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Big change to current translator ranks! Please read!

+ posted by njt in Quality Control on Jan 17, 2010 06:32


Hello fellow members, translators and scanlators! I have an important announcement that affects mostly the translators.

The pending translations are continuing to build up and so I've thought of a way to help make things go a bit smoother.

We will be introducing a new translator level system that will be implemented on Monday the 25th. Until that time, I will allow members to state their opinions/suggestions/concerns regarding this change. Should no serious change be made, the below will be implemented. All current pending translations will all be approved with translators names logged to be checked asap.

The levels are (from lowest to highest):

Trainee: A trainee is clearly not fluent in Japanese enough to be translating, but using translating as a means for motivation to learn Japanese (and sometimes English) better. These translations are not fit for scanlations and won't show up in public areas.

Conditions:
  1. Errors on nearly every page.
  2. Poor English grammar.
  3. Poor English punctuation.
  4. Poor English flow.

Level D: A Level D translator has the basics down, but has too many mistakes to be approved for scanlations. The translations can go out to the public and can be used to get an idea of what the manga is about, but should not be used in scanlations.

Conditions:
  1. Errors on every other page.
  2. Poor English grammar.
  3. Poor English punctuation.
  4. Poor English flow.

Level C: Translations by Level C translators are generally safe for use by scanlators. Usually gets complicated Japanese grammar wrong so, for good measure, should get another translator to look over it. Also unable to tell the difference between small nuances in English.

Conditions:
  1. At least a few errors per chapter. Basic Japanese still confusing at times.
  2. Average English grammar.
  3. Average English punctuation.
  4. Average English flow.

Level B: Translations by Level B translators are nearly perfect. Has errors only in complex Japanese sentences. Safe to use in scanlations.

Conditions:
  1. Errors in only complicated Japanese.
  2. Above average English grammar.
  3. Above average punctuation.
  4. Above average flow.

Level A: As close to perfect as you can get for a fan translator. Translations are reliable and are encouraged for use. Also good to consult if you're unsure on a translation.

Conditons:
  1. Very seldom makes errors.
  2. Above average English grammar.
  3. Above average punctuation.
  4. Above average flow.

Level S: These translators are level A translators with lots of experience who make the effort to either share that experience through translation checking and upgrading translators' levels or through other various tasks indirectly relating to helping translators improve. If you want your level raised check the Help a translator forum for who to contact.

Conditions:
  1. Very seldom makes errors.
  2. Helps approve / check translators. (minimum 5 per month)
  3. Above average English grammar.
  4. Above average punctuation.
  5. Above average flow.

I and other Level S translators will be checking translations that are posted on MH. A translator is free to personally request a translation check to raise their level or wait until a Level S translator checks them at random. A translator will only be allowed to be checked once every 3 months with a minimum prerequisite of 2 translations per month for a total of 6 translations in between each request for a level upgrade.

These levels are to help raise awareness of the quality of translations that are on the site as well as encourage translators to strive for improvement.

We'll aim to be fair in grading, with translators able to request a second grading by a different person if they are not satisfied with their first.

The benefits of each level, while not so noticeable at the moment, will increase over time as we add more functions to the site.

New translators will still undergo a 5 translation pending process to get used to the site and how it works, but should be put in a designated level by their fifth translation.

International translators will not be effected by this change seeing as this site's main target is JP - Eng translations. However, if we do have enough experienced international translators we will consider adjusting levels for them as well.

With that said - let me know what you think :D.

Have you shown your appreciation today? Click the thanks button or write your appreciation below!

Comments
#1. by Teishou ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Sounds interesting...wonder where I fall.

A tier system doesn't always work, but hopefully it will in this case.
#2. by njt (Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄))
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
If nothing else - it'll help with the pending translations and act as a guide for those to know who to contact, and what to expect when they read/use a translation. So it should be a step in the right direction ;).
#3. by methanol ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
spiffy~
#4. by Unproductive ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
How about the ones you have no raws for?

I'm thinking of all my own TLs since they are all Kodansha at the moment LOL.
#5. by takadanama ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Where are you at, njt?
:3
#6. by Unproductive ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
but yeah, good idea on replacing the current system of Quality Checking. It's largely broken.
#7. by ~Brianma~ ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Thx for coming out with this great idea.

I am still striving to be better so with this system, I know your are already doing me a big favour.

Btw, do we get to know our mistakes after getting approved?
And should we still get proof reader to do the proofing before posting?


Thx again njt.

#8. by unok-kun ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Well, I first started translating from English to Spanish, even back when everything was on the forums, and as such, I got approved because of my translations to Spanish, but right now I'm giving a try to translating from Japanese to English, and still do a few occasional translations to Spanish. So, even if I could be level C-B in translating eng-spa, I'm no more than a trainee with jap-eng, and that's why my main language in my translators page is Spanish. With that system, I guess my translations to English would still show up... I know it's not your typical case, but I'm not the only one who, say, translates from English to another language and then does an occasional translation to English (for example, from a direct translation from Japanese to that language that isn't in English).
#9. by noob3d ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
I'm not sure whether the mechanics of this system is better because I never really understood the old system either.Even though I had more than 5 translations,I never got out of my "new translator" rank.I'm guessing its because of something I didn't know about.Will this mean I'll be overlooked again?Forever...n ever
#10. by GEshode ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Nice idea, but I think that system isn't useful for all translators, especially for international ones, because the language translated into can't always be checked and it isn't clear if they use the Japanese original or English translations for their own translations. So they would be out of the ranking. But otherwise nice idea.
#11. by njt (Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄))
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
@methanol
Thanks :3

@unproductive
Not sure about your question? You can still post your translations of those series. (We'd just need to get the raw from you to check your work :p)
and thanks^^;

@takadanama
Quit spamming >=(
p.s. on the net ;)

@~Brainma~
Thanks^^; It was actually talked about a long time ago, and was thinking about a test for the grading but then again that would just be more work for the already busy people. So I figured it'd be just as good to see how they are from their translations.

As for knowing the mistakes, yeah. We'll state why we figured you should be in that level as well as advice to improve.

And yes, you should *always* try to get a proofreader :p. Even I make sure mine is proofread ^^;

@unokpasabaxaki
Making things complicated I see ;.;
Well we'd just have to choose your main group and go from there. Until we have a way to represent your second group you'll have to be placed in your main one with a mention of your level on your profile.

@noob3d
If you didn't understand the old system this one should be much better, as I believe it's easier to understand ^^;
Chances are the reason why your translations are pending is because they've never been approved - thus why^^; - this system will make it so your translations will be approved faster ;).

@GEshode
Right, I mentioned at the bottom that it's mostly for the JP-ENG translators. If we do have enough people to check international translators then I would be more than willing to get it working for that language too.
#12. by takadanama ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
@njt... errr... I mean... your level :3
#13. by Sasuke_the_Avenger ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
This is great for Jap to Eng translator...but for the others ? I don't understard if this ranking is applied at all translator for example to me ( Eng to Ita )
#14. by njt (Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄))
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
@takadanama
level SS GOLD of course :D

@Sasuke
(copying and pasting from above comment :p)
Right, I mentioned at the bottom that it's mostly for the JP-ENG translators. If we do have enough people to check international translators then I would be more than willing to get it working for that language too.
#15. by zefur ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Oooo with that trainee level I may actually start using what I have been trying to learn be prepared for some abysmal translations from me
#16. by graficool ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
interesting =D
#17. by shadow-skill ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
njt, was that rank Shadow-Skill Gold!? I'm the highest rank in your system? That's great!!!! (c:

jokes aside. There was an announcement a few days ago about a site (pirate pd, i think) that would allow ppl to get translation help in real time, is this system really necessary then? One of the biggest problems of the last system you tried was there were too many translations and not enough ppl to check. You've taken care of that, but that other site still stands above it.
#18. by njt (Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄))
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
@zefur
Yeah, good idea :D

@shadow-skill
haha wow :o how'd you guess :D.

As for the last site, piratepad (which isn't my site btw, I just found it extremely useful for translators so I promoted it) I introduced - that's for help in real time ^^. This is for the translations that are posted on the site and how it relates to people that use/read them. Like should this translation be used? Is it just practice? Currently you don't know.

How the system is set up now is all translations from new translators are blocked up in pending until they get approved. What this will do is free those up and still let people know what to expect~. If a translator hasn't been checked they can either request it, or a member can request it or anything like that :).

So in essence piratepad and this are both quite different. You use one to work together with translator+translator or translator+proofreader. This quality system however rates the translators so we can cut down on translations being used when they are just for studying purposes.
#19. by Hyperworm ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
This pleasantly surprises me.

When MH put the issue of translation quality up for discussion a while back, I seem to remember that anything that ranked or rated translators or translations was rejected (whether it was by MH or a mob of commenters I can't remember) on the basis that it would make people feel bad and not want to participate. But I see no complaints of that type this time (yet).

Perhaps it just required a good idea for implementation?

Anyway I love that this is being considered. It should help people who don't speak Japanese get a better idea of how reliable the translation is.
#20. by L0ki ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
I'm probably good enough to check english-spanish translations in case you're interested.
#21. by Rejuvenation ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
I commend you for trying to boost the quality. As well as helping those that want to learn and get better with their JP-ENG translations. Good idea and it will be impressive if it all runs smoothly.
#22. by ruggia ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
pretty good idea actually.
the only thing I want to know is what's going to happen for translators who get ranked level C or D who already have lot of their translations scanlated? (like on a regular basis)

are they going to be forbidden to get their future work scanlated, or is it just going to be a reminder for the translators?
#23. by Allin ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
I also think this system would be a nice measure.
Even though international translators are not included in this system yet, they can benefit from it. With these Levels given, every int. translator can spot how good the translation is at the first glance. So they can decide to translate it despite the quality or to wait for a better version.

The only thing i worry about is some kind of pressure. Well, it's hard to explain ^^"
Imagine that you were a Level C or D translator. You'd try over and over to get better but you won't make any progress to become a Level B or A translator. Don't you think your motivation would fade away at a certain point?
(ah wait, it's possible to upgrade ones grade by posting better translations at all, doesn't it? Or do you remain a level C ode D translator forever once it is decided?)

But that Level-System aside, i think it's always a good Idea to speed up the approval process for pending translations.
I think it would be much faster to have international translators check up the pending translations of their respective languages.
So i think if you'd come up with a respective request, many int. translator will respond.
#24. by Unproductive ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Voting a popularity contest isn't such a great idea, but this plan done on the basis of recognized competence and authority is better. Not a bad idea. It still seems like a lot of work though.
#25. by ~Brianma~ ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Thx njt for clarifying it for me.

Now all I need to do now is to see where I fall lol.



#26. by Hyperworm ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Allin: The relevant part of the post for changing the level is:

"A translator is free to personally request a translation check to raise their level or wait until a Level S translator checks them at random. A translator will only be allowed to be checked once every 3 months with a minimum prerequisite of 2 translations per month for a total of 6 translations in between each request for a level upgrade."
#27. by njt (Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄))
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
@hyperworm
Indeed it should - and thanks for helping out the member.

@L0ki
"Probably good enough" is kinda vague ^^;. Considering you'd be in charge of rating the other translators I'd need to know for sure how well your level is.

@Braiking Boss
Thanks :).

@Ruggia
Ultimately it's up to the scanlators. We'll encourage them to find better translators / wait until the current translator gets better before continuing to use them, though.

@Allin
Hyperworm points out the part in the post about that. But to reinstate, no it's not permanent. The translator can try as many times as they want to improve (there's just a few requirements to fulfill in between each request)

As for the request for int. translators to help I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask, but I'm not fluent in any languages other than English and Japanese, so ultimately I'd have to take your word/grades on a test that shows your profenciency in those languages... Which, as you can imagine, leaves me a bit uneasy ^^;;

@unproductive
Actually in terms of the current amount of work to go through each pending translation, this is much MUCH easier ^^;;;

@~brainma~
I'll start going over translations today/tomorrow - as soon as I'm over my cold ^^
#28. by L0ki ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
@njt
I didn't want to sound arrogant, but to hell with that. I'm the best eng-esp translator you'll ever find on the net. Is that good enough? Although, as you said, proving it to someone who doesn't know the target language is going to be a bit of a problem.
#29. by tethysdust ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
This seems like a good idea, especially if it is kept up to date by the S-levels. I would hope also, in the grading, that you indicate which areas the translator needs to work on in order to improve their rank.
#30. by kewl0210 ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
So the only difference between A and S is if you help pending translations, eh...
I could so that... I don't think I'm below A... My earlier stuff might fall into B... I don't think I'm there now.

Ooh... I should've studied more... I should've checked more of the stuff they said was on the test... Shouldn't have skipped on joining that study group...

Oh wait, I've been checking Gintama... but that only comes out four times a month, damn, most of the time anyway, so close... Can I do some extra credit Mr. Njt?

I do think it's a good idea. I mean, I have read some translations that are clearly not that good, or have way too many errors but since no one who scanlates is able to check them no one is aware of what level they're at, this will allows scanlators to gauge levels better, to some degree at least.
#31. by ~Brianma~ ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
Thanks for your hard work Njt.

:)
#32. by KayalhawK ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
How do you check what level you are at? As in, where will it say?
#33. by Livyatan ()
Posted on Jan 17, 2010
I like the idea, but will this take into account the relative difficulty of the translations? I like seinen manga, and I'd be sad if translators stopped doing them in favour of easier titles to raise their level.
#34. by dancingblade ()
Posted on Jan 18, 2010
Great system, I especially like what you've done with S rank, since there's some motivation to start checking the pendings. But I think that everyone (no matter what rank) should be able to gain some benefit from helping check a translation.
#35. by KayalhawK ()
Posted on Jan 18, 2010
Oh yes, will there be an indication of perhaps someone excelling in English but are rather poor in the translation language (as in good grammar, punctuation, and flow, but are not as good in terms of accuracy.)
#36. by Allin ()
Posted on Jan 18, 2010
@Hyperworm and njt
thanks for wising me up ^^

@njt
yeah, i can perfectly understand you ^^"
Every translator (and Scanlator) is doing this for fun, so i guess such a test would be the wrong measure (it would kinda remind me of my school days ^^").
Maybe the international translators could vote one oder two checkers among themselves (the spanish translators choose a spanish checker, the italian an italian checker, the german a german checker and so on).
But that shouldn't be the topic now. Set up the level-system first and then think about any further steps ^^
#37. by scrubb ()
Posted on Jan 18, 2010
This looks like a pretty reasonable breakdown of translator skill levels. Having each translator's skills evaluated and vetted by more senior translators is a good way to self-regulate, so long as you don't get people trying to game the system. (I should hope no one on MH is that low.)

My main concern is will this solve the translation approval bottleneck in the current system? Will translation approvals be tied to translator rank somehow?

Livyatan also has a good point in that the difficulty of the Japanese varies from one manga to the next, potentially leading to unintentional overrating if a TL suddenly picks up a much more difficult series after working on simpler ones, or underrating if the other way around. I suppose this will have to be handled on a per-translation basis, though.
#38. by molokidan (Hidden Boss ΣΣ(゚Д゚;)ナヌッ)
Posted on Jan 18, 2010
The results of the first level placement are in; you can check it on the forum thread. I will be taking as many requests as possible, so please everyone, take part in this and help improve the quality of MH.
#39. by aznlight ()
Posted on Jan 18, 2010
“If” this system is put up, would it be bias in choosing the pending translations if someone has a higher grade then another translators? Or would you randomly select a few low grades that were submitted early and the rest that is higher grade? I’m not saying this is an unfair system, but there still some pondering question that I can’t think of right now that is not answer by your 1st post. I think this is great idea but it still leaves some question on how fair will this system work if it applies… just a thought.
#40. by cloneofsnake ()
Posted on Jan 18, 2010
Nice... I think I made a Level C translator...

BTW, I am looking for Japanese lessons in Tokyo!! PM me if you're a Level A translator! :)
#41. by Searss ()
Posted on Jan 19, 2010
@ njt, is it possible to make a page with translators list and the ranks? Or does it already exist?.
#42. by c_k (Global Moderator)
Posted on Jan 19, 2010
@ Searss: If you check the Help Forum where you apply for a level check, they're already posting who got checked, when they got checked, and what level a TLer is...
#43. by fanatik ()
Posted on Jan 19, 2010
So, back to school, huh? One might wonder how those F, D and even C-ranked ones feel about being 'high-school dropouts' or close%)) And those who didn't bother with looking into complicacies of the system before, now won't be bothered even more.

On a serious note, though, a couple of things, some of which have already been mentioned. First, a lot of not-so-widely-known-and-popular series have only one and/or occasional translators. (Come to think of it that's somewhat true even for series that can be considered pretty popular). When there's no better alternative what will a reader do? Yeah, (s)he will be reading what's available to them. And to heck with grading. So the only thing that would change at best is reader's awareness (like, "Yeah, I know this guy is crappy translator, and this translation of his I'm currently reading is probably craptastic as well"). Well, another effect might be that some translators of lower ranks would drop their series.

Second, the issue of translation difficulty. It's probably correct to assume that translating some easy kidddie manga does not equal to translating, well, seinen, for example (which, at the very least, requires you to be able to actually read kanji as no furigana for lazybones there).

Third, a lot of groups have their own translators that cannot and will not be checked, yet scanlations with their translations will be regularily produced, so no real benefit here, and readers won't know whether they read an A-graded translation or an F-graded one.

All in all, right now this somehow feels like a game to me, but that's me, you see. Your level as a translator will basically stay the same unless someone points you your mistakes with explanations why you got it wrong and what's right. Level systems won't help much in this endeavor, but, then again, not many things will.

Oh, well, we'll see, I guess. Might actually turn into something good.
#44. by mangafly ()
Posted on Jan 19, 2010
Contrary to popular belief, some shounen manga can be trickier to translate than some seinen manga. (or a shoujo manga in comparison to a josei manga). Most of those seinen manga with 'proper, high level grammar' tend to use proper Japanese (stuff foreigners learn in their Japanese classes) as opposed to shounen stuff that use colloquial Japanese. I've seen many cases where the translator can perfectly translate "kowai" (scary) but has no idea what "koee" is.

As for craptastic translations, even if it's fan based, it's not the right thing to do.
When someone publishes the most craptastic translation, he/she is practically 'lying' to the readers about what the mangaka actually says. If you have seen as many crappy translations as I had, you'll understand what I'm talking about. A translation with error on every other bubble is definitely a wrong translation. When the translator misinterprets the speaker, the translation becomes a wrong translation.

It's not for the leechers, but for the mangaka. The mangaka deserves to get a reasonable interpretation of what he/she intends to convey to his/her readers. Distributing scanlations with craptastic translation is... *sigh*
#45. by c_k (Global Moderator)
Posted on Jan 19, 2010
@ fanatik: It's true that some of the lower graded translators might stop translating, but at least they'll know at what level they are translating and the people who read the scanlations will know the level of the translator. This might motivate the translator to try and better themselves. These would be the people that may want to look to translating as a possible future profession. Those that decide to give up translating or stop posting their translations because of a possible low grade are probably just scared of being judged or don't care about the quality of translation that they are giving us and are in it for the e-fame.

Quote by fanatik:
Your level as a translator will basically stay the same unless someone points you your mistakes with explanations why you got it wrong and what's right.
That is exactly what is going to happen with these level tests. When you apply for your initial level or for a level upgrade, the Level S translator will go over the mistakes that you made in your TL, explain what was wrong, and why you were graded the way you were.

This way would also not force the overworked staff of MH to check every single translation a new translator does since a recent translation should accurately gauge how good a translator is. Plus, if there's some ambiguity of a translator's level, the Level S translators could check more than one translation.

It's true as mangafly said that seinen does not equate to a higher difficulty than shounen. I'm sure a slice of life seinen like K-On is a lot easier to translate than a shounen manga like death note.

I think the main idea behind creating levels is to:
1) Inform the translator of the current level they are translating at,
2) Inform the readers of the level of the translator of a manga,
3) Motivate the translator to use the Help Forums/find more knowledgeable translators and/or PM them to improve themselves (as I see some do) thereby improving the overall quality of the scanlation using their translation as well as their translating ability, and
4) Improve the speed at which a new translator's translation is approved

There's probably more, but that's all I can think of at this moment... ^^;;
#46. by njt (Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄))
Posted on Jan 19, 2010
@l0ki

OHHH that changes things. Yeah, see that's what I'm looking for. And the best on the whole damn net? :o amazing!

But jokes aside, I like the voting thing. I'm pretty sure you guys would vote for the highest level international speakers, yeah...?

@tethysdust
Yep, we'll actually not stop there. We'll try and help translators continue to improve with a more focused study area.

@kewl0210
Yeah, that's pretty much the main thing. though I can't really give an S to a person I'm not totally secure with, so an A isn't going to be that easy to achieve - I'll expect up-most proficiency.

If you can let me know who you think needs checking asap, that'd be cool though :3

@Brainma
Nah, thanks you guys for being understanding :3

@KayalhawK
It'd be on your profile, your forum profile, and in the translator list. We'll make it easier to understand as we can make things for it, but for the beginning. That's how :3.

@Livyatan
Yep, we're trying our best to take those into consideration. So given the difficulty of the manga your mistakes and the severity of it would be judge accordingly.

@dancingblade
Yep, that'd be ideal - but we'll see what we can do to get such motivation going ;).

@KayalhawK
Not particularly. The grade would show their overall level. If their English holds them back then they'll need to either improve that or try to find a permanent proofreader.

@Allin
Yep, one step at a time :D.

@scrubb
Current pending translations will be automatically approved (unless they are a translator in training in which we'll focus on helping them improve)
So yeah, after being ranked and after hitting the 5 translation limit translations will go right out to the public.

Yep, you have a point and we'll try to take that into consideration as well (and also stated in your PM ;) )

@aznlight
Unless they are a translator in training they won't have pending translations :).

@cloneofsnake
I could help - just let me know and we could arrange something ;) you got my contact info ;).

@searss
The current translator /browse/ page will show the listing in the near future - we'll also working on making a more dedicated system for it.

@fanatik
1) Right, but there's nothing stopping it from how it is now. And to me, having a chance to *save* a manga's face is a bit more rewarding then watching it happen without anyone know the difference. Like that story with the starfish and the sea, and... erm (read the starfish story: http://www.angelfire.com/ak2/mysticconnection/aa/starfish.html) :p

2) Yep, that'd be taken into consideration to the best of our ability. We're often taking not one, but two of the person's translations before settling on a final grade. (from different series if available)

3) Nothing we can do there but encourage them to actually *try* to get better and stop changing what the author intended with their own original story because they lack the skills required to translate. I give you this article: http://pomax.livejournal.com/

We'll just keep trying to promote and motivate translators to improve. Through that, everyone is better off. So hopefully it'll be the start of something better ;). Only time and feedback and help from members will tell :D.

@mangafly
Very well said. I agree 100%!

@c_k
Thanks. As I've been at this since 7 am- it's 3am now and I had a 2 hour break in between so-- I can't think of anything else to add either :p. Perhaps in the morning.

That said, things are moving smoothly and we're working on making sure the system is in tip top shape for the 25th. So yep, until then we'll be making changes and trying to find a style that'll be easy - fair and reasonable for all those that use it.
#47. by HisshouBuraiKen ()
Posted on Jan 19, 2010
I would say this is a good foundation that can be built upon. The real question is, do we ALL have to start out as trainees? XD
#48. by Elkin ()
Posted on Jan 19, 2010
Erp, it's been a long while since I've last posted a translation on MH... and it'll be a long while before I have the time to even finish off a translation ^^;; I'll put off the request until I've figured out whether I've still got the time to do translations. Then again, likelihood of translating relatively regularly this year is low...

G'luck with the system, all!

PS. finally! A grading system + no everlasting stream of pending translations!
#49. by fanatik ()
Posted on Jan 20, 2010
@mangafly
Ah, well, there's seinen and there's seinen, I suppose (I'm quite shocked, btw, that K-On is a seinen... really-really shocked). And here's the funny thing. Those seinen titles I've been choosing to read so far have more colloquial speech that shounen ones including popular (Bleach, One Piece), and this is one of the reasons I prefer seinen. But then again, I've never read anything like K-On and unlikely will ever start, so...
Standard language is boring by definition (any standard language, not just Japanese or English), because it's standard, that's why there exist colloquialisms, slang, etc. Seinen as a genre allows to use wider range of non-standard speech due to access to harsher, abusive, unrestrained, almost uncensored expressions and absence of the need to make sure young kids would understand what's being said. Particularily, the bit I find most intriguing and amusing is that you come across a lot of non-patterned and not-so-common grammar and vocabulary when reading seinen titles (admittedly, those that are quite gory and adult-themed... so, again, no K-On here). I mean, flattening of inflections is a pretty common pattern ('dekai' - 'dekee', 'chigau' - 'chigee', etc), if you know about it you'll easily figure out what the proper form of a word would be. Same with 'korya' - 'kore wa', '-chau' - '-te+shimau', '-teru' - '-te+iru', 'su' - 'suru' and many others. And what I'm talking about is the things that are either less common than the descibed above or downright unique. They're good for testing your language intuition, as there's hardly a dictionary that would have them, so you're on your own with only your (well developed or not enough yet) language feel to get you out of the predicament. And more experienced friends or sensei in case your intuition chose to keep silent%))) Well, just of the top of my head - 'kotte' (koto de), 'mokkai' (mo ikkai), 'gossosan' (gochisousan), 'konaida' (kono aida), 'nyaro' (kono yarou) - and these are pretty easy to figure out.
And I'd say that is one of the main things that usually present translation difficulty (regardless of the pair of languages you work with), that is, figuring out correctly what this 'thing', that can't be found in dictionaries or grammar reference books, is. And I' m glad to hear that this will likely be taken into consideration since njt said so.

@njt
Btw, thanks for entartaining reading, njt. Be hoping for the best and that it would really make a difference. Yeah, and, of course, thanks for replying, you didn't really have to, but you did, which is really nice, thanks.

@c_k
Quote by c_k:
When you apply for your initial level or for a level upgrade, the Level S translator will go over the mistakes that you made in your TL, explain what was wrong, and why you were graded the way you were.
Miracles don't happen, one time is sooo not enough, but those people who put their efforts in even that one time deserve nothing but gratitude.

And that's all I had to say, so going back to silence now^_^
#50. by Name-Undecided ()
Posted on Jan 20, 2010
The line between Trainee and Level D is very thin. What if Translator X translates chapter 1 of series A and gets every other page wrong, then translates chapter 2 and gets every page wrong? Or gets 75% right? Or wrong? I think you should scrap Level D and lump those two classes together.
#51. by Name-Undecided ()
Posted on Jan 20, 2010
# Above average English grammar.
# Above average punctuation.
# Above average flow.

Isn't the standard for A a little too low? Let's pretend I checked out the script of a translator certified A. His/her translations were fine, no errors. The English grammar, punctuation were okay. But the whole thing was just "off". It just didn't read right. How could that merit the highest level? (since S is practically the same thing). I think A should be
# Almost never makes errors
# Excellent English grammar
# Excellent punctuation
# Excellent flow
[and before you start bashing me, I'm not saying I have any of these]

If we're going to set standards, we should make them mean something, n'est-ce pas? An A should be something to be proud of, not merely "above average".
#52. by c_k (Global Moderator)
Posted on Jan 20, 2010
@ HisshouBuraiKen:
Older established translators won't be counted as trainees. I highly doubt your level is 'trainee,' Hisshou. :p I'm sure the Level S translators will get around to grading the older translators and give them an appropriate grade.

@ fanatik
Quote by fanatik:
Miracles don't happen, one time is sooo not enough, but those people who put their efforts in even that one time deserve nothing but gratitude.
Yes, one time isn't enough to check their ability, but since there isn't a lot of staff that can check the ability of all translators and we don't want to have a large amount of translation remain stuck in limbo hell, or in this case 'pending translations,' this is the best alternative out there. At the very least, the grading shouldn't be too far off the mark. And yes, all translators deserve our appreciation, unless they completely butcher what the mangaka is trying to convey when the translator doesn't' care how accurate they are.

@ Name-Undecided:
I'm guessing the reason why the English aspect only goes up to 'Above Average' is because MH is not here to test you in your English ability. This is where proofreaders come in. Presumably if the translator had a proofreader go over his/her translation, then the English should be no problem. Plus, I highly doubt if a translation was a bit 'off', then they'd be graded as level A.
#53. by njt (Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄))
Posted on Jan 21, 2010
@Hissh
people not graded will go from translator -> Pending rank check. Is there any trans you'd like me not to check? Within the past 3 months that is ;).

@Elkin
Yep, I'm happy about it too :D. Hopefully you can come back translating sometime :3

@fanatik
Glad you liked em :). As for replying, of course - I don't ask for people to state their opinions so I can make excuses, I feel if there's an error then *many* will be able to find it quicker than I can, alone ;).

@name-undecided
The ranks are more like this:

A - harldy any errors, period. And amazing flow - Near perfection

B - hardly any basic errors, a few hard jp errors here and there

C - hard jp errors is more common, basic errors happen as well from time to time.

D - both hard and common jp errors are present, but the overall story is still understandable.

Trainee - story makes no sense / completely different story from the original.

So as you can see, both D and Trainee are needed. Trainee for those obviously still learning and D for those that are getting better so can have their translations read in public - but will have a message highly discouraging people to use it.

#54. by MdNGhT ()
Posted on Jan 21, 2010
Mwahahaha. Not a JP > Eng tler, so...idc! XD
#55. by Name-Undecided ()
Posted on Jan 21, 2010
@c_k
I must respectfully disagree. Translation is as much a test of skill in the English/target language as it is of proficiency in the source language. Translators who have to leave it up to the proofreader to help them make sense shouldn't be translating in the first place. There, I said it.

@njt
That's a little easier to understand. I'm sure you'll refine the criteria before the scheme rolls out on Monday. They're a bit ambiguous as they stand right now.

@MdNGhT
I don't post translations here either, but I still find the idea very interesting.
#56. by Cikasa ()
Posted on Jan 22, 2010
@Name-Undecided: Certainly, a translator shouldn't be expecting to have a half-assed translation to a proofreader and somehow arranged to be all amazing and accurate, but I think you are missing out on the main point of having a proofreader. Proofreaders catch our grammar and spelling mistakes. Sometimes we are caught up on accuracy that the flow gets affected, but proofreaders helps us with that too. If human beings weren't so prone to mistakes then there would be no need for editors and proofreaders.
#57. by Name-Undecided ()
Posted on Jan 22, 2010
Off-topic

Let me put it this way: "so caught up in accuracy that readability suffers" is not/should not be the mark of a level A translator. Level C, maybe? How long does it take to read over your own script and make it read better so the proofreader is only batting cleanup?

/off-topic
#58. by njt (Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄))
Posted on Jan 22, 2010
@Name-Undecided (what should I call you? :D)
in regards to your comment to c_k - I fully agree.

comment to me, yep it is ambiguous at the moment. I'm trying to take many things into consideration - and as such, it really turns out that one trans from one series isn't enough. I also feel that no single grading scheme can ever be concrete - seeing as each manga translated is at different levels and as such, I try to grade accordingly. I suppose a list of grammar could be taken from JLPT tests and specific grammar given points and based off of those errors is their ultimate grade - but that in itself would hold back grading tremendously. So when grading I take flow, grammar, difficulty of manga, and ability to translate in a way that their target fully understands what the author is trying to protray into consideration and based on the amount of mistakes in each area is how the end rank is decided. Any more than a couple defines the difference between an A rank and B. But yeah, I'll go more into detail on the 25 when the system is official and in place.

@Cikasa (<3 ramenz)
Any respectable translator should always have a person that does not know Japanese and has a really really good grasp on English read over their translation to make sure that what is written makes sense - to their target audience. (amongst grammar errors and such ;) ) Even if you believe you can never make a mistake, having someone you trust watch your back is important :3

@N-U
Yep - imagining the characters speaking what you wrote out loud is a good way to check your work. So those of you that are good at imagining things - knock yourself out :D.
#59. by theevilthing ()
Posted on Jan 22, 2010
This seems like a reasonable goal. However, I do have something of a problem with this.

I'm a proofreader, not a translator, so naturally my main focus is on the English side of things (most often the target language, if you like technical terms). As a result, I'm somewhat alarmed by the low standards of English listed here. "Above average" for B, A and S? I know a few other people have brought this up, and I can imagine why this is the case... there will be translators whose target language is not their native language - they are in effect translating twice - and it would be (a little) wrong to penalise them.

My first instinct is to say "tough... shoo" and leave it at that, but perhaps a better solution would be to have two separate grades: one grade simply covers translation "accuracy" (what a loaded word), and the second covers ability to render the results coherently, from F - 'Go back to school, kiddo' to S - 'Incognito writer' or something along those lines (probably a little more formal, too).

Furthermore, perhaps this could be implemented on a voluntary basis? A translator could choose to display their rank, but might want to withhold it (for whatever reason). This might keep a few people from getting demoralised while others could display their rank as a point of pride or simple honesty. Arguably this is missing the point of the system, but I threw it in here in response to a couple of earlier comments.

Beyond the English point, however, the execution of this isn't really my business. I hope it turns out well.
#60. by mangafly ()
Posted on Jan 24, 2010
@fanatik
- seinen is not a genre, it's a demographic. And yes, you're right. There is seinen and there is seinen. :)
- Adults aren't the only people who speak in slangs. Kids have their share of slang words, too.
- Stuff you've pointed out, like gossosan, konaida and mokkai pop up all the time in shoujo and shounen manga, too.

Theevilthing's suggestion to have two separate grades is interesting.

I partially second theevilthing's suggestion to implement the display of ranks on voluntary basis. Trainee translators should be able to display Beginner if they don't want to display Trainee Translator. Of course, their craptastic translations (the scripts) should be kept away from public view until the scripts are corrected to an acceptable level.
As for other levels (D and above), having them displayed in the public section without at least differentiating level D from levels C, B or A, will only defeat the purpose of the system. Perhaps instead of ranking the translator, we could rank the translation, but I guess this just brings njt back to square 1. ?_?
#61. by Mmod ()
Posted on Jan 24, 2010
What is the level of njt according to njt?
#62. by Teishou ()
Posted on Jan 25, 2010
NJT according to NJT is an S rank.
#63. by Finestela ()
Posted on Jan 26, 2010
Personally, I'm fine with everything here, but just a quick question regarding the 2 translation per month for level check/upgrade. I mean while the number is pretty low and easily achievable, wouldn't it favor the weekly series translators more compare to, let's say, monthly series translators? ;)
#64. by samsung0015 ()
Posted on Jan 28, 2010
สวัสดีจ้า
#65. by NaoXHinata ()
Posted on Jan 28, 2010
If njt is an S-rank, he should be more careful with words like affect vs. effect. Unless international translators are somehow caused by this change, he should have said "affected" when he wrote:

"International translators will not be effected by this change seeing as this site's main target is JP - Eng translations."

I guess it's too late, but it seems like people should have a different rank in each language. For example, I am, at best, at the "trainee" level in my understanding of Japanese, even though I could manage an A or S-rank in English.

That said, it wouldn't be a bad idea to further encourage the formation of cross-language teams. If you can pair a native English speaker with a native Japanese speaker and they have at least some ability to communicate with each other, you can get much better translations from the partnership than you could from either one alone. Especially if they're both weak in the other's language.
#66. by kewl0210 ()
Posted on Jan 29, 2010
I'm pretty sure that if only those that volunteered to show a rank could be ranked it would completely destroy the purpose of this... The point is to be aware of who's qualified to translate and who isn't or who needs more checking than others.

On that note, are you guys planning to rank EVERYONE? Or at least everyone actively translating? Because if so there's a few hundred I think at least... If you just wait for people to post in the checking thread it's not gonna matter. I don't think many people are going to be actively going to get themselves checked if they're not confident. And that defeats the purpose as well. So I assume there's some systematic way you guys are gonna be checking all these people among the 4~ current S rank guys.
#67. by Duralumin ()
Posted on Jan 29, 2010
I think it's a grand idea as an amateur translator who reads a lot of manga, as I sometimes get used to one really good translator over a long series and then may want to seek out any other projects they have worked on because I like their skills and style.
#68. by Gomenasai ()
Posted on Jan 31, 2010
Man, it took me a while to read through all of that... and I didn't read it all either :p

The one thing I have to say is: Will this really accomplish what you're trying to do? Because as I'm sure you know, aside from Naruto, Blech (not a typo) and One piece, there are almost NO other series with multiple translators. In other words, if there's a D lvl translator doing series A, the series will b stuck with D lvl translator.

Another problem you'll likely run into (I REALLY hope you don't), is the matter of taste, or sometimes even culture. I would translate 高校一年生 (koukou ichinensei) as a high school freshman. However, there are some places that don't call 9th graders freshmen. What if the checker calls the person wrong because of that? or the other way around, the person translates it as a first year (yuck!), and is told that they're too stiff or their flow is bad? Then there's the matter of slang that changes within one's own country. I'm sure you get what I'm trying to say without the long explanation.

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