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Sonic Adventure Retranslated Mod

#16 User is offline Windii 

Posted 03 August 2018 - 05:42 PM

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I wanna bump this thread to say that my friend DeLaKeK has completed the SA2 retranslation mod for the PC version recently. Also don't be fooled by the credits section, the Robowil guy merely replaced some lines in Last Story with my script, while DeLaKeK handled replacing for the rest of the game. He just forgot to edit that in is all.

#17 User is offline Kæðer 

Posted 15 August 2018 - 04:13 AM

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View PostBlazeHedgehog, on 03 March 2018 - 06:22 AM, said:

This is a really good idea, but something I brought up when Windii's SA2 retranslation came across my Tumblr dash still bothers me, and it's the same issue that a lot of fan translation projects sometimes have...

A lot of this dialog is really stilted. It doesn't read like native english. I mean, don't get me wrong, the work here is fine, and even if it doesn't read like native english, it's still readable enough, it's just I'm more of a "localization, not translation" guy and this reads like dialog directly translated from Japanese.

When I was made aware of Windii's SA2 retranslation, I actually started trying to westernize it a little bit (with her permission), but she mentioned she didn't want "dubtitling" which I was a little hazy on, but with her mentioning grammar fixes I assume that basically meant she didn't want anything being re-written too drastically. In other words, she's a "translation, not localization" person -- which makes sense, given how much work this would have undoubtedly taken.

But it still nags at me. I should have probably gotten clarification on what she meant, but I didn't want to step on any toes. Also, to be honest, I made it less than a quarter of the way through SA2's script before I got distracted by moving cross-country and I sort of forgot about it until now.

I'd be willing to try something with SA1's script here, but I dunno what interest there is or whether or not I'm even allowed, or how far I can go.

I don't think it's a matter or "localization, not translation", but rather "good translation, not bad translation". Not that I've seen both of you's works, but I'm assuming you weren't changing onigiries to "donuts" to make it "safe for Americans" or some-thing. If you were just WORDING THINGS BETTER, that's not 'localization'. A translator's GOAL is to make (in this case) an English equivalent of the Japanese dialog. If it sounds natural in Japanese, but stilted in English, the translator has faild their job. The master translators are translators who are also good writers and can write the dialog like a professional writer would, and make it sound like it was in English all along without the help of a separate person taskt as Writer. Most translators, however, are not this good...but they try their best to be. And the ones that don't are calld "Weeabooes".

#18 User is offline Dissident 

Posted 21 December 2018 - 09:47 AM

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I've been playing through SA1 with this mod and although I really appreciate the work this took, I do have to echo that it reads very stilted in English. I found myself having to reread things a few times because it doesn't sound like natural English. Either way it's been really interesting seeing the differences in the scripts as I assume this is a very accurate direct translation. Thanks

#19 User is offline Saturnine Sable 

Posted 22 December 2018 - 05:40 PM

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I share the sentiment that many people here have expressed - however, I specialize in editing and relocalizing scripts, so I decided to attempt to give it a second draft.
It's not as literal or perfectly accurate as the original translation by Windii, but it is several magnitudes more faithful than the official localization - basically, I'm trying to strike a happy medium between the two. I've only done Sonic's story and a small portion of Tails' at the moment, but if people are interested in me continuing I'll definitely do so.

https://pastebin.com/N8iYcKkb

#20 User is offline Windii 

Posted 23 December 2018 - 11:07 AM

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Reading some of the posts in this thread, it seems to me that people have some very real misconceptions about the differences between translation and localization.

If all you know about the subject is from what's on anime message boards or whatever, you'd think that “translation” simply means shoving a wall of foreign text through Google Translate and then mindlessly regurgitating whatever awkward string of words it craps out. And that “localization,” meanwhile, is this wonderful art of crafting natural-sounding prose that flows so well it makes the viewer forget that what they're seeing was in fact something that was originally written in another language. People sing the praises of the latter while condemning the limitations of the former.

But that reduces the whole process into this black and white "translation bad, localization good" thing. It's not. Translations can be good and bad, and so can localizations.

Shadow saying, "Is that what Chaos Control is?" in Sonic Adventure 2, for example, is certainly a case of a lousy translation. But the issue here isn't a translation vs. localization one; it's a simple "good vs bad translation" one. Any translator worth their salt would have looked at the Japanese line カオスコントロールか! and either:
  • Translated it as "Was that Chaos Control?!" since Shadow here is supposed to be surprised that his prototype can use Chaos Control as well
  • Translated it simply as "Chaos Control?!". This variant is closer to the original line and conveys about the same meaning, but probably would not have satisfied the length of the mouth movements so going with the first variant would be just as acceptable

The art of massaging a sentence so that it flows in a natural way doesn't suddenly make what you're doing not a translation; it just makes it a competent one.

“Localizing," on the other hand, is more along the lines of taking Japanese vocab/grammar concepts that don't really exist in English (puns, first or second person pronouns, honorifics and what have you) and changing them to the next best thing you can actually expect to be heard in English. Or if you want a reverse example, things like changing Cubot's cowboy and pirate dialects to that of a ninja and sumo wrestler in Japanese Colors. Something like that. Some localization choices are decent (Cream referring to people as "Mr." and "Ms." instead of "-san" is good and makes sense) but others are... less so (i.e. the whole Eggman to Robotnik name change. YMMV on that though, I guess).

TL;DR, if you want to edit my scripts to sound more "natural" or something, "localizing" is kind of a poor choice of word. Use "editing" or "cleaning up" instead.

#21 User is offline XRick 

Posted 23 December 2018 - 11:50 AM

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It's kinda saddening that some people don't seem to appreciate all the contributions you've been giving to the community.
I haven't seen the full extent of your retranslated games' videos, but from what I've seen I liked it a lot.
Certain details or plot points that had been lost in the original translation got restored, helping people to better understand certain things from each game.

#22 User is offline Josh 

Posted 24 December 2018 - 01:10 AM

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Something else comes to mind: While editing a translation to flow more naturally is certainly valuable to a native speaker experiencing the story, having a more literal translation to go with it has just as much merit, especially in a case like this where we've had decades to become familiar with the stories. A big part of why this is so fascinating to me is seeing just how botched the original scripts were, and how many plot holes and awkward character beats opened up because of that. A literal translation might not be something you'd play through the game with, but it's ideal for addressing things like that.

#23 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 24 December 2018 - 02:48 AM

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A stiff literal translation only helps insofar as it's correct. For all we know, SA2's translation was meant to be as literal as possible. It'd sure explain the TERIAAAAAs and YOSHs and whatnot. That it was rubbish wasn't necessarily a result of cleaning up, or localization, or any of that, but as Windii said, a rubbish translation to begin with. As an example in another franchise, the RPGOne retranslation of Final Fantasy VI is definitely stiff, and purports to be more literal and therefore more accurate than the official SNES translation of the game, yet it's filled to the brim with brand new translation errors (and that's not even to get into the amount of content which was simply rephrased from the original SNES version, largely defeating the purpose).

And on the flip side, a translation that has been cleaned up to sound more natural isn't necessarily less literal. For any sentence you can imagine, there are probably a dozen ways to rephrase it that all mean the exact same thing. You can word a sentence a dozen ways without changing the meaning. The construction of a sentence can be reworked in as many as twelve different ways while retaining the same essential meaning. Some may be stiff and some may be fluid, but that doesn't necessarily make one more literal than another. And as a general rule, if you have one guy on the team whose only job is cleanup, if he's doing it right, he's not changing meanings at all.

At the same time, so much of written and spoken language relies on nuance, on cultural assumptions and understandings, that even two sentences which are functionally identical as far as dictionary definitions could carry vastly different subtexts. "I gotta skedaddle" and "I must depart" may both mean the same thing, but they don't mean the same thing at all, if that makes sense. And don't even get me started on expressions and figures of speech; no matter how similar a man and a guy may be, a wise man and a wise guy are not at all alike.

Quite frankly, I don't think the word "literal" is even worth serious consideration. A great translation strives to be accurate. To accurately convey the intent of the original author. To portray all forms of meaning, tone, style, etc., not just definitions.

Does a more literal translation of SA2 have merit? Yes, but less because it's "more literal" and more because the original translation is riddled with mistakes.

There exists, for every sentence conceivable, a plethora of potential structures and word choices, minimally a dozen, of which any particular selection would not meaningfully impact the actual substance of said sentence.
This post has been edited by Covarr: 24 December 2018 - 02:50 AM

#24 User is offline Jeffery Mewtamer 

Posted 24 December 2018 - 09:20 AM

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I don't think I've ever heard anyone display the kind of "localization good, translation bad" attitude described above. If anything, localization still seems to have a bit of a bad rap in the segments of online anime geekdom I'm exposed to on account of how nearly every dub company used to be pretty much straight up xenophobic in their efforts to rewrite series set in Japan(or a Japan analog) to being set in the US even though most such licensees have either gone out of business or gotten their act together.

Admittedly, heavy handed localization can take away from an otherwise well-done translation(to borrow an example from above, calling onigiri doughnuts has no value over calling them rice balls unless you're xenophobic), but there are cases borrowing an English idiom has merit over literally translating a foreign idiom or creating an English pun has merit over including enough gratuitous foreign language to preserve the original pun.

Granted, sometimes the translation itself is bad before even getting into decisions of wording, what's better kept close to literal and what's better adapted to a more natural phrasing in the target language, or getting into the challenge of fitting dialogue to a character's personality and speech patterns(hard enough when creating dialogue from whole cloth, probably all the harder when you've got the original script to adapt, and good luck trying to match a style of speech from the source language that lacks a good analog in the target language).

Commentary on the art and science of translation aside, is there any good way of comparing these recently published fan-translations with the official translation for those of us without the option of simply playing through the game with the official dub and fansubs running at the same time? Or failing that, can someone provide a few examples where the two differ in characterization/plot-altering ways?

#25 User is offline Dissident 

Posted 04 January 2019 - 12:02 PM

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View PostSaturnine Sable, on 22 December 2018 - 05:40 PM, said:

I share the sentiment that many people here have expressed - however, I specialize in editing and relocalizing scripts, so I decided to attempt to give it a second draft.
It's not as literal or perfectly accurate as the original translation by Windii, but it is several magnitudes more faithful than the official localization - basically, I'm trying to strike a happy medium between the two. I've only done Sonic's story and a small portion of Tails' at the moment, but if people are interested in me continuing I'll definitely do so.

https://pastebin.com/N8iYcKkb

This is great! I'd definitely love to see more.

#26 User is offline BlazeHedgehog 

Posted 05 January 2019 - 10:48 PM

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View PostWindii, on 23 December 2018 - 11:07 AM, said:

TL;DR, if you want to edit my scripts to sound more "natural" or something, "localizing" is kind of a poor choice of word. Use "editing" or "cleaning up" instead.


Sure, I just think it's easier shorthand for the different types of translation, but I see where you're coming from. Part of the reason I never finished editing all the scripts is because I've started to feel really guilty for being annoying and pedantic about all of this.
This post has been edited by BlazeHedgehog: 05 January 2019 - 10:50 PM

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