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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Overall quality of TBS translations

  1. #1
    Junior Member Cystennin's Avatar
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    Overall quality of TBS translations

    I imagine this forum's community is quite multilingual, so the question I would pose today is this: Did you find the game's translation into your spoken language to be adequate?

    See, personally, I was rather underwhelmed by the Russian version of TBS. I fully realize that we're talking a story-driven game with loads of text, which means extra work for the translator, but on the other hand that particular emphasis on literary content imparts higher requirements to the game's localization. Unfortunately, what I witnessed while playing TBS in Russian, was the same old slapdash approach to videogame translations, which obviously do not merit any serious effort or skill. Even if I turned a blind eye to occasional misspellings and typos, that indicate a lack of necessary proofreading, but can be understandable considering the sheer amount of text, I was still left with some persistent errors, that can only be explained with poor knowledge of grammar. For instance, direct speech was marked out incorrectly all the way through the game. Not just that. The very meaning of the sentences was misinterpreted time and time again. In TBS, where dialogue choices directly affect the gameplay, that sort of mistake is unacceptable. Sometimes, translation is warped to the point, where it means the opposite compared to the original. Like in a memorable chat with Onef from Chapter 6, when he states that varl could have taken over the caravan if they wanted. In English Rook answers "They haven't", meaning they have no intention to, but the same answer in Russian looks like "Да, именно так" ("Yes, it is true"), which makes Rook agree that varl can't be trusted. Semantic errors are bad on their own, but I was practically stunned, when I saw a made up word used to explain a simple thing. "Armor break" is translated as a noun "Пробив", that can not be found in any dictionary. This sort of thing makes me wonder if translation in question was done by random TBS fans or by "professionals". In the former case I would suggest spending some development budget on quality translation just to do this amazing game justice. And in the latter, if I were Stoic, I would totally demand my money back.

    So, I was wondering if Russian was the only language to receive a localization that mediocre and if the other versions are better.

  2. #2
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    I can speak a fair bit of French, and my impression of the quality of the localization was pretty much the same as yours: There's a lot of room for improvement!

    Not being a native speaker, I can't gauge the "scale" of the problem (also, I didn't play the whole game, just checked like 10-20% of it), but there were surely a lot of points where the sentences didn't make sense, were out of context etc. Also, some game-mechanic terms (e.g. names of units, classes, stats, or abilities) were poorly translated, in my opinion; a couple of the suggestions/corrections we made (when the localization-patch was in beta) were implemented, but not all.

    For the record, personally, I think I wouldn't mind "made up words", as long as they fit in the lore and the grammar/language, of course. For example, some terms used in the original language, e.g. Warhawk, Backbiter, Thrasher, Strongarm, marginally fall in this category (i.e. they might have some defined meaning --formal or slangish-- but they are still not "proper" words).

    A few weeks before the official localization-patch release, a group of Russian fans had completed and published their own translation of the game. I think this is the site: https://www.zoneofgames.ru/gamebase/file/5109/ (maybe visorium or Zogg can tell you more). Also, I remember there was a Russian Twitch-streamer who played this fan-made version; you can find the recordings here: https://www.twitch.tv/ripper_and/profile/past_broadcasts (there's a dozen of them; just browse-back to "3 months ago")
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Cystennin's Avatar
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    I can speak a fair bit of French, and my impression of the quality of the localization was pretty much the same as yours: There's a lot of room for improvement!
    Yeah, I browsed through The Longhouse threads and saw some uncomplimentary comments about the French and Spanish versions. In other words, at least half of the "official" translations seem to be subpar. However, there are still German, Polish and Portugese versions left. Perhaps they are better?
    For example, some terms used in the original language, e.g. Warhawk, Backbiter, Thrasher, Strongarm, marginally fall in this category (i.e. they might have some defined meaning --formal or slangish-- but they are still not "proper" words).
    Firstly, among the class names you mentioned "Thrasher" is a perfectly fine noun, which is correctly derived from the verb "to thrash". As for the others, they are nothing more than word combinations merged into one, the source phrases being "War hawk", "Back biter" and "Strong arm". Russian language easily supports that manner of word formation and I know for a fact, that in German language it is very wide-spread (see "Schadenfreude"). Secondly, my example is different. Surely, with words like "varl" or "valka" you can't help but venture into the word-invention territory. But with a normal noun like "break" it only means that translator failed to find a proper word in (presumably) his native tongue, and so he resorted to making one up. I could expect something like that from a 5-year-old, who simply isn't yet proficient with the language, but not from a person who makes a living from translating.
    A few weeks before the official localization-patch release, a group of Russian fans had completed and published their own translation of the game.
    Thanks for the links, albeit I won't be able to watch the stream right now. Thing is, fan-made translations are pretty common among the Russian-speaking gaming community. Since the nineties every man and his dog here knows English to some degree. I've seen a fair share of those translations and I even dabble myself. However, only a few of them are half-decent, and never those express-translations, that aim to merely make the game playable for non-English speakers as fast as possible. Which is a shame, because TBS definitely deserves a good localization. Of that I'm sure.

  4. #4
    Junior Member juanval's Avatar
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    The banner saga is a game for people with high level english language.

    It is clear that developers used a translator program. A person (even with low level of spanish language) can't translate the game to Spanish using such surrealistic sentences. I see this kind of sentences when I use google translator.

    I haven't played TBS a hour because of the damn language. At least I have had a lot of fun with Factions, a masterpiece.

  5. #5
    I've said that a couple of times.

    I've sent an email to John discussing about the current translation singularities but nothing came out of it.

    I really hope to see a change for chapter two.

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    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Here is Steam-guide for a fan-made Italian translation: https://steamcommunity.com//sharedfil.../?id=304477199. And, here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/237990...22218742806896 is the lead-person (?) of that translation challenging Stoic/VE to produce a better translation.

    I am sure that Stoic has understood the "shortcomings" of the current translation. So, I am confident that the qualify of translations TBS2 will surely be better!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Zogg's Avatar
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    Увы и ах,русский перевод ужасен. Ну хоть не первая версия,там было в разы жёстче.=\

  8.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #8
    Technical Director John's Avatar
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    Just to let everyone know, I have heard your feedback and I am not ignoring it. Right now I am swamped with the linux, mobile, and console porting effort so I haven't had any time to follow up on translation issues, even the emails I have received directly.

    The mod features of the game are _very_ close to allowing players to easily create new translations and distribute them. When I get a chance to circle back around and add the remaining bits of functionality it will be quite easy to let the community contribute to the translations.

    We will keep improving the translations as we move forward!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post

    We will keep improving the translations as we move forward!
    Are there any plants of further patching the game? Lots of bugs still left un-addressed.
    "Forged by Fire; Empowered by Passion"

  10. #10
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Just to let everyone know, I have heard your feedback and I am not ignoring it. Right now I am swamped with the linux, mobile, and console porting effort so I haven't had any time to follow up on translation issues, even the emails I have received directly.

    The mod features of the game are _very_ close to allowing players to easily create new translations and distribute them. When I get a chance to circle back around and add the remaining bits of functionality it will be quite easy to let the community contribute to the translations.

    We will keep improving the translations as we move forward!
    I hope the release on those new platforms comes soon, and may it be smooth Do you expect an equally long support-time (e.g. 1-2 months) for them?

    I am glad to hear there's more functionality to-be-added to Zeno, for modding etc!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    I am glad to hear there's more functionality to-be-added to Zeno, for modding etc!
    Me too.

    I've tried it to make some fan-made translation project but I gave up.

    Learning how to use it takes more time than the translation itself.

  12. #12
    Junior Member juanval's Avatar
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    It is not a question of improving a translation, is a question of translate it perfectly, like millions of books. It's not so difficult.

    I can't play TBS in Spanish but at least I won the Factions tournament this week, jeje.

  13. #13
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juanval View Post
    I can't play TBS in Spanish but at least I won the Factions tournament this week, jeje.
    Congrats on that, juan I hope you'll consider joining our community-held mini-tournaments; the currently running one is about randomly-generated builds, and is nearing completion. I'll notify you when the next one comes up.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  14. #14
    Junior Member juanval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    Congrats on that, juan I hope you'll consider joining our community-held mini-tournaments; the currently running one is about randomly-generated builds, and is nearing completion. I'll notify you when the next one comes up.
    At the moment I'll keep playing tournament matches. Thanks for the invitation anyway.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Pops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Just to let everyone know, I have heard your feedback and I am not ignoring it. Right now I am swamped with the linux, mobile, and console porting effort so I haven't had any time to follow up on translation issues, even the emails I have received directly.

    The mod features of the game are _very_ close to allowing players to easily create new translations and distribute them. When I get a chance to circle back around and add the remaining bits of functionality it will be quite easy to let the community contribute to the translations.

    We will keep improving the translations as we move forward!
    Where are we on that, or moreover on those ? I'm wondering about both translations improvements, and mod features.

    Just for the story, I understood the bad quality of nearly all localizations when I watched credits at the end of Chapter 1. The name of the translator company nearly admits itself it's a kinda Google Translate ! (Without emphasizing the fact that a Polish company made localizations for so different languages...)


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