Project Help: Summer Edition

Currently, we’re working on translating Fire Emblem Fates more professionally and accurately than Treehouse did. As always, I’ll need your suggestions on improvements to make it as natural as possible since I am not a native English speaker.

As well, I am going to be translating the untranslated DLC for Tokyo Mirage Sessions as well as the spoken dialogue that remains untranslated in the English version. I’ll need help to decide exactly how to present it and perhaps volunteers to make YouTube videos. In addition, translation of the Super Famicom Angelique will begin soon and I need to find a translation team willing to make a patch.

If you have anything you’d like to help out on, discuss it here.

We need all the help we can get, whether it be programming, editing, proof-reading or any other type of help. Obviously, if you’re Japanese learner and you want to use this help you further your studies, by all means. If you’re an English learner who speaks Japanese like me and want to do so as well, start a discussion and let’s all help each other out! Join Karasu Corps to fight for more transparency and truth!

(Please note: When I first started Karasu Corps, I didn’t know if this comment section would end up being overpopulated with comments, so I made a monthly Project Help page. It seems it isn’t all that inundated with comments, so I’m moving to a seasonal Project Help page.)

On the Use of Japanese Honorifics in Fire Emblem Fates and My Policy Going Forward

You may remember way back in the spring of this year that I ran this poll on the site to determine what to do about the use of Japanese honorifics in Fire Emblem Fates. This was due to a reader helpfully pointing out on the Project Help page that Byakuya/Hoshido should perhaps have them preserved since it’s mimicking Japan’s culture, while Anya/Nohr should not because it’s mimicking an outside culture.

After a lot of feedback in terms of voting in the poll, comments here, through e-mail or DM, Reddit comments and so on, I’ve made a decision.

When Byakuya characters use honorifics, I will sometimes leave them in. These sometimes are dependent on a few things:

  1. Do I get the sense that the author is using them as a way of distinguishing them as a means to show Byakuya’s closeness to Japanese culture rather than as a side effect of the usual way of writing in Japanese that you can also see in Anya and other Fire Emblem titles?
  2. Does the character put an unusual amount of importance on treating somebody in a different way than you’d expect and without that little bit of information, it’s more difficult to see how they’re acting?
  3. If those two things, along with the fact that they are a Byakuya character align, then is the use of the name instead of a pronoun also appropriate for translation? That is, sometimes character names in Japanese should be translated as a pronoun in English because it sounds awkward otherwise and there’s often no good way to represent the way Japanese people use names in place of pronouns as a means of social convention.
  4. I will not in any way shape or form translate titles that have equivalents in other languages, such as Princess, Prince, Your Majesty, my liege, Lord, Lady, Count, Earl, General, Boss and so on. This is not unique to Japanese culture and should be translated.
  5. Therefore, this only applies to uses of -san, -sama, -kun and -chan, and if it appears, -senpai, but I don’t think it does in Fates. Contrary to popular belief, -san does not directly correlate to Mr. or Mrs. in English (which these days is more appropriately referred to in Japanese with the suffix -shi) and -sama is not directly equivalent to Lord or Lady or an address to nobility. As in all uses of honor language in Japanese, it’s much more dependent on in-groups and out-groups than it is on the person’s actual status. Therefore, Kamui’s dialogue will be handled on a case to case basis, since this character has a unique perspective from the rest and in any case, I have to translate all three politeness levels anyway.

I realize some people believe that leaving in honorifics, even at this extent will make it sound awkward and dumb and that people will point and laugh. However, I don’t believe it’s appropriate to do a translation by trying to appease others for a reputation. One reader did point out to me in an e-mail that you can see cases of Spanish (ex. senorita), French (ex. Monsieur, Mademoiselle) and German (Herr) terms of endearment or titles left intact in English from time to time depending on the case, so why should Japanese be any different?

That said, I do agree that sometimes it is more than sufficient to translate a sentence with all the tools that are available in English to match the politeness levels and cultural understandings of the Japanese version. If I, a native Japanese person who speaks it as his first language, think nothing is lost in such a translation, then I somewhat doubt that there is something that needs to be preserved.  In such cases, I will continue to translate by context clues.

As such, I will be going back to edit Byakuya characters dialogue to reflect this and continue translating using this new policy. (The older versions that have already been translated will of course be preserved below the version 2.0 translations if you prefer that.) As always, if you’d like to leave any input on the individual translations about whether you think the use of a honorific is appropriate in that case, please leave me a comment. As usual, I will consider your feedback and adjust the translation as necessary.

Thank you very much for all the kind feedback I’ve received on this issue and for helping me make a decision on this. Together, we can make this the best Fire Emblem Fates translation it can possibly be! I welcome all your constructive criticism and feedback in the future too!

Karasu Corps Returns, as Does Its FEF Translation Project and Some News on Tokyo Mirage Sessions

I’m back!

I got back on Tuesday night (aunt and uncle and set up in southern Kyushu just fine now) and I’ve been working slowly behind the scenes to get the site back running and more translations up, but it might be a few days before you see some translations come online or a week or two to get back to my previous 5 to 10 translations a day norm that I was at before. This is because I need to earn a nice buffer of money to pay for essentials again and then have savings left over to reduce my freelance jobs and pump out that amount of money. There are also a lot of small and large requests for other translations and things.

As I promised when I began this project that I would be as transparent as possible if anything got in the way, this is what that is: my promise to you to be accurate about what’s going on and not just leave you out of the loop.

Now yesterday I started going through comments on the site to see what parts I need to still edit in my old translations and to get backend things done to maintenance all the info, as well starting answering a lot of the correspondence I got while I was gone in e-mail, reddit PMs and Twitter DMs.

I did notice that Tokyo Mirage Sessions doesn’t have its battle and incidental dialogue translated from Japanese so players who don’t speak Japanese have no clue what they’re saying and I don’t think this has been addressed in the restoration patch for the costumes. Therefore, since this is really easy, (I own the game, I’ve played through the game, I have a lot of saves I can use to collect information) I’ll be providing translations for all that incidental dialogue that adds character on my site and if some team wants to find a way to implement it in a patch or something, you’ll be welcome to it. Of course my largest commitment is to Fates, so that takes precedence, but as soon as I get back in the groove, I’ll start posting Mirage Sessions incidental dialogue as a bonus.

Additionally, I had some articles and other requests I had been working on behind the scenes that I should be able to post more on soon and of course when I get the time I’ll start the Angelique project as well. In the meantime, the priorities look like this:

  1. Get the site updated and cleaned up.
  2. Edit old translations, because it’s been a long time since I got suggestions and people have been waiting for them to be implemented.
  3. Start posting new translations and try to get back in the groove, while working on fulfilling older requests.
  4. Tokyo Mirage Sessions/ Angelique

The next time I post it should be a Daily Goals update or a new translation, so it’s good to be back and I hope the regular contributors will continue helping out with your welcomed feedback. Let me know if you’ve got any suggestions or criticisms about my approach too! Thank you for your patience and see you soon!

News on the Situation/FAQ/Timeline for Return

I don’t know if anyone is reading this or if everyone just thinks the site is dead, but hooray it’s not!

If you remember, I temporarily halted progress on the site due to a family emergency from the Kumamoto earthquake. Here’s an update on the situation.

Why has it taken so long and why haven’t you been able to reach me? My aunt and uncle don’t have a home computer or internet connection (this is very common in Japan, especially among the older population) and Kumamoto is pretty rural, which means there aren’t a lot of internet cafes or things like that.

Why have I been here so long? My aunt and uncle were missing. We found them the next week, but it turned out my uncle was severely injured. I stayed in part to help with his recuperation, because he’s old it will take a while and all he has is my aunt and he used to do all the heavy work she required.

Also, their house was destroyed, so they were effectively homeless. It took forever to get a certificate of destruction for insurance to compensate them from the government (TWO FUCKING MONTHS!) and without that they didn’t have the money to move into a new house. We had to find temporary housing, forage their old house for usable stuff, buy new stuff, take care of my uncle, find a new house and now we’re in the process of moving there. The first few weeks we didn’t even have access to enough clean water to get daily jobs done. Thousands of people were huddling in hastily built refuge centers in public buildings or schools and of course we weren’t going to abandon them without helping their neighbors, because we’re comparatively well off. You can’t just help yourself in a disaster.

Couldn’t you leave it up to your family? Not really. I wasn’t the only one. I did have my cousin around too, but we’re both very young and as such don’t have set careers or families to take care of, so most of my family had to take off after a couple of days. The contributed financially to help my aunt and uncle out, but they had reasons they couldn’t be there. The younger, less stable men had to stay around to help out and in the end it was just me and my cousin.

Why middle of July? My aunt and uncle are moving to Kagoshima. Obviously, my fragile old aunt can’t be expected to move her husband by herself. I’m not being sexist, she’s not a physically strong person. She’s very strong mentally, but she needs help. So once they’re in their new house and we’ve got them set up with replacement furniture and stuff, and we have the doctor’s okay for my uncle to be more physically active, then my and cousin I can leave them in good hands.

It’s terribly important for me to do this, because I feel like if family doesn’t step up for family in times like this, then what are we good for?

What will happen to Karasu Corps when you come back? It will go back to normal. I don’t care if I had a massive hiatus. I made a promise and I intend to keep it.

But Fire Emblem Fates is old news? I don’t care. Integrity is doing what you say you will do. People may not care at all. That’s not the point. Serving truth is the point. It doesn’t matter if it’s unpopular.

Why can’t you work on it now? Are you serious? Without a computer or an internet connection? Kagoshima is a little bigger than Kumamoto, that’s why I found an internet cafe, but this is not an appropriate place to do translations that take hours and involve multiple file juggling. I might be able to come in every few days and check up on what’s going on, but not for extended periods of time.

What should do I if a need a translation/clarification in the meantime? PM me at Reddit. I go by u/RyanoftheStars over there. That will be the easiest. I seriously have so many Twitter/e-mail correspondence in the period of time I was gone it’s hard to get through it all and internet cafes can be expensive. (Alas, I haven’t found a cheapo manga cafe, which is weird.) That will be the fastest and easiest way for me to prioritize your request.

Thank you for patience, especially those who contributed feedback, edits and suggestions, and I hope to work with you guys again come mid July! In the meantime, may the raven smile upon you!

Fourth Week Progress Report (4/14-4/21) for Fire Emblem Fates and Karasu Corps.

In the event that I am away from my computer because I’ve gone to Kumamoto to see my aunt and uncle or help search for them due to the earthquake, this post is automatically scheduled to go up and inform people of the reason there were no updates on the site. While it may be a couple of days since my last update, you can safely assume I took an emergency flight to visit my family after getting news that nobody could get in contact with my aunt and uncle and they seem to be missing. I’m most likely either visiting them in the hospital, helping search for them and other missing people in Kumamoto, or (I certainly hope not) getting ready for one or both of their funerals. Once I return to my home, regular updates to Karasu Corps will proceed as always.

For those who are reading this post from Reddit, as I said I plan on being as transparent as possible. Obviously, I can’t predict earthquakes or when they’ll strike in regions where my family lives, so please bear with me.  I can’t promise life won’t get in the way, but I can promise that if I have the ability to communicate what’s going on and when it will get out of the way again, I will.

That said, there were a couple of updates before the earthquake hit and I got the news. All of the translations done in between that period are listed below:

Ignis Skinship Lines

Foleo x Soleil A

Foleo x Soleil S

Ignis x Siegbert C

Ignis x Siegbert B

Ignis x Siegbert A

Oboro x Silas C

Eponine x Setsuna C

In terms of Torrential Downpour, I’m not sure if there will be info graphics going around about Foleo x Soleil at the time this gets posted, but this is without question the most mind-bogglingly altered conversation yet, in which Soleil and Foleo’s unconventional friendship turned romantic relationship gets turned into hair style tips and shampoo shenanigans.

As well, I strongly encourage you to check out Ignis’s cut skinship lines. It provides one of the strongest examples yet of how the cut lines detract from character development, as Ignis’s slow move from suspicion and hurt to trust and love is pretty well-portrayed and to me, an excellent example of how physical intimacy is not “creepy,” but perfectly normal human behavior.

In the event that you’d like to easily see all the other ways Treehouse screwed up the translation, Immahnoob’s comprehensive album, to which I’ve contributed to, can be found here.

In addition, I did manage to complete one piece about gaming demographics in Japan from CESA for 2015.

The daily updates, such as they were for the two days before the quake are as such.

4/14/2016

4/15/2016

As usual, you can help out on any of the pages above or any other translations by giving your thoughts on what could make them better. All you need to know is English, no Japanese necessary. (As of the time I was notified, I was still waiting for ProfNekko’s feedback on Gray x Ignis humor for instance. Not sure if he/she did that while I was away.) It would be nice to come back to all sorts of great feedback! Thank you to anybody who contributes.

If you have a request, obviously I won’t be able to see it until I get back, but you can find information on how to make one here. As usual, anything from a translation request to Japanese help to game information is welcome. For instance, before I (presumably) left, I did notice a comment about somebody who is struggling with their own Japanese translation. If that person wants help with theirs, I would certainly be amenable to giving it and as usual, you can post general comments about the project on the Project Help page. Since this is the project’s first (and hopefully only) major setback, I’d appreciate it if you kept your comments reasonable if they are about that.

That’s it for this week. Unfortunately not a whole lot, but hopefully I’ll be back next week with alive and healthy relatives and lots of new translations!

Today’s Goals and Jobs – 4/15/2016

Here are my goals and the jobs I’m working on for 4/15/2016. To everyone who has contributed, thanks for all the help! Remember to follow me on Twitter to get more updates.

What’s Going On:

For some reason, there’s some sort of weird bug I’m dealing with where the post won’t show up when I edit it, so I only got to edit one translation yesterday in the Changelog. Other than that though, six more supports and another Skinship done! I’m hoping I can ramp up even more than that soon, but we’ll see. We hit a milestone! 1% of all of the massive amount of support conversations are done! I imagine we’ll be hitting percentage points faster now, since I’m essentially doing about 2 full sets a day and the pace should only get quicker.

Ignis x Siegbert C

Ignis x Siegbert B

Ignis x Siegbert A

Eponine x Setsuna C

Foleo x Soleil A

Foleo x Soleil S

Ignis Skinship Lines

Today’s Goals

  • 5+ supports with Skinship and hopefully some main story stuff.
  • Continue to incorporate feedback into editing the translations for better English fluency.
  • Get started on Fawful Friday stuff early so that I can manage the big workload I have.

Possible Complications: Got a rather big work project I need to work on a lot if I’m going to get it done by the deadline.

How you can help out: Please help proofread my translations and let me know if anything’s wrong. All you need to understand is English! Also vote or provide feedback in the feedback posts!

Jobs I Need Done

  • I still some opinions on whether the approach I used in Kamui (M) x Sakura is a good way to handle writing in the personality/politeness types before I continue doing other translations.

As always, there’s a page to discuss matter with others or contact me about how they’d like to help out with the Fire Emblem Fates project. It’s been updated to a new page for April. You can use that page for April to discuss things with other members in a more general nature. Thank you for all the people who contacted me or contributed so far! Much love and respect! As well, don’t forget there’s also a page for you to request any kind of Japanese information you need, regardless of whether it’s about Fire Emblem Fates or not. This page has also been updated for April.

Today’s Goals and Jobs – 4/14/2016

Here are my goals and the jobs I’m working on for 4/14/2016. Thanks again to everybody who is helping out with great suggestions both publicly and behind the scenes! Remember to follow me on Twitter to get more updates.

What’s Going On:

Lots and lots of time spent today looking over past translations, looking up other parts of the game to be consistent and making sure I got things right. You can find all my edits in the Changelog. In particular the Main Story Pre-Battle stuff took me forever to correct because I went on a long rabbit hole of studying English grammar and making sure my assumptions were accurate, which took several hours, but I’m now so much the wiser for translation and we can finally, finally move on in the Main Story. That was really difficult for me, but now I feel like I can do it! (Obviously I don’t want to move too far ahead in the Main Story translations if I don’t correct what I’ve written because there will be more references to other parts of translated and I need to be consistent.)

In any case, no new translations, but a lot of behind the scenes editing of the old ones, studying up on areas where I can translate better and site work, so I consider it a day well spent.

Today’s Goals

  • Back to normal! 5+ supports with Skinship and whatever else I can do to translate.
  • Continue to incorporate feedback into editing the translations for better English fluency.

Possible Complications: Nothing in the way today.

How you can help out: Especially if you see a new story chapter, but in all areas, let me know if you find something I can correct in my translations.

Jobs I Need Done

  • Take a look at Kamui (M) x Sakura to see how I did it and let me know if that seems like an okay approach for adding the personality/politeness types.

As always, there’s a page to discuss matter with others or contact me about how they’d like to help out with the Fire Emblem Fates project. It’s been updated to a new page for April. You can use that page for April to discuss things with other members in a more general nature. Thank you for all the people who contacted me or contributed so far! Much love and respect! As well, don’t forget there’s also a page for you to request any kind of Japanese information you need, regardless of whether it’s about Fire Emblem Fates or not. This page has also been updated for April.