View Full Version : Disclaimer. To my fellow translators and people I translate for:

12-06-2007, 10:21 AM
I received a note in private saying that any intermediate knowing what 否定 means. I've never seen these kanji put together in my life (or if I have, I forgot about it or didn't bother trying to look it up). I'm not an intermediate. The LYRICS LV 2 tag may fool people into thinking I am. I can't really rate myself when it comes to proficiency to the language, because so far the only things I know are the things I commonly hear and use in conversations.

For the record, my knowledge of Japanese comes about 90% from listening to conversations (in other words: not by reading), and took no formal study courses or anything like that. I'm an example of learning by immersion, because I listened to Japanese people speaking day in and day out for a few years. And I'm only now learning to read, because I was lazy to learn it before, which I now regret. That's why my kanji is poor.

And for anybody that knows any better, feel free to butt in. Do it in public if you want, too. I won't mind. If I make a terrible mistake, it's only right that somebody corrects me. In fact, I recommend it. I appreciate the consideration for my feelings, but they're of little importance if I'm clearly saying something wrong. Language isn't a matter of opinion, so it's alright to say I'm wrong here. And make no mistake. The most important reason for being here to me is getting help and helping others learn the language. Never mind trying to look cool in an anime forum like "oh wow that guy can translate Japanese" and all that rubbish. That was never my intention for joining this forum or even taking the translator's test.

I'm in no way an authority when it comes to translations. Frankly, I'm even surprised that I got Lyrics LV 2 rank. I wasn't too sure about how I translated the test because it had a lot of kanji and I had to scour my dictionary for some of them. And I'm not hiding it, but whenever somebody asks me to translate something I have a dictionary open in another tab. I only even took the test to help with my kanji self-study (like how I visit Japanese blogs trying to read and learn more kanji). I didn't really think about passing, much less get a LV 2 rank.

I'm not really saying this to defend myself, because I've openly admitted to being prone to mistakes right from the start (link1 (http://www.animeforum.com/showpost.php?p=1865065&postcount=15), link2 (http://www.animeforum.com/showpost.php?p=1876418&postcount=4&highlight=haven%27t%20seen%20before), link3 (http://www.animeforum.com/showpost.php?p=1880295), link3 continued here (http://www.animeforum.com/showpost.php?p=1880320)). But I'm saying this in explanation for anybody expecting anything of me, including Zeri in this thread (http://www.animeforum.com/showthread.php?t=67001). Please don't expect me to make no mistakes when it comes to kanji. My spoken level may be fairly good, and maybe if you ran into me on the streets of Japan, you might not even know I'm not really fluent, because I can say common things quite naturally by now. But my written and reading level is really unreliable. Even my handwriting is terrible lol; I'm considering taking classes for it, but that's another story.

I'm trying my best not to make any mistakes, but it might happen here and there, so by all means, feel free to get a second opinion or correct me or point me in the right direction if you think I'm wrong. I won't take offense, as it will only be a learning experience for me.

I hope this disclaimer clears things up and releases me from peoples' expectations. :D Also, if after reading all this, anybody thinks I don't deserve the LYRICS LV 2 tag, it's quite alright with me. Like I said, I didn't really shoot for it in the first place. With or without the tag I'll keep practicing by trying to translate for other people (kinda like what Ertai87 does), and converse and stuff.

I just hope I'm getting my point across. Please try not to lump me with an average student learning Japanese one way or another, because you might just get disappointed. I'd like to have taken Japanese classes, or learned by any conventional means, and probably be as cool and reliable when it comes to the language as other translators, but that wasn't an option back when I decided to get immersed in Japanese culture. So all I could do was sit back and listen.


12-06-2007, 04:47 PM
Hi, Unknownymous. I'm a new member and just read your last post. Yea, I don't see any obvious logical flaw; This doesn't mean I'm sure you're right since I know nothing what actually happened to you. So my only suggestion is:

It might sound more natural if you insert "も" between "これから" and "ヨロシク" because it was apparently said to your friends. What you said is greetings that a new member just like me would say;)


12-06-2007, 09:26 PM
I really don't see the point in posting this here. Why not just reply to the PM?

But while we're on the subject. Lyric discussions should never be one-man shows. Language (especially with stuff like song lyrics) is fickle and usually takes about two or three people of varying proficiency working together and exchanging ideas to get a clear picture of what is being said.

Regrettably this forum seems to be lacking in activity at the moment and we're few on regulars, but I can only hope that will be a problem resolved in the future.

I'm a native level speaker, and often times I find myself uncertain whether I am correct when speaking from gut-feeling or vague nuances I can't quite express in English. Personally, what I've always done is think of my opinion as one possible interpretation out of many, not a definitive statement. If another take comes up, I'll agree to it, if it seems more valid, or argue against it, if it doesn't. And in any case, the final decision rests on the original poster/translator himself, and I'm just here to pursuade him into what I think is right, not "teach" him in any way.

But then, in the previous forum I had a bunch of hard-core sempai translators who had my back in a moment whenever I screwed up. Whether we can attract that kind of personel here is yet to be seen.

So relax. Obviously we're going to have people with different levels of proficiency on this board. Whoever sent the PM should have scribbled in a correction of his own, which I'm sure you would have happily accepted, instead of sniping at people like jackass. Lyric discussions should be done as a group, not by one authority.

12-07-2007, 12:27 AM
It wasn't sent in a PM. It was from a rep comment. I don't really know who it was. But who it was isn't of any importance. What's important is that somebody might've been thinking I was just pretending to be of intermediate level to be cool or something. That maybe, even if I was less than intermediate level, I was so proud of my abilities that I didn't try to get help when I encountered a kanji that I was unfamiliar with.

If anybody has seen any of the lyrics I've translated, I often throw in a line saying that I'm no expert and there's a possibility I'm wrong, and if anybody wants to correct me or suggest ways to make it sound better they should do so. I just want to link the idea that neither am I trying to look cool nor am I proud of my skills that I don't ask for help.

Additionally, this didn't stem from a lyric discussion. It started from me translating some jokes or something from Zeri's thread as I mentioned above. I certainly didn't want it to be a one-man show, but nobody else was replying! As Zeri asked me in PM, why isn't anybody else helping? Yeah, good question. I'm struggling with the kanji and why isn't anybody that knows any better helping? Why is the only one helping some guy who can't even read and write properly yet? You want to know why activity is down? Too many lurkers and backseat translators that don't seem to really want to help if you ask me. Translating the things in their head but not really posting to help.

"Haha this problem is too simple for my elite Japanese-speaking skills. I won't translate it for them. 杏定 typoed for 否定? Man, any idiot knows it's a typo. I'll let some newbie try to translate it then point out his flaws in private."

That's not how the rep comment went, but the way things are, somebody may have been thinking that way, and I'm kinda cynical of you people at this point. For all I know, that may have been the original train of thought that went through the one who sent me the rep, but they decided to word it in a more friendly manner. Like I said, I can't really trust any of you right now.

So I posted this in public to clear things up. I don't want to be "cool" because of Japanese. What good is being cool in a forum where nobody knows you? I'm trying to be "unknownymous" (lol), or rather, anonymous. Sure I told the forum about why I wanted to learn Japanese, and some other personal things, but I've never let anyone know who I really am. No pictures, other contact info or nothing. And even if I did tell you who I was, what are you going to do? Fly over to my country and shake my hand and and say, "Good job, Japanese-speaking man"? I get no real fame even if I wanted to. It's just stupid. Please don't place that kind of thought on me.

As I said, it's all in an attempt to improve my written and reading levels. If anybody was monitoring, in fact, I was idle for months after I took the Japanese test on AnimeLyrics.com, because I didn't really care that I got LYRICS LV 2. I did care that I passed, though, because at the very least, it seemed I got the gist of that difficult multi-kanji test. Mission accomplished. I only came in here and started posting, after months of ignoring AnimeLyrics.com after passing the test, because I saw (via Google, searching for bilingual forms) that they had this Japanese Language section, and I thought it might be a greater opportunity to learn new things and test myself.

Now don't get me wrong. I am relaxed. I'm not trying to get on anyone's nerves or anything. I may sound angry but it's just the way I type. I sometimes have to toss in smilies just so people know I'm not angry. :D

This isn't a complaint, anger, flame, or whatever thread. I'm just trying to explain that if I'm making a mistake with my translations, by all means go ahead and correct me. Don't make irrelevant comments saying that any intermediate would've known this or that. And do it in the thread where I made the mistake too, if you can. Explain properly so that the person I'm translating for and I can see what I said wrong, and how it can be fixed. I'm never trying to pull a one-man show. I encourage as much help as possible whenever I'm translating. No, let me put it this way. I'm pleading for as much help as possible whenever I'm translating.

I'm sure the person who sent me that note didn't really mean for it to become like this, because it was sent in a rather friendly manner. But it's good that we're clearing this up right now. Because maybe in the future, somebody might actually tell me that kind of thing in a more unfriendly manner, like "Your translation was wrong. You're wrong, and you don't know what you're talking about. Do us all a favor and stop trying to act cool, you stupid gaijin." If that happens I'm high-tailing it out of this forum. I came to learn, and I certainly don't need that. That's why I'm taking this issue rather seriously, to avoid that kind of thing.

If you people have so much time to pin me down and make me look stupid, at least do it in public while you're correcting my translations or something, so at the very least it's educational. I promise, I won't fight back. I won't even get offended. You'd get all the cool points for being the correct translator, and I'd get a free lesson, and the person I'm translating for gets it translated correctly. It's an everybody-wins situation.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm just a student here and all of you, even those that are asking for translations, are my teachers. And this kind of mentality should be placed on all of us who are only here to learn. I beg of you, on behalf of all students and language enthusiasts, please genuinely try to help us learn.

12-07-2007, 12:54 AM
You know, as Datenshi said, you really could have just gave me a PM.

I actually kinda expected you'd react like this. I'm not going to bother to read it (tl;dr), because I didn't mean to be offensive.

I myself don't take constructive criticism lightly. But I am long enough in this business to know that, as much as there are many people who do NOT have the knowledge I do, there are also people that far exceeds mine, it's just a matter of how you respect them.

I know you've been here at animeforum longer than me, and I should treat and respect you as a senior, but you've displayed Japanese knowledge that was in need of comment. Actually, that was only a slight jab, and furthermore it wasn't even public, you've made it so now.

Don't tell me I am ridiculing what you know. I gave you a rep for goodness' sake, for not just that post but your overall contributions that I have seen from you.

Okay, I'll be quick and bury this here and now. I was once like you, I corrected people who used 'wakaranai' for "I don't know", saying that that's wrong and you should use 'shiranai'. Only when I learned more, I suddenly realised it was interchangeable. You'd need to actually delve in the language and understand its nuances and expressions. Every translator, like you and me, started using literal translations without regard to context, and here we lose out to stuff like Japanese idioms and expression.

Since you have more rep power, why not bad-rep me on this post if you wanna retaliate? I'm a fair person who had never intended to offend you. I know, that was a poor decision of mine to jab you there, so I apologise for it, sincerely. If you are still fuming, get back later and re-read this. I've never intended to insult you, we are all on the same road, and maybe you've probably got the incentive and motivation now to overtake me. It's good for all.

12-07-2007, 01:58 AM
Oh so you're the one who sent it. Sorry, those notes don't actually have names attached to them. Even if there's a way to figure out who sent those, I didn't bother trying to figure it out. Like I said in my above post, if you'd read it, it doesn't matter to me who sent it.

I encourage you to read it, even if you just skim through it. I've taken the liberty of highlighting some of the emphasis points. It may be long (I know I tend to use too many words, sorry. It's a result of my typing too fast. That's why I made it a habit to make highlights when I type such long things) but you'll see why I made a deal out of it. And you'll also learn why I don't want to retaliate and give you bad rep. ^^

I'm not really like you think I am (because you didn't read my posts, you seem to have the wrong image). I'm not correcting people for the sake of correcting them. Heck, I'm one of the people you'd probably have corrected, because I say "分からない" even IRL when somebody asks me something I don't know (in some situations; though I more often just reply with さぁ.

I didn't take it as constructive criticism. I know that's what you meant, but there's nothing constructive about telling me I know less than an intermediate. Even I already know that much.

Again, since you didn't bother reading the posts (again, my fault, sorry, but please try to read them if you have time), I didn't intend this thread to become a retaliation of any sort. That's why I called it "Disclaimer" instead of "To Azu, whoever you are". I didn't even mention your name or post the contents of your rep comment. I'm just explaining that I know I'm going to make mistakes, and if anybody has any corrections, they should let me know properly, with the purpose of educating me and others in mind.

Honestly I didn't expect so much replies to this thread, especially not negative ones. I was hoping people would just read it and say to themselves "Oh, okay. I guess I was wrong about him." I hope this clears everything up now, finally.

12-07-2007, 04:20 AM
...eh wow, I seriously thought you were defending rigorously about yourself in an aggressive way, because it was really too long and with bolded stuff that would mean like you were angry or something.

Well, there will always be a hierarchy of Japanese proficency wherever you are and especially at a JP-centric fanbase. I guess I was just being 1) elitist because I surround myself among people who are very proficient in Japanese even if they were not native 2) expecting too much of animeforum's JP tenants 3) frustrated about life in general when I made the jab (we write out of emotion at that particular time, I always say... in that case I was in the middle of my exams).

I hope anyone will never go through what I did, about 3-4 years ago I went up to post a quite vague KOTOKO song's translation, only to be given a PM from one of my regular "helpers" that basically said "you fail at this", so I just stopped doing translation for a whole two years, and also hated that song because of "my own limitations".

I also hope, though, that the LD here will NOT be restricted by lyrics posting access. I want more people to post there, especially starters who may or may not probably have Lv2 but show bad translation habits like LBL (line-by-line) and over-literal. Oh, and of course, transliterators who need help in phrases and spacing. Transliteration is as delicate as translation, and transliterators need to adhere to some loose rules as well as to decide on a set convention.

Ugh actually I do sound like an elitist SOB now. Better stop before I start turning heads.

12-07-2007, 02:23 PM
W00t shout-out!

That is all.

Not quite. Just so everyone knows, I'm also at quite a low level when it comes to Japanese. I'm taking Japanese 3 in University right now (ok, I just finished Japanese 3 last week and my final exam is in about a week from now, so technically it's past tense but w/e), which is roughly equivalent to grade 3 or 4 in Japanese school. I can read about 100 Kanji and write about 80 (and no, there are no missing 0's there). You can tell what Kanji I know because those are the Kanji I use (when I use Kanji, although due to recent computer problems I am unable/unwilling to type in Japanese until the beginning of January-ish). I also came to this forum to learn stuff, but unfortunately due to the lack of participation (plus since I can't read half of what the people here say), it's been quite slow at happening.

12-07-2007, 09:20 PM
On second thought, never mind.

*deleted by original poster*