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how much do you care about translation quality?


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recently, i realized that translation quality is the main thing that keeps me reading novels on wuxiaworld instead of other platforms. if a translation flows poorly or has grammar mistakes it pulls me out of the story instantly. a lot of the novels on this site have really good translations, but some of them, especially some of the earlier translations, are borderline illegible to me. i remember i tried to get into tales of demons and gods a while ago, since so many people consider it a classic, but i just couldn’t get through the translation of the first several chapters.

what about you all, how important is translation quality to you? i know some people have terminal mtl brainrot, but i have a feeling that most of those people aren’t on wuxiaworld anymore.

Edited by megaautist
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For me the translation quality is key to becoming an awesome read. I want to be able to feel what I am reading as well as let my imagination run wild.  The translator brings that to us with their choice of diction. 

I also watch a lot of Donghua, so when I have to filter the translations from trying to figure out what it actually means, it leaves a bitter aftertaste that lessens the viewing pleasure. 

Reading for me is a pleasure and I do not want anything to lessen the experience. 

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I believe that the better the writing the more translation quality matters.  An author weaving an intricate tapistry using a warp of modern humor and pop-culture with a heavy weft of literary references and ancient culture requires a translator who is somewhat familiar with not just the materials involved but also the process of weaving them together.  Otherwise, at best the pattern will be so distorted that appreciating it fully requires an expert.  At worst, the result is a confusing, unrecognizable tangle of threads.

Suffice to say, I care a lot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Translation quality makes or breaks a novel for me, if it’s poor, I usually end up skimming which means I’m not really enjoying the story. Ultimately, this also means I put down a novel and stop reading as well.

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Having read a fair few MTL or barely above MTL quality translations, I would say quite a bit.

 

Translations don't have to be completely pristine or top quality but they have to have consistency in terms of naming and terms. Having names cycle through various different translations, terms being butchered, pronouns mangled and overall flow being thrown out of whack is really offputting and can sometimes lead to me completely losing the plot of the story.

 

I'm fine with minor editing spelling or grammar issues (and truth be told some of them genuinely make me snigger) so long as they don't compromise what the story is trying to get across. As long as the story's consistency doesn't suffer greatly through translation I'm usually ok with less than stellar ones.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Yeah translation quality is important for the reading experience - the story has to make sense and the terms need to be consistent!

I'm especially sensitive to typos and grammar errors; it's an unfortunate side effect of spending seven years editing translations... I can get past one or two of them per chapter, but more than that and it's just too distracting. And on Wuxiaworld I have the ability to fix them, so each time I see one, it's a choice between disrupting my reading to stop and open up our CMS to fix it, or continuing reading and feeling guilty haha. 

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On 2/29/2024 at 6:34 AM, Jaspaaar said:

Yeah translation quality is important for the reading experience - the story has to make sense and the terms need to be consistent!

I'm especially sensitive to typos and grammar errors; it's an unfortunate side effect of spending seven years editing translations... I can get past one or two of them per chapter, but more than that and it's just too distracting. And on Wuxiaworld I have the ability to fix them, so each time I see one, it's a choice between disrupting my reading to stop and open up our CMS to fix it, or continuing reading and feeling guilty haha. 

 

Yeah i feel the same way, though atleast with typos i understand what's being said, sometimes like with The Stars Beyond i have no idea what is being said and i'm not sure how to fix it in my mind like i do with typos.

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