This is important. It is long, but please, please read it all.
So, I know this is rich coming from a shithead like me who rarely actually translates anything, but there’s no rule saying that you have to be perfect to criticise other people! (lol!) Basically, not one, or two, but a great number of so-called translators don’t understand BASIC Japanese grammar.
To illustrate just how basic it is, it’s basically the same as not understanding the difference between,
“I ate the cat.”
“I was eaten by the cat.”
It’s that bad. And they’re translating without knowing something so basic. Learning a language is like learning anything else – it’s diminishing marginal returns to effort.
That means that 30 minutes of learning for a complete beginner might improve the translation by 500%. 30 minutes of learning for these guys would be the same as a year or two of improvement for me. But they don’t do it. Why? Don’t they just lack integrity?
For people who don’t understand how Japanese verbs work, basically you have a ‘stem’ that’s like a key word, and the shit tacked on the end determines the tense, whether it’s passive or otherwise, and sometimes whether it’s transitive or intransitive.
Basically it fucking determines everything. If you don’t understand this, it’s the same as somebody throwing a bunch of key words at you, and you making up your own sentences with it. Does this sound familiar to you? It should; this is exactly what machine translators do.
There’s a certain blog that had been translating things decently up until now. Then a ‘translator’ joined the team and created an atrocious translation. In three lines of dialogue, it got everything 100% wrong. I’m not going to name them, because it’s nasty. I’m not going to contact them and tell them off because that’s being high-handed and arrogant. But you guys are the readers; if anybody can justify themselves for complaining about translation fraud, it’s you guys. I know you’re afraid of upsetting the translator, but surely there’s a gentle and supportive way of pointing out easy ways they could improve. There are a LOT of readers out there, and surely somebody is socially competent enough to do so.
And it’s not like nobody knew that the translations were wrong. On reddit, somebody illustrated how the translations were completely wrong. The project head even commented “I think this is correct”. And yet the guesslation is still up there.
Why are you even translating when you don’t even understand grammar that you’d learn in your 4th lesson of Japanese? It would take you 30 minutes to google a verb conjugation table, and it would improve your translations so much, but you don’t do it.
Instead, you spend god knows how long on completely guesslating this series. People all have their own circumstances, so I’m not here to complain about how some people are less dedicated to improvement than others. But something as basic as verb conjugation is literally 30 minutes of learning.
As far as I can tell, the project in question is completely free, so they aren’t even doing it for money. But in that case, I just can’t understand.
And like I mentioned earlier, it isn’t this one project. Plenty of people are ignoring grammar, and I don’t understand it. If you want to build a car, surely it would be more important to have an engine and wheels than having a frame.
I criticise quite a bit more than other translators, but it’s not because I’m angry or like having somebody to vilify. It makes me feel tired and dirty when I do so, but there’s something seriously wrong with our community when a retarded novice like me counts as one of the better translators. I like drama and starting shit up, but only when the people are nasty or mean. I don’t like criticising otherwise nice people like this.
To that project head, if you know who you are, please have a gentle talk with that translator of yours. Considering that your project’s quality just took a 100% drop in quality, this is arguably more your problem than theirs. You’re the manager after all.
Anyway, sorry for saying something unsightly again. I’ll try and get the next chapter of Tilea out tonight. Sorry. And yeah, I know that I’m being harsh and stuff this time, so justice knights, feel free to flame me.