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Comprehensive Translator's Guide to the Galaxy

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  • Comprehensive Translator's Guide to the Galaxy

    Translator Guide 101


    Written by: jujubeeza
    Assisted by: Sharogy, Toady, Snowrries

    Revision date: June 23rd, 2013

    Table of contents
    1. Formatting
    a) Basics
    b) Spacing
    c) Joined Bubbles
    d) Text all over the place
    e) notes

    2. Translations
    a) confused on a word?
    b) flow
    c) sfx

    3. Terminology Sheet

    4. Tips & Tricks

    5. Advanced things to consider

  • #2
    1. Formatting

    Formatting covers everything that has to do with script presentation. The goal of a script is to translate the original into English (duh) AND make it so the proofreader does not have to guess what line belongs to what bubble.

    a) Basics

    The basics. Simple things that every script should do, and likely already does.
    • Please use .rtf or .doc file formats. Anybody can open .rtf files, and most of us can open .doc files. Try not to use .docx files, as it may cause issues.
    • Read your own script after you are done. Put yourself in your proofreader's shoes. Odds are if you can't follow your script, nobody can.
    • Use proper punctuation and capitalization. In every bubble. For joined bubbles, if there is no transition punctuation, just use '...' or '-'.
    • Use references to clearly show who/what is talking. Example: [RAI: Hello.]
    • Clearly indicate the page you are on.
    • Do not use all caps or bold all the words in a line. You may bold a word for emphasis here and there, but do so too often, and it loses its effect.
    • Ellipses should be restricted to three periods or six periods.
    • Use the same file-naming format that is already in place in your series' ftp folder.
      • An example format would be: (series name)_(season or volume)_(chapter)00X
        • Example: 'DarkAir_v3_ch19' If a series hits triple-digit chapters, archive all the older chapters. Usually an admin will do this well-before it becomes a necessity.
        • More important than the format itself is using the same format consistently. Do not make other have to search for your script in ftp. It is annoying and unnecessary.

    b) spacing

    Scripts should not be text blocks. Add some white space to minimize eye strain and make your script easy to process. Anybody should be able to look at your script and comfortably be able to read it without losing their place.

    Spacing should also indicate the next panel

    Example formatting:

    Page 06
    BATHORY: My last family member…
    BATHORY: My bloodline…!!

    BATHORY: For it to disappear!!

    NERGAL: … How amusing.

    NERGAL: Despite strongly denying Carmilla's survival...
    Single-space for bubbles in the same panel, double-space to indicate next panel with text.
    This eliminates much extraneous text from your script and still makes it easy to follow.
    --You do not have to use this specific format, but do make sure your script is easy on the eyes and easy to follow.

    c) Joined Bubbles

    A joined bubble, or a double bubble (whichever you prefer) needs to be distinguished in the script. Otherwise, the proofreader and/or typesetter will believe you have skipped a line and might go bananas trying to figure out where they did.

    -- I personally distinguish double bubbles using ' / '

    Example formatting:

    PAGE 07
    NERGAL: Even if you witness it with your own eyes, you still won't believe in Angela's death? / Well, have it your way.

    BATHORY: ...What are you going to do about it?
    Now, I am told some typesetters may just copy + paste the entire line, slash included, so you may want to do a single space to indicate the double-bubble as well.
    -- If you do this, add a '-' or something in the front to indicate it is the second half of a bubble and not a new line entirely.

    d) Text all over the place

    There will be times when you have text all over the place.
    A character relationship chart is a good example.

    Here, you could have done some like:

    SKULL: The owner of the legendary guitar. He's a skeleton.
    Sahu->Skull: A skeleton who won't shut up.
    Skull->Sahu: Idol-obsessed lower.
    There is no right way to format things like this...explain in a note to your proofreader if you have to. Whatever communicates what line goes where to the proofreader without their having to guess is correct. Some translators have even done crude edits of the raws themselves, or added numbers in the raw to indicate what line belongs where. Again, do whatever it takes to infallibly communicate your translations to your proofreader.

    e) notes

    Here are two types of notes we translators use.
    1. Translator Notes (T/N): Short explanations of the content for the reader.
      • T/N: sekihan means 'red rice', which is eaten to celebrate something.

    2. Notes for the proofreader so they better know what is going on. This can include alternate suggestions to word a line.
      • I personally use a '*' at the beginning of a line to indicate it is a note to the proofreader.

    There may come a time when you feel the need to write a lengthy translator note and there just isn't enough room on the page. If so, feel free to ask your typesetter or quality checker to add a page at the end with your note.

    To conclude, whatever format you decide to use needs to be legible, easy to follow, and systematic. Be consistent in using certain syntax to mean certain things.

    Formatting Section Complete
    Last edited by jujubeeza; 06-23-2013, 09:21 PM.


    • #3
      2. Translations

      This section is about script content. It will focus on resources available to translators to help them, as well as some tips on word choice.

      a) resources

      We are in the information age. The internet connects us all, and there is a wealth of online resources to help you find what you need.
      Search engines such as google are your friend, as well as online dictionaries and thesauruses.

      Some online methods to figure out words:
      From Sharogy (For Chinese Translators): If I come across a Chinese word I do not understand, I look up the individual characters, put them into google translate, then use the thesaurus to look up the synonyms google translate provides.
      From jujubeeza (For Korean Translators): naver and daum have good, not great dictionaries. They are best if used to look up one word at a time. Make sure to try both the Korean and English dictionaries. Also, if you come across hanja and do not know what it means, ask a Chinese Translator for assistance.

      Also, a powerful resource which I believe is seldom used are other egs staff members themselves. There is no shame in asking for help. It is far better to make a mistake in front of a few staff members than it is in front of thousands of readers, who are far less forgiving. Cleaners regularly ask redrawers for help on difficult pages. It's no big deal. What matters is getting the content correct. Getting the content correct can only be done by the translator. Everybody who uses your script after you submit it is trusting you to have it right.

      b) flow

      Flow here refers to the flow of dialogue. It is surprisingly difficult to write the way people speak.
      What helps here is saying what you type out loud.

      A big difference between the Asian languages and English is the repeated use of a word to convey emphasis. In Asian languages, it works. In English, not so much.
      Example below:

      Here, the word 'afraid' was used four times in the original. However, the translator used 'felt no fear', 'frightened', then 'afraid' twice. Afraid was used twice in a row to connect the two bubbles. If 'afraid' was used all four times, it distracts and even annoys the reader, as repeating a word for emphasis just does not work in English.
      Flow has to do with cadence, with the rhythm of the dialogue. Scripts give a voice to the characters. Naturally, some content is lost in translation.
      Our job as translator is to make sure we get the content correct and retain as much of the intent from the original dialogue as we can.

      c) SFX

      We all hate SFX. It's true. Don't deny it. But...given that manga/manhua/manhwa/webtoons are visual-only forms of entertainment, they are a necessary evil to add another sense into the reading experience.

      In general, with SFX, the effect is more important than the sound.
      • For example, if there is a SFX of a flag waving in the wind, you would use 'flutter' or 'flap' as opposed to 'puh-duk'.
      • In contrast, if there is a SFX of a lock being picked, 'click' can work, because it does convey the lock was successfully picked.

      Use short, action words or onomatopoeia. 'open' instead of 'opening'.
      Lastly, for new translators, look at some earlier proofread scripts of your series. Doing so will give you a good idea of what to do.

      Translations Section Complete
      Last edited by jujubeeza; 06-23-2013, 09:22 PM.


      • #4
        3. Terminology Sheet

        Translators like everyone in the world are busy people. Sometimes we can't work on our projects.
        This is especially the case for series we release on a weekly basis.

        In that event, a translator must sub for the regular translator. Sometimes the sub reads the series and knows what is going on, sometimes they do not.
        This results in the sub having to read the previous chapters, and even go searching for how to translate a word or name.

        It is a cumbersome process that can be immensely frustrating.

        -- Therefore, it is nice to have terminology sheets.

        These spreadsheets should contain the following (original language + english translation of):
        a) all proper nouns
        b) names (and nicknames)
        c) places
        d) character titles or jobs
        e) special techniques, abilities, or spells, if it's that type of series
        f) any terminology created by the author that is more or less unique to that series

        Google spreadsheet is a nice tool to use to make it easily accessible for all. Just make sure you are the only one who has editing access.

        4. Tips & Tricks

        Here are some miscellaneous things translators do to help themselves out.

        a) Format the script first before proceeding to translate and you'll never miss a line.
        b) Get to know your proofreader so you have a feel for their style.
        c) IRC is your friend. real-time feedback is superior to sending messages back and forth.
        d) If you are not sure of a line, look at previous chapters or even read ahead to see if you can figure it out through context.
        e) Have your script take up half your screen and the raw take up the other half. If you can connect to an external projector, awesome.

        5. Advanced things to consider

        If you've got the basics down, you're doing a service to your proofreader.
        Now that we've got that out of the way, let's try to help the rest of the team (cleaner/typesetter/quality check).

        a) If you can stay ahead of the cleaner, do it. If your cleaner is Ell, it's a lost cause, but you can try anyway. Look at the chapter to be cleaned and let the cleaner know what they should clean and what they should not (such as signs, menus, newspapers, cellphones, etc.). They'll likely ask you later on anyway, so this will speed the process up quite a bit.
        b) [From Toady]: Trust your team members implicitly, but also assume they're morons.
        c) [Also from Toady]: When using slang, don't overwhelm with it. Even people in the ghetto generally don't speak in straight-up ebonics. You can count on context to give a lot of the feeling. USE IT RIGHT.
        d) [From Snowrries]: Don't proof or translate when you're asleep.
        e) Consider the size and orientation of the bubble when you translate. If you have a small bubble, keep your lines small. Vice versa. If you have a long, thin bubble, keep your words short (if you can).
        f) Most translators review the proofread script. However, also look at the typeset as well as the final file if you can. A rule of thumb is the more people that touch something, the more likely a mistake was made somewhere. We are human, and are limited by our puny brains.

        I welcome any and all feedback and recommendations to this guide.

        Thank you all for reading.

        Translator's Guide to the Galaxy
        Version 1.0 (13/06/23)
        Drafted by: jujubeeza
        Support: Sharogy, Toady, Snowrries
        Last edited by jujubeeza; 06-23-2013, 09:57 PM.


        • #5

          i would like to add abit on the flow, you can significantly improve the readability if you combine sevearl boxes/st/bubbles from the same content together, and tl it as a block

          anyway, so for this 10 different ST's, eventhough they are seperated, they are contineous
          i find it very helpful to simply combine the translation of all 10 together, then break it up as you want

          u can do this for many different situations
          like 1 character is talking contienously with several bubbles
          or when many narrative boxes trying to tell a story
          obv you try to preserve the order of event to that it matches to the pictures, but in a nutshell u can just break it down however u want
          and it will read much better than trying to translate individual boxes/bubbles

          how to handle puns & untranslatable stuff
          -- try, if fail, ask, use T/N if you are a wuss, etc.


          name master: junnynam

          read what is being changed in your script
          Last edited by jujubeeza; 06-24-2013, 03:14 AM.


          • #6