Honorifics in translated VNs?

Would you like honorifics in a translation?


  • Total voters
    30

Frankincense

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Nov 5, 2010
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Hi everyone. *bow*

Have you played many fan translated VNs?

Yeah, I know this has been asked a thousand times...
What do you think of honorifics inside fan translated VNs? Are they great? Are they bothersome? I want to know your opinions if Japanese honorifics preserve the Japanese feel in a translation and it doesn't hurt if they're there, or they're just plain awkward in English and shouldn't be included in all cases? You can have other reasons too.

I want your opinions for reference so please vote and don't just give empty short reply like "I love them," or "Take them away." Please give your reason as well and please make it as clear and detailed as possible. Oh, and be nice. :P
 
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Of course it's best to have honorifics! It keeps the game... how do I say... something... anyway, it's good to have them! (Somebody help me out here on what I needed to say please >_>) And how could we not have to good old onii-san~ onii-chan~ And I mean... why not? It's best to keep them in my opinion.
 
Hello, konbanwa.

As an average VN gamer, I'd say keep the honorifics. Not only would it preserve the Japanese tradition, but characters' honorifics give us a feel and some insight of how other characters see them as. I think they also hint the personality of the characters using the honorifics on others, so for the sake of the story, please do so ^^.

If you are translating VN's, then I wish you good luck, and hope to see it completed well!

(I hope I explained what you meant Cocona, haha.)
 
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They can't be translated and leaving them out means loosing part of the information contained - and seeing how a basic understanding of Japanese culture is required anyway, they add to the authenticity. So yeah, yes for honorifics of all kinds. :P
 
Yeah don't drop it, everyone should know it by now. If not, it's always good to learn something new from another culture.
 
What the, 100%!? O_O And we were endlessly arguing about this. Maybe I should wait for more votes before we decide.

Ah, yeah, could you think of a reason not to use honorifics? Is there a good point or and advantage of removing honorifics? Because I still couldn't see one.
 
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Hmm, if looking at the other point of view, some people again would just think honorifics would be awkward in English. They might be uncomfortable with using mixed languages and cultures.
So you're responsible for the translation of Fortune Arterial? I can't wait.

Random: I've also noticed you play Half-Life :o
 
Hmm, i think keeping the honorifics make the speech flows better, stripping it just sound something is missing. Some info might also lost when translating or removing it. Anyway, i hardly play translated VNs so dont take my opinion to heart ~
 
You asked me a while ago and I'm sure you still remember my answer - yeah, I prefer to let them be.

Total localisation doesn't turn me on, I stand between it and literal translation; thus I would still preserve honourifics as possible.

Reason not to use them? Maybe if the people you're aiming the product at don't know them at all, nor do they wish to know about them, nor is it possible to add some explanation?
 
Off-topic: Oops forgot to remove my sig. *remove* And yep I play Half-life.

On-topic: Gomen ne. I'm replying this while working so I might not have said everything I wanted to say.

OK, here is my opinion. I'll stay completely neutral and won't cast a vote on this. Either yes or no is fine for me.

If I look at it with my Japanese perspective, I say why not? But if I look at it with my western perspective, I admit it is a little awkward.

This topic is totally subjective. There are some people who love to rage about this. We can reason about this all day and reach no conclusion. (Though all people here have voted yes so far :P). I never take their emotion to consideration. Just yes or no that counts.

So, I want to give just one reason and I won't give any other reason afterward.

My opinion is, it's us translators' choice to accept honorifics, or to shut them away. But we're not translating this for ourselves. We're translating this for the readers. I always say readers' opinions are essential. Why care about some master linguists that won't pay attention to your work anyway? No I'm not saying that we should disregard all rules of languages. But as long as honorifics don't make any grammatical errors, they already passed the minimum requirement.

But do they really sound awkward when used in a translation? That's what I'm finding out

I think, I think, there is no right or wrong, but a translation group should stick with what most people who are gonna see your work agree upon. Do you agree with me about majority rule?

Sorry for the wall of text. :P
 
The majority has my opinion, so I agree with using a majority vote in this instance. :D
 
I would also choose to have them
would be starange for me to not read them tbh XD
 
Agreeing with majority, yes, provided they are the majority of people who will read the work. Not like some sort of trolls or those who would simply flame whatever you give.

Do they sound awkward when used in a translated work? They may, that's why as I said back then, I would discard them on occasions that might make them look strange. Some dialogues may turn out Engrish if we force to keep them on.

Like an example line I gave you back then - let's say there's a guy calling a random girl he doesn't know on the road.
He says, 「そこのお姉ちゃん、 ちょっといいか?」 - "soko no oneechan, chotto ii ka?"
I would translate this line as something like "hey, missy (or whatever) over there, can I have a moment?"

Cause if I left "oneechan" here untranslated, it would make most people think that it refers to one's older sister, which can possibly make people think that the girl being called is the guy's older sister, or he considers her as one... and that would make too much misunderstanding without some explanation or TL notes. Unlike animu, adding TL notes on a VN wouldn't be as neat either.

So imo, just be flexible on it.
 
Since more(most) people prefer Honorifics, why not?
Yeah, honorifics enhance the expressions being expressed too.
It might end up backfiring(Just saying) if you try to remove honorifics (:
 
Look at MangaGamer, you see they keep all the honorifics and make solid sales. Yes, they do have a poll too and the majority agree to keep the honorifics. End of the story~
 
I prefer honorifics, it's just a question of style really. Plus anyone who is interested enough in the medium to get a translated VN most likely already knows what -san -chan -kun etc. mean, and if they don't it's a quick google search away, so no loss there.
 
Simple question to answer the poll,
Do you prefer your lil' imouto-chan call you onii-chan/-sama or bro?
Where's the Moe-ness been called 'bro'?!
That word only reserve specifically use among tough macho men, like the Marines(just an example).
 
with honorifics, they look better (in case to case basis). and has more impact to the reader. experiencing the same feeling like those in japanese gamers. basically i choose to keep them is to have the same kind of feeling.
 
Being a translator myself, I do appreciate the works and effort that was put into translating the VNs.
Most of the time, the -san or -kun or whatever they have used works quite well with me. So I wouldn't mind if they do get included (I do it myself =_=)
HOWEVER, sometimes these sort of honorifics may be a nuisance especially if the translator does not get the spoken text's intention correct. For example, I've seen おにいさま translated as brother-sama? It just did not sound right. As an alternative, they could have used something like 'dear brother' or something else(depending on the situation).
Conclusion - I choose whatever works, since I can understand Japanese myself anyways...
 
Whatever work.
I didn't read many translated VN, I just read some with help from translation software.
So, I don't really care about what the translation would be.
You get the idea of the character by his/her voice anyway, not from the text.
Things will be different if it will get dubbed, but I guess that's out of the topic.
 
Honorifics really should be kept as they are

It helps in knowing what level of formality the characters keep with each other
 
I think it really depends on the reader's cultural knowledge: there is no point in honorifics if the reader can't understand the subtlety behind it.
 
Honorifics shouldn't be removed, it keeps a traditional Japanese flavour even when you read it in english.
 

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