LCD Plundering the Heavens

Discussion in 'Latest Chapter Discussion' started by strixflash, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. strixflash

    strixflash Dao Seeker!

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    Author: Ghost of Dark Mountain 黑山老鬼

    Description:
    Some say he is the bad apple in a basket, that he’s rotting everything around him with disgrace and corruption.

    Some say he is the biggest scum of the South Zhanbu Continent, that he’s colluding with the dark sects to cheat, steal, and commit all manner of atrocities.
    Some say he is the most wanted playboy. “Lock your daughters at home to keep Fang Xing away!”
    To all of those people, “That’s right, I am that big rotten apple. Any problem with that?”

    This brand of anti-hero is a young orphan with poor prospects and nothing more than the keepsakes of his uncles. He plots, schemes, and orchestrates all manner of villainy in his quest for power and revenge, unafraid to live precariously and make enemies out of those he really should not.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  2. Rule71

    Rule71 Well-Known Member

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    They just did it :)
     
  3. IcedBaby

    IcedBaby The Baby that wanted ETERNITY

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    This good?
     
  4. InvincibleDespair

    InvincibleDespair [unclenched]

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    This is better than Library of heavens path.
     
  5. DeathStroke96

    DeathStroke96 『President of Sindria Trading Co.』『Uncle』『GOD』

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    Really? Well likely it is,
    as I found that library of heavens path had an interesting concept but the way it has been applied was horrendous...
    could you tell me, it what is it better and what is the concept that has been revealed in the latest tl'ed chapters?
     
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  6. strixflash

    strixflash Dao Seeker!

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    I read Qidian's translations and I am seriously disappointed. I can't even believe the types of mistakes they make. Even first chapter isn't spared.
    "...marked her as a Mahn."
    What is Mahn? It should be half-human. It's of course explained but seriously you don't use pinyin for such terms. How could a translator use pinyin for such important yet generic words?

    Laoda? What the hell is that? You can use "old boss" or something but why pinyin. It just gross you out. Apprentice terms are always translated.

    There are tons of other mistakes as well but I guess translator don't care.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  7. Actias Luna

    Actias Luna Active Member

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    Alrighty then. One of the co-translators (personal editor) here for Plundering the Heavens, and after seeing some criticisms here and there I felt it prudent for me to weigh in.

    It is possible for there to be mistakes. Sadly, even after running over something with a fine-tooth comb there are going to be instances where things slip through. Nobody is perfect, and although there is a lot of effort being put into the story, if you happen to find any mistakes or errors I would encourage you to mention those specific mistakes and errors directly to me who can work on them.

    The same reason why elves are called elves and not tall-pointed-ear-humans, orcs are orcs and not big-green-skinned-humans, or all manner of different races are often referred to as their own term.
    Mahn are genetically half human, but they are not "half-humans".

    One of the core characters—Xiao Mahn—is named so specifically because she is a Mahn. Do we call her Xiao Half-Human? Do we call her Little Half-Human? Small Subhuman? Do we instill in the English release a far more negative connotation to a name than it was intended? In this instance, Mahn wasn't even untranslated Pinyin, but a new term that is introduced via the author, just like orcs, elves, uruk-hai, or what-have-you has been done in other works.

    This is an area of contention. Not everybody will translate such terms, and while translating the terms into something like "Old Boss", "Big Brother", "Little Brother" and so on is not something I feel is wrong, neither do I think retaining them to be wrong, either. Much like what has happened with series such as Naruto or other Japanese->English series with genin, chunin, jonin, kage, sensei, and all of the other various untranslated pieces, it is not bad to intentionally retain certain aspects in order to obtain a desired result.

    The readership is intelligent, and by working to ensure that there is not a situation where context cannot infer meaning, I am rather confident that these terms won't be misunderstood for what they are. If this has not been achieved, then that may very well be done in error, but the use of pinyin specifically for things like laoda, shidi, shixiong, and so on was not done blindly.

    These decisions are not made lightly or loosely. It is fine and even normal to be frustrated and irate when you see something being done in a manner that displeases, but casting aspersions out of anger serves little practical purpose, particularly when the actions you interpret as demonstrating lack of care or consideration are, in fact, brought upon by said care and interest in detail.

    If there are direct concerns and criticisms, please do not hesitate to send me a message should time permit.
     
  8. InvincibleDespair

    InvincibleDespair [unclenched]

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    I prefer this kind of translation.
     
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  9. strixflash

    strixflash Dao Seeker!

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    Thanks for replying. @Actias Luna

    资质= "zi'zhi"? Just how correct it is? It could be translated as natural talent or aptitude. Same goes for Jing term which should be translated to essence/vitality depending on context.

    Believe it or not but majority of the community prefer English version of the terms instead of pinyin. I have never seen veteran translators using pinyin for common terms (apprentice, Laoda/big boss, Sect leader, disciples classification). Sure you might say it's area of contention but given how the most popular translators never use pinyin should say everything to you. In Japanese example you used it worked because the community was exposed to pinyin of those terms from start. But Chinese reading community here has already been used to "Senior brother" "sect leader" "fellow daoist", etc.

    Let's see the most read novels and their translator choice: Hyorinmaru (Martial World), Alyschu, CKtalon, Deathblade, RWX, Yang Wen-li (MGA), etc... They all use English equivalent. Because they know most prefer it so. You can have a vote for it if you prefer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  10. Someguy666

    Someguy666 Well-Known Member

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    Actually I prefer reading pinyin for common terms (apprentice, Laoda/big boss, Sect leader, disciples classification) in Chinese works much like I prefer Japanese terms in Japanese works because I'd have a clearer picture of the social status/position of various characters within that conversation/scene. I agree with you on the translation of English equivalent for the magi/technobabble though.
     
  11. Actias Luna

    Actias Luna Active Member

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    Not at all. A person would not say so much if they did not feel strongly, and those who care for the story are the ones most likely to be its largest critic specifically for that reason. If anything, I thank you for airing your concerns so they could be addressed in a fairly public medium. Where one person speaks, many think the same.

    Zi'zhi is not merely aptitude, but it is also a form of destiny or fate that is intertwined with that individual. If someone has strong fate or destiny to be a cultivator, then they have strong "zi'zhi". Aptitude would work, talent might work, but it would lose some of the raw importance that zi'zhi is typically intrinsic and not changeable whereas aptitude is normally malleable as-is. You can cultivate a talent, you can raise your aptitude, but trying to go against fate to become something you should not be is much more difficult. Furthermore, zi'zhi *can* be changed, and it can be changed through another's intervention; this is in contrast to natural talent, which is intrinsic to the person and unchangeable. You cannot make someone talented, only improve the expression of what is there.

    This is why "zi'zhi" was utilized instead of the other terminology. It is rather integral and it's important that the main character has shoddy zi'zhi. People are split into hierarchies and treated well/poorly based on this, and to lose some of the connotation in something that is integral to the development of the story is not something I would like to see happen.

    Jing is a similar matter, though to a lesser degree.

    I do not hazard to assume why other translators use or don't use pinyin or direct translations, as I am not those people and I am not involved with those stories. It could very well be that they have made that decision on the very basis by which you claim, to which I place no fault on them and do not think what they are doing is wrong so much as another—and oft enjoyable—methodology of their own.

    I do not, however, think that simply because many people do something—even if they are popular, even if they are recognized as being great—that that methodology must be utilized for all else. I am quite happy that they are successful and that they allow their audience to enjoy great works that they otherwise might not be able to. It is great to see the community flourishing to such an extent in part because of their efforts.

    When approaching Plundering the Heavens, however, we are putting forward our full effort to make it as good a story we can make it. While I recognize how great those other people are, we are not those people and this is not their story; it would be a disservice to Plundering the Heavens to adhere to another story's methodology as opposed to what seems to best suit this story, instead. It is very possible we might disagree with the best method of translation—and that's perfectly reasonable, even expected among those who care deeply about something—but I believe it should be discussed on the merits and demerits inherent to those methods, not on how common they are.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  12. strixflash

    strixflash Dao Seeker!

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    I am assuming you're translating 蛮人 as Mahn. If it's then you're plain wrong with your explanation of elves being called elves . 蛮人 is rather a common race in Chinese novels and it's not a new race which author introduced. Let's see I have seen it in Grasping Evil, Hail the King, Dominating Sword Immortal, God of Thunder,etc... Most of them have it as Barbarian Race or so...
     
  13. strixflash

    strixflash Dao Seeker!

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    I really don't agree with your explanation for "zi'zhi". There exists such no word. And it makes zero sense in English. Using latent talent or natural endowment is fine. Or any other English term.

    Of course I am gonna differ with your choice of using pinyin. I guess it's my personal opinion as I prefer a translator translating it properly for English readers and not hindering the reading experience. And I gave other series example because it's what we readers prefer. Plundering the Heavens isn't doing anything different from those series. You're hardly making this series a great series by abusing pinyin (personal opinion). Just don't see how you think that by using pinyin for common terms is doing justice to this series and making this novel a great novel? They are common terminologies used in pretty much every xianxia/xuanhuan so don't see how you think that other series' methods can't be apologize here... The most common method for you to know the feel of community would be a poll. Of course the majority isn't always right. But your explanation of not applying other series method hardly sounds plausible given how common those terms are^^

    And at the very least translate the energy terms (Ji or whatever term) depending on context.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  14. StuffedDuck

    StuffedDuck Stuffed with Fluff

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    Do you have any statistics or facts to undermine your statements that not a single translator uses pinyin, or that you can speak for the majority of readers?
    Was I confused (slightly irritated) while reading WoC? Yes, however, it allowed/forced me to concentrate more on the story than to just read it as another cultivation story - it helps to set stories apart from the masses of stories I read. Sometimes the use of pinyin helps to immerse a bit more into the story/culture - in my opinion only of course.
     
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  15. strixflash

    strixflash Dao Seeker!

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    . Most of translators and especially veteran translators prefer English equivalent. I don't have stats but does it counts that most of the translators at Wuxiaworld (which has the highest readership among Chinese translations) doesn't use pinyin? Let's see MGA, ATG, MW, TMW, Desolate Era, Emperor Domination, ISSTH,etc are the most read novels (the starting few might be critically panned but most read) and they don't use pinyin.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  16. StuffedDuck

    StuffedDuck Stuffed with Fluff

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    Yup, never said ...
     
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  17. StuffedDuck

    StuffedDuck Stuffed with Fluff

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    I personally don't mind your opinion about the use of pinyin, I just don't like the way you address it. You speak for the 'majority', 'every translator' etc. and have a slightly offensive way to bring your opinion/disagreement across.
    And if you are so upset about the way a translator/editor works (they are not changing the meaning of the words, the intent the author had) and you know better how it should be done: why not just translate it for yourself and be happy?

    I can understand complains about bad grammar (even I have sometimes the urge to cry while reading some translations and English is far away from being my first language), or cut/missing content or inconsistency in translations(switching between pinyin or English terms for the same words for example) etc. However, the preference for pinyin or rōmaji by a translator was never a reason for myself to feel upset about, especially when some words are very difficult to translate to English (as you mentioned DB: just look how long it took to take the decision to translate ATTE to AWE).
     
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  18. strixflash

    strixflash Dao Seeker!

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    Err. Ok. My bad. Most of them I guess.
     
  19. Actias Luna

    Actias Luna Active Member

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    I am an English reader. I specifically work with the translator and ensure that everything flows in a manner that is understandable, and as a pure English reader I find the use of pinyin in very specific circumstances to not only be acceptable, but preferred. If there is pinyin in there, it is because it is deemed that it should be there to best retain the story's characteristics. There are going to be instances in which you and I disagree with when it is necessary or called for, but when there is a choice that has to be made, I far and away prefer retention of meaning and intent coupled with explanation as opposed to anglicization.

    No, it would not be difficult to change "Mahn" to Barbarian People and then change Xiao Mahn to Little Barbarian, leave her Xiao Mahn (with an explanation), or all manner of things to make it more anglicized and immediately recognizable, but if it detracts from the author's intent or the story itself, it is not something I would find suitable to do. It was deemed that the author intended to use this as a race just like orcs and elves are used in other sources, and so it is used as such here. As much as possible, nuance and connotation should be preserved as it changes from Chinese to English, even if the method of doing so involves the use of pinyin.

    Speaking as someone that is an English native and reader, nothing frustrates me more than realizing that the translator omitted or changed things because they believed their audience would not understand them; if I read something as Aptitude—for example—and it later turned out to be something far more integral/meaningful/spiritual to the characters, I would find myself incredibly dissatisfied.

    At this time, I am unable to find an answer to a fundamental question: are these series great because they did not use pinyin, or are they great because they are great? Would the use of pinyin have detracted from the success of these stories? Would it have made those stories worse? Could it have potentially made them better? There is a correlation here, and they might be interrelated on some level, but I do not believe it is to the extent that one can say something is bad because of pinyin or something is good because of lack of the same. The thing we can say is that these series have been largely read and have been held to high esteem, but I would stress the content itself as being the primary cause, coupled with the translators' ability to effectively allow others to read it.

    The goal, in my case, is the same. I believe that Plundering the Heavens is a good story and I want that to be able to shine through as much as possible. We disagree as to the methods, and I acknowledge that not everyone will wholly like either path, no matter which one is taken. I find such impassioned views to be an indicator of interest (be it in the story itself or in Chinese stories as a whole) and ultimately a good thing, and I think it would not be wrong to say that neither party is acting out of malice or disdain for the other, but out of a shared appreciation for the story itself.
     
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  20. InvincibleDespair

    InvincibleDespair [unclenched]

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    I am with Actias.