Can you make it so that I can play Umineko Project with the updated Steam/WH/MangaGamer translation?
No. But we are certainly not ignoring it.
The problem is that their translation (just like the original WH translation) cannot simply be “dropped in” — any translation we use *must* be edited to work with the voice files, textbox presentation, and programming of PS3 Umineko. Inserting their translation unchanged and maintaining a second parallel translation would take a lot of effort and have its own problems, and is not something we are interested in doing.
If you’re asking this question, though, you might be interested to know a little more about the translation we are using and how it compares to the MG one.
The interest in the MG translation seems to come from two main places:
- The MG translation being vastly improved over the original WH translation. Readers who want something of high quality.
- Claims of the MG translation having Ryukishi’s oversight. Readers who want something “Ryukishi approved” or are concerned about all the hints being present.
Let’s take these separately.
1. Translation quality
Both the UP and MG translations are edits/TL‐checked versions of the original WH.
How much was changed, then?
Now, of course, just knowing that there are changes doesn’t tell you whether they are good or bad, or whose changes are better, but hopefully you can see that we have not been slouching here either. You should not imagine that, because we worked from the original WH, we have an outdated translation full of errors while MG has something far more accurate. In fact, the truth is that we have already done substantial fixing work comparable to (and in some cases exceeding) the work MG has done.
The conventions that both teams chose to apply to the re‐edits are similar: both MG and UP now use “Uncle” instead of WH’s “oji‐san”, and neither of us use commas in the same ungrammatical way the original WH translation did. Many lines which had errors in the original WH have been fixed in similar ways in both MG and UP. Upon analysis of the changes, we would say that MG has a strong editing team that makes good decisions, but we think that their translation checking was not as thorough as it could have been. Many errors that we identified in the original WH are still present in the MG translation, although many have also been fixed.
This is the reason that it is not really worth it to recreate the translation based on MG’s work. It would not be an automatic leap in translation quality (because we already did a lot of work there), but would definitely cause us a vast amount of additional editing work. That’s not just to make the translation PS3-compatible, but also to make sure that the errors we fixed are still fixed in MG. We also have conventions of our own that we prefer. (You may prefer the MG conventions. Unfortunately, it is too much work to please everyone in this regard.)
That said, we recognize the skill of MG’s editors, and we intend to eventually go through the MG translation, just as we are going through the Yen Press published mangas, to learn from their translation, and borrow phrasings that make the translation more of a pleasure to read.
2. Ryukishi‐approved hints
The depth of his involvement with the MG translation is unclear to us, but if you want a translation that has received his “official stamp of approval”, for what that’s worth, the MG translation is the only place you will get it. There is nothing we can do about this. As we’ve said, any translation we use, we will edit, and such editing will invalidate any stamp that Ryu gave. Therefore, it is impossible for our translation to have such a stamp. Our project is unofficial by nature and could not exist officially. If this is a deal‐breaker for you, you must read MG.
Let’s be clear, though, that Ryukishi has not been through the MG translation with a fine‐tooth comb and personally checked every English line as being a faithful and accurate representation of the Japanese. (We doubt that he has such English ability.) We expect that he will have merely given suggestions about how to present certain things or what certain lines are meant to imply, to aid in translation.
We would love for someone from MG/WH to produce a report on the advice that was given, but we are not standing by idly. We know the Umineko story well, and will be looking over the MG translation for changes that seem to relate to the presentation of hints, and including them in the UP translation.
HEAVY SPOILERS (Click to view)
- We will unify red text with MG where we believe it to be correct to do so.
- We will treat the word “person” in a similar fashion to MG in accordance with their new conventions.
- MG has made some new conventions like translating ニンゲン (in katakana, instead of 人間) as “Human” with a capital H, and 視る (instead of 見る) as ‘see’ in single quotes. Starting with v4.1b you could add
env[steam_conventions]=trueto ons.cfg to enable that feature.
- We will look closely at important lines that received significant changes and include them when it seems correct.
- Note that we will *not* be including the new MG epitaph. This is an example of what can be done with an unvoiced vs. a voiced release. The MG epitaph deviates more strongly from the Japanese, and provides a more localized English solution, but will require heavy rewriting of dialogue discussing the epitaph, in ep3 and onwards, that will make it messy to match cleanly with the voice files. This is a difference in “translation methodology”, and not something that was handed down by Ryu.
As always, please remember that Umineko Project is in beta, and as with all other aspects of the game, the translation will continue to undergo changes and improvements until we are ready to call it finished.