Ever since I wrote my pseudo-legalese breakdown of Bandai’s threat over SolStaSoc a month ago, that particular entry has been linked to in a few forums. (I will not use its full name in order to avoid being picked up by Google searches and possibly making it worse.) While I like that those links bring traffic, a further inspection into what kind of context my “article” is presented in troubled me. Some of the forums are Eastern European-based so I don’t understand what the hell they are typing. But on an English-language one, many posters portray Bandai as greedy. I don’t agree with that view and do not wish to be associated with it.
I didn’t mean to come across as a Bandai hater when wrote my commentary on the subject. To be honest, I like how the company handled hack//SIGN and Scrapped Princess. And no, I am not sucking up to Bandai either. Call them greedy all you want but they are trying to run a business. How is their behavior much different from ADV or Geneon? They sometimes pay a lot of money for their licenses and expect make some income after they earn their money back, if they manage to break even. And isn’t the point of capitalism to make money?
Now that I think about it, most of the titles Bandai USA licenses were produced by Bandai Visual so I suppose the above argument doesn’t really apply as they wouldn’t have to pay as much as other companies would to get the distribution rights. … Um, next topic?
One of the main complaints expressed in the comments of the SolStaSoc post was that fan translations are better than professional ones. Well, I say put up or shut up. Tell the companies what you think and if enough complaints are made, perhaps they will hire people from fansub groups. (Or start your own company!) Sure, passionate fans with can produce great translations but along with the good, I’ve seen the bad: groups that translate dialogue wordier than it needs to be.
Efficient succinctness is better than thoroughness if those attempts at elucidation take up an extra line on screen that the audience has to read. Don’t add words to clarify context in cases where the audience would know the referrants if they were paying attention. If you confront something that is difficult to explain in a short amount of space, then save the explanation for translator notes. Fansub group The-Triad, for example, posts translator notes on their website and I think that other groups with context-heavy projects should consider doing something similar in an effort to decrease average line lengths.
*looks at previous paragraph* Sort of lost focus but I think there’s a message in there somewhere. Anyway, moving on. Early this morning before I went to class, I saw a supposed fansub posted on Tokyotosho by AHQ. I downloaded the torrent and checked out the seed/leecher ratio. Thirty plus people connected and nobody had any data progress. It turned out to be a fake and soon after it was removed from the website’s listings. AHQ doesn’t do fansubs (at least not yet) so it must have been some prankster. Jackass…