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Question about visual novel reader

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 05/06/13, 08:32 pm

Of course everyone would prefer to have top notch translations but reality is that considering the huge amount of games that get released these days and like I said before it's a sure thing that 90%+ of them won't be picked up by a 'decent' translator thus if someone who don't understand a word of Japanese and wants to play said games it would be helpful to have an amateurish translation entry (as long it isn't a troll) on VNR than having none at all. Machine translations are not perfect indeed but sometimes they just require some minor changes to make more sense overall, proof of this is the huge boost that TA Helper brought to the table just by allowing small and precise changes to the vocabulary send back and forward to the machine translations. Also some machine translations are getting better and better by day such as LEC.
ps. wth is atlus?

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 06/06/13, 12:41 pm

Sorry, I misspelled "ATLAS", which is a live Japanese-English translator. For more information, please read this article or this one. They'll explain the programme much better than I could, since I don't need to use ATLAS and as a result, have never used it.

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Post by mspykez on 06/06/13, 02:16 pm

I know what Atlas is, I just thought you were referring to something else with 'Atlus'.... funny when talking about 'quality control'. Speaking of Atlas and since you pointed out to the Aero's guide, you should note that just by following that guide alone you will get so much better translations out of Atlas by using the 'replacement method' described, another proof that simple things like this can make a huge difference and with VNR it will only get easier.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 06/06/13, 06:01 pm

mspykez wrote:I know what Atlas is, I just thought you were referring to something else with 'Atlus'.... funny when talking about 'quality control'. Speaking of Atlas and since you pointed out to the Aero's guide, you should note that just by following that guide alone you will get so much better translations out of Atlas by using the 'replacement method' described, another proof that simple things like this can make a huge difference and with VNR it will only get easier.
I apologise for wasting your time, then. Also, I'm sorry, I didn't realise my misspelling of "ATLAS" vaporises my stance on "quality control". That's the impression I got from "funny when talking about 'quality control'. Perhaps I didn't pick up on the possible jab behind "ps. wth is atlus?" Whatever the case, I do have to admit it was dumb to wing it when I was unsure of the spelling.

Anyway, from what I've read about the replacement method, it doesn't seem to be terribly useful outside of names. If you know enough Japanese to replace every incorrect or mistranslated instance, you probably don't need ATLAS. As for the removal plug-ins, it's a good idea. Removing the confusing and unneeded segments would certainly be helpful, as machine translations (obviously) can't seem to differentiate between idiosyncratic speech patterns and actual words. Even advanced HUMAN translators get caught in these traps. It's worth adding that it does seem to work quite well with short sentences.

If a lot of VN gamers are really happy with "any translation":

1) I don't see the point in devoting my time. Why put in the effort if "most" are satisfied with ATLAS alone?
2) I would just do the "copy-paste from machine" method myself. It's much easier!
3) Fan translation projects practically wouldn't exist. Why should they when these "many" gamers are supposedly satisfied with ATLAS-grade stuff? I can't vouch for every fan-translator ever, but part of the motivation is to help answer a desire for a quality translation for many.
4) The VNR devs wouldn't waste their time with a moderation community and quality control. I can only assume that trying to make something like work would be a and pain-in-the-arse.
5) Why bother coming up with VNR if it would essentially do the same job as ATLAS? That's what allowing a non-moderated machine translation would inevitably boil down to. Not that you're suggesting that (hopefully). Just sayin'.

If enough gamers really just wanted any old translation, practically every VN gamer would be utilising ATLAS by now. It's not a little-known programme. If it is, then I just happen to know many people that do know of it, and I'll take back my point. I want to add that I respect how ATLAS cater to the people that don't mind the Engrish and want even the slightest idea of what's going on. The people who develop
the knack for readjusting the jumbles do truly benefit from ATLAS.

I also want to retract my previous statement about mentioning how in the end, most otome gamers would be happy with any old translation. The more I think about it, the more I realise they're not. That's why these more "controlled" translation projects exist and the VNR quality control idea was born. I can't imagine many fans are devoted enough to start these projects if they know people are going to just stick with ATLAS.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Aaeru on 06/06/13, 08:16 pm

but edited machine TLs from a person with only half-knowledge in JP is a good stop-gap until we get a proper translation,

like flyable hearts, which used to be an edited machine TL, it's now getting a proper translation.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 06/06/13, 09:37 pm

Don't take it to serious because I actually thought you were referring to something else with 'Atlus' and considering that the follow up poster made the same mistake as you I got even more confused so I indeed google it and didn't find any relevant stuff hence I asked about what it was.
As for the machine translations only an idiot would think that it is perfect, the question is what can you do to make it better, the replacement stuff mentioned is just an example that it can be improved even if by a small margin. Different machine translations give different results, as I mention before LEC is probably better than Atlas atm, but in the end not perfect after all a machine can only do as much, so the question remains and that's where VNR can shine. With time you really get used to machine translators and can differentiate the bad from the good out of it, so if someone knows enough about Japan and it's culture to the point that understands what a machine translator is saying and what it should be saying instead just by reading up all those different machine translator results, possibly even separating all the phrases word by word and looking on the dictionary to try understand them better, comes up translating a phrase that makes perfect sense why not share it with everyone else that do not understand Japanese and would not ever get a 'professional' translation of the game they are playing anyway? it's like you have someone deciphering for you all the mess that a machine translator makes. Theres a lot of people out there that aren't as good in Japanese as they wish but want to help and even if they use a machine translator as a translation source I say let them do it and perhaps tag it as 'Machine-Assisted'. Would you ban said translations just because they are not as good? I would not. Just saying that let the amateurish translations exist until someone else comes up with a better one. Most of the professional-made translations will probably get the game 'hacked' inserting their translations directly into it, I see VNR as an amateurish alternative to that, not that a 'professional' cannot make use of it, on the contrary, VNR could potentially be great for cloud translating a game with different people working on it.
Why should you waste your time doing professional-grade stuff when people are satisfied with machine translators? Well they aren't, not entirely at least. Why should whatever team hire player A or B when Lionel Messi itself is the definition of 'professional' and everyone else sucks? My thinking is anything is better than none. Can you guarantee that every game out there will get translated by 'professionals' ? No, that is never gonna to happen, in fact as you may know only a very small percentage of games are translated. This is the reason why people are 'happy' with machine translations and want to improve whatever they can of it. A lot of people probably show more interested in Japan and learning Japanese after starting out with a machine translation so you can think of it as a starting point.
The only quality control VNR needs, aside from preventing obvious trolls, is something like bakabt has where you offer something that pends for approval to replace an existing one assuming it is of better quality. But always remember that for stuff that do not exist in the first place you take what you got, meaning that having something at all is better than having nothing all together.
Bottom line is that machine translations are and will always be here, hats off to VNR if it can help making it better. People should not stop playing the game they wish to play just because there isn't any good enough translation available.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 07/06/13, 07:31 am

I don't know why you two have responded as though I want an outright ban on machine translations. Maybe I wasn't obvious enough, but I AGREE that I think they're fine... so long as they're moderated. Yes, there will undoubtedly be some machine translations that may never get moderated, but the idea is to moderate as many as possible. Them being a tie-in is of no concern to me.
mspykes wrote:As for the machine translations only an idiot would think that it is
perfect, the question is what can you do to make it better, the
replacement stuff mentioned is just an example that it can be improved
even if by a small margin.
Nobody is trying to say that it is perfect. I definitely would fall under that category, if you haven't noticed my obvious critiques of it. Great, so you translated the names. You only have dialects, metaphors, idiosyncrasies, homonyms and sentence structure to worry about. Really, the replacement method was a poor example to bring up, because I'm sure what's more important to improve is the OVERALL translation. The replacement method will only be useful for names.

If I were to argue that machine translations are improving (which they are), I would have gunned in on the removal plug-ins. Sure, they have a risk of roboticising dialogue, but it'd still be much more correct and defragmented.
mspykes wrote:With time you really get used to machine translators and can
differentiate the bad from the good out of it, so if someone knows
enough about Japan and it's culture to the point that understands what a
machine translator is saying and what it should be saying instead just
by reading up all those different machine translator results, possibly
even separating all the phrases word by word and looking on the
dictionary to try understand them better, comes up translating a phrase
that makes perfect sense why not share it with everyone else that do not
understand Japanese and would not ever get a 'professional' translation
of the game they are playing anyway?
Yes, it seems like a lot of ATLAS users do. A machine translator's problem isn't the fact that it gets definitions of words wrong. One of its MAIN PROBLEMS is the fact that it fragments a sentence too much. Speech patterns and dialects are mistakenly translated as actual words. It also can't seem get tenses right and it rearranges the sentences. Unless you're intending to mention this in passing rather than debating against me... Why are you mentioning this, anyway? Didn't I already mention that editors, moderation and quality control are great ideas to improve upon machine translations? Which VNR will essentially do?
mspykes wrote:Theres a lot of people out there that aren't as good in Japanese as they
wish but want to help and even if they use a machine translator as a
translation source I say let them do it and perhaps tag it as
'Machine-Assisted'.
That tag is an EXCELLENT idea. No sarcasm intended. I think it's a genuinely good idea. That way, readers will be warned that not everything is accurate, and it could be a good way for "free" human translators to find what "needs" to be edited. I still think that those who want to help should just become editors rather than direct translators. However, the tag idea changes my look on this drastically.
mspykes wrote:Would you ban said translations just because they are not as good? I
would not. Just saying that let the amateurish translations exist until
someone else comes up with a better one.
Woah, there, however much I criticise machine translators and pure machine translations, I didn't mean to come across as a fascist. I wouldn't ban Engrish translations unless they were consistently indecipherable even to those that have learned how to "decipher" them. I have no problem with acting as tie-ins. That was never my problem. My original disagreement was how there is this notion that "most are satisfied with machine translations".
mspykes wrote:Why should you waste your time doing professional-grade stuff when
people are satisfied with machine translators? Well they aren't, not
entirely at least.
Thank you! That's one of the big questions I asked. Again, if people were pleased enough with machine translations, I'd have more spare time and practically everyone would have ATLAS.
mspykes wrote:Why should whatever team hire player A or B when Lionel Messi itself is
the definition of 'professional' and everyone else sucks? My thinking is
anything is better than none. Can you guarantee that every game out
there will get translated by 'professionals' ? No, that is never gonna
to happen, in fact as you may know only a very small percentage of games
are translated.
I'm sorry, when did I ever imply that "everyone else sucks?" The format of your example seems to allude to this. Anyway, I won't pretend I know much about soccer in general, but I think professional soccer and otome game translations are apples and oranges. I'm pretty sure in professional soccer, where thousands and even millions of dollars are at stake, they don't go with the philosophy of "anyone is better than none". If that were the case, I'd quit uni and go earn a handsome dollar. Also, if smaller clubs could afford professional players (and the said players would fit the age group they're after), I'm sure they'd hire them.

Also, when did I ever try to guarantee or even imply that EVERY GAME OUT THERE will get a fan-translation, let alone a PROFESSIONAL one? Never! 34 Japanese games are currently translated in English, and of that 34, Hakuouki, Yo-Jin-Bo and the upcoming Bakudan Handan (Sweet Fuse) are professional. Also, there seems to be some officially English-translated Android and iPhone games, but sadly, I can't remember the names of them.

Trust me, I know just as well as anybody in the otome gaming crowd that a very, very, very small percentage of otome games are ever translated, even moreso by professional. I know the reasoning(s) behind this, and though I don't agree with a majority of them... Well, my point remains that I don't need to be educated about this fact, let alone deserving of the biased hypotheticals that my criticism of machine translations expose me to.

Last time I counted, there are something like 574 Japanese otome games. There may be more, but I doubt every single doujin effort is accounted for. Anyway, out of those, only 0.5~1% are professionally translated, and about 6% are translated over all.

mspykes wrote:This is the reason why people are 'happy' with machine translations and
want to improve whatever they can of it. A lot of people probably show
more interested in Japan and learning Japanese after starting out with a
machine translation so you can think of it as a starting point.
Again, I agree with it being great for tie-ins, but the fact that there is an acknowledgement on YOUR part that a moderation community is ideal tends to validate my points. It sounds like you just emphasised that people are happy with them... only if they can be improved, rather than just purely being happy with machine translations. My original argument was intended to be against the misbelief that people are satisfied with machine translations ALONE. The point seemed to have changed along the way, but still.

I'll have to disagree with how "a lot of people" show interest in Japan and Japanese after starting a machine translation. From what I've been gathering, the interest in Japan and Japanese comes from a desire to understand what is being said, rather than a direct result of machine translating for themselves. Also, many VN readers are anime and manga enthusiasts, which is an indisputably bigger source of "I want to learn Japanese". Most don't even bother with translating themselves- evident by the total lack of fan-translated games and if you read around the forums here, people saying stuff along the lines of "wish this were in English", "hope this gets translated", "sadly I won't be able to play [x], because it'd never be released in English", and so on, so forth.
mspykes wrote:The only quality control VNR needs, aside from preventing obvious
trolls, is something like bakabt has where you offer something that
pends for approval to replace an existing one assuming it is of better
quality. But always remember that for stuff that do not exist in the
first place you take what you got, meaning that having something at all
is better than having nothing all together.
Isn't that what they're going to do? Again, I said I agree with the tie-ins, but any translation that makes NO SENSE AT ALL shouldn't be accepted. Troll or not. Period. Luckily, most machine translations at least make the very slightest of sense to most users, so that shouldn't be an issue. Add the tags you suggested and hope an experienced translator will sweep in and edit it. Best case scenario, experienced translators will translate from the beginning, and the only quality control needed for that situation would be going over spelling and grammar.
mspykes wrote:Bottom line is that machine translations are and will always be here,
hats off to VNR if it can help making it better. People should not stop
playing the game they wish to play just because there isn't any good
enough translation available.
I don't know why you mentioned that, but never even IMPLIED that people should be robbed of the opportunity to play games just because a decent translation isn't available...

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 07/06/13, 02:39 pm

Looking back you speak of machine translations even if they are 'human assisted' like the devil when a lot of people are grateful about it since it's the only way that they can play a game and make some sense out of it. They are probably not the main source of people showing interest in Japan all around but VNs surely contribute to that as well other media, and you have to thank the 'machines' for this since the big chunk of them can only be played that way given that there is no alternative. That's the reason I tried to elucidate you and yes Lionel Messi is the best player in the world he basically wins most of the games alone against any other team, hence the question why other teams should waste there time with player A or B when they are gonna lose anyway to the team with Messi in their ranks? this is so you understand that even if shit you go fight with what you got and not give up before you even started.
You probably will not get enough people to moderate a project as big as VNR, so this is the problem, you most likely can't go line by line and check everything specially when there are multiple languages involved. But rest assure that so far most people who bother to translate anything there are doing a good job, even if 'machine-assisted' most of the phrases make perfect sense, and if half of the stuff they upload is kinda of imagined based on a machine translation I'm even OK with it since if I were playing with a machine translation myself I would probably reach the same conclusion plus in the end you can always choose VNR to display multiple translation results from different sources and figure out for yourself what was made up and what was not.
As for the 'replacement method' only being good for names I disagree. I admit that atm VNR is limited with this only allowing the insertion of basic replacements via a user made dictionary which can be uploaded and shared with everyone. But with the old TA+TAHelper you can improve translations by a very good margin, as an example of this is this replacements right here made by a single guy that sure does a lot more than replacing names [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] On atlas configuration itself you can also make some adjustments such as changing passive form to active and more. On top of that you can add tools like Wakan and make sure that a smart person can come up with its own very decent translation version and upload it to VNR.
Not perfect solution indeed, but given that you can polish it enough it's acceptable, and you will not find anything better for 99% of the games out there.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 07/06/13, 05:57 pm

mspykez wrote:Looking back you speak of machine translations even if they are 'human assisted' like the devil when a lot of people are grateful about it since it's the only way that they can play a game and make some sense out of it.
Are you suggesting that criticism is the same as treating something as if it were “The Devil”? Overstatement, much? I never said I hated machine translations, I never said they should be banned. I don’t like how they’re often treated like an end-all crutch, and I think genuinely unintelligible translations should be removed. You’re the one who came up with those overstating hypotheticals in the first place. The fact that you asked them must mean that you think I would have responded in a way that would favour your arguments… Since I doubt you asked them in order to render your points useless. I already answered how I feel about them- some of the answers even aligns with YOUR views- yet I’m still treating machine translations like it were The Devil…
mspykez wrote:They are probably not the main source of people showing interest in Japan all around but VNs surely contribute to that as well other media, and you have to thank the 'machines' for this since the big chunk of them can only be played that way given that there is no alternative.
Just “probably”? Definitely not the main source! It’s unfair how you overstate my criticisms yet you understate your flawed arguments. I brought up how it’s not the main source, and now you’re going to try and subtly retract what you said? It’s not even a significant source. Most Western VN readers came across VNs due to their interest in anime and manga in the first place. Anime and manga are undoubtedly, the biggest source of introduction to Japanese culture.

Also, despite Japan being the ADV genre’s largest producer, there aren’t nearly as many VN readers as people seem to think. I need not go into how the general Japanese populace views any “otaku” activity. Also, with the Western crowd, people tend to mistakenly believe that they’re just “anime nerd dating sims”. By mentioning those two truths, it would be hard for you to insist that machine translations still at least provide a significant inspiration to learn Japanese. Why would they? Not only is there an inherent bias against VNs to begin with, but new VN gamers quickly learn that programmes like ATLAS exist, as well as OEL and professionally translated VNs. Why would the majority of VN readers ever need to substantially delve into machine usage, if they’re either content with what’s available or they won’t ever need to use them for VN purposes, if not, ever?

mspykez wrote:That's the reason I tried to elucidate you and yes Lionel Messi is the best player in the world he basically wins most of the games alone against any other team, hence the question why other teams should waste there time with player A or B when they are gonna lose anyway to the team with Messi in their ranks? this is so you understand that even if shit you go fight with what you got and not give up before you even started.
He may be the best player in the world, but there’s no way that most victories are solely thanks to him. He has team players that pass him the ball at some stage, or help him defend it. Perhaps they can assist in creating an opening for him to score. It’s really foolish to proclaim that a single player carries the day in a team game, when it’s rarely ever true. As for why other teams would want to play against a team with Messi? Maybe they enjoy soccer, and winning and losing isn’t the end-all?

Plus professional sports stars are generously endorsed by various brands, which is where a significant portion of their income comes from. That’s why players that don’t ever win championships, like in tennis, still are millionaires. If you maintain a certain rank of professionalism, you can attract endorsements. That renders winning and losing largely inconsequential in a lot of cases.

Anyway, I still don’t see how professional soccer and translating visual novels can be credibly compared to one another. I’m guessing that the crux of your example ultimately boils down to “trying is better than nothing”. I agree with that! When did I say people shouldn’t submit machine translations of any kind, period? I did criticise it, but I didn’t go as far as to convey that I think it should get a blanket ban.

mspykez wrote:You probably will not get enough people to moderate a project as big as VNR, so this is the problem, you most likely can't go line by line and check everything specially when there are multiple languages involved. But rest assure that so far most people who bother to translate anything there are doing a good job, even if 'machine-assisted' most of the phrases make perfect sense, and if half of the stuff they upload is kinda of imagined based on a machine translation I'm even OK with it since if I were playing with a machine translation myself I would probably reach the same conclusion plus in the end you can always choose VNR to display multiple translation results from different sources and figure out for yourself what was made up and what was not.
Of course not. Non-profit endeavours of any kind will inevitably suffer from a lack of SOMETHING. Does that mean quality control should loosen? No way. It just means that quality control could and should be applied where and when it is possible. Machine translations, IDEALLY, would merely be tie-ins until an interest editor can patch things up. A regular system of that sort is a Utopia, but I think it’s worth trying to fulfill that goal to its fullest extent.

I’m sorry, but did you just seriously say that most machine-translated phrases make PERFECT sense? Not to sound like a complete bitch, but doesn’t that contradict you saying that machine translations are imperfect? Maybe you didn’t say it in those exact words, but I’m sure I can find the paraphrase somewhere. Admittedly, the shorter sentences tend to make sense even to those unused to ATLAS, but still…

"THE MOON WAS A DAZZLING NIGHT BY THE PAIN."
"Star moon teacher but had a troubled face, can you kindly look back."

I can come up with many, many, many more of sentences along these lines, in case you want to play the “that’s only a couple of instances though!” card. Those two clearly don’t make perfect sense. I’m sure an experienced ATLAS user would be able to take a good guess at what it was meant to say. I’ve been reading, speaking and writing Japanese my entire life, but I STILL had to pause and think what the original Japanese might have been. Maybe if I used ATLAS more, it would come to me quicker.

“ATLAS is by no means perfect. If it WAS, you wouldn’t see groups out there fan translating games. The main thing that you should know is: you won’t understand everything in a game.

That just solidified my point I’ve been trying to get across. Especially the section in italics! You seem to try and escape this point, save for one time in a previous post of yours, where you only acknowledged it briefly. It might be a point of little consequence, but it does prove that your argument that “most” are satisfied with machine translations is simply untrue. You mention this “most”/“many”/“lots of people” etc. quite a bit. Now you can’t really repeat this. This was mentioned by somebody who was experienced and exposed enough to ATLAS that they have made that observation. It’s not longer just a biased insistence of mine.

As for the last bit, which mentioned “multiple” translations, I don’t think that’s what VNR is striving to achieve. Judging by the screenshots and my (admittedly little) personal usage, there is only one translation. It looks like the best translations are uploaded. If there is a better one, it can be edited, and if approved, the previous will be replaced. That means that it’s very possible that machine-assisted translations will be uploaded and kept there until edited or replaced by a better alternative. I think that’s a neat idea. If VNR will have multiple sources, how is it different to ATLAS? Why would the VNR devs just make an ATLAS clone? ATLAS still has quality control of its own methods, too.

mspykez wrote:As for the 'replacement method' only being good for names I disagree. I admit that atm VNR is limited with this only allowing the insertion of basic replacements via a user made dictionary which can be uploaded and shared with everyone. But with the old TA+TAHelper you can improve translations by a very good margin, as an example of this is this replacements right here made by a single guy that sure does a lot more than replacing names...On atlas configuration itself you can also make some adjustments such as changing passive form to active and more. On top of that you can add tools like Wakan and make sure that a smart person can come up with its own very decent translation version and upload it to VNR.
Not perfect solution indeed, but given that you can polish it enough it's acceptable, and you will not find anything better for 99% of the games out there.

While I honestly think it’s a great idea, it’s still not providing a counter-argument against how this method is essentially useless unless you know enough Japanese to be able to judge when and where to replace what. Somebody with ZERO knowledge of Japanese probably won’t be able to consistently spot the incorrect tenses, dialects and unique speech patterns. That supplemental dictionary would have to be created by somebody versed enough in Japanese, right? I insist that it’s only good for names when it comes to the majority of users, since even those with low skill in Japanese would be able to find and replace names.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 07/06/13, 08:22 pm

What I realize now is that you are too demanding and try to find a flaw on every single thing that is mention. VNs do in fact contribute by a large sum to the expansion of the Japan culture overseas that they even are afraid of all the repercussions and backlash that it might bring from the west to Japan itself on some subjects, thus they try to contain all of it to Japan with no avail. When I say that people show more interest in Japan and want to travel there and learn the language after playing a VN with atlas is because they are not satisfied with it but on other hand even if they do not realize it they are happy with it because Atlas allowed them to play said game on the first place so kudos to Atlas. Am I'm satisfied with my old PC here? no, but I'm happy I got one. VNs contribute theres no doubt about it, to what extend no one can say for sure, judging by the number of threads and replies on popular forums such as HF, AS, Niho, etc games are always on top of the charts. Not saying that anime do not contribute, the big 3 alone One piece, Naruto, Bleach are doing a lot but you have to look to the type of people who consumes it, IMO the ones who play VNs are more hardcore and more likely to spend money on a plane ticked to travel to Japan then those who only leech anime.
You are taking things too literally, my allusion to Messi being the best player around is just to explain that because you haven't got Messi (say he is your top-notch human translator) on your team doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying playing a game (meaning you do not have to blame Atlas for all bad things, there is also good in it).
And now we reach the most relevant point, it appears that you are putting words on my mouth, yes, I repeat yes, so far every machine-assisted translation that I came across with made perfect sense, seems you failed to understand that by 'machine-assisted' I'm referring to a phrase translated by a person based on the result that the machine gave, meaning that the person revised the phrase to give sense into it, not just do a copy-paste. What you can argue is that said phrase is not an accurate translation but from the perspective of the reader it still makes perfect sense, and that is the all point, you won't get accurate translations but you will get translations that make sense made by a person with half a brain, how much of it is speculation and how much is in accordance to the original text that's up to the player to decide, here you will have to use your common sense, read up some summary about the game you want to play if it helps, basically you do your homework before going all out into it..
As for what VNR is and is not capable of doing, well atm it does a lot comparing to previous tools that people have been using. You keep talking about Atlas but AFAIK it's common sense that if you are going to use atlas you are also be using TA, and given this example you can indeed get translations from multiple sources at the same time. And trust me from my experience those little things that these tools allows you to tweak makes a big difference, THelper regex function is just an example, that 'supplemental dictionary' as you call it, also makes a huge different by itself and not just with names, if you were experience with it you would know. So why do we need VNR you asked, well because the development of other tools are pretty much stalled and VNR is picking up where they left, this new feature of having on-the-cloud subtitles alone opens many doors, also things like being able to replace the original text inside the game with the translated text without 'hacking' the game is also a step forward on the right direction. Think of VNR not as translator but as a tool that allows you to mess around and get the best possibly translation results that you will ever have.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 07/06/13, 09:56 pm

mspykez wrote:What I realize now is that you are too demanding and try to find a flaw on every single thing that is mention. VNs do in fact contribute by a large sum to the expansion of the Japan culture overseas that they even are afraid of all the repercussions and backlash that it might bring from the west to Japan itctself on some subjects, thus they try to contain all of it to Japan with no avail.
The nature of critique is to criticise, you know? Since when did critiques become absolutes? Did I ever say "THIS MUST HAPPEN, OR ELSE"? No. It's more like a "it would be nice, if...", "it would work better, if...". etc. I'm criss-crossing between wondering if you're affiliated with ATLAS in some kind of way. The passion behind your debating is bewildering.

After I corrected you on whether or not VNs introduce enough people to Japanese, you have moved on to "contribute by a large sum to the expansion of the Japanese culture." Did I ever say they don't? No. They do contribute, but not just on the large scale you think they do. Maybe in your friendship circles, and the many people you know, but VNs are still relatively unknown outside the anime and manga fandom. Don't believe me? Ask a few people on the street if they know what a "VN" is.

mspykez wrote:When I say that people show more interest in Japan and want to travel there and learn the language after playing a VN with atlas is because they are not satisfied with it but on other hand even if they do not realize it they are happy with it because Atlas allowed them to play said game on the first place so kudos to Atlas. Am I'm satisfied with my old PC here? no, but I'm happy I got one.

Wow, you can ascertain to a factual certainty that "people" want to visit Japan thanks to playing a VN specifically through ATLAS? What about thanks to fan translations? Or just relying on their "instincts" to make sense of what is being said? But nope, of course it's all thanks to ATLAS! How is owning a PC and getting a translation on the same level? A PC is way more needed than a translation for a visual novel, for one. It's highly inconvenient without a PC, but I'm sure many a VN gamer has managed without a translation for their games. The examples may follow the same underlying meaning, but the scale is different.

[quote="mspykez"]VNs contribute theres no doubt about it, to what extend no one can say for sure, judging by the number of threads and replies on popular forums such as HF, AS, Niho, etc games are always on top of the charts. Not saying that anime do not contribute, the big 3 alone One piece, Naruto, Bleach are doing a lot but you have to look to the type of people who consumes it, IMO the ones who play VNs are more hardcore and more likely to spend money on a plane ticked to travel to Japan then those who only leech anime./quote]

No one can say what extent for sure... except for you, of course:

"VNs do in fact contribute by a large sum to the expansion of the Japan culture overseas"

Tip: Do not say "in fact" when it isn't a proven fact. That's poor debating skills! In our little world, yes, VNs are as well known as books. However, to just about almost everyone else, they don't really know about VNs, especially those outside of the anime/manga fandom. It's anime and manga that are the ones that expanded Japanese culture heaps, especially through the late 80s and most of the 90s... All the way to the early 2000s. VNs have to an extent, but the contribution isn't nearly as large. Evident by the fact that most people have at least heard of an anime or manga title, but some don't even know exactly what a "visual novel" is.

Yes, in your opinion. Can you provide examples why specifically a VN fan is more likely to go to Japan? I have never met anybody who went to Japan because their larger inspiration was a visual novel. It's not fair to categorise VN fans as "hardcores" and stereotype all anime fans as leeches. Even so, I'm pretty sure there are many people who leech shows that travel overseas. So anime leeches in particular just do not travel? What about VN leeches? VN leeches are somehow more "hardcore", therefore, they're more likely to spend thousands to go to Japan? What makes a VN fan more likely than a manga or anime fan?

mspykez wrote:You are taking things too literally, my allusion to Messi being the best player around is just to explain that because you haven't got Messi (say he is your top-notch human translator) on your team doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying playing a game (meaning you do not have to blame Atlas for all bad things, there is also good in it).
I took it too literally? Well, why didn't you write your example like you did just now from the beginning? It would have saved a lot of "confusion". I can't believe how many times I have to repeat myself. I NEVER said that people have to STOP ENJOYING a VN just because there aren't "substantial" human translations. When will you accept this, instead of pretending that I want to cull every ineptly translated VN?

I can't blame ATLAS' drawbacks on ATLAS? Are you serious? By the way, I mentioned and acknowledged what I think that ATLAS is doing good with. Granted, my criticism overshadows it. However, since you seemed to have missed it, I'll list the nice things I've said again:

"As for the removal plug-ins, it's a good idea. Removing the confusing and unneeded segments would certainly be helpful, as machine translations (obviously) can't seem to differentiate between idiosyncratic speech patterns and actual words. Even advanced HUMAN translators get caught in these traps. It's worth adding that it does seem to work quite well with short sentences."

"I want to add that I respect how ATLAS cater to the people that don't mind the Engrish and want even the slightest idea of what's going on. The people who develop the knack for readjusting the jumbles do truly benefit from ATLAS."

"If I were to argue that machine translations are improving (which they are), I would have gunned in on the removal plug-ins. Sure, they have a risk of roboticising dialogue, but it'd still be much more correct and defragmented."

"Luckily, most machine translations at least make the very slightest of sense to most users, so that shouldn't be an issue."

mspykez wrote:And now we reach the most relevant point, it appears that you are putting words on my mouth, yes, I repeat yes, so far every machine-assisted translation that I came across with made perfect sense, seems you failed to understand that by 'machine-assisted' I'm referring to a phrase translated by a person based on the result that the machine gave, meaning that the person revised the phrase to give sense into it, not just do a copy-paste.

Wouldn't that wholly depend on how well the person knows Japanese? You're missing the point. If you don't know the original Japanese, how is any translator going to know what they translated was correct or not? They would need quality control of some kind. Which means that it's NOT wholly machine-assisted. Machine-assisted means that they see the English words that are translated, and reform them to make sense. Again, if you know enough Japanese to know for certain where what goes... why would you use a machine? I'm willing to bet you don't know any Japanese, and/or have any experience in translating. Otherwise, I'd be incredibly surprised at how you can miss the point so much. Also, using an absolute term like "perfect" is a poor choice in a debate, because that implies that what you brought up could do no wrong and is not incorrect in any way. We all know that there is no such thing as a perfect machine translator- ASSISTED OR NOT- without quality control, so avoid using finite terms, yeah?

You keep evading this truth: In order for the supplemental dictionary- arguably the best tool for quality control- to be the most accurate, it needs somebody who can CONFIRM its correctness, no? Otherwise it's just another tool that makes ATLAS a little less incorrect. It's a step, yeah, but a big help? I don't know...

mspykez wrote:What you can argue is that said phrase is not an accurate translation but from the perspective of the reader it still makes perfect sense, and that is the all point, you won't get accurate translations but you will get translations that make sense made by a person with half a brain, how much of it is speculation and how much is in accordance to the original text that's up to the player to decide, here you will have to use your common sense, read up some summary about the game you want to play if it helps, basically you do your homework before going all out into it..
Ah, so it isn't "perfect" then, is it? A "perfect phrase" would mean that it is wholly understandable and correct. Unless the definition of "perfect" changed while I had my afternoon nap. Depends on the "summary". If it's a simple one, forget it. If it's quite detailed and outlines the entire plot, that would definitely fill in large gaps, no arguments there. However, there is very little help available for just normal conversation, since Japanese language, on a technical level, does not follow similar rules to English. Also, "common sense" is more subjective than one would believe in these situations. I do agree that players can fill in gaps enough, but they're still unable to... To an extent that fan translators exist, the and demand for professional translations continue.

mspykez wrote:As for what VNR is and is not capable of doing, well atm it does a lot comparing to previous tools that people have been using. You keep talking about Atlas but AFAIK it's common sense that if you are going to use atlas you are also be using TA, and given this example you can indeed get translations from multiple sources at the same time.

I didn't say VNR isn't capable of multiple translations and sources. It's not a programme designed to mimic ATLAS. That's what displaying multiple sources and translations would boil it down to. The screenshots prove this. There is only one line of translation on the top, and it doesn't display its sources. I'm sure you can access the source through the programme menu or whatever it is called. The only difference would be the methodology in which the quality control is conducted. You should read the earlier posts by the developer, as well as Aaeru's. VNR shows one translation, and it is planned to be subject to editing if and when a better alternative presents itself in some way. I'm using "ATLAS" as an encompassing term, because mentioning all the additions and plug-ins most ATLAS users utilise would take a while.

mspykez wrote:And trust me from my experience those little things that these tools allows you to tweak makes a big difference, THelper regex function is just an example, that 'supplemental dictionary' as you call it, also makes a huge different by itself and not just with names, if you were experience with it you would know.
I didn't say it wouldn't make a difference... Please don't put opinions in my mouth. The supplemental dictionary sounds especially needed, but again... you would need somebody with a rudimentary understanding of Japanese if the you a) want the dictionary to have any point, and b) if you want it to be accurate.

mspykez wrote:So why do we need VNR you asked, well because the development of other tools are pretty much stalled and VNR is picking up where they left, this new feature of having on-the-cloud subtitles alone opens many doors, also things like being able to replace the original text inside the game with the translated text without 'hacking' the game is also a step forward on the right direction. Think of VNR not as translator but as a tool that allows you to mess around and get the best possibly translation results that you will ever have.
I was not asking in a literal sense why VNR is needed. I know why it's needed, and its basic functions. However, I was never told or made known that the other tools are stalled. The only types of translations that directly hack texts are patches, from what I know. I'm sure others do, but my job is to translate, not hack, as you can tell from my lack of knowledge.

To consumers, the VNR is a translator. Maybe it'd be a tool for devs and translators, but for readers, it's practically a translator.

I'll make some things clear, so I don't have to refute the same bogus conclusions you have been coming to about me:

1) I'm not against ATLAS, or any of its relatives and similar programmes.
2) Machine translators, assisted or not, are fine. If they never get edited, then they should remain.
3) There is a lot of drawbacks with ATLAS on a translating technical level, but I don't think it means that it is useless, nor it lacks any positives. Bringing up its cultural help (the very little on the grander scheme) will not change its limitations. I don't care how many lives it saves- if it has something wrong with it, I won't hesitate to mention it. Does it mean I hate it and want it gone? No.
4) I am not some extremist that thinks people shouldn't play a game that isn't translated properly.

Despite my criticisms and debate, I do appreciate seeing somebody who knows their shit about ATLAS backing it up. I'm actually learning a little more about it. I'll be the first to admit that ATLAS cops a fair bit of bashing- even by people who have never used it, ever! I constructively criticise... but a lot of people just bash it. When I think about those people, I can understand how you feel. But trust me, I'm not like that. I know the tangible effects, however little, ATLAS has produced for a handful of patient VN gamers.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 07/06/13, 11:28 pm

What you don't want to understand is that most people who play VNs also consume anime and manga however the same cannot be said the other way around, so generally speaking VNs fans are more hardcore since they tend to consume a lot more Japan-related stuff and more likely to spend some money in Japanese goods and even go there. Surely this hardcore fans are not content with just playing a few 'human' translated VNs and use 'machine translators' to play other games as well, this is why I say that machine translations like it or not deserves some kudos.
I honesty don't know why you don't understand that a phrase making perfect sense isn't the same as a phrase making perfect sense and at the same time being accurate to the original text... there is a saying that translation is like a woman if it is beautiful it is not faithful, if it is faithful it is most certainly not beautiful. So you see you can't please everyone, some like it hot some like it cold. IMO it is better to have an 'humanized/revised' machine-translation possibly not so much accurate to the original text than just having a machine-translation that is hard to read or understand if you do not pause there for some time to think about it, basically by allowing a person to edit the results of a machine-translator you are making it more eye-candy if anything based on the amount of effort that the person wants to put into it by making some sideline research of the text. Now why would you want to moderate this, why not just spend the time you are wasting moderating by doing an actual proper translation? surely the person moderating should be able to translate anything by herself. What you might want is some kind of user review (up vote/down vote) so people can have a general idea of how trolish said user translations are.
Sorry I can't explain anything to you better than this, sometimes I think that I need to draw a picture in oder to you to understand what it is being said, must be my vocabulary after all english is my 3rd language.
VNR changes everyday but you wouldn't know that since you don't use it so stop pointing out to some screenshoot floating around to fundament your arguments about it, just so you know VNR wasn't even called VNR, it's capabilities and interface have changed several times, it used to have chat rooms, reputation system and shit like that. One thing is for sure VNR is not a translator like you deem it to be, VNR is the means you can use to expose/display in the game another's work/translations or hook it from a proper 'machine-translator', AFAIK you will even have a web interface where you can edit/work/submit translations without the need of running VNR itself.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 08/06/13, 11:49 am

mspykez wrote:What you don't want to understand is that most people who play VNs also
consume anime and manga however the same cannot be said the other way
around, so generally speaking VNs fans are more hardcore since they tend
to consume a lot more Japan-related stuff and more likely to spend some
money in Japanese goods and even go there.

I didn't say that "most people who watch anime/manga play VNs". I said:
Most people who play VNs were first exposed to anime and/or manga!
That means that I agree with you in a sense. Please take care to read what I say.

How did you come to the enormous leap in logic that consuming more media = more likely to go abroad to the place(s) of its origins? Is there proof of this somewhere?

Given that there is no proof... You tried to pass off a personal opinion as a generalised fact! Please show me PROOF that VNs fans are more "hardcore". I'm sure we're just as passionate about VNs as each other, but that doesn't mean you can go around passing off experience as cold, hard facts. Personal experience is frequently subjective, and not good for trying to state certainties unless collated in a manner that adds credibility.

What you just said basically ignored anime and manga fans... they have a shitload of merchandise- banners, posters, figurines, action figures, soft toys, character CDs, soundtracks, DVDs, drama CDs, comics, art books, fan books, anime-adapted games, snacks, fashion items, costumes... the list goes on and on and on.

VN merchandise do not get produced as much unless it's a very popular series, like Fate/Stay Night or Hakuouki. Do not try to dispute this with me. I've been to Japan multiple times, and I have been to many stores. The best merchandise an "average populairty" VN tend to get are preorder bonuses and limited edition add-ons, like drama CDs and soundtracks. There are always exceptions, but there is no way you can pretend that VN fans are more inclined to spend than an anime fan. Judging by the fact anime merchandise is more plentiful, it's a reasonable assumption that they're selling more, and there are more people who buy them.

Trying to say that a VN fan is more likely to go to Japan than an anime or manga fan is not only unproven, but is simply untrue. Does that mean a VN fan won't be inspired to go to Japan? No. I don't think that it matters in which area one exposed to Japanese culture predominantly consumes the most in. It all boils down to the individual economics rather than just a VN player's one or an anime fan's ones.

I don't know; maybe that's the case in your country, but if you look at Japanese merchandise selling websites, targeted at international (mainly Western) customers, the majority of the popular merchandise are of anime origin, and they tend to be action figurines. They become top sellers because people BUYING them.

Whatever the case, unless I misunderstood or you misunderstood what has been said, it looks like our subjective opinions are quite polarising, and we may never agree.

mspykez wrote:Surely this hardcore fans are not content with just playing a few
'human' translated VNs and use 'machine translators' to play other games
as well, this is why I say that machine translations like it or not
deserves some kudos.

For God's sake, I already GAVE ATLAS kudos! I basically said I respect it for helping those with the patience to use it read more VNs.

Looks like- again- you failed to read the positives I said about it, so I'm just going to have to post them again until you realise that I do give credit to ATLAS, and I think there are good things about it. Every time in the future that you will even IMPLY that I don't give credit to ATLAS or hate it, I will post this again:

"As for the removal plug-ins, it's a good idea. Removing the confusing
and unneeded segments would certainly be helpful, as machine
translations (obviously) can't seem to differentiate between
idiosyncratic speech patterns and actual words. Even advanced HUMAN
translators get caught in these traps. It's worth adding that it does
seem to work quite well with short sentences."

"I want to add
that I respect how ATLAS cater to the people that don't mind the Engrish
and want even the slightest idea of what's going on. The people who
develop the knack for readjusting the jumbles do truly benefit from
ATLAS."


"If I were to argue that machine translations are
improving (which they are), I would have gunned in on the removal
plug-ins. Sure, they have a risk of roboticising dialogue, but it'd
still be much more correct and defragmented."

"Luckily, most machine translations at least make the very slightest of sense to most users, so that shouldn't be an issue."

mspykez wrote:I honesty don't know why you don't understand that a phrase making
perfect sense isn't the same as a phrase making perfect sense and at the
same time being accurate to the original text... there is a saying that
translation is like a woman if it is beautiful it is not faithful, if
it is faithful it is most certainly not beautiful. So you see you can't
please everyone, some like it hot some like it cold.

You are walking on dangerous ground if you're going to try and lecture me on semantics. Yes, I DO know the difference.

Perfect sense: The sentence is completely understandable and feasible.
Perfect phrase: Written with perfect spelling, and in a grammatically perfect context.

What should be aimed for is BOTH, and I'm sure everyone is working to achieve this. Neither directly equates to a correct translation. Sometimes a sentence can make sense or be perfect in grammatical presentation, but still may not be correct.

Like you mentioned, and I have about a MILLION times, now, what matters is that it's decipherable.

I'm not saying it must please everyone.

Why is it so wrong for me to CONSTRUCTIVELY CRITICISE? Critique leads to improvement! I'm pointing out what it's doing wrong, so hopefully it will lead to improvement.

I'm confused about passionately you're defending ATLAS and machine translations. I've told you many, many times that I don't hate them. I think they're far from perfect, and just wanted to state what I think is wrong and should be improved. The way you ignore this, and retaliate as though I'm just another ATLAS basher, sounds to me like you're taking this very personally.

I don't know how closely you're affiliated with any machine translator, but you have to stop with things like "you demand too much", "nothing can be perfect", etc. I am NOT demanding for things to be perfect, nor do I expect ATLAS to drop everything and fix my every qualm. They're merely SUGGESTIONS, not INSULTS.

mspykez wrote:IMO it is better to have an 'humanized/revised' machine-translation
possibly not so much accurate to the original text than just having a
machine-translation that is hard to read or understand if you do not
pause there for some time to think about it, basically by allowing a person to edit the results of a
machine-translator you are making it more eye-candy if anything based on
the amount of effort that the person wants to put into it by making
some sideline research of the text.

I agree with you here. There are two types of correct translations: literal and localised. Literal is what pure machine translators, like ATLAS (even with add-ons and plug-ins) tend to do. While most of what they translate is technically correct, it hardly makes any sense because it doesn't take into account the context and syntax of the sentence. If you know Japanese, you'd know exactly what I mean. A localised one, which is basically what a humanised-machine translation falls under, is I agree- much better- because it reassembles the sentence to make sense, and often, grammatical sense. Do some things get lost in translation? Well, yes. It can depend on the Japanese of the translator, but there is no VN in existence that will be completely correctly translated.

For VNR, only pure machine translators sounds like they'll get banned (read Aaeru's past post on the first page), but NOT machine-assisted. I wouldn't be happy if VNR so indiscriminately offed anything that was done through a machine. That would be wrong. You said it would be wrong, I said it would be wrong just now, and a couple of times before.

mspykez wrote:Now why would you want to moderate this, why not just spend the time you
are wasting moderating by doing an actual proper translation? surely
the person moderating should be able to translate anything by herself.
What you might want is some kind of user review (up vote/down vote) so
people can have a general idea of how trolish said user translations
are.

The amount of quality control needed all depends on how correct/understandable the translations are. Somebody translating with zero knowledge of Japanese is likely to miss and get many things wrong. Instead of wiping out their efforts, people with good Japanese, like me, should quickly go over and fix a few things to improve it. Ideally, proper translators translate it first, but as we've discussed, this won't be a likely reality. However, somebody with moderate Japanese using a machine tends to do pretty well. I've seen this many times through my "jobs". Please don't call this a waste of time. Helping human-assisted machine translators isn't a waste of time. If they could even learn from their mistakes, it'd help them get better at what they do.

From what Aaeru said, it sounds like there will be a system like you mentioned to get rid of troll translations. I really doubt people will go to the trouble of troll-translating, but it is a necessary implement 'cause one can never say "never".

mspykez wrote:Sorry I can't explain anything to you better than this, sometimes I
think that I need to draw a picture in oder to you to understand what it
is being said, must be my vocabulary after all english is my 3rd
language.
I'm sorry to make you feel as though you're not explaining well enough- it could be me that's just not getting it. I think I'm understanding most of what you're trying to say, which is why I can respond in the first place. Sorry if I said anything that made you feel bad, because this is not my intention at all.

Again, if I came across as discriminatory or anything like that, I'm really sorry. I want this to be a debate, not a hurtful experience.

mspykez wrote:VNR changes everyday but you wouldn't know that since you don't use it
so stop pointing out to some screenshoot floating around to fundament
your arguments about it, just so you know VNR wasn't even called VNR,
it's capabilities and interface have changed several times, it used to
have chat rooms, reputation system and shit like that.
Please don't assumed "I don't know" when I do. I have been looking around VNR, and talking about it to people who use it. From what I've been hearing, it's well-liked and does seem to be growing. The screenshot was meant to tell you that unlike ATLAS, which displays multiple translations at the same time, it looks like VNR isn't going to do that, opting for subtitles instead. It wasn't meant to question your knowledge of VNR. They may change it, who knows? Just because I don't know the history of VNR, doesn't mean I don't know anything.

One thing is for sure VNR is not a translator like you deem it to be,
VNR is the means you can use to expose/display in the game another's
work/translations or hook it from a proper 'machine-translator', AFAIK
you will even have a web interface where you can edit/work/submit
translations without the need of running VNR itself.

No, I meant that from the perspective of its non-translating and editing users, it's a translator. That is not correct, and I agree with you. It looks like one can directly edit the text, or "hook it", as you put it, to a machine translation. I'm still learning about VNR, but I've grasped the basics of how it works.

I hope VNR gets popular, and eliminates the need for hack-patches. Hopefully that will get those C&Ds out of the way more.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 08/06/13, 03:21 pm

I came to the conclusion that you are not for real, until you show me poof I will not believe it otherwise. I do not care if in Japan there's a ton of anime merchandising, what I said is that in the west a person who plays a VN regularly goes through great lengths and is undoubtful much deeper into the Japanese culture than most anime fans hence you can say that they are more hardcore and only thank the machine-translators that allowed them to play the games that would never have a single word translated by a human. Most anime gets 'proper' translations sooner or later VNs don't, so VNs fans are indeed more likely to want to learn Japanese above anyone else in the otaku world. Also regarding anime one of the reasons that it gets subbed more often is because they are more accessible to the masses, its easier to sub a video, however the same cannot be said about VNs which sometimes can be a pain to get it to work, this is where VNR can turn the tide by making subbing easier for the masses among other things.
Again you are missing the point of a phrase that makes perfect sense and a phrase that is accurate. If the original text says 'oranges in a basket' and someone translates it like 'apples in a basket' it still makes perfect sense despite not being accurate, understand? for a person who doesn't read Japanese the hard part of 'humanizing' machine-translations is figuring out what it's real and what it's not, either way it's up to the reader to decide for himself and there will probably be many different possibilities. This is why you will not understand 100% of the story but you will have a easier time playing, you have to know that there will be a line separating what the original text real mean and what was imagined by the translator to be true.
Machine-translations will not get banned on VNR, machine-translations will always be a part of VNR. Guess is just your ignorance speaking here, when you hear from others and do not have experience with it yourself. VNR can do many different things, one of it's core functions is the support of a machine-translation of your choosing, and yes for the last time, you can make it so it displays translations from multiple sources, example, you can have Atlas and LEC results show up at the same time, assuming you have both installed, another reason that VNR is not a translator by itself, dam it I wish you never saw whatever screenshoot. Seems you are thinking that translations are submitted to VNR and stored somewhere, well yes and no, a person can indeed submit whatever translation she wishes, but you can also rely on external machine translations that gives instantaneous results without receiving or upload anything to VNR cloud, got it? so there is no reason on the first place to ban 'pure' machine translations when they work separately from the cloud.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 08/06/13, 05:27 pm

mspykez wrote:I came to the conclusion that you are not for real, until you show me poof I will not believe it otherwise.

Do you engage in debates with imaginary people, then? That says more about your character than I ever could! What a silly example, really. Take a read of this: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

By not being able to prove any of these big claims you have made, you just proven to me that your arguments are about as water-tight as a leaky paper cup. Not the position you want to be in. Maybe it really is a language barrier, and I won't be able to adequately explain to you why the above example was so stupid.

That's not how the burden of proof works, pal. If you come up with "facts" (I use this word VERY loosely when it comes to practically anything you say is associated with "most" people) first, you must prove it. You can't just try and brush off the issue with logical fallacies. Well, you did, I guess.

Oh, I know! You can't prove it!

mspykez wrote:I do not care if in Japan there's a ton of anime merchandising, what I
said is that in the west a person who plays a VN regularly goes through
great lengths and is undoubtful much deeper into the Japanese culture
than most anime fans hence you can say that they are more hardcore and
only thank the machine-translators that allowed them to play the games
that would never have a single word translated by a human.

Yes, I've noticed you "don't care" about things that injure your already weak arguments. I'm starting to think this is beyond a language barrier. English could be your 100th language, but if you fail at comprehension, then that's it. Here's what I said previously:

"...but if you look at Japanese merchandise selling websites, targeted at
international (mainly Western) customers, the majority of the popular
merchandise are of anime origin
, and they tend to be action figurines.
They become top sellers because people BUYING them."

I can prove it, too, unlike you, who LOVES to say "most people", "more people", etc. until the cows come home.

Do you know what an "opinion" means? You're still doing the same shit you've been doing the last two posts: representing personal opinions as fact:

"what I
said is that in the west a person who plays a VN regularly goes through
great lengths and is undoubtful much deeper into the Japanese culture
than most anime fans hence you can say that they are more hardcore and
only thank the machine-translators that allowed them to play the games
that would never have a single word translated by a human."

You only have to state opinions once. I don't need to read the same thing over and over again. An opinion isn't a factual inaccuracy or accuracy. Stop trying to convince me of your OPINION. It will remain an OPINION until you can present to me indisputable evidence that "VN players are more into Japanese culture than anime/manga fans."

mspykez wrote:Again you are missing the point of a phrase that makes perfect sense and
a phrase that is accurate. If the original text says 'oranges in a
basket' and someone translates it like 'apples in a basket' it still
makes perfect sense despite not being accurate, understand?

You said I didn't know the difference between a perfect phrase and a phrase that makes sense. I proved that I did. Do you think me, a university-level English and Japanese student, doesn't understand the difference between accuracy and sense? What an insult. I've done translating as a PROFESSIONAL job, and fan-work. I even said:

"Sometimes a sentence can make sense or be perfect in grammatical presentation [sense], but still may not be correct [accurate]."

Sense vs. Accuracy (some say "correctness" instead of accuracy) can even become a debate amongst translators. However, LIKE YOU, I ultimately prioritise SENSE. The words can have perfect meaning, but if they're jumbled, so what? Like your example about apples and oranges mentioned, they make sense. One could be right, one could be wrong. But at least the readers can understand the nature of the sentence. So I do agree with you that sense > accuracy.

This correlates to your "apples in a basket" and "oranges in a basket" example. Both make perfect SENSE, but aren't necessarily ACCURATE. Of course, unless the apples and oranges were an integral part of the plot, it's unimportant. However, cases like that are rare. Errors like these tend to occur with human-assisted machine translators, but it really doesn't matter, because it STILL MAKES SENSE. Although, as a Japanese speaker, I'd have to wonder how on Earth one could get the words for apples and oranges mixed up, but your example illustrated what you wanted to say perfectly.

Yes, I did understand, and had always understood. That proves I know the difference between sense and accuracy... You should have thought better or just remember who you're talking to. It's not nice to be told I don't know something so basic about a "job" I've been doing for years. I'm sure you weren't meaning to be rude, though.

I don't directly use most machine translating programmes, but I do understand on an academic level how their shortcomings are formed, why certain errors are made, etc. I couldn't give you a lecture on their techs and specs, but as for how they translate words? Yes. They tend to mix up syntax. They usually fall short of applying the correct definition for words with multiple meanings. So yes, something simple like ACCURACY and SENSE isn't out of my INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE reach, haha.

Please stop arguing with me about Sense vs. Accuracy/Correctness, because I'm ON YOUR SIDE.

mspykez wrote:Machine-translations will not get banned on VNR, machine-translations
will always be a part of VNR. Guess is just your ignorance speaking
here, when you hear from others and do not have experience with it
yourself.

Aaeru said: "but just know that if users want to alter Atlus then pass it off as real
translations, it would be quickly picked up by one of the admins and
all of her changes would be quickly reverted, and then they are placed
on a ban list (until they appeal)."

S/he is in e-mail contact with Jichi, from what I understand, the creator of VNR. Do not call me ignorant when you were the one who was being so. I suggested to you to read Aaeru's posts. You didn't. I don't present any argument in absolute tense unless I can prove it. It sounds like Aaeru is experienced with VNR as well, but if this isn't the case, I apologise. Maybe you know of her?

mspykez wrote:VNR can do many different things, one of it's core functions is the
support of a machine-translation of your choosing, and yes for the last
time, you can make it so it displays translations from multiple sources,
example, you can have Atlas and LEC results show up at the same time,
assuming you have both installed, another reason that VNR is not a
translator by itself, dam it I wish you never saw whatever screenshoot.
Seems you are thinking that translations are submitted to VNR and stored
somewhere, well yes and no, a person can indeed submit whatever
translation she wishes, but you can also rely on external machine
translations that gives instantaneous results without receiving or
upload anything to VNR cloud, got it? so there is no reason on the first
place to ban 'pure' machine translations when they work separately from
the cloud.

I not only said I didn't even want the possibility of them to get banned, but I also mentioned that it "sounds like it'd happen". If it's not going to happen, would you be able to provide me with some information that confirms this fact?

Jichi and Aaeru stated previously in this thread that the peer review system isn't up yet. From what I saw on my VNR, it didn't seem to be. Then again, I could have missed it. You mentioned it was developing "everyday" so even just me being a few days off of it means I didn't get to observe the new changes.

Yes, I was thinking that translations are submitted to VNR and stored somewhere. This seems to be the case also, as you mentioned, but I had no idea that ATLAS and VNR can go back-to-back. Like you said, as long as somebody has it installed. Thank you for clearing this up for me.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 08/06/13, 06:36 pm

Your ability to twist my words to your advantage is amazing, I too could go around your post citing everything here and there and mock you but I do not have the time or patience to do so. You clearly stated that you have gone to japan and visited several shops and verified that anime merchandise is more abundant, so I do not see how this invalidates my saying that I do not care if in Japan there's a ton of anime merchandising.
This is getting old, stop quoting what someone said out of context. Judging from your posts you are really clueless about VNR, how can someone argue about something that they are not even experience with. You should read again what Aaeru said and while you are at it read what was written next 'Not saying the system is going to be like that, it's jichi who has the final say, but this would be how i would do it.' Aaeru was referring to someone who uploads machine-translations to the cloud pretending it to be human-made. How that implies that machine-translations will be banned from VNR? hell the author is even adding more and more translation-machines support to VNR every day. Your last paragraph speaks for itself, you just have no idea.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Serin on 08/06/13, 07:53 pm

It's really amazing how you two can keep this discussion up.
I've gotten a headache just by reading through it...
I don't know if my opinion on this matter is really needed, as you two seem to be talking at cross purposes anyway but maybe I can contribute something to this discussion.

First I want to clarify that my level of Japanese is as low as it can possibly be without being nonexistent and therefore influences my opinion a great deal.

It seems that my first impression of the VNR was completely wrong. I thought that it strives to be a system that increases the number of quality translations or respectively makes quality translation more doable by offering translators the chance to work together and help each other. Bear in mind that, in my opinion, only someone who possesses a certain Japanese skill can be called a translator not someone who can edit machine translation to make them comprehensible.
Instead the VNR strives, if I understood correctly, to increase the quantity of comprehensible translations. While I do think that this is a good thing I have to admit that this circumstance kinde makes me lose interest in the VNR...
The reason that I read vn's is that I really enjoy how the medium works. And while the sounds and images enhance the experience the heart of the vn still lies in its writing. You may call me stupid but it is the plot and the writing that really make a vn memorable to me. And before someone points it out, yes I also read books. A lot of them to be clear. Therefore I think that one should strive as I think Laramie Castiel has said to get the best results out of VNR not only regarding the sense but also the accuracy of the translation. I for one am most certainly not fine with machine translated stuff and therefore do not read them. But I also realize that there are, I wouldn't say a lot but a few people who are fine with machine translated stuff as long as it's comprehensible.
At this point I also have to admit that after Laramie Castiel's and mspykez's discussion I am utterly confused about the nature of the VNR.
Will it have a peer review system as aeru pointed out at the beginning of this topic or will it be more like... I don't know a program that displays machine assisted translations in the game?
I'm sorry if it was clarified somewhere but I lost my grip on the discussion along the way since it keeps going around in circles...
Even if I don't know if I will use the VNR I would still like to optimize it since it's concept seems promising.
I'm also confused about who the target audience of the VNR is supposed to be? Initially I thought that it's target audience are people with no japanese knowledge to speak of but from what I've gotten out of this discussion a feeling or basic knowledge of the Japanese language seems to be necessary to differentiate the good from the bad translations.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 10/06/13, 06:12 pm

mspykez wrote:This is getting old, stop quoting what someone said out of context
You don't even know what "quoting out of context" means. I quote your posts paragraph-by-paragraph. That's not out of context. Also, it's not my fault you:

* Completely ignored the fact that my main criticism was against pure machine translations. While I'm still on the fence with human-assisted (there are too many extraneous variables to have a "yea" or "nay" opinion), I don't hate them like you seem to think I do.
* Frequently present opinions as personal facts. Don't say I "quoted you out of context" for this. You will probably deny them anyway, though. Or come up with an equally convoluted explanation and cry "lack of vocabulary".
* Freuquently challenge genuinely subjective opinions.
* Ignore my professional experienced, industry-based observations.
* Take all criticisms as personal or direct attacks to machine translators.
* Undermine other fandoms to support your arguments. If more anime and manga friends found out that you actually think that VN fans are "the most "hardcore" (which in and of itself has a myriad of subjective interpretations), it would not have ended so well.
* Refuse to prove or disprove your Japanese skill level. This is important, because it would be really tough for somebody with subpar Japanese knowledge to singularly vouch for the level of accuracy your average machine translator has. My guess if that you have practically none, which is why you may have approached them to the depth you possess.
* Assume and presume, which are hallmarks of a bad debator with hardly any solid arguments. You tend to presume more, which is the worst of two very rotten fruit.
* Use grandiose examples that are sometimes littered with informal logical fallacies to force me into agreeing with a misguided concept. Agreeing with an example and agreeing with a context are mutually exclusive, wouldn't you know!

However, I will admit that I didn't read Aaeru's post properly, and I apologise for that. I withdraw my opinion of that in that capacity. You're right; I should have researched VNR more, or better, use it more before even talking about what I technically understand about it. For that too, I apologise. Your technical know-how in the machine area is admirable, and I hope it helps VNR, or even some potential posters here who are unsure about VNR's tech capabilities.

Serin wrote:I don't know if my opinion on this matter is really needed, as you two
seem to be talking at cross purposes anyway but maybe I can contribute
something to this discussion.
Of course it does! mspykez clearly has the technical know-how, I'm experienced with 100% human translations. You're somewhere in the middle so it's a welcome addition. I like the balance after a few posts of very obvious polarity.

Serin wrote:It seems that my first impression of the VNR was completely wrong. I
thought that it strives to be a system that increases the number of
quality translations or respectively makes quality translation more
doable by offering translators the chance to work together and help each
other. Bear in mind that, in my opinion, only someone who possesses a
certain Japanese skill can be called a translator not someone who can
edit machine translation to make them comprehensible.
See, this is the impression I got, too.

A machine translator was designed to be an assistant tool. I've been involved in interpretation than translating, so naturally I don't get as much contact with machines. However, now that I've involved myself more in translation projects, I use online dictionaries to check for veracity. All of the projects I'm involved in will not accept machine translations, seemingly (I don't know for certain), even human-assisted ones. They ask for proof of knowledge and skill in Japanese.

I agree yet again- if you go by the logic that somebody who is SOLELY dependent on a machine translator and has no Japanese ability themselves still counts as a translator, then I also know Native Americans, Afrikaans, Danish, German, French, Chinese, Latin, Italian, Icelandic and Spanish.

Are human-assisted machine translators invaluable to the VN world? After my "discussion" with mspykez, it wouldn't be such a stretch to say so... but are they "translators"? Not really, because it's not their Japanese-to-English. That is only really a semantics thing, though. If there were more translators like me around, way less of them would exist in the first place.

The ultimate truth won't be known unless or until Jichi informs us further.

Serin wrote:The reason that I read vn's is that I really enjoy how the medium works.
And while the sounds and images enhance the experience the heart of the
vn still lies in its writing. You may call me stupid but it is the plot
and the writing that really make a vn memorable to me. And before
someone points it out, yes I also read books. A lot of them to be clear.
Therefore I think that one should strive as I think Laramie Castiel has
said to get the best results out of VNR not only regarding the sense
but also the accuracy of the translation.
It's not stupid at all. While VNs still have a long way to go- as we all know- it's growing. The market is dying now, but as a result, the VN quality will hopefully grow. Hopefully. Judging by the large emphasis on charage in the eroge market, I hope this drop of substance quality won't bleed into the otome game market. I like VNs a lot more because I don't really like reading books.

Sense vs. accuracy is debate that still continues, but ultimately, I defer to sense when I'm stumped between the two. However, that doesn't mean I forfeit great deals of accuracy. I don't literally translate some Japanese greetings. I instead find the closest English equivalent- because translating it too literally would make the dialogue sound like that of a... machine's. Thankfully, for the most part, most things can be translated relatively properly- by one with knowledge in Japanese, at least.

Serin wrote:I for one am most certainly not fine with machine translated stuff and
therefore do not read them. But I also realize that there are, I
wouldn't say a lot but a few people who are fine with machine translated
stuff as long as it's comprehensible.
I'm surprised mspykez isn't onto you on this, yet. S/he seems to think "most" are... but I don't agree. I agree with you. If there were really enough people happy with machines, human-assisted or not, translation groups and professionally redistributed games are a near-complete waste of time. I think translating the plot as accurately as possible is something to be strived for- not some "wishful thinking" thing. If somebody wants to do it accurately, like me, fine. Then there are people who are happy with machines. That's fine, too.

Serin wrote:Will it have a peer review system as aeru pointed out at the beginning
of this topic or will it be more like... I don't know a program that
displays machine assisted translations in the game?
I'm sorry if it
was clarified somewhere but I lost my grip on the discussion along the
way since it keeps going around in circles...
I think Jichi mentioned earlier that s/he was trying to make something of the sort work. If there is no peer review system, it really would not set itself apart from the other machine-oriented stuff out there, and I'd lose interest.

Serin wrote:I'm also confused about who the target audience of the VNR is supposed
to be? Initially I thought that it's target audience are people with no
japanese knowledge to speak of but from what I've gotten out of this
discussion a feeling or basic knowledge of the Japanese language seems
to be necessary to differentiate the good from the bad translations.

Now I'm not sure anymore, too. I think it boils down to how you're going to use it. If you're a translator, it's very handy as no hacking is required to translate the text.

As for the consumers... You're right. If they don't know enough Japanese to tell, they'd have to ask somebody who does, or just go with what's easier for them.

A lot of people that bash machine translations tend to not have a lot of Japanese knowledge. The ones I've met, anyway. They rely on others' opinions to ascertain incorrectness, or just assume "Engrish" = "irredeemable crap". Machine translators don't technically get things "wrong". They just tend to jumble sentences so beginner users of programmes like ATLAS get confused. This problem is compounded by the fact that Japanese sentence structure and grammatical structures are vastly different from English- machine translators have good intentions in reorganisation, but ultimately screw up because the too-literal translations are born from Japanese forms of tenses and words.

Human help vastly improves things, but they still make a bunch of mistakes and misinterpretations because of their typically insufficient Japanese. To churn out any old translation, a machine, human assisted or not, is fine.

But there is no disputing that a human that knows Japanese and English will always produce the best results.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 11/06/13, 06:53 am

I do not agree that only a few people use machine-translations, proof of this
is the sheer numbers of downloads that new games have on popular
specialized sites, do you want make me believe that suddenly everyone
reads Japanese? Don't really know why or what you want to accomplish
by continuing to depict everything I say as if it is all wrong. If
you want to educate yourself about machine-translations read this
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


From a perspective of a person that has been using VNR (as it is called now)
for a long time I will try to shed some light on some of the doubts
and concerns that some of you seem to have.

First lets keep in mind that VNR is always changing, it has been completely
rewritten to a new language (python) at least once. It improves based
on the community feedback and what is in theory possible and not
possible to do/implement with ease.

VNR is a tool that can replace the famous Translation Aggregator that is used
in conjunction with Atlas, AGTH, devOSD and other tools by people who
don't understand Japanese and wish to play newly released games and
make some sense out of the story. VNR combines all these tools on a
single package picking up all the good things and improving what can
be improved, so basically VNR simplifies all the arsed that people
had under a nice and easy to use UI. But it doesn't stop here...

This is the part where cloud computing comes into play, some smart person
must have asked the question of what if we put all these stuff into
the cloud and started to imagining the possibilities of it. Thus far
similar tools of VNR were capable of hooking up text from a game and
use online and offline machine translators to instantaneous translate
the text from Japanese to whatever language they wish recurring to
some tweaks here and there, not a perfect solution but its what we
got. VNR continues doing this today however it goes beyond that
thanks to its complex yet simple cloud approach of translating. Like
I said before when you bring the cloud into the mix the possibilities
are enormous, this is the reason why this must be the part of VNR
that has changed the most over the course of it's development and as of today the author is still experimenting and trying to figure out what
works best. Now to the point, with the cloud you can, whenever you
feel like it, to upload any translation or note/comment (VNR can
differentiate a casual comment from a translation) making it sharable with others. Later when going through that same
passage of the game you and all the other people who are using VNR
will see (if they choose to) your translation or note/comment. That
said, anyone can use VNR to do an amateur or
professionally translation of a complete game or portions of
it, and even theoretically cross reference translations among different games, I guess you can consider it a 'patch' that does not need to be 'patched'. There is (still under construction) a web based interface where
people can form groups and see, translate or edit all the stuff
directly from the web browser without the need of using VNR,
atm you can only translate with VNR running but at least you don't need the
game to be running as well.

The controversy about this is to know when you draw the line. Should VNR cloud be
open to everyone and if so how do you 'moderate' it? VNR has taken
several steps into this matter and as of now it still does not have a
definitive answer. Word is that the author is working on a new way to
'moderate' the cloud that is not yet implemented to VNR. This issue
however should not stop anyone from using VNR since you get to
control what you want and do not want to be shown, filter stuff out, 'lock' your translations/notes to not be changed by anyone else and
store stuff offline, among other things.

In the end VNR is an all around program with multiple functions and purposes, it
can be used by all the people from a person that is just getting into
VNs to a hardcore fan.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 11/06/13, 08:08 am

Thanks for that post. It really did hit home to me how little I know of VNR. What I've been hearing from others must be incorrect. The initial impression of quite a few people I encountered was that VNR was going to have more emphasis on quality control rather than amount. That doesn't seem to be right anymore...

About whether or not the VNR cloud should be open to everyone, what do you think, mspykez? Since you seem to have a better grasp on VNR than most people in this discussion, I'm interested in your perspective on this.

After debating with you, and learning more about VNR myself, I think it should be open to everyone. It will be even better when (or if) some kind of moderation system is implemented. It would mean that the inexperienced can get help from the experienced, without the hassle of organising a big project. However, it also means that those that want to stick to a project can do so, and upload their work on the VNR cloud.

My personal opinion on this for the moderation aspect is to offer "permission levels" to users. The most basic permission is to be able to upload translations, but maybe those a bit higher up are allowed to edit? The problem with that would obviously be if the initial translator improved their Japanese/made an error and would like to fix something, they'd have to contact a higher-up to change things, and that would be a big hassle.

The more I think about it, I think it's a great idea, and VNR is meeting somewhere in the middle of "quality" and "amount", that is, if all of the implements that have been brainstormed will come to be. The machine-assisted translations have the possibility of being polished by the more experineced that have no time to participate in larger translation projects, but have enough time to just edit what's already been done.

I'm certain that people with basic Japanese want to help at the current state of any translation project, but deem themselves unworthy to do so. VNR looks like it will give those types of people tailwind, since if they do make "mistakes", the "quality control" of others would make mistakes inconsequential.

Given that there are plenty of people that want translations full stop, perfection comes secondary to an actual translation.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by mspykez on 11/06/13, 06:27 pm

VNR should be keep as flexible as possible, it is the user who should decide for himself what use it wants to give it, it is the user who should decide what translations are shown, etc. There is a great amount of user control features that VNR already has implemented so you can pretty much filter what you think is 'quality' and what you think it is not and possibly improve on it, just don't expect VNR to do it for you by default. As I might have stated before, I don't think VNR cloud should be restricted to or moderated by just a handful of people, it would be very hard to do so, it should instead be open to all the people regardless. If you are worried about trolls and such you can avoid all that with your common sense, it is easy to register an account with VNR, it is also easy to detect or know who is doing 'vandalism', with time people will realize who they can trust or like, I mean it will be pretty obvious when a reputed translator picks up a project and publicly announces that he is translating game A or B with VNR, then you can easily grab his translations even if it is a work in progress (no need to wait until the translation is finish if the translator permits it to be released in chunks as it grows). I think you can do this manually by placing the files on the right place, but what could help here is a simple button to load translations from a file on your HD directly to VNR without the need of Internet connection.


If you ask me what addition features VNR could have to make it's cloud side a better experience I'd say give the power for users white-list and black-list other users or stuff they upload, give the power to rate other users or stuff they upload and possibly create some charts with the information gatherer. Another idea would be to allow a user to make a selection of translations/comments/notes that he considers worth of, wrap it together and attribute a specific ID that can be used in a way like 'hey look this is quality stuff right here, grab it with this code'. Tagging is an important aspect, atm you can tag comments/notes, translations, more tagging will be good, such as 'amateur-translation', 'machine-assisted', 'human-translated' to name a few, later on you can select exactly what you want. I can't say for certain but some of this stuff is or was at some point present on VNR if not exactly in a similar way, or at least it is a work in progress, the author is always working on something new.

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default Re: Question about visual novel reader

Post by Laramie Castiel on 12/06/13, 08:23 am

They're some really good suggestions... I especially like the detailed tagging idea. Also, it does sound like a better idea to give everyone some sort of peer-rating power rather than just make a select few people able to do so and/or edit stuff. Your suggestions are far more realistic and beneficial to the users of VNR at large than mine. I admit I approached this thinking it was all about quality control when that was not the case, so my opinions on the matter are changing.

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