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Old 2008-12-17, 04:17   Link #1
Access
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In an ideal world, is editing really necessary?

In the ideal case where a translator has a high competency of both Japanese and English language and grammar / readability, line-to-line consistency, etc., is 'editing' necessary at all? Wouldn't everyone agree it's just a wasted step, considering that most editors have at best an 'in passing' knowledge of Japanese and such. Formatting, typesetting, line-splitting, readability issues is one thing but, in an ideal world, the more people to change or edit a work without enough knowledge of Japanese, the worse or farther removed from reality it will become.
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Old 2008-12-17, 04:27   Link #2
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Editing will always be necessary as you end up thinking in Japanese and word yourself in it SOMEHOW and make some parts of all you do sound weird. Editors are there to make sure that doesn't get through down the drain, even for those who are so good they could be their own subbinggroup on their own.
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Old 2008-12-17, 04:38   Link #3
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In an ideal world, everyone would speak Japanese and no one would need subtitles.
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Old 2008-12-17, 04:42   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Access View Post
In the ideal case where a translator has a high competency of both Japanese and English language and grammar / readability, line-to-line consistency, etc., is 'editing' necessary at all? Wouldn't everyone agree it's just a wasted step, considering that most editors have at best an 'in passing' knowledge of Japanese and such. Formatting, typesetting, line-splitting, readability issues is one thing but, in an ideal world, the more people to change or edit a work without enough knowledge of Japanese, the worse or farther removed from reality it will become.

In an ideal world, probably not. Though, you have to remember that even professional text translation requires copywriting, but I suppose that would come under the umbrella of QC, maybe? Regardless, the fansubbing community has very few translators who are as good at English as they are at Japanese, and that's what you'd need to be.

Then again, it depends entirely on how much you care about quality. Some releases look like they have no editor anyway, so I'm sure they wouldn't suffer any more than normal if you took out that stage
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Old 2008-12-17, 06:02   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Access View Post
In the ideal case where a translator has a high competency of both Japanese and English language and grammar / readability, line-to-line consistency, etc., is 'editing' necessary at all?
If a translator can also do the work of an editor, yes -- having a second editor pass is a waste. Is this a trick question?

Quote:
the more people to change or edit a work without enough knowledge of Japanese, the worse or farther removed from reality it will become.
<Insert free vs. literal translation debate here>
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Old 2008-12-17, 07:51   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Access View Post
In the ideal case where a translator has a high competency of both Japanese and English language and grammar / readability, line-to-line consistency, etc., is 'editing' necessary at all? Wouldn't everyone agree it's just a wasted step, considering that most editors have at best an 'in passing' knowledge of Japanese and such. Formatting, typesetting, line-splitting, readability issues is one thing but, in an ideal world, the more people to change or edit a work without enough knowledge of Japanese, the worse or farther removed from reality it will become.
Very necessary.
Even professional writers and authors all have editors before a manuscript goes to the publishers.
Editors aren't there simply for the basic grammar, punctuation and spelling chores, they're there to help with rhythm, flow, characterisation and sometimes length within the English language.
Yes it does depend on how much effort/care a group has with their subtitles, I’m somewhat of a perfectionist/fussy person when it comes to written text
I'm a writer and currently training as a translator, so while I understand nuances in the Japanese language, in regards to context and uses of idioms, sometimes I can't make the direct match between the two cultures right away while I'm in translation mode.

A real good editor has the skill to do that in an instant. They also have the ability to make a decent, somewhat literal piece of translation into a smooth, flowing, and pleasant to read dialogue fitting for the anime.

They also are useful as thesauruses too, I think I abuse editors a wee bit too much.
The again, they have forced me to take an English 101 check, sometimes I think most of us could do with going back to school despite it being our native language. >.>

With those arguing about "losing" the meaning or nuance of the Japanese if an editor has no linguistic knowledge of Japanese, that's when they turn to the translator and ask 'what's happening in this scene?' or 'what do you mean by this sentence, the english sounds off'.
Depends on the structure of the group or the individuals at work, but editors can work with a translator to establish a balance, so there is no absolute certainty that 'using an editor will lose meaning from the original Japanese.'

Not if care is taken in the first place.
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Old 2008-12-17, 11:48   Link #7
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Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
A real good editor has the skill to do that in an instant. They also have the ability to make a decent, somewhat literal piece of translation into a smooth, flowing, and pleasant to read dialogue fitting for the anime.

...

With those arguing about "losing" the meaning or nuance of the Japanese if an editor has no linguistic knowledge of Japanese, that's when they turn to the translator and ask 'what's happening in this scene?' or 'what do you mean by this sentence, the english sounds off'.
Depends on the structure of the group or the individuals at work, but editors can work with a translator to establish a balance, so there is no absolute certainty that 'using an editor will lose meaning from the original Japanese.'

Not if care is taken in the first place.
When I said a translator who has a high english competency, I meant one who is able to, or by default, produces a translation that flows and is more than readable in its own right, rather than a purely literal translation. The next step, Formatting, line-splitting, etc. isn't supposed to actually change meaning, and is typically the job of a typesetter.
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Old 2008-12-17, 12:45   Link #8
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Originally Posted by Access View Post
When I said a translator who has a high english competency, I meant one who is able to, or by default, produces a translation that flows and is more than readable in its own right, rather than a purely literal translation. The next step, Formatting, line-splitting, etc. isn't supposed to actually change meaning, and is typically the job of a typesetter.
Still, one can only edit his/her own work so much (probably not the correct word to articulate my thoughts...), and IMHO, a second set of eyes is needed to go through it. You could read through something dozens of times and it still seems right to you, when in fact it isn't. Nobody is beyond this. I realize you said in an ideal world, but .. the world isn't ideal.
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Old 2008-12-17, 14:21   Link #9
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Peer review is a wonderful thing (whether you call it translator/edit/qc or 3 people ruminating over a script).

It saves a lot of embarrassing moments and reduces those .v2 and .v3 we see in torrents sometimes.

Even professional experienced interpreters would love to have a "wayback" switch for the occasional gaffe.
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Old 2008-12-17, 19:21   Link #10
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Originally Posted by D404 View Post
Still, one can only edit his/her own work so much (probably not the correct word to articulate my thoughts...), and IMHO, a second set of eyes is needed to go through it. You could read through something dozens of times and it still seems right to you, when in fact it isn't. Nobody is beyond this. I realize you said in an ideal world, but .. the world isn't ideal.

Surely that would fall to QC in this situation, rather than an editor though? I think that's what Access was driving at, anyway - that a dedicated editor isn't particularly needed if the translator is highly competant in both source and target language. I don't think he was suggesting taking out the QC stage though (which is, in effect, a proof-reading stage on top of many other things).
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Old 2008-12-17, 22:17   Link #11
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Originally Posted by False Dawn View Post
Surely that would fall to QC in this situation, rather than an editor though? I think that's what Access was driving at, anyway - that a dedicated editor isn't particularly needed if the translator is highly competant in both source and target language. I don't think he was suggesting taking out the QC stage though (which is, in effect, a proof-reading stage on top of many other things).
Not necessarily, if qcers are bitching about flow etc all the time, that is really just backseat editing. Im saying one may THINK something flows well, but in reality it does not. Noone is perfect, and noone is exempt from this.
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Old 2008-12-18, 00:49   Link #12
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A good editor will always make the script better, no matter how good the translator is.

That being said, there are lots of bad editors out there.

Also, an editor is not always needed. For a lot of my work, I'd be comfortable releasing it with just a QC pass and not an edit pass. But a good editor will improve on my work, no doubt.

-Tofu
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Old 2008-12-18, 06:07   Link #13
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People tends not to notice their mistakes or think something is right when it isn't. Thats why a second opinion is needed.
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Old 2008-12-18, 09:38   Link #14
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Originally Posted by FateAnomaly View Post
People tends not to notice their mistakes or think something is right when it isn't. Thats why a second opinion is needed.
Precisely.
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Old 2008-12-19, 21:27   Link #15
Jaka
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Originally Posted by Tofusensei View Post
A good editor will always make the script better, no matter how good the translator is.

That being said, there are lots of bad editors out there.

Also, an editor is not always needed. For a lot of my work, I'd be comfortable releasing it with just a QC pass and not an edit pass. But a good editor will improve on my work, no doubt.

-Tofu
hurf, what if you're a good editor and you know how to translate :3

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in an ideal world, ilifin would not get mad at kokizzzle and they would be bffs
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Old 2008-12-20, 00:42   Link #16
Mystique
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hurf, what if you're a good editor and you know how to translate :3
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Originally Posted by D404 View Post
Not necessarily, if qcers are bitching about flow etc all the time, that is really just backseat editing. Im saying one may THINK something flows well, but in reality it does not. Noone is perfect, and noone is exempt from this.
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Originally Posted by FateAnomaly View Post
People tends not to notice their mistakes or think something is right when it isn't. Thats why a second opinion is needed.
Wash, rinse, repeat.....
Editors wouldn't play such a vital role in the publishing industry otherwise, even if the writer was kickass at the english language.
It's simply human nature to be imperfect and it's always easier to fault others than it is to fault yourself.

At the end of the day fansubbing wise, just depends on how much an individual or a group cares about the kind of subs they release.
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Old 2008-12-20, 06:31   Link #17
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You can take the "ideal world" argument to any job involved in fansubbing, thus making the entire discussion pointless. It all boils down to removing human nature from the equation (i.e. the factor that introduces error), and you can hardly have a constructive discussion about that. And on top of that, it's a rare thing to have a translator with (near-)flawless English skills.
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Old 2008-12-20, 10:07   Link #18
Access
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Originally Posted by TGEN View Post
And on top of that, it's a rare thing to have a translator with (near-)flawless English skills.
No, what's uncommon is having someone highly competent in both, there are pleanty of 'translators' who are good at english, but just not that great at japanese comprehension or the act of translating itself.

Ultimately I can't disagree on the 'peer review' thing, but that's best done by another (competent) translator, not an editor who has, at best, passing knowledge of japanese.

And in the publishing industry, I think the actual job of an editor is to transition a work from what the writer intended to write (the writers own theme, message, flow, characters, etc.) to something that will have maximum commercial value to the target audience (ie. the general public). It's not really the same job as a fansubbing editor.

1) Highly competent translator, with peer review by another translator.
2) Highly competent translator, with a cooperative editor
3) Highly competent translator, working alone
4) Highly competent translator, with a non-cooperative editor
...
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Old 2008-12-20, 16:52   Link #19
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How does peer review by another translator differ from the translation checker? Also, knowing people who work as editors in print media, I can pretty confidently say that their job isn't to [slightly paraphrasing] 'maximize commercial value to the target audience' if I am interpreting you correctly. You seem to mean editing for content, which is not applicable in their industry (encyclopedia publishing). If there's a problem with the factual basis of the article, they contract it out to a different writer.

As to your larger point, there's also no reason why in an ideal world the translator wouldn't also have all the skills of the rest of the team and have a solo release; that isn't all that rare if I'm not mistaken -- although it would be a truly ideal world where they're able to pull off a solo release of equal quality to one that had a team of specialists working on it.

Last edited by Aporia; 2008-12-20 at 17:05. Reason: ick
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Old 2008-12-20, 19:49   Link #20
Heibi
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The key thing here is, even with the latest spellchecker software and being a "flawless" translator in both langauges, errors will occur. Wrong words, spelled correctly, missing words, extra words, etc...

It's always best to let someone who hasn't seen the script look it over. It's amazing how many errors I've had discovered in our works after having showed it to someone new. My mind will fill in the gap, or the spelling of the word after having seen it so many times.

So, editing by someone fresh is always going to be necessary.
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