Now that ji-hi and SubCompare are dead, I appear to be the only place you can get a similar experience. Oh well, works for me. Might as well explain how I do it. TL Note: This article may be boring.
Watch-through (this isn’t a good header name, is it?)
I start out my TL Parties by watching through the episode I’m gonna fest up. I could make TL Parties without doing this, but they’d suck, so I don’t.
As for which group’s version I watch, that doesn’t really matter. Well, it does, but you don’t wanna read a couple paragraphs highlighting exactly why I think it matters and why I choose whatever group I do to watch it through with, so I’m not gonna. Back to the main point.
My primary goals when I watch it through are to gain a better understanding of the episode and to find points where I think interesting comparisons can be made between all the groups.
You can tell that something was lost in translation here. So even before checking all three scripts, it’s pretty clear that this is going to be something worth comparing. Will the other two groups translate it straight like Mezashite did? Will one skip the “irony” part in favor of something that doesn’t directly point to a naming pun? Will one translate the name? What about directly explaining the joke in the subs? Will one put up a TL note? You can see where I’m going with this. There are a lot of options, and none are perfect, because you simply can’t achieve a perfect translation.
I have my own opinion on which would work “best” here, as I’m sure you do, and they don’t necessarily need to mesh up. And because there are so many different options, you can best choose which version suits your needs.
…Unless they’re all the same. Then that doesn’t help.
Explanations are other good areas to consider a comparison, simply because they’re long enough to allow each group’s eccentricities to shine through.
Mezashite, for example, fucking loves starting sentences with a “T”.
Lines with interesting translations are up for grabs as well. The more ambiguity allowed in a translation, the better the odds I’m going to pick up on it. ‘Course, I don’t really know if the other groups chose a different line. But I bet they did. Call it Sage’s intuition.
Around this point, it gets to be 9 AM and that means time for breakfast.
Breakfast isn’t as good as you’d expect from that image. Scooby Doo’s standards for cereal quality have clearly dropped. Come on Scoobs, at least gimme some fucking imitation marshmallows.
Disappointment filling my heart, it’s time to go back to the TL Party slog.
Fucking up the difference between serial killer and serial murderer is something I’d call out in my regular reviews, but English errors aren’t the focus of my TL Parties.
Of course, if they’re attached to an explanation, like this one was, then they’re up for grabs. I’m just saying that for TL Parties I don’t see English mistakes as being the primary point of focus. Or the secondary. Or the… tertiary. (That just looks wrong, doesn’t it?)
Names are another good differentiator.
I may be wrong, but I don’t think all three groups are gonna have this be the same. This is one of those lines where someone agonizes over it for a half-hour, only to go with whatever line they came up with first. And agony is exactly what I’m looking for.
Compare-…through (Fucking hell, I need a headernamerperson)
Having watched the episode through, I extract all the scripts using MKVextract. And then, through a tedious and boring process (it involves line-by-line comparisons, NotePad++, and wrist cutting), I compare all the lines and note which ones I think would be worthy of highlighting in a party, making sure to pay attention to the parts I highlighted above (generally I note them mentally since taking pics is a waste of time).
This tends to result in a lot of options. 37, actually.
So now I gotta cut it down to my top 20. Here’s what I’m looking for:
Translation mistakes are a must to include. With these, I try to avoid double-dipping, so if there’s one TL mistake that stretches across 30 lines, you’re only gonna see one comparison related to it in most cases. There are exceptions, but for Dansai, that’s how I handled it.
When I say “translation mistakes”, I mean obvious ones. I may not know much about Japanese, but I certainly know a lot about translating. And when something doesn’t make sense in-context, and when other groups have something that does make sense, you’re damn right I’m gonna pick up on it.
Translation mistakes in Dansai?
- Asenshi translating living supplies as “dinnerware”
- Mezashite treating Kiri’s head injury as a burn rather than a scrape received from falling down/etc. (in the “oh I didn’t get in a fight, I just fell down some stairs” sense)
- Anime-Koi assuming the Hair Queen was trying to take the place of her father when it was entirely obvious the line was referring to Kiri
- Anime-Koi saying that Kiri was named after his ancestor’s scissors rather than his ancestor (and completely ignoring the image on the screen that showed his ancestor, with his name)
Just a few, for example.
Unfortunately, due to the “one of these things is not like the others” effect, I realize that if two groups have the same translation that doesn’t make sense and another group has a translation that does make sense… well, the odd one out could easily be portrayed as the one with an issue in a TL Party. So, I try to avoid that scenario by not including that as a comparison.
Phrasing is important to highlight in these reviews because… well, phrasing is important. This is mostly used to highlight line flow and script creativity. Expanded 3 in the TL Party is a good example of the latter (where Kiri says “Eh? Ino? Ino? Ino?!” and the group translations range from the staid to the interesting).
That’s… about it.
I try to avoid picking up British English/American English differences and honorific differences here. Not that they don’t factor into your decisions, it’s just that I think other lines tend to be more important.
What does get picked up for this is translation decisions regarding names/concepts (“Crime Edge of ____” comes to mind, from Essential 10 in the TL Party). Jokes get lumped in there too.
Smorgasboards of Differences
This could probably go under “general phrasing”, but I thought having four main reasons would look better.
Lines that make me want to gloss over them go here. For example, the “Let me cut your hair, ____” line (Essential 7 in the TL Party).
This one came up a lot in the RDG party too — Essential 1, 6, 8, 9, and 10 all fell under this.
And from these 20, I’ll cut it down to my top 10. The top 10 really have to be the best options, because I label them the “essential” comparisons. They tend to include the most egregious translation fuck-up examples, convoluted conversations (for flow), easily highlighted localization differences, and lines that seem unwilling to lend themselves to a smooth translation.
Putting it all together
For images/audio, I take those from an arbitrary release. I can highlight the lines in Aegisub and extract the audio pretty easily. Then I have to convert it to mp3 so my plugin won’t break. For the image part, grabbing images from Aegisub means .PNG images, which tend to take up too much space. So I go with JPEGs captured directly from a release, which adds a bit more time to the process.
Then I copy in all the lines, modify the template depending on # of groups/audio files’ names/new rules/etc, and add a bit of context to each line to allow y’all to make an easier decision.
You’re probably bored now. I am. Have some numbers.
Numbers for RDG (all times in kilowatt Joules per hour):
Time to watch the show (skipping OP/ED since I don’t check those in TL Parties): 0:20
Time to get the comparisons all initially done: 1:15
# of initial comparisons: 38
Time to bring that down to 20: 0:50
Ordering those 20 into Essential/Expanded: 0:10
Acquiring audio/visuals: 0:15
Data entry/getting the post ready: 0:40
Total TL Party Time: About 3.5 hours. I could do almost two Fansub Reviews in that time, to put that in perspective.
TL Parties aren’t exactly my favorite thing to do. They take up a lot of time, don’t give very good results, and don’t leave a lot of room for personality. I consider them inferior to Fansub Reviews in pretty much every way other than as tie-breakers. There’s gotta be a way to improve the process, but I don’t really know how to yet.
I’m trying, so try to bear with it until they meet my (and your) standards.