" as opposed to "I heard from a friend's cousin's roommate that this seems like X's translation style") should keep issues to a minimum. I don't see a reason to limit it to professional translations, as fan translations often include credits, as long as, again, credits and translator aliases aren't based on conjecture.

I also agree that it's kind of concerning that people are suddenly clamoring for this feature because they don't seem to understand how translation even works, but at least maybe if they can avoid "liberal translators" they'll just not read those VNs and shut the fuck up about it.
#588 by xamph3dx213
2019-06-19 at 20:42
@minah who are you to say what I should or shouldn't like because you assume I don't know how translations work? It's simple, I know the English word structure and a few Japanese words, sure I won't be able to say much along side by side comparison of the text, but I have ears, and since I am proficient in the English language, I can tell when a sentence structure is messed up.

Also, since i don't turn my brain off while reading VNs, I can catch on to the overall tone, how the characters act, etc, if something is different in the TL, i'd be able to tell.

You assume everyone can't hear the words and don't know at all what they mean, you assume people can't even tell how consistent characters are being, and you assume people are dumb enough to not understated the tone and setting of a scene, and that all their complaints are mute.

I don't need to know how to read JP to understand when a character is saying "itadakimasu" while getting ready to eat, is them saying "thank you for the food." so then, why do I see examples of it being translated to something like "Yay! Time to dig in!~" or something similar (From Under One Wing)

If you don't see that as an issue, I'll enlighten you. 1. Changes how you perceive character. 2. Changes the mood and setting depending on who that character is with and where. 3. I now assume said character is a happy-go lucky character who doesn't show much respect for things. 4. It's a simple TL, just TL it as it should be, there is no reason not to. Take this text that you might seem as not changing much, and apply it elsewhere.

Also, @Pabloc makes a great point in Suki to Suki to de Sankaku Ren'ai thread, #60.
#589 by dk382
2019-06-19 at 20:44
@586 I'll try to put it more plainly. By "harassment campaign," I mean any organized effort to directly be an asshole to another person and make their life unpleasant. This can happen over twitter among other mediums, yes. This sort of thing came to my attention when a translator friend of mine got an onslaught of hate from dozens of people for writing an article criticizing the Persona 5 translation, so I'm a little sensitive to it.

Again, I'm not saying to definitely not add translation staff categories because of this, and at the end of the day I don't foresee this being a common issue, but the "anti-localization" group is becoming increasingly radical and oddly politicized in some circles, so I think it's the kind of thing that's at least worth thinking about.
#590 by [deleted]
2019-06-19 at 20:50
I don't need to know how to read JP to understand when a character is saying "itadakimasu" while getting ready to eat, is them saying "thank you for the food." so then, why do I see examples of it being translated to something like "Yay! Time to dig in!~" or something similar (From Under One Wing)

Because "thank you for the food" is not something you say in English before eating, so it sounds unnatural. The point of translation is to get the meaning across, not to literally translate every exact word when that gets in the way of sounding natural to the reader. Complaining when translators do that is exactly what I'm talking about when I say "don't seem to understand how translation even works."
#591 by dk382
2019-06-19 at 21:00
@xamph3dx213 "Itadakimasu" does not explicitly mean "thank you for the food." The actual literal meaning is "I receive," so by your logic, "thank you for the food" is also an evil liberal translation. Translators don't stick to a single universal translation for it because it's a phrase devoid of any actual meaning, used simply as a ritual before eating. Translators may use "thank you for the food" when someone else is giving them food, but people also use itadakimasu in all sorts of other situations, which calls for other translations. (Would you say "thank you for the food" after cooking yourself a meal, intending to eat it by yourself?) This should not be controversial even for literal translation lovers, tbh.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 21:03
#592 by xamph3dx213
2019-06-19 at 21:05
#589 I understand, I get that people are sensitive about being piled on online and such. Both sides of this issue do it. But it's not like your friend was actually in harm? I'd say so if people dox him and put out his info, but just saying mean things online? I'd just recommend ignoring and blocking, if he did get doxxed and the like I am sorry for your friend, noone should do that nor be put in that situation.

As for your "anti-localization" comment, I guarantee no one who doesn't like overly-liberal and this idea outright doesn't want localization, they just don't like how it's going. For example, I personally love VNs and Japanese entertainment because it's so different than western, like the respect, setting, tones, style, etc. To see them become just like other western entertainment annoys and saddens me. I don't want to see western slag, sayings, memes, "dude," etc. in a Japanese VN, and I am sure many, many feel the same. There is a reason western-made VNs don't do as well as localization of JP VNs, and that has to do with the culture itself I am sure.

As for politicized and radical? Ehhh maybe? i can see a few, but this isn't only on that side, I see it on the other as well, both sides of this do it. As for radical, all I see is more people voicing up about them not liking the changes and being heavily critical of the TL choices, and yes, sometimes too harsh too, but again, this is an "all-sides" thing. I also see the other side bashing TLers who don't be overly-liberal, they are a big minority though, and that's saying something. Don't you think if a rising amount of people, to the point where a lot of times I join a VN group, 70% don't like these changes, is telling?

Either way, all I have to say is, when they continue to say 'screw off you are just hateful trolls and your opinions don't matter," what do you think they'd do? They aren't listening to their concerns, so what's next? I see it all the time, people bring up their concerns on over-liberal, people say their opinion doesn't matter, the TLers themselves say who cares, where does that leave them?

It leaves them to start thinking of ideas like this as a boycott since then maybe the localizes will understand and really reply to their concerns. Like I said before, This option is a win-win scenario. The companies and TLers get their names more out there, people praise and look forward to TLers they like, and they can avoid ones they don't. In the market place, having people avoid certain people's works would have said TLers do a better job and actually listen to concerns. Shielding them from any form of criticism which is the current climate is not a good idea, since they'd continue to possibly do worse.

Plus, if our concerns about over-liberal TLs are unfounded, then the ones we complain about would sell well no? There you go, win-win. There is no reason to oppose this in my eyes unless you think it'd actually make people stop buying certain VNs because of a translator, which also proves our point.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 21:26
#593 by xamph3dx213
2019-06-19 at 21:06
@dl382 What did I say? "I don't need to know how to read JP to understand when a character is saying "itadakimasu" while getting ready to eat, is them saying "thank you for the food."

Please take in my context before replying. I know it's "to receive"

Also nice strawman.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 21:07
#594 by xamph3dx213
2019-06-19 at 21:09
@minah That's the point, a good amount of people aren't reading JP VNs for English culture in how we do things. I sure as hell am not. Also, that's false, example: Religious people. Ever heard of Thanksgiving? Not many people do it regularly, but to say no one does it is a bit of a stretch.

Edit: Also the meaning across huh? To me, the meaning of "thank you for the food" is shown as a meaning on how respectful the character is for their food. Them saying "Yay~ Time to dig in!~" does not give me the meaning the author intended.

Also, my point still stands that you assume how people would see things. To me and many others, "Thank you for the food" makes sense, but to you, it doesn't.

Last thing, I did say you'd think that is meaningless and a non-issue, but then apply it elsewhere, like say a simple question turned into a joke. Changed character and setting. Put it into a serious conversation, but the characters talk in American slang, see my point?Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 21:20
#595 by [deleted]
2019-06-19 at 21:40
The meaning of "itadakimasu" is that it's a traditional thing that Japanese people say before they eat. If "thank you for the food" gives you a sense that the character is particularly respectful, then that translation is not getting the meaning across. It's like an American saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes; if you translated it literally into another language and gave it a connotation of "this character is particularly religious" as opposed to "this is a stock phrase that people say to be polite," then you have translated it wrong.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 21:41
#596 by xamph3dx213
2019-06-19 at 21:44
@minah So you are saying they say "Thank you for their food" to not be polite and respectful to those who made it, and just say it "cuz tradition." Ya ok pal.

Edit: And yes it does, it shows me that they are at least polite. When I see a character just take food and eat it, in JAPANESE CULTURE (Y'know, the setting most VNs are set in) I assume that person isn't polite and respectful.

For someone who touts that people can't criticize and sit on his high horse thinking he can, you sure don't seem to know Japanese cultural moods and settings huh?

Also, about "God bless you" You take things really too literal then. I take "God bless you" as being polite, just like what I said about itadakimasu. Who's side are you on here? You say over-liberal isn't a problem, than bring up a point that shows being overly literal. Who said i am for being straight to the point literal if that's what you are implying?

I am fine with liberal, it's when they go to far with is when i have issues.

Nice conversation, but we won't find common ground here. Just please stop assuming what people want and actually listen to ideas and opinions, that's mostly what I don't like currently. Brushing people off is just gonna make it worse, localization should actually address and find a compromise. Good example: Providing two versions/an option to toggle honorifics/ other stuff on/off. Sure it'd be more work, but then both sides are happy.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 21:54
#597 by [deleted]
2019-06-19 at 21:53
Everyone says "itadakimasu," so a character saying that indicates they are as polite and respectful as the average person in the setting, not (as comes across in the English "thank you for the food") *unusually* polite and respectful. And no, I don't think Japanese people in general use stock phrases to mean anything deeper than "this is the polite and traditional thing to say," any more than when I tell someone "God bless you," I mean that I literally think God exists and will bless someone if I tell him to.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 21:56
#598 by warfoki
2019-06-19 at 21:54
"Thank you for the food." doesn't make sense in English in most context. Unless we are talking about a super-polite, kinda awkward man talking to a superior several times above him in a company hierarchy or something, it's just not being said. Certainly not among friends going out to eat some fast food and have a chat. The reason you might not find it weird, is that you've read so many literal translations of Japanese originals that you got used to it.

You could say that "oh but the meaning of the original is gonna be lost if you change it for something else". Is it though? From what I understand itadakimasu is essentially a cultural fossil: once upon a time it might have had actual meaning, but by now people say it before eating simply because everyone else is and has always been saying it before eating. The original context doesn't matter anymore.

To give you a Hungarian example, when somebody sneezes, you are supposed to tell them "egészségedre", which literally translates to "to your health" (btw egészségedre also can be translated as "cheers" in the context of drinking alcohol). Why say that when the person sneezing is more than likely not healthy? Well, way back in the day, before modern medicine, people used to use sneezing powder, because they believed that it would help getting rid of colds faster. So when someone sneezed, it was assumed that they had been using said powder, so you wished it to be effective and the sneezing to improve their health. Of course nobody is using sneezing powder for such things for a long ass time. Hell, you ask most people where the expression comes from, they won't have the foggiest. They still say it all the same, because it's just the "proper" thing to say. Some etiquette teachers tried to replace it with a more sensible "jobbulást" (get well), but it never stuck, because people felt it weird.

In this sense translating itadakimasu as "Yay! Let's dig in!" or "Bon appetit!" or "Enjoy your meal!", depending on context can all be valid, dare I say better translations than the literal one, since it flows well and shows the same intent in more appropriate, natural sounding way in the target language. Because context matters on both sides, source language and target language alike.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 22:00
#599 by xamph3dx213
2019-06-19 at 22:02
Last note before I go though, here's the problem. You guys are putting English culture into a Japanese culture entertainment. Others and I want the Japanese standards and culture to be left in tact when a TL happens, while you guys seem to not care and want everything westernized. If I am consuming entertainment from another country, I want it in English, but with the quirks and cons that they have.

Maybe this will get my point across more: Picture the yakuza games/ Mafia games, then localize them into the English/Japanese language and change the cultural setting like you guys want. It's an entirely different game and the setting changes. Mafia is more backstabbing and using force to get their way. Yakuza has a code they follow and tend to use intellect to get their way. Now apply the standards on what you guys want to those games. The mafia is changed to have more of a code, and the Yakuza is changed to be more brutish and the like. Two different things, now the same as the other when localized if you go too over-liberal with it.

Sure, the setting and such might be intact if we are only talking about the script here, but the way the characters act is now changed, their motivations will most likely be changed to fit the culture it's translating in, etc.

Edit: i am specifically referencing how entertainment shows them, not so much IRL.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 22:09
#600 by beliar
2019-06-19 at 22:11
I feel I have to do a mod-interrupt here. Create a new thread, if you guys want to talk about the merits of literal vs localized translations and discuss to your heart's content. This is the suggestion thread and it's being derailed, as you have lost the sight of the original discussion - the worth of adding the translator field to the releases.

Just my two cents, but I also think such a field is a good idea, as it would allow people to search for the works of a translator they trust and blacklist the bad translators. And if someone hates on a certain translator, I'm sure they already have enough resources at their fingertips to find who translated which VN, so I can see no drawbacks to such an information being added to the db.Last modified on 2019-06-19 at 22:11


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