Advice on Editing

Discussion in 'General Tutorials' started by flame1234, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. flame1234
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    flame1234 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You know, that thing that is done by the "Editor" that's on your translation project staff. The job entails taking a more literal translation and producing a less literal translation that will be more understandable to the local audience.

    Is there advice out there on how editors should do their job, like an "Editing Guide?"
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Editors should probably not be taking a translation and turning it into a less literal one. They should mainly be there to ensure consistent terminology (especially with proper nouns or earlier entries in the series if you are respecting those), maybe acting as typesetter (though this may well be the job of another when it comes to game translation as seen on sites like this), checking grammar, checking spelling and doing all that. If your editor is changing vast tracts of text, say to turn it into a less literal one, then chances are your translators have failed in their task, possible minor exception if the editor has to trim the text to help it fit within the game but there they should be working closely with the translator/translator's notes. They might change a few things to help things flow better but even that should be done sparingly by the editor.

    Generally at the start of things you will probably have a discussion on how the game should be translated, what, if any, points of reference there are (older games, other works that feed into it, other aspects of culture that might have been borrowed and used), what your target audience is (those with deep knowledge of Japanese culture, those with enough to get by, those that could not be expected to know a thing) and all that sort of stuff. The editor's job would then be to ensure consistency with that, possibly also checking some translation if they know Japanese but that would be a luxury in most fields, especially fan translations of various sorts.
     
  3. flame1234
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    flame1234 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    My current project is The Legend of Heroes Zero no Kiseki. Here's just an example: Our translator wrote for a line:

    Context = A newspaper article

    [Society] Another Meritorious Deed By Arios MacLaine.
    Yesterday, the incident of two boys living in the city who lost their way in the Geofront happened.

    As far as I can tell, this is what the original Japanese actually says. If someone wants to check, the original Japanese:
    昨日、市内に住む少年2人がジオフロントに迷い込む事件が発生。
    I wrote the following:

    Yesterday, the incident of two boys living in the city who lost their way in the Geofront happened.
    ----------
    Is it less literal than the original Japanese? Absolutely it is! But I think it reads nicer for an English speaker than the literal one, without losing the meaning. To be clear, this edit is driven only by what sound best in English and is not based on any text length requirements.

    To me, this is the job of the editor. Am I totally off-base here?
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I would argue that your translator should have done that and provided a reasonably readable line in the first place. Once or twice they might let something slide and by all means they should be able to IM/email/whatever to ask about something they are working on, that would be well within the remit of an editor to be around for.
    If some humour or something gets involved and every one of those articles has a certain type of pun, always references something, uses some kind of grammatical construction then the editor might well have to twist things to make it so, if indeed you want to keep it in there.

    The only times you really want to go literal, and even then you want some kind of readable, are legal matters and medical matters (both of which are odd for translators, especially Japanese ones).

    If it is all your translator can do and you then need to have an editor make/rewrite the script to get it readable then there are worse things you can do (using a machine translation tool for instance), however in those cases there tends to be things both parties would miss* and you end up making a different translation because of it**.

    *if the editor knows Japanese but not comfortably enough to want to try to translate it themselves then there is more leeway but these situations are rare.

    **in this sort of thing there is always a debate between literal and interpreted (or indeed how far to go towards one or the other), though here literal means things like keeping Japanese cultural references in where interpreted would change that for something else.