02/02/2015

With all the comments on my site as well as on Yoraikun’s blog, things have become a bit unclear.
Let me verify or clarify a few facts here.

First of all, I wrote my first post to vent some frustration, like I even said in said post. Every day I have to endure seeing comments from people like “Next chapter when?” or “Why are the releases so slow”. That does not only apply to the light novel scene, but the manga scene as well.
Now these leecher have all the right to complain as they want, but I don’t? I simply phrased what was on my mind like they did.

Now to clarify some facts.
I didn’t mention any names. That certainly was a mistake. It made a lot of people misunderstand that I was talking ill about Yoraikun. If you have forgotten already, I passed one of my teaser projects, Konjiki no Wordmaster, to him after he contacted me about it. I wouldn’t have done that if I were of the opinion that he isn’t up to the task. His tranlations might not be perfect, heck even my own ain’t, but he shows promise.
The ones I was addressing in my post were the people, who let google translate (or similar ones) take over the role of translating the grammatical construction of sentences. The only work they did themselves was/is maybe a little bit of editing on the English side. But that is not a Translation. Google translate (or similar) are not up to par with the complicated grammar of Japanese, nor with any slangs or accents. The text google translate (or similar) produces gets blindly taken at face value and released to the public with a bit of editing, so that it sounds like good English, claiming it a “translation”.
My criticism is that these “translation” might read well in English, but the accuracy to the original Japanese text is not guaranteed.
One has to understand how the Japanese grammar works or suddenly the passive object in the original language becomes an active subject in English, completely changing the original meaning.
Sure, you might argue now that a few of these “little” mistakes can be overlooked in favor of speed or a release at all, but I merely pointed out that from my standpoint as a professionally educated translator, these “translations” are not translation. You can argue all you want, but that is a goddamn fact.
It is an entirely different point from the perspective as readers, since they only want access to something they cannot read. Understandable. I’m not saying anything against that. But I criticize the attitude they take about it.
As long as readers are allowed to complain about “slow releases”, I am allowed to complain about the inaccuracy of MTL. For that reason, I do not want to be lumped together with “MTLors”. My “real” translation do take more time and I can do nothing about that. And when I see that some user request from the “MTLors” that they pick up my projects, because I’m so slow on it or release only when I feel like it, then that’s a pretty hard slap in the face.
I don’t want to revolutionize the scene. That would be impossible. But if I keep all the stress to myself, it’ll kill me in time. I’m long enough here to know that. I vented some stress. You don’t have to agree with my points, nor do I want you to. If you wanna flame me, just go ahead. I reached my objective by making my post and am through with the topic.

I’m welcoming anyone, who seriously attempts to learn Japanese, in my IRC channel to give tips or explain concrete problems that are unclear. But questions like “I wanna start leaning Jap, gimme some links” aren’t serious. If you cannot even find that yourself, your motivation is questionable.

Again, I have nothing against Yoraikun, nor anyone else, who seriously attempts to translate. That means, doing the actual translation by himself and not entrusting it to some machine translator. Assisting tools (dictionaries and the likes) are a must-have for a translator, but that only includes features that give additional information, not ones that take the work out of your hands.

For that reason, I will never accept MTL as “proper” translations. That is my personal opinion and you can do nothing to change that. I’m free to voice that or complain about it. You argue that I should ignore the impatient leecher, but you can just ignore me, too.

I encourage everyone to pick up learning Japanese, but if you post MTLs to the public just because you had free time without any actual desire to learn Japanese, then I suggest you stop. You’re not helping anyone with that.
If readers want to read spoilers that bad, they can just copy/paste the stuff into google translate themselves, but I guess they are even too lazy for that.

Reading a novel is a form of entertainment. It is supposed to be fun. Do you actually consider it fun to read a clusterfuck of bad English? I, for myself, don’t.

I know that there is a serious lack of translators to introduce the endless amount of novels out there, and the MTL fill that hole well, but please, DO NOT put them into the same category as translations. They are previews, spoilers at best. MTL0rs are not translators, just passionate fans that have some free time on their hand. Do not forget that. They do you a service, but again, they are not translators. Yes, they do put in some effort, but it is a different kind of effort from translators. They are writing summaries/spoilers, not translations. I would appreciate them if they had that self-consciousness, but sadly, they do claim themselves as translators, which isn’t correct. Neither do leecher seem to recognize them as such, equaling the release pace of a MTL with the release pace of a translator. That’s the only point I wanted to make.

This is my purely personal based opinion and no one has to agree with me!

Well then, see you on the next hate thread~

75 thoughts on “02/02/2015

  1. azwald says:

    I always prefer human translated things, I once read several shieldbro chapter during yoraikun absence, it was the worst “translation” ever. I couldn’t understand a bit, heck the poster even proudly said that he isn’t good at English and know nothing about Japanese. Sure it’s nice to have group like Japtemt which release weekly or daily yoraikun, but in the end, quality prevails

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember that guy… He did say he sucks at english so don’t say it was the worst… He at least put in effort to “translate” it even if it was using Google Translate.

      I tried using google translate on Tate no yuusha and trust me… it feels like reading a sentence written by a 5 year old who just started learning english… Even I had to some what reword the sentences so I can understand it. After reading tons of Tate no Yuusha, I got a gist of how the story is written so putting the story together even with the “ideas” shown through Google Translate is not very hard, just tedious. Yes, that guy who probably used Google Translate sucked but at least he made it easier for most of us. 100x better than trying to break down the translation and trying to figure it out yourself…

      In the end, to me that is, as long as it is understandable, it is fair enough. And don’t forget, this is all for the sake of fandom. As long as people understand, it is fair enough… If this was a translating company… then yes, fire the failures and hire better translators.

      BTW: JapTem… I read Arifueta, and trust me… their grammar is horrible as well. I suck at writing/grammar but trust me… they are probably even worse. On the bright side, I was having fun fixing the sentences and probably good practice for my writing as well. =)
      No hate intended. Just opinions <3

    • TestTheTester says:

      Guesslate? I ‘d say it’s worse seeing how often how it’s written matters just as much as what is written. Like when authors use “subtle” changes in speech pattern to indicate character growth. Like when the MC uses a different pronoun for “I” and you just know they’ve got their badass pants on.

    • @Anonymous
      I see…so you are one of those. He’s not translating, he’s guessing. Even what you did was guessing. Just because you read tons of Tate no Yuusha, it doesn’t mean you understand the author 100%. So when you get those 5 year old sentences and start to apply a style (which you think is the author’s style) you are just guessing how it should be. You are not translating at all. You say that the guy should be given credit for his effort…BS! Why should he get credit for effort when he could have used that effort to learn Japanese and then translate the novels the correct way instead of guessing on what it might be? Going by his style we aren’t reading the author’s novel anymore but the guess work done by a fan instead. It would be like reading a summarization of the story. Someone called it Guesslation. That is the proper work for it. Using translation even in machine translation is a mockery to every translator in the world, pro or noob. You may get angry that I’m saying this but this is the truth. If you don’t believe me then try to ask any sane and normal person about. Ask the people who aren’t into anime and manga and you will see that they agree with me.

      “In the end, to me that is, as long as it is understandable, it is fair enough. ”
      That just shows that you aren’t a big enough fan of what you read. I read many of those kinds of comments when it comes to anime too. People give groups high scores based on the flow of the “translation” calling it a exceptional translation while they got shit knowledge about how correct the translation is. I have facepalmed many times. Now I just do it when I read a novel only to find out that it was machine translated because that’s not what I read when I tried to read the Japanese edition. As a fan of a title you shouldn’t be satisfied with just getting a summerization but instead either learn Japanese yourself or wait patiently for a correct translation. If nothing, reading a guesslation should make you angry.

  2. nalojprime says:

    PROzess, the reason you should ignore the leechers and not make an outburst about it is because this site / the work you do here will be looked at by your future employer’s if you plan to work as a translator (or even other jobs, looking up future employees is very common these days).

    • Wait…what kind of employer asks fantranslations on the CV?

      I find it fine to get angry on idioti done by other people. After all, it’s his blog, if people don’t like it then they can argue with logic instead of going: “orz, not again.” and then go to 4chan to post some rageemoquit message. 12 year olds do that often and it doesn’t surprise me anymore. Heck, they even did it when I released manga in my old group. Well, then I was obligated to respond in the same manner. Fun days :3

  3. anonforthistimeonly says:

    I agree with your opinions on people needing to know how to differentiate between the 2 types. Learning a language isn’t easy, and just because you know 2 languages doesn’t automatically mean you can become a translator between them, it takes its own effort to find politically correct grammar that fits so that anyone reading it will know what’s being talked about, with little to no confusion.

    I like to write a few short stories in my spare time, maybe upload a few online. If I get popular great, if not oh well. but I wouldn’t want to find out that any foreign fans I get are reading a shoddy copy that barely even resembles 30% of the content. Authors put hard work into the specific writing of their stories. MTLors often don’t respect that at just summarize an entire section with a poor summary (often with its own terrible grammar)

    • Dude…you just said everything in a sane manner. Respect. I just don’t thing anyone except me understood it.

      You just forgot that as a fan, I wouldn’t want a 30% entertainment of a novel either. I would want 100% (which would be reading it in Japanase) but can’t so I would go with the 80-90% (which is the fan based translated done by a good translator)

  4. lemonade says:

    Hello, I wanna ask this question. How long does it take to self learn japanese? To an extent that you can read novels such as risou? Coz I just bought a book on how to learn basic japanese from my holiday in japan a few days ago.

    • Risou is harder than other novels. You have to remember that even light novels (not novels) come in different difficulty degrees.

      Still, in the end it depends on yourself. How much you are burning to learn Japanese, how much time you got and how efficient is your learning?

      So it can take 1-10 years depending on you.

  5. TestTheTester says:

    I feel like anyone who was paying attention should know that PROzess didn’t single out yorai-kun, not only by the fact that he mentioned neither yorai-kun’s name nor works in the original post, but also because yorai-kun stressed multiple times that it was the comments section and not PROzess’s post.

    On an unrelated note, how do/would translators deal with an excess of puns and the such (real translators, ’cause MTLs would pretty obviously miss that facet of the work)? I’ve read some translations that throw in TL notes, and some with a pun in English (puns so bad they’re good), but there’s bound to be some work with a major character who’s schtick is puns every other line, making such methods either highly distracting or nigh impossible.

    • thornton says:

      I never thought he was singling anyone out either. Whoever chooses to whine matters less than the whining itself anyway.

      As for the pun thing, I have seen it multiple ways. I have seen it where only puns that are crucial to the plot are explained (he said love but i thought he meant fish). I’ve also seen where the abundance of puns is a major source of the works humor like sayonara zetsubou sensei and copious notes are abound at the end or throughout the translation. Sometimes dedicated translators work very hard and don’t use the most literal translation so that it can translate into a pun in english too. Rarely, a show can be like seitokai yakuindomo, where much of the wordplay actually translates decently, since apparently EVERYTHING being an innuendo if you try hard enough is present in english and japanese.

    • This is probably THE hardest part of translation. It is really dependent on the author and his intention of using things like pun and other literary devices.

      There have been several instances already where puns become completely lost in translation. Fortunately I’m able to ask the intention from the source directly, what I’m saying is only a repeat from the author in this case.

      Slightly paraphrasing –
      A equivalent or close enough pun in english to reflect the purpose of the original is preferred. This is because the “pun” more often than not play a vital role in affecting the perception and mindset of the reader.

      Is the pun intended to be funny? Then have the english version be funny, even if you need to complete change the words, it’s okay context is kept.

      Is the pun intended to be misleading? Then use ambiguous wording.

      Is the pun intended to make a reader do a double take? Then make the wording slightly strange.

      Is the pun intended to produce a certain imagery? Then use an english expression to allude to the same thing even if the words are different.

      Again, this is only a view from ONE author, not all authors necessarily share the same view. But puns and wordplay gives me headache, directly behind that is obscure LOCAL regional expressions/beliefs/sayings/etc… that even japanese from other region know nothing about.

  6. Random-kun (Risou Fan #2) says:

    dunno ’bout yoraikun or whatever site cause i don’t read Shieldbro, but i think PROzess also right. if you’re really using MTL, you must have a group of great editor. They will become your slave, clean your mess, your ass, tenses, your bla bla bla (i really doubt single person can clean up MTL mess, as fast as MTL release speed). Try read LN at K*ng or R*xism and you’ll know something about greatness of MTL…. or not xD

    • Random-kun (Risou Fan #2) says:

      Kung = translating LMS
      Roxism = Seirei Gensouki (also on CE trans), KonoSuba (also on Skythewood) & Bocchi Tensouki

    • lesstea says:

      Oy, about those MTLors, please don’t say that. I’m quite grateful to them, you know. At least they’re able to provide the general summaries of the W/LNs they are translating, while no one even tried to pick it up. Many “proper TLors” already busy with their own project, so you should be glad someone did pick it.
      Sure, it’s quite gibberish; but then what did you expect? Rather than someone who didn’t ever try to start translating, I respect those who tried to do it.
      Every TLor was a beginner once; it’s the job of us, leecher aka reader to give our support to them.

      But it’s a different matters if they start getting cocky and call their translation “a proper translation”

  7. Wszaman says:

    I just wanted to thank You for translating wonderful novels. Honestly, I’m too lousy in english and japanese to pass judgments in debate about machine-translations vs real-translation. My only impression I can share is that while I read a lot things all over internet, somehow stories that You post have the vibe of more “exclusive meal” and are well worth waiting (I check site everyday anyway but since I don’t/I’m unable to contribute in any way, I don’t give myself right to complain). Anyway, I wanted to thank You and hope that You don’t get dishearted by boorish people spamming in comments section (I can’t help but to think that “when is next” comments are the same case of overused joke like “first!”).

    I’m sorry for my poor english.

  8. Sodemas says:

    “dont worry man, in many religions there are many Gods ;D, u can be one too, but i guess you wont read it since i posted this too late. Also my frist time knowing about you, but i wish you many thx for all the work you do/did, if you dont mind my person i will be reading a few of your translations (but if you do mind i wont read it… maybe), i cant realy relate to your feelings since i am just a “leacher”. lets talk more once i start (or not, i will wait for your replay about the above) reading in your blog o/”

    that was my response to one of your coments on Yorai-kun blogs, just wanted to post it here so you could read, I REALY LIKED your coment there, made me lough fron the heart and i hope to talk and coment on your blog later…

  9. COTHER says:

    WELL personal based opinion and experience as translator it’s not the point about time or quality of a translation but it’s the methode used to get the work done so for those how take value in time normaly use machine translation then correct it and those how take value in quality tanslate from acutualy reading the story in japen (very hard to find) or romanji (usualy done) to translte there is also the problem of number of translator as well as the free time to do the work so better give up asking about time and wait that is all on it

  10. PopstartCat says:

    Sometimes i think that some leechers are bandwagoning to much. Anyway the bottomline is, It A BIg Effin Misunderstanding. It was just got out of hand cuz some leechers freak out. -_-“. I still sigh or facepalm.

    • Virtues says:

      …… Such a stupid request……. Just go to a Jap and Eng teacher and ask them to teach you… and pay them. nothing is free in real life afterall.

  11. Tehbeefer says:

    I’m in the process of reading through a web novel using 4-6 software translators, and if I took the time to render the resulting mess into a coherent narrative and released it to the internet, it could save other folks doing the same loads of time (although I don’t know how many others are actually doing that because it’s excruciatingly slow at times). So, I see value there. Yet, it’s patently obvious I’m missing at least 65% of the humor in the original text, and idioms are nearly impossible. There’s usually a dozen or so lines per chapter that are completely incomprehensible, even if I try looking up the kanji in the sentence. I often mistake which character says a given line, only to (sometimes?) realize my mistake a few lines later.

    MTL’s are useful (I am enjoying the aforementioned web novel I’m reading after all), but bad ones are worse than useless, and the best ones are a poor man’s substitute for a rushed, mediocre translation by a professional. People should be explicit about it if their translation heavily relies on machine translation.

  12. Kemm says:

    As a kind of April’s Fools joke (but the spanish version, which is celebrated on December 28th), I posted “prologues” for several WNs. While one of them was partially translated, partially adlibbed, I had three of them be the original text passed through MTL: one directly, one through two different motors in sequence and the last using Google to make it pass through three different languages, one twice; that last one was by far the most unreadable of all (it looked as if someone had cut all of the words from a newspaper, ads included, thrown them into the air and take what was on the floor as a translation), but the other two, while they could be considered to be “better”, were still a bunch of nonsense.

    I always knew that MTL were only a help to understanding something tht should never be taken as a way to convey a piece of information in another language, since you can’t trust a resource that gives you back a different sentence when translating it back with the same tool, but that was a prime example of their real (utter lack of) quality.

  13. Friend A says:

    its kinda funny when all the fandom of light novel ask for fast translation when they cant get enough of what they are reading, then suddenly bashing the one doing fast translation using MTL to assist his/her transalation lets be honest here the LN/WN fandom even we dared to use MTLs just to have a fix for our LN hunger but what do we get? we have just witness the POISON IN THE MIND that index is saying ToAruIndex.

    we the fandom only thinks of getting to read a update of our LN, but what about the warriors who are doing the translation? they are sacrificing time for us, and even when they are using MTL to assist their translations they do it much better readable to us than when we use it.

    we dont have the rights to bash, or criticize them. what we can do is to help them when they across something that is not right.

    u may say that they should get a editor/proofreader etc. but its not that easy that someone will come forward and volunteer to be your editor etc.

    for all the translators thank u, for all the bashers/flamers u dont have the rights why dont u step up do it yourself if u dont like what they are doing. but let me bet you will not step up because u will make up excusses like i dont have time IRL, then try putting yourself on their shoes.

    • COTHER says:

      calm down bro we already concluded the sujet of speed as nothing to do about evry one has it hard so justego with the flow like man power for translator ……..or the hell like life waiting for a ch to be translated we are juste turning a round the same spot every time

    • @Friend A
      They are not translating so don’t call them translators. It’s an insult to the real translators. The best they can be is guesslator. They are guessing what the author is saying instead of translating it. The things they fix are the grammar and make sense of the machine translated sentence so there’s a flow. It is still not a translation but a guesslation.
      Using machine translation to assist you is…well sorry I didn’t get that. If you translate something, you may end with some sentences that you don’t get. That’s totally normal. Using a dictionary or a tool to translate the sentence and then making sense of it is fine. That is not what is being discussed here. We are talking about people using google translate for a whole novel. They are guessing what the sentences are being said. They are not translating anything. If I had to choose if I wanted them to guesslate or not. It would choose to not touch the novel I liked and butcher it like that. It’s unfair to treat it like that. It ruins my love towards this novel.

    • Friend A says:

      @THE ONE
      i know what u are saying but i hate it when a translator who only needs a little assistance of MTL being bash/flamed for using one.
      ex. yoraikun

  14. Hell Satan says:

    PROzess something just occured to me last night during your discussion on Yoraikuns blog you don’t have to agree with this but isn’t fan translation supposed to be illigal translation (in a sense a sence of not being licensed) cause if its ferfect when the novel actually gets licensed and distributed officially in other language it will cause copyright issue and people might not buy the actual book thats why Baka Tsuki removes them from their dayta base when it gets licensed if what I’m thinking wrong just foorget what I said sorry for the bad english if there is some error in this comment

    • Michael says:

      You’re technically right. In most case, if the translators can keep low profile so the Japanese publishers don’t know about them, they can technically continue to translate. However, if translator become too popular and the publishers got wind of it, expect DMCA takedown coming their way.

    • Gamma says:

      Shhh… Let’s just hope the FBI are so busy that they won’t go knocking doors of translators’ home and put them into the slammer at night.

    • Hell Satan says:

      no what I’m saying is fan translation doesn’t need to be perfect just readable at the same time enjoyable being perfect is the job of the publisher who licensed them fan translation acts like a preview to prepare our advertise the novel until they officially gets publish so what if your using machine translation and some are not right fan translation(illegal translation) doesn’t have to be perfect it need to have errors to differentiate then from the officially publish translated book that’s what I think

  15. weakwithwords says:

    PROzess,

    I have this pet theory that the sparser your English knowledge is, the more likely you can tolerate machine translations. However, it should be noted that reading and writing proficiency are not necessarily on the same/similar levels for an individual.

    The common mindset is to strive to improve understanding of the source language. Some fan translators are content with their grasp of the target language usually simply because they are native speakers. The readers, too, are lax in that respect. They might comment on typos, subject-verb agreement mistakes and homonym errors, but will generally overlook comma splices.

    As work on artificial intelligence and natural language processing progresses, we should see a gradual decline in the so-called garbage as you put it, but moderately acceptable results probably won’t become available for years or decades.

    -weakwithwords

    P.S. This part is just my opinion and preferences. I highly dislike the unnecessary localizations of currency, places and character names. (Surname and given name reversals in anime subtitles can be confusing since there’s an obvious disparity between what I’m hearing and reading.) I’m quite annoyed by “anyways”, “I know, right?”, “not unless”, “no nothing”, and similar mutations.

    • weakwithwords says:

      The-One, even official “human” translations can culturally sanitize content. (e.g. Ranma 1/2 & Viz) =,=

      Who knows? Maybe IBM’s Watson might be leading to a developmental dead end. Hopefully, alternative avenues are still being researched in earnest instead of being discontinued just because some bot won Jeopardy.

  16. Robbini says:

    I WANT translators to translate perfect & fast, but I don’t EXPECT them to do both of them. If you do that…

    On the other hand, some of those MTLs are … well, you’re lucky if you understand something of the current situation, much less the actual events, so any critical LN lack is quickly extinguished by the pain that is poor MTLs. Trust me, i’ve had several such lacks, so i’ve just had to scour the net for other LNs.

  17. Aaaaaaa says:

    Well, I reserve my judgement regarding MTL. I am here simply because I love to read LNs. There are of course pros and cons for MTLs, but that’s not what this comment is about.
    I am here regarding one thing, does nobody got bothered by the title date? It clearly said 02/02/2014 even though this is 2015.

  18. Ben says:

    Man, I don’t care what anyone says I agree with you 100%. You just take your time and give us the best work you can.
    MTL is not real translations and ruins the novel, google translate might be the worst thing ever made for the anime/manga/novel world every bored and lazy idiot now thinks there are a translator and the quality of the work out there is shit.
    Just wanna say keep up the good work and you do a great job.

    • tehbeefer says:

      DanMachi’s recently had their first print release by Yen Press, so that would be why. Publishers seem willing to overlook fan translations as long as it’s not competing with a licensed one. That’s why SAO and Index were taken off Baka-Tsuki, so folks would buy the licensed works.

  19. Rew says:

    It is interesting how flame wars start. My opinion is post a comment thanking the translator maybe add something that you enjoyed about the translation and if the translator asks for constructive criticism, then if you have read the original language and know English well then give your opinion. If you feel the translation is taking a long time then either learn the language or just complain to yourself in your mind and wait patiently. And about MTL’s if you want to read them treat them like summaries and if you want to give leechers something write a summary about what you read without treating it like an accurate translation, although I won’t read them since it was too hard to understand and they were LN that were being translated so patience is better than mental pain. Oh and Prozess thank you for your translations and take your time(quality over quantity).

  20. Bill says:

    I don’t do TL, but I am studying Japanese for business purposes. What are referring to when you talk about “One has to understand how the Japanese grammar works or suddenly the passive object in the original language becomes an active subject in English, completely changing the original meaning”? I’m new to Japanese so this isn’t something I’ve run into yet, but I want to keep an eye out for it in upcoming lessons.

    • PROzess says:

      I mean that in the original Japanese something is addressed as passive, but the machine translation cannot grasp that correctly (’cause of common omissions in the Japanese language) and only gives a word-for-word translation. The guy doing the MTL then mistakes that word as the subject (because active subjects are rarely mentioned in Japanese), even though it’s actually passive: Making something act that was supposed to be in passive. Voila complete different meaning.

  21. rurumo says:

    mmm, not completely (un)related with this, but I remember I recently read somewhere a translator pointing out which books he used as a reference, but totally forgot who it was.
    question is, whas it on this blog? was PROzess?
    because you strike me as the guy who would actually follow guides and teaching to do stuff (which is good), and I like to find those titles again.
    Anyway, my experience with google translator is kind of fun: I translated an english prase in my language, so “when the wine of life is shed” becam “when the life of life is a shed”; get it? A shed. It was so absurd it was actually fun.
    Add to this spectaculary bad “translation” the complexity of japanese… I don’t want to think what does happen with MTs…

    • Anonymous says:

      ehm, “when the wine of life is shed” became “when the wine of life is a shed”, sorry for the typo… worse than a MT… XD

  22. zamu says:

    While I completely agree with your point, I think your opinion is off. MTLs are translations (at the very least the ones who use MTL to parse the definitions of the all the words in a sentence and work to resolve the meaning), just very poor, often-inaccurate ones stemming from foundational issues in the users understanding of both/either languages. Semantics, I guess, but still a point against your argument. I definitely agree though that MTLs should be limited to generate summaries at most since they often lack the concise details of a scene rousing misunderstandings. Some people with only one language under their belt cannot understand the magnitude of difference small changes make in translating between two languages. Not to mention nuances, innuendos, or idioms that might not have equivalent translations. But I do understand your point of view as a trained translator; I’d hate if people assumed that by doing ballpark estimates instead of going through a problem they could call themselves engineers.

    Still, don’t feel people don’t appreciate your efforts and dedication to what you do. I appreciate all the work you release into the community so please keep at it!

    • zamu says:

      To clarify,

      My point against PROzess’ argument is, essentially, he never specify what they define as a MTL. Does he mean straight copy-paste from a MT like Google Translate or Babelfish?Or, does he mean edited MT copy-paste where they leave all the work to the MT and try to parse nonsense? Or, does he mean MT assisted translations with the logical decoding handled by a person and the MT only handling parsing of electronic dictionaries? It’s not a point of if PROzess is right or not (because he is), but a point in semantics where they didn’t define a scope.

      The first two examples are inarguably NOT translations, while the last one could be one if the person attempting to translate understands the nuances of both the source and target languages as well as the grammatical structures and cultural influences involved.

      Pretty sure PROzess will agree or at least concede to this point.

  23. Anon is King says:

    MT is pretty bad only one I think is good to use is chiitrans2 not for the auto translation from google and stuff but because it dumps out the romaji and kanji of the word you copy thus helping you get the sentence correct of course people with no Japanese skills should not use this if you can’t understand grammar and the importance of particles then it’s useless to you I use this only because of my lack of kanji I know

  24. lesstea says:

    To be honest, even if they use MT, IT IS still a translation, ’cause they indeed translate the words, one by one. But I get your point; it’s not a proper translation, ’cause they didn’t translate the context as a whole, and (usually) just merrily guessing it.
    So IMO, calling it a translation is OK, if you mean “translation of several words”. But calling it a “translation of the whole text” is pushing it a bit too far. I think they should put something like “Machine-assisted translation” on the first line of their “translation”, so the reader should expect a lot of mistranslation of its context.

    Sorry for my bad English.
    _(:3」∠)_

  25. TYLunaMoon says:

    I’m an Indonesian, not so good at English and Japanese. My English like elementary grade and with my Japanese I even can’t read hiragana, katakana or kanji. But I learn informally from J-Dorama and anime since high school, and already over 10 years since then. and last year I use google translate as my main dictionary for ready web novel at ncode.nyosetu.com. of course not the literal translated in the right side text, but using the listening function of goggle translate. And there are about 10% incorrect voice reading in it. Exp: I don’t know why this happened, when you only translate the kanji it correct, but when you translated it in paragraph, ‘kimi’ (you) often ready only as ‘kun’. The other is name of characters in novel, it often to misreading.
    flamers, you already know that translators are having their real life and much of them translating for free as their hobby. And more of its like in this site Tsuki Tsuki and RisouHimo are translated from light novel, not from web novel. There some different between it. 1st there is illustrated image and 2nd is the different in content. Finding the raw you need money to buy it or should waiting for raw data on net. For me that can’t read Japanese it was impossible to understand, because the raw are in JPG file. I can’t copy-and-paste it on goggle translate to voice read it.
    Know yours shame, Leecher!
    The translators are `GOD of ENTERTAINMENT`, if you anger them, some of them will drop the project. And it mean that you will STOP getting any of it.
    Just patiently wait for the next chapter and say your ‘THANKS’!

  26. Azuraflame says:

    well iam a leecher reader too . . .
    thx goodness that there is another novel to read when i was waiting the other novel translation realease.
    so i never demand, comment or complaint for next chapter release fast, late or ect as long that novel still alive even 1,2, or 3 month waiting is not a problem for me.

    and for PROzess : it seems so much people that dont understand ur last post . . .
    well just keep it up PROzess i love ur work and ur translating

  27. Kamas says:

    I think a clear distinction is important. I remember reading a chapter of a MTLed Shieldbro, thinking it would be helpful as a parallel text while reading the original for learning purposes, and it really threw several doubts at my ability.

    I didn’t realise it was MTLed at the time. This can be very damaging to learning what is an appropriate interpretation of sentences.

    At the very least, for those of us who are still learning and need reliable sources for parallel texts, a clear distinction is required.

  28. g1n0 says:

    I would like to tell you that you are an excellent translator and that you should take your time nd forget wat the leeches say that are doing nothing to contribute or expressing thanks for the service you are doing for us fans

  29. Anonymous says:

    ty proz for all your hard work, even if the release is not as fast as we all want, i for one appreciate it, i’d much rather have a translator dedicated to their work and the series with a release monthly then for the series to fall into the hands of someone who only caters to the crowd and may drop it before getting halfway done that releases daily and with sub par translations. So again and ty :)

  30. Gamen says:

    To those that think the MTL’d text they’re reading has any semblance to the original text, you’ve been tricked. Here’s an example from Zettai Karen Children c387.
    Here’s the Japanese:

    ノーマルを皆殺しにするとか、あたしを組織に引き込むとか言ってるけど。本当はただ「子供」が辛い目に遭うのを見たくないだけなんだと思う。

    And this is my translation:

    He says things like he will slaughter the Normals or he wants to bring me into his organization. But I think the truth is he simply just doesn’t want children to go through painful experiences.

    But here’s what Google Translate spits out:

    The Toka to the normal to the massacre, I have said there pulling the I to the organization. I think really it and I just do not want to see the only “child” of the encounter painful eye.

    You’ll notice that there’s a few words in common, and “pulling the I into the organization” is like “bring me into his organization”. Otherwise it’s a pile of nonsense. You can edit it into grammatical English, but you aren’t going to get anything close to the actual meaning from it. And it’s not a particularly complicated pair of sentences. But every elision trips Google up, and the Japanese language loves elision. Not to mention it can’t handle words that have multiple meanings like 目, which is commonly “eye” but in this case is “an experience”.
    Frankly, all this MTL bullshit pisses me off. I used to trust fan translators, but all the time I’m finding out that I was just blindly credulous. And it’s not just the ones that use MTL. This is what the current “translators” of ZKC made up for those lines:

    Before, in order to avoid us killing normals, they said they had to have an organization control us. But in Minamoto’s eyes we were just “kids” and he refused to see us like they did.

    Once again, a few words in common, and this time the grammar is passable (their first chapters weren’t even that), but the original meaning is nowhere to be found. Maybe they used MTL, maybe they looked up the words and strung them together into something that made sense. But it’s no translation; it’s mass naked child events at its finest.
    tl;dr: Edited MTL is some random stooge’s rewrite, not a translation, not even an amateur one. Don’t confuse it for one.

  31. ABPsycho says:

    Personally I think machine translation only works for novels that are short and simple in the first place, which web novels tend to be (This isnt a jab at web novels being bad in any way). However full light novels, especially ones as complex as Risou, would in my mind end up a garbled mess that would require more effort to read then what it will be to enjoy it. Thus I cannot thank you enough PROzess for translating the novels you have as they have been a pleasure to read. Hell if you charged for translated novels, both in electronic and physical form, I would happily buy them as I believe they would be worth the money.

    Also just a thought but those who read Google Translated novels but then complain about releases, cant they just get the raws and translate the novels themselves? I mean it wouldn’t affect the quality that much and they get their translations instantly…

  32. I need to chime in here to agree (mostly) with PROzess. When faithfulness to the original story and attention to the flow and enjoyability of the resulting translation are important, and reading in the original language is not an option, human translation is best, and current machine translation services aren’t worth consideration.

    In addition, relying on machine translation seems worse for the “translator”, as they deprive themselves of the chance to learn another language, seeming to merely become a filter transforming broken English into less broken English.

    Some might say that the process of improving bad English may improve the “translator”‘s ability to do so, but I feel that unless said person is committed to the simultaneous study of “good English”, they will merely improve their ability to understand the garbage that the machine translation service spits out. This could be a good thing, if one can find a group of speakers that, when learning English, produce language similar to the output of said machine translation service, but that seems unlikely to me.

    Now I’m neither a translator nor a “translator”, but when I read Japanese, I read it in Japanese, so I know what sort of effort is required to get going, and it’s no small feat.

    However, I feel that in the long run, anyone trying to provide access to Japanese content for those who are unable to spare the time to learn the language, should become a real translator.

    One (possible) difference of opinion is that I believe that machine translation services will eventually catch up to human translators in terms of accuracy, and perhaps some day in the crafting of beautiful sentences.

  33. Rii says:

    Mmm….
    Personally, I don’t think there’s anything to be complaining about.
    If I like it, then I like it.
    If I don’t, then I won’t read it.
    It’s really unfair to others and to yourself when you start flaming others.
    I mean, are you really that much of a loser that you’re going to spend that much of your time talking shit about someone?
    Nevermind the “shitty translations”, if you don’t like them, the worst you can do is not read their translations at all, because in the end, they just want to make other people happy.
    If you want to step all over their feelings, go ahead. But you better take responsibility for your actions.

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