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Thread: Lack of followup

  1. #21
    Senior Member xJadedx's Avatar
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    Translating isn't easy work. Many translators do want to continue, but they also have other things to take care of (i.e. school in my case). So, just keep up the support, sort of.
    Because I'm somewhere in between,
    My love and my agony.

  2. #22
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    You know, if people are really upset that books don't get finished, just don't read the translations till they are done.

    I mean, really- I understand that people get frustrated that a tranlation they would like to see the end of may die before getting to the end... But to say that nobody should post till they are finished is to deny the rest of us the chance to read over time.

    Personally, I am grateful for the people that take the time to translate. And if they don't finish, I am still grateful that I got to read the part I did. Would I like to see more? Sure. But frankly, beggars can't be choosers.

    Criticising people that are just trying to help you is really unfair to them. And telling them they should not be posting till they finish what is often a monumental task is unfair to the rest of us.

    Thanks again to all of you who have spent their free time translating for people like me. You hard work is appreciated, and I for one and willing to forgive, if things don't work out the way that you initially intended of hoped.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Anonymous's Avatar
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    Cool Reply

    Congrats, Athena. Yu Pei Yu [still remembered his name "Sword and the Exquisiteness] epilogue: "Love is in the air." [Amusing, no? ]
    .
    Agree with both the readers' and translators' dilemma.
    .
    Solutions to Wuxia novel dissatisfaction:
    1. recommend an unfinished Wuxia novel u like --"preferably" with a "wicked" cliffhanger at the end-- to a bunch of friends. Now u have a bunch of friends with an incentive to form a Wuxia translation group to finish that novel. haha. [Of course, collaborating this with the current translator is better too.]
    .
    2. exercise your reader rights. U [usually] cannot affect the author [ie. has a fast-forward button that speeds up a translator's abilities --translators would love such a device for themselves if 0% side-effects. ], but u can affect yourself.
    .
    3. forgot.

  4. #24
    Senior Member xJadedx's Avatar
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    You can post in the translation's thread, or email the translator and ask them about the situation.
    Because I'm somewhere in between,
    My love and my agony.

  5. #25
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    I don't care if they never translate the whole story. I'm just happy that someone actually spend their time to translate something for me to read I'm just grateful to have something to read and know how the story really is like in the book. Since books are so much better than movies. *sigh* Oh BTW I just want to give a hand to the person responsible for translating The Adventures of Lu XiaoFeng. My favorite story and character of all time. I love Lu Xiao Feng. I think he's the most unique character ever, even better than GJ, YG, and ZWJ Gosh I'm going to get kill for this hehe

  6. #26
    Senior Member Anonymous's Avatar
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    Cool Replies continued

    3. This is actually a "reader dissatisfaction prevention" (like fire prevention --best-- vs. fire fighting): aka guidelines translating Wuxia novels are different than Wuxia fiction writing. Translating usually takes longer. Some techniques:
    .
    .
    1. post no cliffhangers --try posting passages that are self-sufficient (that dont ask for --require-- a followup). The translator already established the "story is good" near the beginning right?
    .
    2. update the readers. It's kinda like a flexible (vs. a fixed publication date) schedule. [I think Translators already use this, but maybe in a "reader dissatisfaction prevention" in mind?]
    .
    3. recruit "backup" translator(s). The more the better, since translation time and MORE IMPORTANTLY translation effort are reduced. If 5 translators translate one novel, and each translate one passage (ie one paragraph or sentence) in 30 minutes, the total output is 5 passages (ie. paragraphs or sentences) in 30 minutes.
    .
    4. quantity over quality. I think readers like quantity more than quality. [What is perfection in translation? Perfect/Absolute "conformity" to a set of rules/ideas?]
    .
    Salute to Wuxia readers and Wuxia translators.

  7. #27
    Junior Member simba's Avatar
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    I feel sorry for the translators. on one hand we say how much we appreciate the work they give us and on the other hand we list out all these guidelines to do this and don't do that.

    These encouraging/discouraging remarks might end up scaring away other people who might be interested in giving this translation thing a try.

    I know we're all fans begging for more, but please try to be more considerate of your suggestions and comments.
    Patience is a virtue

  8. #28
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    I've decided to edit this message cause I was in an angry mood for a response from that poster. He/She will now be in my ignore list.
    Last edited by zhaozilong44; 03-18-05 at 04:06 AM.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Mojo Jojo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhaozilong44
    The poster that posted right after my comment is a wishful thinker. If you really think that somone will just follow up, you're dreaming. 99% of translators don't want to do this because they want it all to be their own work. If something gets translated for like 10 chapters and the rest won't be done till the next century, it's better not to translate it at all in my opinion. It just leaves the reader hanging.
    Well you'd be wrong. All I have to do is mention Bliss and his continuation of Dagger Lee or the trio of Strunf/Patudo/Du Gu seeking a win for their continuation of LOCH to prove you wrong. I can't speak for Bliss, but I know that translating 28 chapters is a lot less of a task than translating 89. Perhaps he would've started anyway, but it's undeniable that Meh's first 62 chapters was of great help.

    You're being a little arrogant in speaking for "99% of the translators" aren't you? My impression is that while some translators would prefer to finish on their own, many others would be glad of receiving some help. That'd be less of a burden on them. Many of them seem to do it simply because they want to share their love of wuxia with non-Chinese readers, not because they want to own the work.

  10. #30
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    This guy is unbelievable.

    No one is forcing you to read unfinished translations. All of the impatient readers who just can't stand unfinished work, why don't you simply not read them in the first place? It's your own fault for setting yourself up to get disappointed. Plus, I'm pretty sure the first poster only posted his rant because he was hoping to somehow guilt all the translators to finish their work.

  11. #31
    Senior Member KJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhaozilong44
    First off, why are you guys so upset with my comments?
    And one of the posters should read my whole post instead of just random sentences. I did say it's perfectly fine to translate short requested chapters.
    I've requested it b4 and got translators translating them.

    The poster that posted right after my comment is a wishful thinker. If you really think that somone will just follow up, you're dreaming. 99% of translators don't want to do this because they want it all to be their own work. If something gets translated for like 10 chapters and the rest won't be done till the next century, it's better not to translate it at all in my opinion. It just leaves the reader hanging.

    If one of the translators can agree with me on this, I can't see why the readers can't? I love ROTK and have read fully translated versions of it by both Robert Moss and Brewitt Taylor. I truly appreciate the fact that I get to read it in its entirety.

    If you like yelling at me so much, then just use this analogy. Watch half of the TVB series from now on and never watch the rest. You can never fill that void that is there.

    Of course. Readers and translators can do what they want. It's none of my business. I just stated the obvious like the first poster and like the only translator who had enough guts to admit it. I still appreciate the translators for thier hard work and time given up.

    Perhaps that poster is right. This forum would be dead if there weren't anyone translating. But exactly how many translations have been complete since the forum started??? And exactly how many will be finished after this forum perishes (all sites in cyberspace was die some time)?
    Your analogy for TVB series doesn't work here. First off, TVB is a business. Starting a project and not finishing is bad business practice and would be a waste of time and money. Translations is not a business, it is volunteer work. If I ask you to use the analogy of requesting certain episodes for TVB to air before the series is finished, do you think they will do that? No, so this analogy between TVB and translations is irrelevant. Apples and Oranges.

    Translators can translate whenever they want, stop whenever they want. They have no obligations, it is volunteer. If you can't stand unfinished translations, go learn the language and read it yourself. At least it will stimulate interest in Wuxia to a wider audience and spreading wuxia influence.

    If a translator is not able to continue, or is a taking a long break to take care of other higher priorities in their lives, like Athena and Meh, then hopefully some other kind people will pick up where they left off, like Bliss. I don't understand why you think people will not do this because it's not like they are trying to publish their work. If they are, then it would make sense for them to not post at all.

    So, your negative comments would only discourage translators to post their translations and limiting people's exposure to wuxia.

  12. #32
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    you misread his analogy. he means that tvb does finish the production, but you force yourself to not finish watching it. kinda like tryin to quit crack in a lesser extent.

    and the "go learn chinese" arguement is the stupidest shit i have ever heard. seriously... assuming that since you're reading translations, you aren't living in an area with much exposure to chinese.. please be my guest to try. it'll take you what .. 5 years ? and especially since jy uses a lot of complex vocabulary in his novels.
    Last edited by loch2; 03-17-05 at 07:30 PM.

  13. #33
    Senior Member dgfds01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loch2
    you misread his analogy. he means that tvb does finish the production, but you force yourself to not finish watching it. kinda like tryin to quit crack in a lesser extent.

    and the "go learn chinese" arguement is the stupidest shit i have ever heard. seriously... assuming that since you're reading translations, you aren't living in an area with much exposure to chinese.. please be my guest to try. it'll take you what .. 5 years ? and especially since jy uses a lot of complex vocabulary in his novels.
    And 5 years isn't better that a century? (zhaozilong44's words). If someone is not happy reading unifnished translations, just don't read them until they are finished. There, plain and simple.

  14. #34
    Junior Member GottschalkievBrahms's Avatar
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    Well it's not that hard to learn chinese if you have a vague background in it and know how sentences are formed but yeah learning it from scratch would be very difficult and JY is very difficult but a lot of the complexity in his language is used to describe that which is usually inessential so I suppose reading JY to get a rough idea of what's gong on in the story is not that hard. GL's relatively easy though. If anyone wants to learn the chinese vocabulary set found in wuxia novels I guess GL's a good place to start.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    This guy is unbelievable.

    No one is forcing you to read unfinished translations. All of the impatient readers who just can't stand unfinished work, why don't you simply not read them in the first place? It's your own fault for setting yourself up to get disappointed. Plus, I'm pretty sure the first poster only posted his rant because he was hoping to somehow guilt all the translators to finish their work.

    Sorry, I don't have time to respond to all post, but I'll try and do a few.

    I think you misled me into thinking that I'm ungrateful or something with this post of yours.

    "Translations are 100% voluntary ... you should be grateful that any of these works are being translated in the first place. Translators devote their own time and efforts into something they are not being paid or compensated for whatsoever. Posts like these will just discourage people who do translate because they will feel that readers like you expect their total devotion in time and effort, and that the work that they HAVE done is not appreciated whatsoever. "


    That wasn't my purpose or oringinal sentiment, but you misled me into thinking that it was. I'm posting at 3am at night with a rather busy work schedule so I can think too well.

    Anyway, of course I applaud all translators for attempting to translate the works. I never said I didn't. And I know it's voluntary. I want to make two points. My point is not to discourage translators from translating.

    It's to encourage the translators who aren't sure if they are really capable of translating a whole book, but claim that they want to to translate in secrecy first and see what they can do. By this, I mean. It's better not to get people's hopes high and then leave them unfulfilled. New translators who want to translate a whole book and claim they'll do it, should probably start off with a few chapters in secrecy first and see if they're really capable of such a task. From what I've seen, there were a lot of translators on the web whom wanted to translate whole books, but give up after a few chapters. I think that's kind of misleading the readers. But there's no way I can blame the translators. It's their life, time, and their devotion.

    Note: This is not to discourage people from translating. And it applies to short chapters or whole books. For example: CC claimed that he was going to translate a few chapters in DGSD and he did. I mean, he said he was going to do it and didn't leave anyone's hopes unfulfilled cause he claimed from the beginning that he was only doing those few chapters.

    Also, I left out quite a few translators whom I've known for years and sure that they will finish their translations. Moin, FaQ, Tiger, pop to mind. I'm sure there are others. The thing is, you kind of made me think that I was going in a way I'm not. When I'm not as busy and can think with a clear mind, I'll respond to this thread again.


    be back later.....

  16. #36
    Senior Member KJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loch2
    and the "go learn chinese" arguement is the stupidest shit i have ever heard. seriously... assuming that since you're reading translations, you aren't living in an area with much exposure to chinese.. please be my guest to try. it'll take you what .. 5 years ? and especially since jy uses a lot of complex vocabulary in his novels.
    I'm reading the translations because my knowledge in chinese is limited. I'm sure if I dedicate myself, I will be able to learn enough to read the novels myself. But I'm not, so I rely on the translations. There are plenty of ways to learn chinese. They teach chinese in some universities. There are language softwares, one I know of that is pretty good is Rosetta Stone, although I've never tried the Chinese one myself.

    And so what if it takes you 5 years? It's what you yourself have to be willing to do to satisfy your wants. If it was easy, then obviously everyone would just go learn it and not have to read the translations. What other options do you have besides learning chinese if "translators shouldn't post unless they're finished"?

  17. #37
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    I think we still should thank all translators regardless whether they finish the translation or not. It requires devotion and time. I'm sure all translators are fully devoted, but it is time which is the biggest obstacle. They all have their own life to carry on and we have no right to ask too much from them.
    Anyway, thank's to all translators. Your works have kept me refreshed especially after a day full of school work.

  18. #38
    Senior Member TigerWong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhaozilong44
    Also, I left out quite a few translators whom I've known for years and sure that they will finish their translations. Moin, FaQ, Tiger, pop to mind. I'm sure there are others.
    Thanks for the vote of confidence, but sounds like you're more sure of me finishing then I am.

    It appears that there are just different views going on here regarding the question of the translator's obligation. Despite the remarks of "I understand they're not getting paid, it's voluntary, I appreciate their efforts, they have lives too, etc, etc.", it's clear there are some people who feel the translator is obligated to finish the whole thing.

    For example, by suggesting that the translator finish several chapters in private before deciding to post anything at all. Although that is not stating outright that it's a job (which he is not getting paid for), or that any form of legal obligation is involved, it basically implies a similar thing. It is also not a realistic indication because even if one were to crank out a bunch of chapters, change still occurs in life and one still might not finish.

    For me, I translated because I wanted to share a story I enjoyed, improve my Chinese, and cause it was fun. And from time to time (yes, rare these days), I may feel like doing more. Of course, the hope was to finish, but there are no guarantees.

    I disagree that unfinished translations should never be shared in the first place. There are a lot of people who just enjoy reading what is available. Of course, everyone hopes to read the whole thing, but they still enjoy it nevertheless. And I think these are the people who truly approach it in the same spirit as myself, and a lot of other translators (although I can't truly speak for them), when we started these things. If anyone feels like translating and sharing something, do so. If anyone feels like reading em, do it. It's all very informal (this is just a discussion forum). I think anything beyond that is taking it too seriously.

    I think the idea of not sharing at all until a certainty level is reached is a bit far-fetched. And while I can understand the basis for this suggestion (namely alleviating the disappointment of some who just can't stand to not read the whole story), not everyone shares that same outlook. And it would deprive those people of the enjoyment they get. Really, as evidenced by the range of opinions on this topic, how one reacts to these 'unfinished translations' is one's own individual issue. As such, I think anyone who can't handle the possibility of not reading the entire thing should just choose not to read it at all and let the others enjoy it for what it is.

    As far as the learning Chinese thing goes... if you ('you' in the general sense, not responding directly to Jason here) feel that the odds are just too stacked against you, then fine. Hard to argue about the degree of difficulty in accomplishing it since everyone will have their own levels of motivation, circumstances, etc. Oh well, just means you won't get to read the whole story if the translation isn't finished. But that's your issue. Not trying to be mean, just stating the obvious. In life, you either work hard and do what you need to do to acquire something, or resign yourself to not getting it... either because it's not worth it to you or the 'Fates' have decided to keep it out of your hands. Let's not place the onus on the translator.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by TigerWong; 03-28-05 at 01:23 AM.

  19. #39
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    I read a fair bit of fanfiction, and one of the worst things that can happen to a reader is to have begun reading a wonderful story, get to a nice bit, and be left stranded because the writer lost steam.

    For a non-chinese-literate wuxia reader, the feeling must be worse, because you know that the story is only going to get better, and you know that the story already has an ending. I understand drjqool's frustrations. I mean, I read my first wuxia novel, LOCH, because I was watching a TV adaptation of it. I got hooked, I was dying to know what happened next and 24 hours seemed a long time to wait for the next segment. Readers here have to wait for weeks, sometimes months to get the next update.

    Although it's true that all the translators' time are voluntary, and translators do have other priorities; as a translator, I feel bad making my readers wait.

    About quality of translations, working with other translators, etc... I'm speaking for myself only and not for the many other translators here. Before I came here, I ony read JY's novels. I got exposed to GL's stuff because there were more GL translations here than JY ones. If the 1st few chapters of the translation was good, I'd go and read the original chinese version. If not, I didn't bother. It was because I benefited from the translations, and that I am chinese literate, I thought I'd return something back to this community. Hence I began to translate GL's Horizon Bright Moon Sabre.

    As a translator, I found that my priorities differed from that of a reader. As a reader, my primary concern was to find out what happened next. I didn't care for the quality of the tranlation too much, as long as the grammar was not too atrocious. This is just for wuxia translations though, if it's fanfiction, bad grammar turns me off straight away, because the only indication I can get as a reader with regards to the quality of a fanfiction story is the care that a writer takes in his/her writing. The best indication of this is his/her attention to grammar. If he/she doesn't care about something as basic as grammar, dare I believe that he/she would pay attention to characterisation, plot, etc?

    As a translator however, I want to write the best translation that I can write. I care about the quality of my translation. When I work on a paragraph, my first concern is if my translation is grammatically correct. My next concern is if I'm translated the essence of the story properly. What do I do with word plays which make sense in Chinese but not in English? When do I use a literal translation, and when do I use hanyu pinyin with a footnote to explain what the term means? How much ground I cover when I'm translating is something that I do take note, but that is very very low amongst my list of concerns.

    Because of the time that I put in, to think through the choice of this word as compared to other, a translation becomes very personal. Much like a fanfiction I'm afraid. Some of the more seasoned writers may enjoy collaboration. But as a novice translator, I prefer to work alone. With the help of a beta reader of course, but I do prefer to work on the initial draft alone. Also, while reading and rereading a well-written story is very enjoyable, rereading a paragraph for translation is work. It's not a bad way to spend time, but it's still time that I could have spent doing something that's of more interest to me. My free time is mostly used for me to pursue things I find interesting (like magic for instance... learning how to bend forks and spoons is so cool, but I digress), and when I get round to it, I work on a section of translation.

    At the end of the day, the poor reader is at the mercy of the translator. Because we are not paid, we are not obliged to translate consistently. Do readers have the right to be upset by the "irresponsibility" of a translator? To start something good and not finish? Absolutely. I get frustated by fanfiction writers who don't finish their stories, and yet I know that writing for them is like translating to me.

    Let's not jump on drjqool for airing his/her frustrations here. Think of it this way, for him/her to get this upset, he/she must have really enjoyed your work. Your translations must have captured the authors' essence enough for the reader to get hooked. He/she may sound angry, but what he/she is really doing is pleading you to continue your work.

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