I’ve had discussion on this topic off and on, and thought I might want to discuss it a little bit.
When I first resurrected the CLANNAD Translation Project, in its infancy stages it was about 20% complete considering the files that had to be translated. That was back in January… now it’s nearly June, and we’ve managed to reach approximately 53% in terms of the translation required in the phase we are at. Though the progress is great, it brings a number of things to my attention…
First off, the initial translation project started in 2005. Approximately two years ago. Exactly how the project was handled and how it went around back then is beyond me. However, it seems that the open translation method may be the only way to actually have this project done, given the two-year delay. The number of routes and subscenarios are complex and have so many variations that, I wouldn’t want to wish this on a single translator to complete all of it (and still maintain consistency). In fact, it would be nearly impossible for even a single translator to maintain consistency across all the routes, let alone multiple translators (as it is right now). For a game like CLANNAD, a main editor (or group of editors) will be required, no matter how good the translator may be. Even if this were a closed project, the amount of editing required would be absolutely insane; try reading through one of the subscenario files that weigh more than 1000 lines and you’ll know what I mean. Now imagine that x 15, and you have one of the main heroines’ routes right there.
The second part is, exactly what is it that makes the open translation so capable of attracting translators? Does it bring ease of use? Or maybe because it’s so open people feel more encouraged to work on it? Or is it because the translated files are right there, and people can see it and make changes and feel like they’re part of a bigger whole?
The last part is, although translation consistency should be maintained as closely as possible, does it matter once the routes start diverging? From what I understand, up until April 25 the routes all mesh together and are somewhat interconnected, but after that, the routes separate and it’s everyone for themselves. It makes me wonder if this was the same with the original writing concept, in that Jun Maeda and the writers in Key all wrote together at one point, then separated when the time came? Should it be like that in the translation as well? Ideally though, consistency should be kept, but who knows?
It’s just something I’d want to keep in mind… should the time come for Tomoyo After or Little Busters! to be translated, would this be the same method of choice again…? It’ll probably depend on the final product of this current endeavor, wouldn’t it?