How to translate

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by vocabujok, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. vocabujok

    vocabujok Member

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    Translating is difficult. It requires you to not only have a strong command of both the source and target languages, but also have the creativity to deliver a sentence that illuminates the underlying intentions of the author. Translating should not be undertaken when you can only speak the source language at a "kitchen-level," that is, anything that would consist of basic conversation with your mother about everyday matters, and it should especially not be done when your target language is anything short of advanced.

    The mark of a good translator is one that picks up on the nuance and reiterates it in a fashion that, when read, would be perceived similarly to the reader when he or she reads the original material. It is not the translator's job to parrot back every single word, nor is it to change or add to the plot. Not every word in the source material has to be translated, but every important detail that affects the storyline must be added exactly as it is written (i.e., ability mechanics, character descriptions, plot, etc.).

    Anyway, since we got that out of our system, let's talk about the different methods for translating.

    There are two ways to translate: you either use a CAT tool, or you don't.

    Without a CAT Tool
    Without a CAT tool, the translation process is simpler and more time can be invested into actually translating rather than learning to optimally use the software.

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    There isn't much to explain when a CAT tool isn't involved. You simply translate what you read.

    With a CAT Tool
    A whole new ballpark and a whole new can of worms. A CAT tool can make translating easier by streamlining the translation process, but it can also induce inaccuracies depending on the software, and the steep learning curve required by some programs makes transitioning over quite difficult. I'll introduce three CAT tools some translators adopt for their work.

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    OmegaT is one of the most popular free CAT tool out there, but the disadvantages include not being able to see the source document to revise as you go, and the lack of functions simply necessitates plugins. However, its simplicity and no cost entices many users to use the software, allowing the number of plugins to increase as more people start to use them.

    [​IMG]

    CafeTran is one of the cheaper/free CAT programs that offers many functionality including fragment merge and a built-in machine translator. However, it is important to note that edits made outside of the program does not update on to CafeTran, resulting in an outdated memory base. The lack of an overview of the source text and target text makes it easy to lose track of the context, leading to inaccuracies in translating. The free option also supports only up to a certain number of fragment blocks (sentences), which would result in you creating a new project to continue working on a novel. (This is a less of a problem for chapter-based novel translators than it is for translators with a project with multiple documents that need to be exported.) The ease of usage makes it an ideal starting tool, and the cheap cost makes it an all-around great choice for translators.

    [​IMG]

    FluencyNow is one of my favorites. Although it has a hefty price of either $15 a month (which is rather on the cheap side) or a few hundred for a permanent license, the program seemed to have been made with translating in mind. All the key functionalities that are necessary are already built into the program, and the outstanding feature of being able to see both the source document and target document in its original format is a dealbreaker.

    ---

    As I have said earlier, translating well requires you to have perfect skills in the language you are translating into, and superb skills in the language you are translating from. However, it takes more than just language skills.

    There are some things to keep in mind when translating:
    1. Translating word for word is not necessary.
    Although the plot and any important detail must be maintained, it is not necessary for you as the translator to mention every single detail in the way the novel does it. Change idiomatic phrases to the English equivalent if it exists, or just explain it out, and feel free to cut sentences into two or merge them to make them flow better.

    2. The author can make mistakes too.
    It is your job to have a good grasp of what's going on. When there is a sentence in the middle of a paragraph that could have been executed better, do fix it to increase the enjoyment for the readers. Ideally, contacting the author to clarify would be best, but in the case of it not being possible, do your best to work around the issue. As such, it is important to have good analytical skills in order to preserve the integrity of the work with the author's intentions in mind.

    3. Have fun.
    Don't overwork yourself and exert all your willpower in translating novels; make sure you have enough energy to do other things and take breaks! Treat translating as a means to share what you love to other people and do it in an enjoyable manner--that way, you'll not only be more motivated to translate future chapters but you'll also learn a lot of the particulars of the language you work with.

    Have more tips or advices for translating? Just reply below~
     
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  2. DiabolicGod

    DiabolicGod Well-known lazy Member

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    You need a proofreader. Make a discord the readers can join and recruit someone from there.
     
  3. Duran

    Duran Well-Known Member

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    Reading it all before you start translating is a simple thing that many people don't do. Knowing what happens next can help you a lot. This way you won't have tunnel vision. You will focus on a whole paragraph and have the whole chapter in your mind. Otherwise, your mind will only have the sentence you are reading for the first time, and you will focus on that while ignoring the rest.
     
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  4. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Ophi-kun's Survival Teacher』

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    This is a scenario that only makes sense in an ideal world or in a professional world.

    I'd be super happy if my Japanese was good enough to call it kitchen-level. It's not even close to that and I translate myself.

    Fantranslation is an endeavor from fans for fans, while it would be ideal every single translator out there is proficient in both languages, that's the same as reducing the ridiculously huge amount of translation sites we have available in NU to a dozen or so sites.
     
  5. Haylias

    Haylias Well-Known Member

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    Especially if you're a new translator (like me), try and translate several chapters in advance of your current release. The context that it adds can exponentially aid how you interpret the work and its various complexities. Not to mention, if you force yourself to wait a little while instead of just immediately posting not long after you finish editing, you give yourself more time to look over it during the course of several days and identify mistakes you might not have done before. I wish I actually took my own advice when it came to this, though.

    Also, I know this is wildly off topic, but are you actually translating Circle Zero, or is that just teasing?
     
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  6. RuiSi

    RuiSi Member

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    Never actually heard of a CAT tool, sounds like something that would be helpful for translating. Translating is certainly not easy, so it's best to do releases at your own pace to avoid stressing yourself out too much which makes translating more of a chore than something you enjoy doing as a hobby. Readers commenting and likes are also a good source of translating motivation >.<
     
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  7. vocabujok

    vocabujok Member

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    A lot of the nuances and dynamics can be lost with a poor understanding of the language.
    For example, "네가 그렇게 하면 다들 널 싫어할 거 아냐" would literally be translated to "if you do it like that, nobody will hate you," when it actually translates to "if you do that, obviously people will hate you." Beyond even this, you need to be able to think grammatically in English and recognize that the translated sentence doesn't flow as nicely as it does in Korean, which would lead to the following translation: "Obviously, people will dislike you for doing that."

    But then again, if you do have a good sense for what's going on and have a creative mind, you can create a piece that's enjoyable for readers while improving your source language at the same time.

    This is pretty synonymous with @Duran's suggestion to read the novel beforehand. Being aware of the context always helps, and some foreshadowing can be missed when translating as you read.

    As for Circle Zero, I did translate the first chapter, but there was another person on the thread that wanted to translate it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  8. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Ophi-kun's Survival Teacher』

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    Yes, I know. Doesn't change the fact we'd only have a handful of translation sites still alive if every translator had as high standards as you do.

    Googling idioms and trying to understand things by context is generally enough for the easier series... Granted, some authors love using really complicated language, but the translators without a good grasp on the target language can just avoid those.
     
  9. pizzacodes

    pizzacodes Active Member

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    Right on. Ty for sharing. Can you expand on the process? If anyone have links to other tutorials, that'd be nice to have too. <Starts Googling...>
     
  10. martingail11

    martingail11 New Member

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    Thank you for suggesting language translator links. These are useful for persons who have some basic sense of other language and a proofreader is also must for proofreading to translated words.
     
  11. wantek

    wantek Member

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    somehow the UI reminds me of translator aggregator