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Hi everyone,

LocJAM is a non-profit videogame translation contest organized by team GLOC and the Localization SIG of the IGDA, with the support of the IGDA Foundation.

Free, takes less than a day to localize, and you've got two weeks to hone it. It's quite a chance to test and improve your skills. Here, in the smartcat forum, we are promoting an online study group. You are welcome to join and share your thoughts!

This will be our main thread for talking about how to best solve the challenges in the LocJAM4 game localization process. We should tackle one challenge at a time, but feel free to add your concerns at any moment.

For a list of helpful resources, check this thread: https://forum.smartcat.ai/topic/306-locjam4-resources/

For help, go to this thread: https://forum.smartcat.ai/topic/305-locjam4-help/

------------------ Challenges to Discuss ------------------

-- Is the mage female?

-- The Narrator's Style

-- The Game's Initial State

-- Item Translation: DIE-ary of the Brave.

-- How to trigger the "That name is not available" message.

-- Pun: The Archfiend is a True Friend

-- Classification Translation: RPG-like command battle style-ish clue solving game!

------------------ Solutions Provided ------------------

-- The Game's Initial State - @Gabriel Ninô

  • You are the Mage, within the Archfiend's mind, within the Brave's body.
  • The Brave's mind is within the Archfiend's body. He's the one to talk to you in the beginning.
  • Prior to the first scene, the Mage arrived in the battle, the Archfiend took an Esther potion, and then the Mage cast Possession on the Archfiend. The Brave then arrives, casts Switch on the Archfiend, and you (together with the Archfiend's mind) are transferred to the Brave's body, and that becomes the first scene.
  • The game is within a loop until you break free of the loop by fueling the Brave with Ether, instead of fueling the Archfiend's mana pool.

-- How to trigger the "That name is not available" message.

  • The game reserves the names of the Brave and the Archfiend, the characters you can control, so you don't get confused while playing, but it only does so in the game's original language, Japanese! - @Gabriel Ninô
  • Insert まおう or ゆうしゃ to trigger the message. They mean Archfiend and Brave respectively. The game supports Copy and Paste.
  • You can also use maou or yuusha instead.

-- The Narrator's Style

  • A biblical tone.
  • Use of rhymes and poetic speech.
  • A specific dialect which only he employs, sounding ancient or wise.
  • Riddles. Check the Resources thread for inspirations.

-- Item Translation: DIE-ary of the Brave.

  • The pun is nor merely on the pronunciation of Diary, but also in the idea that by reading it, you will die. - @Renan Felipe dos Santos
  • This is an item in which you'll most likely not have an equivalent pun in your language, so this may be the time to transcreate.
  • Even at the cost of the pun, you may still attach the meaning to death and create something original.

-- Game's Classification Translation: "RPG-like command battle style-ish clue solving game!"

  • If your language can aggregate words together, such as German, this may be an opportunity to do so.
  • If your language does not support this, but supports the attachment of suffixes, that may be an alternative.
  • If your language doesn't support either, you can still add idioms and words to present the feeling of being overwhelmed.
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10 hours ago, Gabriel Ninô said:

Nice catch. I failed to mention you have to confirm the name to see the message.

I personally always translate those, and I think that's the most common practice as far as I could see (not that I play too many games in Portuguese, but I often check other people's work).

 

8 hours ago, Roxana Rivera said:

They should be translated, look for usual the abbreviation in your language. A great place to look for those are the latest games from major companies such as Ubisoft or Microsoft which are more likely to hire professional localization companies to translate their games :) That's what I do when I have a doubt in something UI related hahaha. 

Thank you for the tips! I will also check on some of those to see how they are doing!

 

8 hours ago, Gabriel Ninô said:

Still about the forbidden names, I've found this list while messing the Developer Tools (check the image). Those are the possible ways of writing Archfiend's and Brave's name in the original game.

 

forbidden names.PNG

Nice finding! So it's basically the hiragana, katakana, kanji and romaji readings! Thanks for the tip!

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This game requires us to be extra when transcreating or simply not sticking very close to the original. It's a riddle-solving game, and there are many, many tiny hints here and there. It makes it really important to fully understand the game, as if you were helping the dev.

That said, there's something else I found out by playing the original version (I wanted to check for new ideas), which is inaccurate in the translation and also a potential hint in the game.

Quote

I'm thy dearest, great grand master!

The original would be:

Quote

わしは    おまえたちの    ししょう    じゃ!

Which literally translates to:

Quote

I'm your master!

(Kudos for the translation, improving the simple sentence from the original, btw)

There's a catch, though. That "your" there (omaetachino) is the plural form of "your". "Thy", on the other hand, is singular. So using "your" would help the player (just a tiny little bit, especially compared to the explicit plural in JP) pay attention to the fact that the Brave's party consists of more than 1 person. In PT, I'll definitely take advantage of that opportunity to provide that hint for the player (instead of using a singular pronoun, I can choose between a plural or an ambiguous one).

Anyway, just sharing ideas and information.

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On 4/22/2017 at 10:08 PM, Gabriel Ninô said:

-- Pun: The Archfiend is a True Friend

The game is hinting at you that you CAN do it, but you SHOULDN'T do it, because an Archfiend should never, ever act with humanity. Thus, he cannot be a "True Friend". Maybe they meant to write "True Fiend"? Maybe they got confused by the negative sentence? I don't know. What I do know is that I will not translate that sentence literally because it just makes no sense.

I agree it doesn't make sense but I'm concerned about the jurors' take on this since the target is to be compared against the English version of the game not the original Japanese. 

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1 hour ago, Shaimaa El-Shamy said:

I agree it doesn't make sense but I'm concerned about the jurors' take on this since the target is to be compared against the English version of the game not the original Japanese. 

I have the same concern, but in this case ("True Friend"), since it's the complete opposite meaning and it sounded really weird, I have no doubt in my mind I'll change.

I'm a bit more concerned about the "thy" part. Maybe the jurors will think I mistranslated "thy" to a plural pronoun...

That's why I posted all my concerns on facebook as well, so maybe, just maybe, there's a better chance that the jurors will be aware of these issues. ;)

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Posted (edited)

Also, about the DIE-ary:

Inside of it there are misspellings such as mitee, or cud, that together with the illegible signature seem to hint at the Brave not being able to write very well (since clearly are errors caused by writing english as it sounds).

Even so the README clearly states that one's translation can be disqualifed even for a single spelling mistake, so this worries me a little bit about how I should treat this passage. Any insights?

Edited by Sherry

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16 minutes ago, Sherry said:

Also, about the DIE-ary:

Inside of it there are misspellings such as mitee, or cud, that together with the illegible signature seem to hint at the Brave not being able to write very well (since clearly are errors caused by writing english as it sounds).

Even so the README clearly states that one's translation can be disqualifed even for a single spelling mistake, so this worries me a little bit about how I should treat this passage. Any insights?

Yeah, I was a bit shocked when I read that sentence:

Quote

Remember that a single typo might lead to the exclusion of your translation!

I think they're making it sound worse than it really is. I think they just want us to be extra careful, more like "It can be the difference between winning and losing", not that it would automatically lead to disqualification.

 

To answer your main question, I've personally kept that part very informal, but not exactly wrong (with some contractions, which are way less formal in written PT as they are in EN).

You could confirm with Alain on Facebook, maybe? Ultimately, I think it'll depend on the jurors. I doubt they'll read it as a strict rule: "typo = disqualification"

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8 minutes ago, Gabriel Ninô said:

To answer your main question, I've personally kept that part very informal, but not exactly wrong (with some contractions, which are way less formal in written PT as they are in EN).

I have made them into minor syntax errors, seeing as italian is pronunced just like it sounds, but it feels a bit like an inconsistency since that kind of errors would show up in speech as well, so I'm looking for other ways.

Thanks for the answer, asking of FB sounds like a good idea!

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Firs of all, I'm glad to see the discussion going! With less than one week to go, we need to give our best for perfection, and I trust there will be some late-comers joining in at the last moment, too.

Sorry for the delay, I've been facing terrible technical issues. I'll get to everything now.

On 22/04/2017 at 3:02 PM, Shaimaa El-Shamy said:

I wonder if the Mage is a female? the character looks like a female with pink cloak and all. Some languages differentiate genders through wording and grammar. If it was  a female indeed, that could be challenging in translation. The English version doesn't make it clear so I wonder if those who translated the Japanese source could help. Also, could you please explain the pun of the "Archfiend is a True Friend". Thanks in advance! 

I believe him to be male. The Master talks to you at the beginning of the game, and he says "Know thy role, good fellow, that is key to thy success." The purple clothing is typical for the representation of mages. We can't tell from the game's visuals, but as the mage is actually the player, we should try to make it as gender friendly as possible.

On 22/04/2017 at 4:50 PM, Gabriel Ninô said:

-- How to trigger the "That name is not available" message.

Try using one of the original names for Archfiend and Brave:

Thank you very much for your input, Gabriel! I've added it to the main post.

On 22/04/2017 at 5:08 PM, Gabriel Ninô said:

-- Pun: The Archfiend is a True Friend

I would say this is actually a mistranslation, but it depends a bit on how the translator intended that the hint would be conveyed to player.

I believe that it was translated as a True Friend for two reasons. One, because it rhymes. Two, to resonate with True Brave, which is another info we get from the hints.

It's saying friend instead of fiend because you can use items on your opponents. It just tells you not to because you are not supposed to, if you are an Archfiend. But since you are actually working against the Archfiend, that serves justly as a hint of what you should do, instead. The translator took some creative freedom there, but he added another sense that points in the right direction, more so than the original.

On 23/04/2017 at 0:56 AM, André Moreira said:

By the way, I was having kind of a doubt about whether HP, LV, etc, should be translated or not, but in my opinion they should be kept in the English version as it is the most understandable by players... What do you think?

I'm translating into Portuguese, so that's what I can tell you about, but I believe it should be translated. In Brazil, HP and MP are widely recognizable, but in Narrative RPG books such as GURPS and D&D they utilize translated abbreviations (as well as the terms). Nothing gets left in the original, except alien races' names or ancient sounding magic. If there's an equivalent in your language, I believe it's best to translate it. Look for what is done by others in the RPG industry.

On 24/04/2017 at 3:23 PM, Shaimaa El-Shamy said:

I agree it doesn't make sense but I'm concerned about the jurors' take on this since the target is to be compared against the English version of the game not the original Japanese. 

You know, I believe in that as well. Though the game does have an original version in Japanese, and there were some creative fiddling in this English version, we are meant to base ourselves entirely in the game we have at hand, the English version. We can use the original for inspiration, but we need to focus on the English for evaluation.

Having said this, I would not be surprised if the jurors appreciated a reference to the original, in some way, if they manage to recognize it.

13 hours ago, Sherry said:

Even so the README clearly states that one's translation can be disqualifed even for a single spelling mistake, so this worries me a little bit about how I should treat this passage. Any insights?

The misspellings are there on purpose. I'm certain that, if you decide to recreate misspellings on your translation, the jurors will understand why you did that.

The warning is mostly to make the translators pay attention to the work they are sending for evaluation, as in the past there were plenty of translators who did not proofread their translations, and even if their translation were actually very good, their submission would be discarded due to the lack of attention to spelling and grammar fixes.

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22 minutes ago, Otávio Banffy said:

I believe that it was translated as a True Friend for two reasons. One, because it rhymes. Two, to resonate with True Brave, which is another info we get from the hints.

It's saying friend instead of fiend because you can use items on your opponents. It just tells you not to because you are not supposed to, if you are an Archfiend. But since you are actually working against the Archfiend, that serves justly as a hint of what you should do, instead. The translator took some creative freedom there, but he added another sense that points in the right direction, more so than the original.

I'll have to disagree. I personally think you might be reading too much into a mistake, as if it was intentional.

* That book was written before the Possession, so the Archfiend is supposed to be colored as evil, and there's no reason why it would directly say that the Archfiend is a "true friend".

* I don't think the hint should be that obvious. Also, if you shouldn't do good to your enemy, how would that make you a "friend"? It makes no sense. What made me look into the original was actually the thought that it made no sense -- that paragraph in English (title and description of the principle) is contradictory.

* The original blatantly says the Archfiend never acts with humanity towards his enemies, which is the basically the opposite of what's written in English.

* If that was indeed intentional on the translator's part (and not a typo or misunderstanding), I have to disagree with their decision, and that should reflect on how I choose to translate that segment

* I disagree that fiend rhymes with friend. "Fiend" rhymes with "cleaned", while "friend" with "end", "spend".

Anyway, you're obviously free to disagree as well. But do you agree that it sounds really weird? To say he's a true friend, but that "true friend" shouldn't help others?

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2 minutes ago, Gabriel Ninô said:

IAnyway, you're obviously free to disagree as well. But do you agree that it sounds really weird? To say he's a true friend, but that "true friend" shouldn't help others?

I thought it was meant to be funny. Saying that you are a friend because you can use items on your enemies. It just recommends you not to use restoratives because that would hinder you, but you can keep up with the appearances.

It's entirely possible that the translator made a mistake here, indeed. The games chosen for LocJAM have been known to possess mistakes occasionally, never on purpose as far as I'm aware, but I think this version, of all translations made from the original, was chosen for a particularly good reason, and I'm certain they looked heavily into every hint before choosing this one. That should definitely be weighted.

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Posted (edited)

Good night! I am very grateful for the help I have received on this forum. You are excellent translators! I am surprised! 

Regarding the sentence "An Archfiend is a True Friend", I believe strongly the same as Otávio Banffy. It refers to the fact that the Archfiend can give items to their enemies (even a little biscuit! :)), but never restaurative items (the game tells you just the opposite you have to do, here is the hint). 

And please, can anyone explain to me the sentence "10-90 % Cleaning the dungeon"? Is the Archfiend in the depth of a dungeon? Or is it a metaphor? In Spanish using "dungeon" as synonym of "prison" does not make much sense... I have read in the Urban dictionary that in RPG-games "dungeon" means a place where there are many monsters and a hero must kill them passing different levels (from 1 to 50 for example). However, I have thought that dungeon is used in the sense of "the place where a prince (the Brave) kill a dragon (Archfiend) for rescuing the beautiful princess" xD 

Edited by Manuel J. Muñoz

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5 minutes ago, Manuel J. Muñoz said:

Good night! I am very grateful for the help I have received on this forum. You are excellent translators! I am surprised! 

And please, can anyone explain to me the sentence "10-90 % Cleaning the dungeon"?

Good night Manuel! Welcome to the group!! :D

The 10-90% is a representation of the loading progress.

"Cleaning the dungeon" is simply relating to the regular medieval RPG games, as you mentioned yourself, where the party goes into (the dungeon) to fight evil. Imagine that instead of a loading bar you have a few sentences every 10% loaded, and the sentence chosen was "Cleaning the dungeon", because it sounds cool, as if the game was preparing the ambient to be played, the ambient being the Dungeon.

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Attention everyone: There's a new version to be downloaded of the translation package. Go to the locjam.org website and download the new version if you want to avoid issues.

From what I gathered, the only change is in string 224, where a code incompatibility with Excel was causing the string to show up untranslated (you may have noticed that), and that's now fixed in the new version. It's not obligatory, but I do recommend downloading the newest version.

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1 minute ago, Otávio Banffy said:

Attention everyone: There's a new version to be download of the translation package. Go to the locjam.org website and download the new version if you want to avoid issues.

From what I gathered, the only change is in string 224, where a code incompatibility with Excel was causing the string to show up untranslated (you may have noticed that), and that's now fixed in the new version. It's not obligatory, but I do recommend downloading the newest version.

That line 224 change had already been announced at least since I started all this about a week ago. Just to be clear. ;)

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In order to keep the main thread concise, I separated a discussion I was having with @Gabriel Ninô about the game's plot and time state into another topic. If you want to see the conversation and indulge in it, you can go to that topic:

 

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10 minutes ago, Otávio Banffy said:

Attention everyone: There's a new version to be download of the translation package. Go to the locjam.org website and download the new version if you want to avoid issues.

From what I gathered, the only change is in string 224, where a code incompatibility with Excel was causing the string to show up untranslated (you may have noticed that), and that's now fixed in the new version. It's not obligatory, but I do recommend downloading the newest version.

Thanks for the warning! I was starting to think I had edited the excel file in some strange way...!

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6 hours ago, Gabriel Ninô said:

* The original blatantly says the Archfiend never acts with humanity towards his enemies, which is the basically the opposite of what's written in English.

* If that was indeed intentional on the translator's part (and not a typo or misunderstanding), I have to disagree with their decision, and that should reflect on how I choose to translate that segment

It might be just wishful thinking on my part but couldn't it be just that? A way to tell apart those who used the original as a reference? Not sure if in a positive or negative way, but it might serve that purpose. 

Personally I found it a nice joke more than a horrible error, while not reading too much into it and seeing it just as a pun someone couldn't refrain from doing. 

Now thinking back and reading this, could it be made just to say "Your friend is the Archfiend!" and getting a laugh out of it?

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43 minutes ago, Sherry said:

It might be just wishful thinking on my part but couldn't it be just that? A way to tell apart those who used the original as a reference?

I'd bet big money that's not the case. If you participated in last year's LJ, you probably known the files we get are not free of mistakes. This one is almost perfect, but the translator is human and allowed to make a few of those.

44 minutes ago, Sherry said:

Personally I found it a nice joke more than a horrible error, while not reading too much into it and seeing it just as a pun someone couldn't refrain from doing. 

Now thinking back and reading this, could it be made just to say "Your friend is the Archfiend!" and getting a laugh out of it?

I fail to see it as a "pun". Also, it didn't make me laugh. It made me read it again, like "Wait, what's wrong here? What do they mean? He's a true friend, but won't help?". If this was intentional, I'd say it was a bad idea. Why would you translate a sentence into the opposite of it for just no reason? There was no need to transcreate there.

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Posted (edited)

Does anyone know how to trigger strings 41 and 42?

41: Dang!

42: ...OK... Let's do this!

I believe they simply weren't used, but I'm not sure, so I thought about asking.

Edit: I've updated the style guide in the resources topic with new QA steps.

Edited by Otávio Banffy

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Hello guys!

  I wonder if you follow the punctuation of the source text. I normally do that but characters like "!" and "," when used in the same sentence with the curly quotes, cause the quotes to be reversed (and I use quotes a lot with names because there is no capitalization in Arabic). So, in some cases, the quotes are displayed correctly, in others they appear reversed. I'm thinking of not sticking to the punctuation of the source but I'm concerned about the jury. Also, I had to change some item and spell translations because they didn't fit in the interface (overlapped) so I opted for shorter strings. I wonder if the jurors will consider such factors that affect our choices. 

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Hi Shaimaa!

I don't know Arabic, but I bet the jurors recognize the challenges you face since they are supporting your language pair. I'd recommend trying to be faithful to the original as far as possible, but changing what you need. That's what localization is all about.

As to the item's name changes, I'm sure it's much better to have them changed than to have them overlapping the screen. The jurors will certainly evaluate your craft on those changes, so give your best in them.

The one thing I'm not so sure about are the quotes. I didn't quite understand what's happening with them.

 

Also, I've added a link to the Resources topic which will be of interest in answering some of those questions.

http://www.at-it-translator.com/locjam4-kyoto-study-group-presentation-topics-and-personal-notes/

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5 minutes ago, Otávio Banffy said:

 

The one thing I'm not so sure about are the quotes. I didn't quite understand what's happening with them.

 

Thanks a lot, Otavio. As for the quotes, they appear like this in the game (see the attachment) when followed by certain characters. They are ok in the Excel though.

4.JPG

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Posted (edited)

Have you tried using single quotes? I've noticed that every quote I introduce gets converted to a closing curly one, but I hadn't tried entering more than one quote in a single string, nor double quotes.

Shaimaa, one more important detail: Are you introducing curly quotes in the Excel file? This is very relevant. The Readme tells us not to insert straight quotes as they are not supported.

http://practicaltypography.com/straight-and-curly-quotes.html

Edited by Otávio Banffy
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23 hours ago, Otávio Banffy said:

Attention everyone: There's a new version to be downloaded of the translation package. Go to the locjam.org website and download the new version if you want to avoid issues.

From what I gathered, the only change is in string 224, where a code incompatibility with Excel was causing the string to show up untranslated (you may have noticed that), and that's now fixed in the new version. It's not obligatory, but I do recommend downloading the newest version.

Still regarding this problem, I discovered I had a different one. Translated and untranslated phrases were showing up randomly. Just read a post on the Facebook group, and after doing a ctrl-f in notepad++ to delete all quotes, it displayed correctly. Below is the post I found, hope it helps someone!

After doing what is suggested, I can edit in excel though, so no problems :)

=====

Renan Leimontas, is your problem that the English text shows instead? I had the same problem and I tried the solution mentioned in another comment: open the .csv file in notepad and check if there are quotes around the segments, both in EN and in your lang (there should be none). I had a lot of quotes and deleted them manually in notepad. I couldn't find out why this happens, so I guess it has something to do with my Excel. I am not using Excel anymore to work on the file as I don't know how to avoid those quotes (I'm using Notepad++ instead).

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