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Thread: A New Translator With Alot of Questions

  1. #21
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    Oh, I'm sorry I did not make this clear earlier. But of course I won't hold my translations ransom, if I start a translation project then I will commit my time to making sure that a minimum of 2 or more chapters gets released to that specific series every week. I say that number now, but I'm still uncertain what I will be translating and what the word count or diction difficulty will be like so if it's easier i'll do more if it's more difficult well we'll see. I will see any project I start to the end and won't hold my chapters ransom if donations dry up. I will say however that if there is sufficient interest from my readers to devote time to translating or spending more time on something else, then I may do so. Thank you for bringing up the matter of committing to a translation ROI, a very good point that I didn't make my stance clear on earlier.

    Also thank you dexter64 for enlightening me about how IET and some of these other web novelists get paid. I was very interested in that as well. I did not know that they got paid not only for viewership, but word count as well, very interesting.

  2. #22
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    I also have to thanks dexter64. That is so informative.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    It is interesting that we are having this discussion just now. Translation of chinese literature has taken a back seat to the much more popular Japanese for years. The translators for Japanese work sort of set a bad precedent by accepting donations for their work. At any given manga/lightnovel site dedicated to providing japanese/korean work you will see a donation page.

    Honestly I am surprised that it took us this long to get around to it. As for me, I could never accept donations because my translations aren't that good. Seeing as I can only communicate a general idea of what is happening I would feel guilty accepting money. I am not really a purist about the whole thing. I don't think it is unethical, especially if you take the steps to reach out to the translator, however I do believe that companies do monitor these forums and actively go after the more popular works to be translated into English for profit. I would definitely expect a DNRA from one of them if my work became popular...
    --=={Grundle}==--

  4. #24
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    Manga websites generally use a donation button to cover the cost of the raws and the website they're hosting it on. They're not using it to sustain themselves through it and do not promise faster releases upon donation.

    There is a big difference here.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makiavel View Post
    Manga websites generally use a donation button to cover the cost of the raws and the website they're hosting it on. They're not using it to sustain themselves through it and do not promise faster releases upon donation.

    There is a big difference here.
    Not really. You are arguing semantics at this point. We could argue that we are paying for the paywall (which some of us actually do). It would be essentially the same argument.
    --=={Grundle}==--

  6. #26
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    I don't think there's anything wrong with you accepting donations for extra chapters. I mean it takes time to translate, if people want to help compensate you for your time then why not. First off, I think you should grab an IET novel since they are incredibly popular right now. I also want you to understand the reason why Ren gets so many donations. First off, Coiling Dragon had a fanbase before he started accepting bonus chapter donations, so getting people addicted initially is key. Ren is also dedicated and incredibly reliable, you can't help but feel that he deserves what he's getting. Just remember that gaining a fanbase takes time and dedication. I would personally start off the first month updating like a mad man to gain a fanbase and if the story is good see what happens from there.

  7. #27
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Shi View Post
    Just went to check the dude's profile. So he's an official translator that get's paid to translate stuff? Well shit, he's making way more than me during my 4+ hour sitting per translation.

    But what he needs to understand is that there are enough novels for all of us translators to translate. Would I do it officially if I get paid? Hell yeah! But since I'm not getting paid and spending at least 4 hours to do a translation is a tedious work, what's wrong with asking for donations? Hell, donations would even make me do my translations faster.

    With your whole shit about copyright and stuff.... THIS IS CHINA! (pretend to say this like THIS IS SPARTA!)
    Copyright? One of their most popular software is the video streaming program called PPS... not one bit of copyright there.

    As for myself, I started reading ST and then reached the end and felt like maybe I could help translating. Then I read that Ren was taking donations to fuel his translations and I'm like bruuuuhhhh, I could do that. So I went ahead and started a new project to translate in hopes of traffic hits and donations. Regarding ST, I'll be a collaboration side project.

    ps. Without donations, the release would be one per week or even one per month. Do these story hungry fans want that? No! Hell, even the top online novelist do these for money and must produce a chapter a day. Some quit because they can't take it. If it wasn't for the money, I wonder how many could take it. If you're against my translation for potential profit, then maybe you should translate my stuff for me for free and I can just read them and enjoy it.
    I have yet to be paid anything for translating. I'm just like you all, a fan wanting to spread something I like. My goal is to take wuxia to the mainstream and that's an uphill battle without wuxia translations to show people. If there can be some wuxia novels on the Amazon Kindle store that would go a long way toward giving the wuxia genre more exposure.

    So what I did was contact one of the few wuxia writers still living here in Taiwan and met with him and got permission to translate his most popular novel, Peerless Sword (無雙劍). When I met with him we talked about the wuxia publishing experience, and he told me a lot about how writers got screwed over by publishers. An example:

    He wrote a book, Nine Dragon Lanterns, and a publisher from China wanted to publish it (he lives and published his work in Taiwan). So he asked how much and they talked, but nothing ever came of it, the deal was never done. He found out later that the publisher had just went ahead and published his book in China anyway, without making a deal. So of course he got no royalties from that.

    This kind of thing happened all the time to wuxia writers. It's easy to dismiss copyright when the author is just a name on a page, but when you're sitting in front of the guy in his living room, this old man who made his living writing these novels, it's another thing entirely.

    And he was generous. He was shocked that a foreigner would even be interested in wuxia, and talking with him he seemed really grateful that someone was taking interest in this guy whom his own country had already forgotten about (his work is long out of print, as is most wuxia writers' work except Gu Long and Jin Yong).

    So I got permission to translate him book, and I am slowly working on it. It's a long book so it will take me a while, and until it's published (on Amazon, Smashwords, etc. as an ebook) I won't get any money, and even then I imagine it will be very little as no one knows about wuxia.

    But my purpose for going to all this trouble instead of just translating it here is so that hopefully an official book on Amazon will attract more readers, which hopefully will open the door in the future to more official translations. Official translations (in theory) means better control over the quality of the translations as well, which is always good. It's a long road to get there, and maybe it's impossible, but that's what my goal is.

    I am also working on the English subtitles to a wuxia documentary being filmed here in Taiwan. That's also a voluntary role, no money (as of right now anyway). I contacted the company and volunteered to do the subtitles to that more people would be able to watch the film when it's released. Alto the director has contacts with wuxia authors. The director is going to put me in touch with Yun Zhongyue's family (a deceased wuxia author) to look into translating some of his work as well. Haven't pursued that much since I've been busy with other stuff, but maybe that will work as well. I'm also putting together a wuxia fanzine that I will release periodically.

    So all that is probably more info than you want to know, but that's a bit of my story, more than you can get from checking this "dude's profile".

    I also noticed you seem to have a problem with someone else translating something your working on. Stings when it's your work being undermined, doesn't it?

    I would like to keep doing fan translations while I work on this official one, but I don't feel right doing it since I'm working on one novel with permission. The feeling is, why not get permission to do the other one too? Why did I need permission for the one novel but it's okay to post the other one without permission? Does that author's work not matter as much? That's why I stopped the Magic Sword translation I was working on. It seems absurd to ask Yun Zhongyue's family for permission to translate a work when I've already started posting a translation of one of his works.

    I am not against fan translation, though. The reality is, without fans translating, there would be zero chance to spread wuxia. In fact, I wouldn't right now know what it is.

    But I think this new influx of xianxia translation is only because of the prospect of money, as you basically admitted, and it just sours the community feel. For one thing, there is already a squabble in the Stellar Transformation thread about people working on the same thing. Money is already distorting things. It's just a shame.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteskwirl View Post
    But I think this new influx of xianxia translation is only because of the prospect of money, as you basically admitted, and it just sours the community feel. For one thing, there is already a squabble in the Stellar Transformation thread about people working on the same thing. Money is already distorting things. It's just a shame.
    The truth is, all translators in spcnet (before Ren accepting donation) were doing it because they loved the novels and want to share it with the English literate world. After that, then yes, most of the new translators do it in the hope to monetizing it.

    Personally, I don't have any problems with someone monetizing the translation. It is a supply and demand thing. Nobody was forced to donate or buy the translation. About the legal issues, the translator should know the risks.

    I don't know about web publishing, but the sad truth in the paper publishing business is that the authors were rarely make a decent living. The norm is, the author got paid in advance for xxx copies and will get more in case of re-print, but along with that mostly they also lost the right to publish (most of the time, including translating right) their own work. Sometimes authors were paid outright for the novels with no royalty agreement at all. Only if you are a famous author that you can dictate the term of the agreement for your new works. I think that is why most of the times it's hard to obtain the permissions from the authors or their families, because they might not have that right.
    Last edited by dexter64; 03-05-15 at 11:53 AM.

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