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Ni no Kuni Translation [ENG]

Discussion in 'NDS - ROM Hacking and Translations' started by Zkarts, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. RPGTsukuru

    RPGTsukuru Member

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    May 19, 2014
    Russia
    I am very hopeful that the book will also be translated
     
  2. Pablitox

    Pablitox GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Oct 18, 2011
    Argentina
    Well the book is pretty important as it is heavily referenced in the game (wether to solve a puzzle or use a certain spell).
     
  3. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

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    Nov 6, 2002
    United States
    Azores/Portugal
    Welcome back and take your time. It will be worth!

    By the way, you should go to Portugal. Many Uk people went to Portugal and loved it. You should try it. :)
     
  4. Kamiyama

    Kamiyama GBAtemp Fan

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Finland
    The book very same book is all ready translated in PS3 version of game. Or at least it had pretty much same stuff, the spells and how they need to be drawn, monster info etc. If somebody could rip it and make a pdf or something similiar from that, there's your spell book.
     
  5. Anjiera

    Anjiera 漫画 && ROM XL8R

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    May 23, 2015
    Canada
    Having played the DS game entirely in Japanese, I agree. I enjoyed solving the puzzles and referencing the book. But, at the same time many people have managed to enjoy the Spanish translation of the game, and they did not translate the book.

    Yes, there are some puzzles that just had to tell you their answers, but several puzzles can be solved even if you don't know Japanese - things like how many of X thing are in this picture, etc. The hardest part about translating the book is actually the puzzles, since so many of them are puns or homonyms in Japanese that just don't really work right in English, so... they will take longer to come up with appropriate translations for. Given how impatient people are for the patch, and how often we are asked to just publish it half-done as some sort of demo (not happening, btw), I doubt many people would want us to sit on a completed game translation patch for a few months while we translate the book.

    We do have high quality scans of the Japanese book already, and as posted above we have done the page-by-page comparison of the DS book to the PS3 book to determine how much work it might be to translate the book. It will be about 100 pages of translation, and then quite a bit of graphics editing to scanlate the book, so we are going to try to release the game translation patch first without the book, and then if we have time/energy afterwards we could then hypothetically remove all of the puzzle hints and release an updated patch file that would require the translated book.

    I have been working on this for almost 2 years, and our fearless leader ZKarts has been managing this project for I think close to 4 years, so you can imagine that it feels a bit endless. We are not promising that the book will be translated, just that we know how much work it will be and that it is a possibility for a release after the initial patch is done.

    As always, thanks for your enthusiasm and support! We have pretty much everything we need to deliver you guys a really excellent translation. If you want to help with graphics, that would be great - especially if we do decide to scanlate the book, since that will require cleaners and typesetters and proofreaders and so forth.
     
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  6. wiinwinn

    wiinwinn Member

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    Nov 21, 2016
    Thailand
    cheer up :)
     
  7. Anjiera

    Anjiera 漫画 && ROM XL8R

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    May 23, 2015
    Canada
    Uh, thanks wiinwinn... I didn't realize I needed cheering up! :)

    I notice you're from Thailand, and that was a very very short message... Did you mean that you are cheering for our progress? A quick google search leads me to believe that the phrase "ทุกสิ่ง ทุกอย่าง จะ ผ่านไปได้ ด้วยดี" in Thai means something like "everything will go well", but that is sometimes translated as "don't worry" or "cheer up", which might fit in some situations, but not in others.

    The expression "cheer up" is idiomatic and means that the person who is being "cheered up" or who needs "cheering up" is unhappy and that the person who is doing the cheering up is going to make them happy again or at least happier than they were.

    Hopefully I'm not coming across as depressed or disheartened - not at all! I'm crazy enthusiastic about the progress that we're making. Thanks for the positive words, whatever your intent! I am certain that everything will go well for this project, eventually. (^_^)

    For anyone reading this post who still things that Google Translate would do even a slightly passable job at translating 30,000+ blocks of dialogue, this short phrase example should hopefully convince you otherwise. Context is king, and telling someone "everything will go well" can mean very different things (and thus, have several very different but still sensible and correct translations) depending on the context of whether you are encouraging them to continue something difficult (what I think wiinwinn meant), helping them out of a deep & dark hole of depression (what it sounded like wiinwinn meant), or even just calming someone down when they are getting a bit anxious about something that will probably not be as bad as they think (also a possibility for wiinwinn's meaning).

    Context, as well as deducing authorial intent and dealing with idiomatic expressions, exaggerations, boasting, hyperbole, sarcasm, and a whole host of other styles of communication is difficult to teach computers and is the reason why large corpus texts can be difficult to accurately translate by computer. This is especially true with the way our files are organized, sometimes I have to go watch Let's Play videos just to figure out who is talking and who is listening in a conversation! Ha. :P

    Anyway, I've been doing some stuff that isn't impacting the translation % (reworking previous sections of text, checking that we used certain phrases consistently and whatnot).

    Current % is a bit lower than I had hoped for today's update, but still making good, solid, necessary progress.

    Updated stats:
    Text: 72.73% of the text translated (+2.53% since last update)
    Graphics - I keep forgetting to go dig around and check on this. It is a little less obvious than the text % done, since the graphics need to be checked after being photoshopped so that they don't crash the game. Smaller progress on graphics as far as exact # of them done vs # of lines translated, but since there is a much smaller number of total graphics needing to be done the % jump is probably higher. All speculation, though, I'll try to remember to look at that soon. Not done yet, anyway.

    I hope everyone had a great weekend! I'll update things again soon.
     
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  8. wiinwinn

    wiinwinn Member

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    Nov 21, 2016
    Thailand
    Sorry i didnt mean that. Yep, im from thailand and im really looking forward to this project every time i entered this website. Sorry, my english is quite bad lol. I dont know which word i should use haha but i just want you to know that i really like this project and hope that it will come out soon. Thanks for update status of the project too. Really glad you mention me about this one haha. Keep up the good works :) :) :)
     
  9. Anjiera

    Anjiera 漫画 && ROM XL8R

    Member
    6
    May 23, 2015
    Canada
    Bro / Ladybro, do not worry about it! Your English is waaaaay better than my Thai. ;)

    In hindsight that last post makes it sound like I'm language shaming you, and I definitely didn't intend it with that interpretation. I meant to clarify what you said, and to also use that one small post as an example of why translation is still better off left to people - at least, translation of large works that lack enough context and that have emotional and artistic sides to them that should be preserved.

    Sorry if I used your post to beat a dead horse, but machine translation keeps getting brought up around here (not by you, of course) and I guess I was just looking for an opportunity to expand on previous points that I've made about why we're not just stuffing the game text through the wood chipper that is AI translation tools.

    Thank you for that! If you're ever in Canada, send me a PM and maybe we can meet up and chat about life and languages and humanity (and Ni No Kuni!). :) I am hoping we can release this soon, too. We're getting closer every day!

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Oh, right! I keep forgetting to post a link to the new NNK2 trailer they showed at PSX:


    They haven't said when it will release yet, other than 2017... so I still feel confident that we have slightly more than a snowball's chance in hell of releasing our patch before the sequel (to the PS3 game, technically) comes out.
     
  10. Anjiera

    Anjiera 漫画 && ROM XL8R

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    May 23, 2015
    Canada
    ... Oh my... More evidence against machine translation of games. Clyde "Tomato" Mandelin (the guy who fan translated Mother 3; he now works for Funimation) took the original FFIV text, put it through Google Translate, and is now playing the patched rom with much hilarity.

    He's calling it Funky Fantasy 4. Check it out:
    Awesome screenshots abound on his twitter feed: https://twitter.com/ClydeMandelin/status/805918876965879808
    Here's a list of Google Translate-d Item names: http://legendsoflocalization.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/funky4items.txt
    Here's the twitch stream: https://www.twitch.tv/clydemandelin
     
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  11. RoyKawaii

    RoyKawaii Newbie

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    Dec 9, 2016
    Iceland
    Hello everyone :3,
    I've been following this thread for about half a year and I must tell everyone that
    are working on this project: GREAT JOB!! YOU'RE DOING A WONDERFUL WORK! <3
    I am a big fan of Ni no Kuni and can't wait to play the original on my ol' DS lite.
    It's incredible to see fans translating this masterpiece! I beg all of you, DO NOT GIVE UP ON THIS PROJECT!
    YOU ARE MAKING MIRACLES HAPPEN!
    :D
    Also, special thanks to Anjiera! You make sure to update us all with new information regarding the project,
    and do a great job answering questions! You deserve more respect than you may or may not be getting in this project!!
    I am no professional Photoshop'er or a fluent Japanese speaker (currently JLPT 4) but I would put my heart and soul
    to this project in any way I could. please let me know if you need any sort of help! :D <3
     
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  12. Spikey

    Spikey Your Special Someone

    Member
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    Mar 16, 2006
    United States
    I have an old PDF of the English book that came with the PS3 game(as well as owning a physical copy of the book too \m/). How similar are the two to each other? I'm not sure about being allowed to distribute it, but whatever restrictions on that would likely also apply to the Japanese version as well...
     
  13. Anjiera

    Anjiera 漫画 && ROM XL8R

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    May 23, 2015
    Canada
    Yes, another good point. It is easy for us to release a patch file for a ROM that users get elsewhere, but releasing a scanlated book might draw more unwanted legal attention. Hence putting out the ROM first and then seeing
    who is left to *maybe* work on the book. For questions about similarities, please see my earlier post where I listed all the differences. :)

    Aww... Thanks! We're not giving up, have no fear! Things are moving pretty smoothly at the moment, and it is starting to feel like we're into the home stretch. I've got some family stuff going on this weekend, but I'll post a progress update on Dec. 19th after (hopefully) making some more progress.

    Thanks for the encouragement!
     
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  14. Anjiera

    Anjiera 漫画 && ROM XL8R

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    May 23, 2015
    Canada
    Last edited by Anjiera, Dec 13, 2016
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  15. 0scar64

    0scar64 Newbie

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    Oct 19, 2016
    United States
    Really looking forward to this as well!

    Loved the PS3 version and Ni No Kuni 2 was announced as well!

    Thanks for all the work :D
     
  16. jdevil99

    jdevil99 Advanced Member

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    Mar 14, 2009
    United States
    How will you guys handle certain points in the game that reference the magic book that don't necessarily pertain to spells, like points where text input is needed? I know there is only a handful of scenarios during the main story that require it and side quest stuff too. For example, when you first meet the pot genie, you have to input いでよ なべまじ ん in the original DS version, in the US PS3 version it was open says a me. Are you using the what was utilized during the western PS3 release or maybe giving a text document with the appropriate responses for just those segments, so the whole magic book doesn't necessarily need to be translated day 1 for the patch release. I'd assume character length would affect some of the responses since your limited in the DS version as to how many characters you can input. Sorry if this was already answered else where, I've been away for awhile and just trying to catch up on the progress. Keep the momentum going, and thanks for all the work that you guys are doing. I can't wait to replay this in English once this is completed.
     
  17. Anjiera

    Anjiera 漫画 && ROM XL8R

    Member
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    May 23, 2015
    Canada
    For most of the book-based riddles we have 8-10 characters that we can use. This is, as you can imagine, not very much room in English. The spanish patch was released without the book over a year ago, and people are able to play it fine. There will be a couple of puzzles that we will just have to give the player the answers for, which is unfortunate but necessary in order to get the game out sooner. I am going to personally do a full playthrough before we ship, even after our playtesters are done, and when I do that I will not use anything from the Japanese book, though it has been suggested that people could use the English PDF for a few things, like players needing to be able to see the spell runes and such things. Not entirely sure yet, but we are keeping track of where puzzles that require the book are in the text so that we can make the right choices about each of them in the end.

    Don't worry - we will make sure that it is both playable and enjoyable. :) Thanks for your support and your concerns - these were some of the reasons why this game didn't get localized in the first place, so it is still tricky for us as volunteers to make some of these decisions.

    I hope that helps to alleviate your concerns.
     
  18. jdevil99

    jdevil99 Advanced Member

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    Mar 14, 2009
    United States
    Ok, sounds good. Thanks for the quick response, I'm probably going to replay it one more time before the patch drops. I've finally got things sorted after my job transferred me to a new location to fix things and free time was non existent, but now it is within my reach. But yeah, I remember hitting a few walls while playing, but I did have a guide with info to help me along the way, so it wasn't too bad. Like you mentioned, there is only a handful of points that need a typed response and 95% of everything else is drawing spells. Thankfully, all the spells are easy to find since the PS3 version translations are floating around the net and even using the Japanese book isn't difficult with a little common sense or trial & error. Concerns alleviated.
     
  19. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

    Global Moderator
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    Oct 27, 2002
    France
    Engine room, learning
    interesting to read the translation case study.
    I see drippy/Shizuku has an accent. How did you translate it? Did you keep his regional accent difference?

    I understand english, but that's not my native language. I hope it will not be too difficult for non native english speaker to understand a "local" language/accent/way of speaking.
    I guess I'll have difficulties in the PS3 game, I don't know Welsh :P
    that will be the occasion to learn more things.
     
  20. Anjiera

    Anjiera 漫画 && ROM XL8R

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    May 23, 2015
    Canada
    Ah, right! There are so many decisions that we've made with this over the course of the project, it is easy to forget the things that we decided to do differently from the PS3 translation.

    So, first let me just say that I am a huge fan of the translation work that they did with the PS3. Any place where we decided to make things different was often for space reasons, or because we don't have to worry about other companies being mad at us for using their character names, so we can use some pop culture references that the Japanese game used, rather than hiding them.

    [=== Difference example 1: Hamelin ===]
    For example, the original name for the city of Hamelin in Japanese is "ボーグ帝国". There are many ways that you can transliterate ボーグ, but given that the city is mechanized and militarized, the citizens idolize machines, and they all wear armor that looks like pigs... we've decided to call them the Boarg Empire. Get it? Like, the Borg from Star Trek, but also boars? :P I think it is funny. Plus, it is closer to the Japanese than Hamelin, so... that's what they are called.

    [=== Difference example 2: Shizuku's accent ===]
    I often struggle with how to translate accents in some of the manga that I work on (and that have been neglected lately due to all of this Ni No Kuni stuff I've been doing ... shhh! Don't tell my editor that this is why...! ). It is also widely written about by translators working on J->E game and manga translations, and was reportedly one of the reasons why the Dragon Quest series was switched over to British accents on the franchise's western reboot:
    http://legendsoflocalization.com/lets-talk-aboot-those-dragon-quest-iv-accents/

    Accents *can* help to define a character, to give them a certain charm, or in the case of Shizuku, establish that he is definitely a Fairy, since the PS3 game had a new area that included other fairies and they also all had Welsh accents. Accents can also, as you mentioned, make it really difficult for people to understand what a character is saying if the accent is done wrong.

    We originally had a bunch of Shizuku's early dialog that was written according to the Welsh accent that he had in the PS3 game. We even used spellings and slang that the PS3 game used. But, what we found on the team was that when we had new people join that hadn't played the PS3 game and didn't have Shizuku's voice actor's voice in their head when they were reading the text really struggled with understanding the accent, and even with placing where the accent was from. Things like "innit" and "mun" made some of our playtesters think he was written to be a rastafarian with a Jamaican accent, and that is a totally different characterization than what Shizuku is - he is the least laid-back, least chill person out there, as far as I'm concerned. The problem with our game is that we will not have the awesome voice over work to guide the audience in placing the accent. The voice work will all remain in Japanese, and thus the accent would have to be very very identifiable to people that haven't played the PS3 game yet. The voice work is also the reason why we kept Shizuku's name in Japanese, since other characters often talk about him in voiced sections and we have found that it is nice to recognize bits of audio in the Japanese recordings.

    So, we ditched the accent entirely and just made sure we kept the feeling of sarcasm and wit and (more generic) slang that the character exudes. And every single time we get a new translator on board, or a new playtester or editor we have this whole conversation again and every time I wonder if there are ways that we could find to make the accent more intelligible for people new to the world. And... every time we end up resolving to stick to our guns and keep the accent very neutral, but add verbal embellishments outside of accent to help shape the character's personality.

    I hope you won't be disappointed to hear that there won't be any "innit", "tidy", or "mun" in the patch. When you think it through, given the Japanese-only audio, it just has to be this way. And no, we can't rip the English game audio and cram it into the patch because of a lot of other really good reasons. If we could we would, trust me.

    I also hope the example of The Boarg Empire made you grin, and that it reassures you that we're not doing a literal translation, and we're not forcing ourselves to stick with every decision made by the PS3 team, but that we are making the best decisions that we can for new and existing fans of the game. We can't please everyone, and we can't fit every Imagen or Item name from the PS3 version on the screen in a lot of cases, but we take every name in the game very seriously, and we are doing our best to give this patch the most polish that we can given the circumstances (and the time we are able to spend on this, as a group of volunteers with lives and jobs and families outside of this project).
     
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