Why do translations take so long?


  • Member

    @jon-mitchell
    I think you completely misunderstood. I am not OP. The point was to show that the Korean and Taiwanese translations are still quite far away from Japan, which I made even clearer in my edit.


  • Premium Member

    @lurkingmclurk

    my apologies for misunderstanding
    the original poster seemed to argue that translations are unreasonably slow and I saw your response w/o context (if you were contesting his assertion or supporting it)


  • Member

    @lurkingmclurk

    Thanks for the info. I stand corrected. I was just looking at information author was tweeting and didn't really look for this detailed information.


  • Member

    @jon-mitchell
    I see, my comment was only directed at hiroto's comment (which I quoted) that said:

    Taiwanese and Korean translation were licensed much earlier and they are caught up or pretty close

    My opinion regarding J-Novel Club's speed is that it's all I could have dreamed of two years ago. Hell I would even have been happy with 3 volumes a year given how slow the fan-translations of the WN were.


  • Premium Member

    @someoldguy It did not sound like that, when he mentioned some information was above his pay grade. But he clarified it for me on a different topic.


  • Premium Member

    @serah Yeah, "above my pay grade" is a phrase used a lot, when the answer to a question could cause problems.

    "Why was this decision made that way?" when you weren't the one that made the decision, and have no authority to change it, is "above your pay grade".

    I work part time for a college. Policy decisions regarding the curriculum I teach are made at the state level. So, they're "above my pay grade", even though I might make more money than the people who make them.


  • Member

    @jon-mitchell said in Why do translations take so long?:

    So in comparison, the Korean company (who had access the longest) released 17 volumes in approximately 40 months? or one about every 70 days? (and the Taiwanese translation isn't much faster at every 60 or so)
    the assertion/argument seems to be that JNC/ English translations 'take too long'?? looks to me that JNC is mopping the floor with 'the competition': 1.4x faster than the Korean company, and 1.2x faster than the Taiwanese one, AND JNC is typesetting/printing physical release as well! ... The question should be - Why are Korean/Taiwanese translations so slow? (Don't even get me started on comparing to other American/English speaking translation houses- JNC is on average faster/better than all of them)

    It doesn't diminish your points here, but your math is wrong. J-Novel did first 4 volumes at 60~ days interval, and now it is at 70~ days. They are comparable to Korean, Taiwanese, but not faster. Also Korean and Taiwanese do prints too.

    Also, I wasn't accusing J-novel of starting slow. I assumed there are many circumstances and business reasons the way it turned out, and I was just curious what they were. Many of them are hushed out in this topic and that is all good.


  • Premium Member

    So after everything that's been posted I think the OP understands that it's not a simple as one would initially think, based on their edits.

    To add to the multiple translators topic:

    There is only so many resources that can be used in this regard. From what I read, Sam and maybe one other approve of new translators/editors ensuring the quality he expects. This will also add more work, time, and expenses.

    For Bookworm specifically it would not be fair to the other series nor the readers of those series to have the team dedicate more of their time to Bookworm instead of the series they have already been working on just because it is in the in now. Resulting in slowing the pace on the other series to only hurt JNC in the long run.(Not to mention even thinking of assigning additional teams removing them from other series)

    If I counted correctly JNC is currently translating 50+ series and has 19 finished series(roughly half being 1 or 2 books but there are some with 10+). Of the 50+ currently in translation - 10 are cought up to the source, 6 cought up to source but there hasn't been a release in Japan in over a year.

    The following is going to have speculation and assumptions based on posts and things I've read, as I'm just another consumer and not part of any of these companies.

    • Much work and time has to go into just getting the right to translate a series.

    A series needs to have enough appeal to the localization company to consider it.

    Negotiations need to be made with the source publishing company, and at times still needs the creators approval.

    Sometimes titles may have a something like a bid war going on from different localization companies.

    Also titles are not guaranteed to get a translation just because a localization company wants to. Titles may not get translated just because the publisher refuses to do so -insert reason here- . Then publisher changes their mind at later date(hopefully).

    Title may not get a translation in timely manner as publisher and localization company cannot come to agreement, be it price or whatever. Then after a couple years negotiation terms change or a different localization company comes in and an agreement is made.

    Overall I think JNC is doing a superb job. I wish the others were pushing out translations like them. When I see a title I want to get picked up it is very bittersweet when it's not JNC. I will be getting the series I've been wanting but then knowing the time difference if had only been JNC to pick it up. Not only the speed but also in regards to reception of feedback, suggestions, and community interaction. One specific case I can think of is with Smartphone and name of the cat familiar (previously known as Garfield), which if I remember correctly got changed mid translation.


  • Premium Member

    @hiroto said in Why do translations take so long?:

    It doesn't diminish your points here, but your math is wrong. J-Novel did first 4 volumes at 60~ days interval, and now it is at 70~ days. They are comparable to Korean, Taiwanese, but not faster. Also Korean and Taiwanese do prints too.

    He went from volume 1 to 5 and when doing so, I don't see where the math is wrong.
    Volume 1: 05/20/2019
    Volume 5: 01/20/2020

    246 days
    5 volumes
    1 volume per 49.2 days

    ?


  • Member

    @khaos

    Oh, I see. Volume 1 is a little misleading because it doesn't include the period he STARTED on working on it. I just took J-novel's regular interval that they were releasing every 2 month for first 4 books, and then went to 2.5 month schedule. Yeah, kind of hard to figure out what the 0 day for all the numbers being compared.


  • Premium Member

    @quof I'm pretty sure both Warnis and Andrew Hodgson could shed some light on the "joys" of translating super long series. While I was searching the series list, I did come across a couple of titles the did have two translator listed, but that's not an indication that they are doing collaborative translation.

    And you mean to say that the world building in Bookworm gets more intense than it already is? Sheesh!


  • Premium Member

    @paul-nebeling said in Why do translations take so long?:

    @quof I'm pretty sure both Warnis and Andrew Hodgson could shed some light on the "joys" of translating super long series.

    Yay to more insider information!


  • Premium Member

    @paul-nebeling back when he was fan translating Rokujouma, Warnis was outputting one volume every 4-5 weeks (with a week break in between volumes IIRC) with only a break in either summer or December.

    Many thanks, Warnis.


  • Translators

    @paul-nebeling said in Why do translations take so long?:
    While I was searching the series list, I did come across a couple of titles the did have two translator listed, but that's not an indication that they are doing collaborative translation.

    That's true; as an example, I think Bluesteel Blasphemer lists both me and James Rushton, as James started that series out, then it was assigned to me when he started focusing exclusively on Faraway Paladin. At no point were we both actively translating the series the same time.


  • Staff

    Just to clarify, when the staff change on a series, you'll see multiple staff listed in each role on the series page (such as the ones with recent editor changes), but the volume/part pages should only list 1 person. At least since I started working for JNC, every series has been single consistent translator, single consistent editor, barring extenuating circumstances.


  • Premium Member

    I just wanted to say that I also joined J novel club recently only to read the most recently translated volume of Ascendance of a Bookworm. I watched the first few episodes of the anime and was instantly hooked and transitioned over to reading the light novels. Kinda sad that I only have 4 parts left of translated material. The series makes me want to learn to read Japanese just so I can continue reading the series. Sadly I have yet to find a way to buy the Japanese LNs of said series.


  • Premium Member

    @gotrek65 welcome to the JNC forums ~

    You can buy digital them via amazon - the first volume currently at a price of 6,53 USD at amazon.com

    You just need to hit "本好きの下剋上~司書になるためには手段を選んでいられません~第一部「兵士の娘I」 (TOブックスラノベ) (Japanese Edition)" in your favourite amazon store. It seems to be available in most countries.


  • Premium Member

    @gotrek65 Tobooks is one of the few publishers in Japan that will sell outside of Japan. So if you're willing to accept the DRM associated with Kindle, then Amazon sells it.


  • Premium Member

    @serah said tip I got thanks to @hiroto https://forums.j-novel.club/post/62255 once ~

    @Gotrek65 enjoy your stay and just ask if there is any question about JNC on your mind. You can also chat directly with the very friendly forums moderators.


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