Mahouka: Format & Style

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larethian
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Mahouka: Format & Style

Post by larethian »

This thread is for staff discussion on formatting and style standardization

Due to having multiple staff, this thread keeps everything in one place so that we don't have discussions all over different talk pages.

The Opening post will be constantly updated as new things come up.

Current Staff:
1. Dreyakis
2. Seitsuki

Format & Style:
1. All translators translating from Japanese are to mark the pages using the wiki code <!-- -->. This facilitates tracking, cross-referencing and easy verification of mistakes, or issues reported by other translators and editors (we all make mistakes).

2. Tenses: Narration in past tense, thoughts/monologue in present tense.
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by Pryun »

all right, which one is Dreyakis? he seems to be missing from your list

on a side note, Can I have approval to italicize thoughts? (although I already changed one :oops: ... I'll say it is for demonstration purposes? :lol: -- I might have to start from the beginning...(not that I'm very far ahead, mind you))

Is the JP remaining in Chapter 2 supposed to be there or not? kinda confusing. I kinda skipped two because I had a...something against incomplete chapters, and only started reading now because it doesn't seem like anyone is EVER going to TN chapter 2. I hope nothing important happened there.

edit: DANG! it looks like there is connection between 2 and 3. gonna pull out for now, until after 2 is complete. time to hover again......
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by MiY4Gi »

Mm, italicizing thoughts is probably too much. I don't think it would be a good thing if readers have to go through large bodies of italicized text. I'm particularly not a fan of that. However, I haven't personally had a look at your "demonstration", so this is simply my preference.

As to why Dreyakis isn't on the list (yet) is because the original post was made over 6 months ago, and I think Dreyakis only began translating over the last two months or so.

Regarding the incomplete chapter 2, what I did was it until it end, then I continued onto chapter 3, then I read the manga which filled the gap between the incomplete chapter 2 and chapter 3. It's inconvenient, but it's still preferable to having the translator spend time on finishing chapter 2, when he could be working on chapters 11 and later.
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by Pryun »

Just go see the demo then. unless the entire story is from someone's point of view, whereupon... come to think of it, i still italicize it normally to differentiate thoughts from actions.

Sounds like too much trouble, and I am in no rush, so I'm not bothered to do that...
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by MiY4Gi »

Haha, even if you say you're in no rush, it might be more than 2 months before the translator gets around to doing Chapter 2, and there's quite a lot of that chapter that still needs to be translated. There's a particularly important event that takes place in that chapter, and it's where Tatsuya meets Mari for the first time, and where Mari first learns of one of Tatsuya's mysterious abilities. It's not so bad. Chapter 3 of the manga actually covers the entire Chapter 2 of the novel, so it's not like you'll need to do too much thinking to consolidate the novel chapter with that of the manga. It's also interesting to see the differences between the manga and the novel, and those differences are quite apparent in Chapter 3 of the manga.
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by Pryun »

Maybe when I have more free time.

So, what did you think of active thought italicization?
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by MiY4Gi »

Which chapter is your italicization demo in?
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by Pryun »

I only made one change within the past day. >< There are others I'd like to change, but I thought I'd bring it here first
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by larethian »

Pryun wrote:all right, which one is Dreyakis? he seems to be missing from your list

on a side note, Can I have approval to italicize thoughts? (although I already changed one :oops: ... I'll say it is for demonstration purposes? :lol: -- I might have to start from the beginning...(not that I'm very far ahead, mind you))

Is the JP remaining in Chapter 2 supposed to be there or not? kinda confusing. I kinda skipped two because I had a...something against incomplete chapters, and only started reading now because it doesn't seem like anyone is EVER going to TN chapter 2. I hope nothing important happened there.

edit: DANG! it looks like there is connection between 2 and 3. gonna pull out for now, until after 2 is complete. time to hover again......

Sure, I think it's good if the original text doesn't have any clear indicators. Though some 3rd person narrative novels use parentheses, though I can't remember whether Mahouka does use parentheses.
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by MiY4Gi »

Mm, I noticed some sentences wrapped with parenthesis, and I couldn't figure out why - now I know.
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: TLC Thread

Post by The_Great_Galendo »

Okay, I'll try to keep things shorter and to the point. Now on to my current gripe:

There are a number of paragraph breaks which I am inclined to remove, especially within quoted text. Here are a couple examples from Volume 1, Chapter 1:

"Instead of watching animation, you read huh? This is even rarer.
I also prefer book-based information to animation-based ones, so I'm kind of happy."

"Ahh, I beg your pardon. I'm the student council president of the First High School, Saegusa Mayumi. Written as 'seven grass', read as Saegusa.
Nice to meet you."

In the interest of brevity I'll omit the explanation of why these are grammatically incorrect, the options available for fixing them, and the reasons I support removing the line breaks as the best option. What I really want to know is, will anyone object if I make these changes? There are probably dozens if not hundreds of these things, and I don't want to do a full re-read in edit mode to remove them only to have someone come along later and undo all my hard work.
Last edited by zzhk on Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: post moved to "Format & Style" thread
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: TLC Thread

Post by larethian »

Your post is in the wrong thread. It should go under "Format & Style". It kind of sucks for me that I can't move posts in a subforum :lol: . Regarding changing grammar, you can go ahead. Some translators may be against your changes if you change the meaning too much, but we won't know until the changes are edited in. As you can see, chapter 1 was translated by me and I know my English is not stellar. And I'm ok with English edits, but try to preserve the details and intent of the author as much as possible. Slight alterations and liberalizations are acceptable to me for better English.

All line breaks are currently adhering to the presentation style of the novels:

Regarding line breaks within dialogues, I prefer to maintain them for easy cross checking of translations. But if many readers feel that it's easier to read without them, I'm not against changing them.

However, regarding line breaks outside of dialogues, please do not change them for the sake of maintaining English paragraphing rules. Doing that massively will make it a nightmare to cross-check translations.

Lastly, if you want to make so many changes, please make a proper account on the Wiki and Forum.
Last edited by zzhk on Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: post moved to "Format & Style" thread
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by The_Great_Galendo »

Ah, this is definitely the right thread for my post. Thanks for moving it.

And maybe I should have used the word "syntax" rather than "grammar", since I was/am in fact more concerned about the excessive use of paragraph breaks; their removal seems like the single simplest way to improve the quality of the translation. I understand that the translation is currently following the Japanese novels exactly, but I question whether such an approach is optimal. As an example, here's an excerpt from Volume 1, Chapter 3 (the scene where Miyuki joins the student council), both with and without the excess line breaks:

Current translation:
"So... Miyuki, I hope you can enter the Student Council."

At this stage, saying "enter the Student Council" is essentially becoming a member of the Student Council.

"Are you willing to accept?"

Taking a breath, Miyuki looked down at her hands, before raising her eyes towards Tatsuya in question.

Tatsuya shrugged, suppressed his own feelings, and slightly nodded his head.

Miyuki lowered her head again before raising it. This time however, her eyes were lit in the manner of someone about to take a plunge.

"President, are you aware of Onii-sama's entrance examination scores?"

"—?"

At this completely unexpected development, it was all Tatsuya could do to remain silent.

What are you trying to say, little sister?

"Hm, I know of it. Truly incredible... To be honest, when I stole a glance at the teacher's results, even I lost confidence."

"...If the student council accepts students with high test scores and outstanding abilities, I believe Onii-sama fits the criteria as well."

"Wait, Mi-"

"And in terms of Desk Work (Theoretical Manipulation), I believe that has nothing to do with practical skills and grades. In other words, knowledge and judgment are more important."

For Miyuki, not allowing the other person to finish their sentence and bulling right over them is quite the rare occurrence.

And if the other speaker is Tatsuya, then the frequency would drop even lower.

"I am honored to receive an invitation to the Student Council. I would be more than happy to accept even the lowest position, but is there any way for Onii-sama to join?"

Tatsuya really wanted to cover his face and look skywards.

Is it possible that his negative influence on his little sister had reached this extent?

Miyuki should know that blatant nepotism can only lead to other's discomfort.

"Alas, this is not possible."

The one who answered was not the President, but the council member sitting to her side.

"Student Council members must be selected from Course 1 students. This is not an unwritten rule, but an enumerated one. This is the only clause that is attached to the right of appointment and removal for the president. To change this requires a special amendment meeting with the attendance of the full student body and carried by a two-thirds majority. Since the number of Course 1 and Course 2 students are practically equal, this is realistically impossible."

Suzune softly said this in a tone that was slightly apologetic.

From her voice, it was obvious that she too was someone that was against the differential treatment between Blooms and Weeds.

"...I apologize. I said all of that without understanding the situation. Please forgive me."

Miyuki could only frankly admit her mistake.

Miyuki rose to her feet and bowed deeply in apology, but no one reprimanded her.

"In that case, Miyuki will join the current Student Council with the title of secretary, is that acceptable?"

"Yes, I will work hard to fulfill my duties. Please look after me."


And here is basically the same thing, but without the excess line breaks:
"So... Miyuki, I hope you can enter the Student Council." At this stage, saying "enter the Student Council" is essentially becoming a member of the Student Council. "Are you willing to accept?"

Taking a breath, Miyuki looked down at her hands, before raising her eyes towards Tatsuya in question.

Tatsuya shrugged, suppressed his own feelings, and slightly nodded his head.

Miyuki lowered her head again before raising it. This time however, her eyes were lit in the manner of someone about to take a plunge. "President, are you aware of Onii-sama's entrance examination scores?"

"—?" At this completely unexpected development, it was all Tatsuya could do to remain silent. What are you trying to say, little sister?

"Hm, I know of it. Truly incredible... To be honest, when I stole a glance at the teacher's results, even I lost confidence."

"...If the student council accepts students with high test scores and outstanding abilities, I believe Onii-sama fits the criteria as well."

"Wait, Mi-"

"And in terms of Desk Work (Theoretical Manipulation), I believe that has nothing to do with practical skills and grades. In other words, knowledge and judgment are more important." For Miyuki, not allowing the other person to finish their sentence and bulling right over them is quite the rare occurrence. And if the other speaker is Tatsuya, then the frequency would drop even lower. "I am honored to receive an invitation to the Student Council. I would be more than happy to accept even the lowest position, but is there any way for Onii-sama to join?"

Tatsuya really wanted to cover his face and look skywards. Is it possible that his negative influence on his little sister had reached this extent? Miyuki should know that blatant nepotism can only lead to other's discomfort.

"Alas, this is not possible." The one who answered was not the President, but the council member sitting to her side. "Student Council members must be selected from Course 1 students. This is not an unwritten rule, but an enumerated one. This is the only clause that is attached to the right of appointment and removal for the president. To change this requires a special amendment meeting with the attendance of the full student body and carried by a two-thirds majority. Since the number of Course 1 and Course 2 students are practically equal, this is realistically impossible." Suzune softly said this in a tone that was slightly apologetic. From her voice, it was obvious that she too was someone that was against the differential treatment between Blooms and Weeds.

"...I apologize. I said all of that without understanding the situation. Please forgive me." Miyuki could only frankly admit her mistake. She rose to her feet and bowed deeply in apology, but no one reprimanded her.

"In that case, Miyuki will join the current Student Council with the title of secretary, is that acceptable?"

"Yes, I will work hard to fulfill my duties. Please look after me."


Now, honestly: which one of those seems more like something you'd see in a published novel? Which of them is easier to read? Which of them flows better? I appreciate that translation checking would be a little bit more difficult if the paragraphs didn't match up exactly, but aren't the earlier novels at least pretty well checked over by now? It seems to me that the occasional extra difficulty in translation-checking would be more than compensated for by the significant increases in professionalism and legibility.
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by Rava »

A "little" difficult is a BIG understatement.

For those of us who aren't adept at reading Japanese, it would be a nightmare. It's bad enough that some of them don't have pages, or have pages that don't match the JPN novel RAWs. Throw off the paragraphs too and you can forget accurately finding the source information quickly if it isn't at the beginning of a chapter. Finding at least a partially labeled part of the text, I can find the page and line probably in 1-5 minutes (depending on where in the chapter it is). Mesh the lines together in standard English paragraphs and that jumps up to at least 20 minutes of searching, for one line, if it's not near the beginning of the chapter.

I can also tell you for a fact that the earlier volumes do still need tinkering. For example, I did this change located in Volume 2, Chapter 6, back in March:

From:
Tatsuya who had witnessed and experienced the event from start to finish; after he concluded the details concerning the attempted brawl including how after Mibu Sayaka and Kirihara Takeaki started arguing he had stepped in their struggle, and personally challenged the kenjutsu club, there stood before him three people.


To:
Tatsuya, having witnessed and experienced the event, provided details concerning the attempted brawl — including how after Mibu Sayaka and Kirihara Takeaki started arguing, he had stepped in their struggle and personally challenged the Kenjutsu club — to the three people standing before him.


I don't think that's perfect, but it's a lot better than the From version without losing the meaning. (I had to go find the RAW for the last part of the sentence.) Terms are also used inconsistently and are updated infrequently when someone has time to look. So yes, the earlier chapters do get adjusted on and off still.
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Re: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Format & Style

Post by larethian »

The_Great_Galendo wrote:Ah, this is definitely the right thread for my post. Thanks for moving it.

And maybe I should have used the word "syntax" rather than "grammar", since I was/am in fact more concerned about the excessive use of paragraph breaks; their removal seems like the single simplest way to improve the quality of the translation. I understand that the translation is currently following the Japanese novels exactly, but I question whether such an approach is optimal. As an example, here's an excerpt from Volume 1, Chapter 3 (the scene where Miyuki joins the student council), both with and without the excess line breaks:

Current translation:
"So... Miyuki, I hope you can enter the Student Council."

At this stage, saying "enter the Student Council" is essentially becoming a member of the Student Council.

"Are you willing to accept?"

Taking a breath, Miyuki looked down at her hands, before raising her eyes towards Tatsuya in question.

Tatsuya shrugged, suppressed his own feelings, and slightly nodded his head.

Miyuki lowered her head again before raising it. This time however, her eyes were lit in the manner of someone about to take a plunge.

"President, are you aware of Onii-sama's entrance examination scores?"

"—?"

At this completely unexpected development, it was all Tatsuya could do to remain silent.

What are you trying to say, little sister?

"Hm, I know of it. Truly incredible... To be honest, when I stole a glance at the teacher's results, even I lost confidence."

"...If the student council accepts students with high test scores and outstanding abilities, I believe Onii-sama fits the criteria as well."

"Wait, Mi-"

"And in terms of Desk Work (Theoretical Manipulation), I believe that has nothing to do with practical skills and grades. In other words, knowledge and judgment are more important."

For Miyuki, not allowing the other person to finish their sentence and bulling right over them is quite the rare occurrence.

And if the other speaker is Tatsuya, then the frequency would drop even lower.

"I am honored to receive an invitation to the Student Council. I would be more than happy to accept even the lowest position, but is there any way for Onii-sama to join?"

Tatsuya really wanted to cover his face and look skywards.

Is it possible that his negative influence on his little sister had reached this extent?

Miyuki should know that blatant nepotism can only lead to other's discomfort.

"Alas, this is not possible."

The one who answered was not the President, but the council member sitting to her side.

"Student Council members must be selected from Course 1 students. This is not an unwritten rule, but an enumerated one. This is the only clause that is attached to the right of appointment and removal for the president. To change this requires a special amendment meeting with the attendance of the full student body and carried by a two-thirds majority. Since the number of Course 1 and Course 2 students are practically equal, this is realistically impossible."

Suzune softly said this in a tone that was slightly apologetic.

From her voice, it was obvious that she too was someone that was against the differential treatment between Blooms and Weeds.

"...I apologize. I said all of that without understanding the situation. Please forgive me."

Miyuki could only frankly admit her mistake.

Miyuki rose to her feet and bowed deeply in apology, but no one reprimanded her.

"In that case, Miyuki will join the current Student Council with the title of secretary, is that acceptable?"

"Yes, I will work hard to fulfill my duties. Please look after me."


And here is basically the same thing, but without the excess line breaks:
"So... Miyuki, I hope you can enter the Student Council." At this stage, saying "enter the Student Council" is essentially becoming a member of the Student Council. "Are you willing to accept?"

Taking a breath, Miyuki looked down at her hands, before raising her eyes towards Tatsuya in question.

Tatsuya shrugged, suppressed his own feelings, and slightly nodded his head.

Miyuki lowered her head again before raising it. This time however, her eyes were lit in the manner of someone about to take a plunge. "President, are you aware of Onii-sama's entrance examination scores?"

"—?" At this completely unexpected development, it was all Tatsuya could do to remain silent. What are you trying to say, little sister?

"Hm, I know of it. Truly incredible... To be honest, when I stole a glance at the teacher's results, even I lost confidence."

"...If the student council accepts students with high test scores and outstanding abilities, I believe Onii-sama fits the criteria as well."

"Wait, Mi-"

"And in terms of Desk Work (Theoretical Manipulation), I believe that has nothing to do with practical skills and grades. In other words, knowledge and judgment are more important." For Miyuki, not allowing the other person to finish their sentence and bulling right over them is quite the rare occurrence. And if the other speaker is Tatsuya, then the frequency would drop even lower. "I am honored to receive an invitation to the Student Council. I would be more than happy to accept even the lowest position, but is there any way for Onii-sama to join?"

Tatsuya really wanted to cover his face and look skywards. Is it possible that his negative influence on his little sister had reached this extent? Miyuki should know that blatant nepotism can only lead to other's discomfort.

"Alas, this is not possible." The one who answered was not the President, but the council member sitting to her side. "Student Council members must be selected from Course 1 students. This is not an unwritten rule, but an enumerated one. This is the only clause that is attached to the right of appointment and removal for the president. To change this requires a special amendment meeting with the attendance of the full student body and carried by a two-thirds majority. Since the number of Course 1 and Course 2 students are practically equal, this is realistically impossible." Suzune softly said this in a tone that was slightly apologetic. From her voice, it was obvious that she too was someone that was against the differential treatment between Blooms and Weeds.

"...I apologize. I said all of that without understanding the situation. Please forgive me." Miyuki could only frankly admit her mistake. She rose to her feet and bowed deeply in apology, but no one reprimanded her.

"In that case, Miyuki will join the current Student Council with the title of secretary, is that acceptable?"

"Yes, I will work hard to fulfill my duties. Please look after me."


Now, honestly: which one of those seems more like something you'd see in a published novel? Which of them is easier to read? Which of them flows better? I appreciate that translation checking would be a little bit more difficult if the paragraphs didn't match up exactly, but aren't the earlier novels at least pretty well checked over by now? It seems to me that the occasional extra difficulty in translation-checking would be more than compensated for by the significant increases in professionalism and legibility.


FYI, we are not trying to make it resemble a professional novel. If we are, then we won't be using a mediawiki.
Thanks for the suggestion, but sorry to say, I do not agree with your changes as of now. As what Rava had alluded to, it can be counterproductive to TLC. As Drey is translating from the Chinese translations, there are no page numbers marked which may add on to the difficulty.

I agree that the 2nd version is easier to read and understand, but personally speaking, I don't feel the 1st version is particularly difficult to read. Might be just me though.

However, if you can gather sufficient feedback from substantial number of readers who strongly agree with you, I'll be willing to reconsider.
Alternatively, I'll also be willing to reconsider if someone is willing to volunteer to insert the page numbers (within comments <!-- -->) to demarcate the text according to the Japanese novels.

Incidentally, I've upgraded your account to make it easier for you to post.
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