Question Is machine translation an acquired taste?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Grimba, May 27, 2021.

?

Can you get used to machine translation?

  1. Yes

    28 vote(s)
    63.6%
  2. No

    16 vote(s)
    36.4%
  1. Grimba

    Grimba Member

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    So I feel that I have read through all of the major (non harem/romance) novels at this point:
    Reincarnation Of The Strongest Sword God
    Reverend Insanity
    Kings Avatar
    Monsters Paradise
    Lord of mysteries
    Paradise of demon gods
    Legendary Mechanic
    Night Ranger
    My house of horrors
    Reincarnator
    Trash of the count family
    Second life ranker
    Kill the hero
    Emperor of Solo Play
    Master Hunter K
    One man army
    Mother of Learning
    and I have recently been trying to move towards machine translation because I feel that it has a lot to offer. The problem is that it's awful. I have noticed that its a bit more bearable if you skim read but its still really hard to read through.

    I'm curious if at a certain point you become numb to all of the mistakes and you don't notice them anymore or if ml will always be barley readable no matter how many chapters you go through.
     
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  2. Magnus183

    Magnus183 Well-Known Member

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    Some are legit shit and not readable and others are bearable but still bad.. So it really depends on your tolerance and how desperate you are for content..
     
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  3. otaku31

    otaku31 Well-Known Member

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    It's when it starts becoming easy to read that you realize it's already too late for you (and your grammar). :blobpensive:
     
  4. TRMH

    TRMH Flat is Justice, Loli Supremacy, Female, 11

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    My mind has reached the state of auto correcting everything without me being aware of it. Like I can't point out any Misspelling/Grammar/Gender mistakes cause I don't see them...

    There are some very well done MTLs though.
     
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  5. lnv

    lnv ✪ Well-Known Hypocrite

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    No, MTL is a medical condition. It means your brain has suffered so much damage, that you are no longer capable of a sound thought process.
     
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  6. anotherAniket

    anotherAniket Well-Known Member

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    After some time, you get used to it. You can even guess what certain poorly translated words mean, when you come across them multiple times. So, yes, MTL is an acquired taste.
    And as they say: An acquired taste must be tried several times to b̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶j̶o̶y̶e̶d̶ get used to it. One can never enjoy MTL. Good luck.
     
  7. crownprince

    crownprince Member

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    Not recommended, hold on to your opinion, its awful, especially if it's from Chinese to English (can't say much for the other language, I'm not sure). There are lots of slangs in Chinese and sometimes a few words in Chinese actually needs to be described using a sentence or more in English to deliver its full meaning. (not sure why I'm saying so much I'm sure you know thissss :'))

    This may potentially affect your enjoyment of the novel, a novel you might have rated higher due to good translation vs a novel you don't particularly enjoy as you can't understand the plot (e.g. missing some deeper meanings can be disastrous). Don't even get me started on the wrong translation *sigh*

    Then again, if you are not a fussy reader and just want to get a gist of the story then why not?
     
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  8. Galooza

    Galooza The One True Walapalooza

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    You can, it's more just about following the overall story rather than trying to understand the minor details. You'll fry your brain and irregardless of how many words you understand, at some point you're not going to be capable of understanding the details. So, look around for the important parts and skip read to follow the overall story.
     
  9. UnGrave

    UnGrave I really like Nanahira

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    I find it easier to just read in Japanese than it is to read the mtl.
     
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  10. frrama

    frrama Active Member

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    I voted "yes", but there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this. I personally have a high tolerance for MTL; I think what 'helped' develop this dubious skill the most, was years-long practice in reading poorly-written amateur writing (mostly fanfic) done directly in English. In that case, I learned to quell my original urge to nitpick by reminding myself, "People are doing this for fun in their spare time, and I'm reading it for free", and eventually (while I never stopped noticing errors) I learned to appreciate a good story being told without being troubled overmuch by any defects in the style of the telling.

    OTOH, the two people I know IRL whom I've discussed this with cannot stand MTLing at all. Ironically, I am 'the literary one' amongst us (reading far more fiction - both volume and variety - and being more aware and appreciate of 'good' writing), whereas they are both science/technology geeks: one of them is merely "somewhat picky" about prose quality; the other, quite frankly, struggles with basic literacy (to the point it still surprises me that reading fiction became a hobby in the first place). I don't know if our literacy skills correlate with how much any of us can deal with MTL...

    Individual works will also vary greatly in how readable they are via MTL. Heavily plot-based stories (where you're just reading to find out what happens next, and many minor details can be skipped over when they don't translate well) I find generally easier to digest than works that focus more on developing characters, relationships, and/or world-building. Ultimately, the readability of the MTL depends primarily on the author's writing style. The more straightforward and direct the language used in the original version, the easier it is to produce a competent translation (whether for machines or humans). The more complex the writing - whether it's slang, metaphors, proverbs, puns, obscure technical jargon, or flowery poetic language - the greater the need for a good translator. I've read MTLs that were so easy to read I mostly forgot they weren't properly translated by an actual person, whereas others (translated using the same program) have been near-incomprehensible gibberish that I had to give up on.
     
  11. powwder

    powwder Well-Known Member

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    it's more desperation that acquired taste for me thus i will only read MTL's for things that have been dropped
     
  12. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    I guess it's possible for some people to learn to enjoy MTL, but I don't think this is universal and that it highly depends on what you're reading for. MTL is okay if you're just interested in broad plots and things like that, but if you're into wordplay and intricate dialogue, then that's not going to happen. Personally I can't imagine ever trying it out because it just doesn't fit my needs.
     
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  13. Nimroth

    Nimroth Someone

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    I really don't think I could get used to having to second guess every other sentence, and I don't think it would be a good thing if I did.
    It isn't necessarily even about it being readable, even something readable can be terrible if it gets key information wrong.
     
  14. aintg

    aintg Fairy Queen of the Demonic Sect

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    I agreed that after reading a lot of MTLs, you can figure out what certain expressions actually mean, but I don't think I can ever fully get used to it. Like you say, it's kinda bearable for skim read, but I think reading through MTL can hurt your conscience.
     
  15. Fluffums

    Fluffums 【R-18 Researcher】【Seeker of Moe】

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    You don't exactly become numb to the mistakes, but if you take a little time along the way you figure out the quirks of the machine translator and understand what it means most of the time. Just like when I read the OP and saw "barley readable", I knew you meant "barely" and it didn't bother me at all. It's like getting used to someone with English as a second language who isn't too good at it - you start to understand what they mean based on context and what you expect them to mean.

    Depending on the author's style, it could be easier or harder for machine translate, but frrama covered that pretty well.
     
  16. Ddraig

    Ddraig Frostfire Dragon|Retired lurker|FFF|Loved by RNG

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    If by acquired taste you mean close to permanent damage to your language skills then yes
     
  17. ianakitten73

    ianakitten73 Member

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    I don't think its acquired taste per se but more like acquired perseverance.
     
  18. wantek

    wantek Well-Known Member

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    reading mtl works fine when your brain installed auto correct and auto ignore unrecognized text
    after repeated mtl reading
     
  19. Mysticant

    Mysticant Active Member

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    I used to view MTL as a last resort to not end up waiting 5 years to a millennium before there is an actual translation that is legit like legendary moonlight sculptor. After years of desperation and impatience, I could probably say it is an acquired taste (or the lack of taste) to ignore all insensible language and autocorrect it to something legible. However, I do have some Chinese-speaking background, and that most MTL I read are either Chinese or jap MTL, I sort of understand the context and meaning. It may not apply to others in that sense.

    I have reached the point I would rather read trash MTL than leave a promising title be drowned in the countless other novels I have yet to explore and wait a year later to find out I forgot half the plot and have to read everything again either from the start or partway through. Either that or come back 3 years later either to find a) the translation is on infinite hiatus or b) whatever I was waiting for was disappointing me while keeping high expectations all this time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
    frrama likes this.
  20. Normie Extermination Committee

    Normie Extermination Committee [Toilet Sniffer] [ Grand Master of Underlings]

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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021