Alright it's been a week since I introduced the plans for changing the translator's ranks
and after a week trial of trying it out - it seems to be heading in the right direction. We've been able to get two S rank translators helping out, Serizawa and Molokidan (Perhaps 1 more, Nihongaeri?) and with their help we've been able to rank 16 translators! Not bad! If you think you're qualified and could help out send me a PM
. Also don't forget to submit your translations here
to receive your rank.
Mind you, we're still polishing off the best way to go about assigning levels and it'll take a while to get through the current active translators - but from the responses and replies from our initial rankings things are heading in a promising direction!
I'll go into the questions that have been brought up so far but first off, let me list the current changes to the new system. (It'll be listed more in detail below)
- I've added Difficulty to the previous 4 factors that were used in deciding your rank.
Here are the main concerns brought up by the people that posted in the news post. Q) What about international translators?
A) We'll run the new system for a few months, once things are extremely smooth and we have the time, we'll consider taking the system to the international translators. We'll go into detail more on that later when we can. Q) I translate in a few languages, where does that put me?
A) For now we'll still need to grade your ability to translate from Japanese into English and you'll get a rank according to how you do. In the future when we implement the above international translators ranking system we'll be able to show how you do in the other languages as well. Q) I'm not satisfied with my rank, is there something I can do about it?
A) We aim to be fair and trustworthy with the levels we give you. If you feel that your skills are much higher than the level you've been assigned you're free to contact another, different S level member. If they agree with you and your level being too low they can then bring it to the attention of the person that originally graded you. Depending on how talks go after that you will either be graded again, or told to try again in 3 months. Seeing as we want this system to succeed we will put in the effort to make sure it is fair. Q) I'm not happy with being a ~ level translator, can I hide what I am?
A) Sorry, no. This system is to help promote quality and reliability of translations. If that's not apparent then this system is a waste of my, and the other translator checker's time. The original creator of the manga cares about his story, I care about the accuracy of such story. So we're trying to encourage you to do everything in your power to make sure that story stays accurate as well.Q) How will I be graded?
A) We're finding out as we're doing this, that no single grading scheme can cover every manga. So while we request you to offer a translation, we most often check another translation just to be sure. Things that we check for are as following: 1) Accuracy
While we understand various translators have their own style, we also believe that there is a difference between style and, well, just being wrong. Upon finding mistakes I've been pointing out what was missing, and what was needlessly added or how they interpreted the Japanese wrong. Sometimes translators get the wrong speaker speaking, and sometimes the conversation was continuing from one bubble to many others but not translated as such. We also consider translations that make hardly any sense to the reader inaccurate. (This often happens due to very poor flow) 2) Flow
The Japanese used in manga is natural to the Japanese person reading it, why can't the translation be in natural English if an English person is reading? With that in mind, we're trying to put a stop to the English translations that make characters sound like robots, have speaking problems (unless that is evident in the original, that is) and well, anything else that really ruins what the author is trying to go for. Seeing as this is different from translator to translator in these areas we ultimately give this little weight in deciding the final grade. 3) Grammar
I felt this, while also covered in "Accuracy", was important to have a spot on its own. If the person translating into English doesn't know English well enough it should be noted. 4) Punctuation
While it seems minor, it could actually be the cause of a lot of misunderstandings! Thus we are encouraging the right use of punctuation :).5) Difficulty
We've always considered this but never mentioned it in the list. When deciding on the final grade, based on the level of manga. Now we realize there's an increase in difficulty to read manga when going from Shounen to Seinen, but that's not always the difference between an easy and difficult manga. So we also take note of the type of Japanese used and other factors that would make it either easier or harder to translate.
Now I'm sure the lot of you will not want to read all of that, so here's an easier to understand break down. 1) Accuracy
- * Adding / taking out words
- * Wrong interpretation (Wrong person speaking / ended a bubble when it was still going, etc)
- * Wrong meaning
- * Very poor flow (to the point where it makes no sense / interpreted wrong)
- * Characterization
- * Reads naturally (Flow from panel to panel, bubble to bubble)
- * Correct usage
- * Correct usage
- * Shounen vs Seinen
- * Type of Japanese used
- * Setting
Now that you have an idea of what we look for and getting back to the original question, how you will be graded, we take the errors of each of the 4 areas and based on how many of them give you your ending grade. Seeing as how each translation is of different lengths we can't give you a solid "if you made ## number of errors you fall into this category." Instead, based on the amount of errors, the number of pages, the difficulty of the Japanese that caused such error, and the severity of them we make a judgment. That's the gist of it, but we do keep this in mind when we decide on the final outcome:
If by the end of our going over your translation we feel you destroyed the original work, then we will most likely mark you as a trainee, and encourage you to continue studying the language before you take translation seriously.
If the story is still quite off (less than 50% right), but the overall "idea" of the story is there then you'll most likely be marked a D.
If the story is right for the most part (about 70% right), but still wrong in enough areas that it would cause a lot of problems for those reading it to really understand the story, then we will most likely be marked a C and encourage you to actively seek a proofreader or translator checker based on your end result.
If the story is right for about 85% then we will most likely mark you a B, give the ok for scanlations and encourage you to work on the areas that you're weak.
And finally, if the story is right for about 95% or more we'll most likely mark you an A and encourage you to seek scanlators and to translate more series, or to even help out fellow translators :).
Once the translator has been ranked they'll have their account modified to show that as well as get one of the following badges: (Pending rank check and Trainee still to be made)
The badge will show in the right column where it says "About the author". Also, the placing of that image, and the hiding of Trainee translations, should be coded by the end of next week. I'll also be organizing a thread to link translators with things that will help them in the areas they were marked low in so as they can increase their likelihood of upping their rank.
I'm extremely sorry for the length of this post, but I was trying to be as thorough as possible. If you have any more questions, comments, and concerns let me hear em! This is for you, so the more I hear your thoughts the better system we can make!