Lost in translationAnonymous
I worked for a game company for almost 3 years, and when their first game was released in german, they oddly hired a Korean linguist … to localize the game into German.
When I had the first chance to check the game, I was shocked by the results and asked if they really intended to release the game in this state.
They were surprised by my reaction and asked “What’s so bad about it? When we put it through Google translate, it totally makes sense.”
The situation was really going downhill, and I couldn’t find words to describe the quality of the product. We were only 4 weeks away from Closed Beta, and I saw myself already hiding under a rock. I tried to get a good example from the game to show the state and severity of the translation, and I stumbled over this gem in the tutorial.
The player would see a little penguin with a brown cap and his mouth looked a little bit like a moustache. The speech bubble said “Möchtest du den Führer sehen? - (Would you like to see the guide?) Technically, the translation was correct, and the word “Führer” was correct in terms of a dictionary but, the combination of a penguin wearing a brown cap and moustache of a certain dictator in Germany around the 1940’s wasn’t really something i wanted to endorse in a game for 12 year old kids.
The possible options to choose from were “Yes,” “No,” or “Only at special occasions” and I was like “Seriously, special occasions? Like what? Reich Crystal Night?”
With that I went to the CEO and explained him that if this gets released, we can bury the game without going into the beta and move on to the next title.
He asked me what could be done, and I said that I would be willing to localize the game if i get the complete text. He agreed and within 4 weeks, I managed together with 3 friends to localize the whole game with almost 500.000 words into proper German.
I spent almost the full 4 weeks in the office and slept either in my chair, the couch, or not at all. In the end, the original localization person received money for the chaos she had been caused with her pseudo-German linguistic skills, and I had just received my regular salary.
We had a very tough week until the first maintenance arrived to implement the new translation. We did another 3 revisions for typos and strings which didn’t fit properly but we pulled it off.
Even today, I stumble across screenshots from that time and think, “Somehow … I miss that time in my life.” It was a nightmare, but I think it was the only time I’ve ever been fully in control about a project.
To release my anger at the time of the translation, I had rewritten some conversations in the game to express the horrors of the whole mess. 5 clowns in the middle of a city were talking about the madness of localizing and their side effects.
He asked me whether I wanted to be paid excess rates as a contractor to substitute the other translator, and I completely failed to notice...
I would have recommended a raise for this guy. If a laborer I used had translated one of my docs into a needed language I would try to get him more money too. That is not only going above and beyond but showing a marketable skill.
The game was already available in english and the english texts were alreadypolished, so we translated the text from english into german instead of using korean as a source.
For the time frame of 4 weeks, yes it was too short and we had to fix a lot of mistakes that had been fixed over the coming weeks. We did a total of 3 reviews of the texts to clear all mistakes.
So basically the translated texts were flawed in the first version and we were able to finalize it after a few patches.
The initial translation was a real joke which was used during the closed beta and i was happy that we got rid of the initial texts after the closed beta. The closed beta was accessible to roughly 1000 players over a time of 2 weeks. So a lot of screenshots were posted in the german community.
And for the record,i wouldn't do such a job again for the money i received at that time.It was just not worth the effort. Roughly 500 hours in a month for roughly 2500 USD at that time.
Would the master penguin race be all black or all white?
I'm sure your Korean -> English -> German translation turned out better, but in theory it makes sense to use the source material when creating a translation. Who knows what inaccuracies or idiosyncrasies were introduce in the Korean to English translation?
The original translation had been done by a Korean from Korean into German. And no,she was not proficient in German.
The problem with Korean is that they translated literally. Like the word Vagrant (the starting class) sounds fine in English but in German the word is Landstreicher and is equivalant to the word Hobo so, the player would have started as a Hobo. Definetly not a good choice, so i actually worked with the basic principle. Names, Locations, Skills and so on were kept in English, so we translated only the context like Skill description or general and quest texts.
The game was available in english for over a year,so the english text was pretty much consistent and plausible.
We were all players of the game, so everyone knew what we were reading while doing the translation.
In the end we were even able to get rid of inconsistencies in the text that the english translation still had.
So the translation was effectively done after and reviewed 3 times within a total of 10 weeks.
P.S.We actually used the word "Lehrer" instead of Guide.It means teacher and was less contradictive in the context.
P.P.S.The penguin had a white belly and blue fur
He received a monthly salary for "nearly 4 weeks work"? Holy shit.
Remember - He was correcting errors that presented cultural problems, NOT translating 500k words. 500k words is 4-7 days of casual reading, and he says himself the translations were "technically correct". Which means there's not a lot to correct.
Won't lose much sleep over this one, and I'd love to know what the Korean lady made, because I bet it was less and took longer.
*edit* "received money for the chaos she had been caused" - given that this doesn't make any goddamn sense (remove the word 'been' for the actual meaning), I'm not sure the OP did that good a job either.
"Hobo" is insulting. "Homeless" is a description.
Well, i did translate the 500k words from english into German. The original translation from the Korean Lady was unusuable. We translated from English into German starting from Zero
So were the only problems with words and such that were technically correct, but had different implications in the destination language? Because that's all you've given examples of. Were there spelling or grammatical errors at all?
Just because the English text was consistent and plausible doesn't mean it was accurate. The original English translators could've replaced certain texts with their own in-jokes, for example, or changed things to fit the cultural norms of Americans. I'm wondering if your work to fix inconsitences in the English text made the German translation closer or further from the original Korean.
Does this 10 weeks include the time the original translator was working on it?
That's not what you indicated before:
"Fix a lot of mistakes" and applying "a few patches" does not sound like starting from scratch. I'm not sure it even makes sense to start from scratch. For example, in the example you give of using "Lehrer" vs. "Führer," it seems like it'd make more sense to have just swapped in that word into the existing translated text instead of translating that whole sentence from scratch. At the least, it sounds like you were familiar with the original German translation before you started yours.
The Korean lady claimed to speak German but this was a lie, but she got paid for it. Her German was terrible, because i got the chance to talk to her.
The translation didn't make any sense and the company intended to launch with the horrible version.
The texts didn't make any sense at all. Google Translate would have done a better job.
We were a total of 4 people in the end and we all have played the game extensively. So we knew how the game worked and i was also the Administrator for one of the biggest fansites in Europe. So we knew how the game worked and how skills were functioning. This means we knew exactly what we were doing.
Trust me, if you really work with limited resources like we did, then the amount of words and involved the amount of work we did in this short amount of time, was impressive. It was my first job in the industry with no prior experience and even the guys who worked on the english version were very impressed by my dedication and effort i put into the game.
I already left the company in 2010 and the whole story happened at the end of 2006.
Nowadays i would not do this again. I know how much my work is worth and i already had myfirst backlash a few months ago. Had a mental breakdown and was unabletowork for 5 months. Worked 240 hours a month and too much stress caused me to collapse.
I can really understand my own limitations today and when i was 25, i was able to withstand this stress.
Not anymore. 7 years can really make a big differnece.
http://trenchescomic.com/tales/post/an-employee-with-an-expiration-date The moral of that story appears to be never take a job for less than the pay you want.
http://trenchescomic.com/tales/post/um-because-thats-my-job I would've enjoyed this tale more if it weren't for the sexist undertones.
There's also the line "And that’s when it hit me. These two women were going to fire me." It's the fact that he's specifically pointing out their gender in that sentence, making it of importance. We already know their gender, and so using the line "these two were going to fire me" would've gotten the same information across, without making their gender of apparent importance to the situation.
Now, about that 2nd last paragraph "This proves a point about women, Janis says. You need to marry a geek girl. Stay away from those finance bossy types." First off, not that it "proves a point about women," not just about people. So it's not classifying a certain type of person, but a certain type of woman. Also, the paragraph seems to degrade women to only having value as potential mates. If the genders of the bosses had been male, would anyone of thought to consider their potential for marriage? It also conflates the women's business roles with their overall personalities and private lives. This can happen with men too, but it seems more prevalent with women. If one of them is bossy at work, because she's, well, a boss, she can be called a "bitch" or speculated as being "frigid," when work roles don't necessarily translate to behavior in private lives.
Note that it's not just those two points that made me the article feel a bit skeevy to me. The whole article puts an overemphasis on their gender, in my view. Also note that just because I think the article has sexist undertones, I'm not saying that the author is necessarily sexist. It could be he just wrote a bit carelessly, without fully considering the impact some of his choices would make in the overall story. Finally, it's just my opinion on the tale, others may not have the problems with it I do.
No, he's not making it of importance. You are making it of importance. You are like those who dissect the bible and decide that every word must be so meaningful because why on Earth will it be used otherwise and so begin to attribute to it more than it is.
Sometimes a tree-pot is a tree-pot.
Here's a theory for you, since you're into theories.
Janis is a woman. She was probably a geek. She probably thought those bossy jerks she had as superiors to be inferior and improper women to her. She might have even liked the protagonist. Therefore, the quip related to women.
Eitherway, it came out of her mouth, not the protagonist. Yet, you attribute it to the protagonist.
And then you just went off the deep end of hyper-parabolic-pseudo-analysis-personal-superimposition.
Honestly, are you a feminist?
I am probably unfit to answer as I am heterosexual, but personally, dry jerks repulse me regardless of gender.
So, hypothetically, no, I wouldn't marry those types even if I was homosexual or a woman, either.
And on broader scope, yes, I do consider my coworkers as potential romantic interest towards marriage. Why shouldn't I? They're just as a human being (well, assuming they aren't assholes) as anyone else.
As a matter of fact, I had a female boss, who was older than me and had quite the lovely personality & a big heart & was very intelligent and pretty, which I liked quite a lot. Unfortunately, she was not interested. But that's life.
Yeah...and if it's a male we'll call them "prick", "douchebag" and a slew of other names too.
Especially when they're the moralless, inhumane, cold, "you're all robots to make me money and only bottom line matters" types which has zero conflation to be made about.
And now we're at the core. "Feel...to me", "in my view"; You're far too soaked in subjective bias.
As for the line that was originally spoken by a woman: just because a woman said it doesn't mean it's not sexist. Women can be woefully sexist towards their own gender sometimes. The tale author mentions the Macintosh SE being current at the time of the tale, which was manufactured by Apple between March 1987 and October 1990. That places the tale in the late 80s, when both men and women had different opinions on what was considered "ladylike" behavior and proper jobs for a woman to have. In any case, the author chose to repeat what was said, which places the burden on them for this tale.
Am I a feminist? I'd like to think so, in the sense that I'm for equality in terms of rights, pay, and respect. I also don't think I tend to overreact to certain statements or actions, but if I see something that could be presented
As for the marriageability, being a straight male doesn't get you off the hook. After all, as you pointed out, it was a woman who originally opined about the marriageability of those two bosses. If a female co-worker came up to you complaining about something your male boss did, would it ever occur to you to say," that goes to show you, don't marry those bossy male types"? It's a dichotomy where the split is by gender, which makes it sexist.
Finally, regarding my "subjective bias," you're damn right my view is subjective, as is yours. Everyone's opinion in this matter is, by definition, subjective. You do nothing to discredit my viewpoint by saying it's subjective.
The opinions then are as the opinions now and are segmented, usually by socio-economic distribution, to different sections of the populace.
What hook? Why am I even on a hook in the first place? I am not a fish and I do not seek to harm.
"See, those bastard fiscal types are a bad kind of men, you should marry someone with a heart who treats co-workers like people."
Should I add an alternative for LGBT and male/female boss as well, as to cover all the prospective circumstances?
Negative. That be the feeler's turf. INTPs work out of cold logic and strive towards absolute objectivity, discarding personal ramifications and opinions and endeavouring via the scientific method; oft via way of assertion and negation.
That would be a logical fallacy and much assumption.
As are the assertions that these be "staggering trivialities" whence they shape the face of our culture in generations to come.
Moreover, scientific research is hard at work across several distinctively different vectors towards prolonging the natural human life expectancy and are making good progress.