By • May 13, 2009

I recently came across an excellent post by Neil Gaiman about entitlement by way of a webcomic that I read.

While I dare not compare what I’m doing to creating an original work of fiction, translating does require creativity. Too many people see translation as X Japanese = Y English. Obviously anyone who has ever used an online translator knows that simply isn’t the case. At the end of the day, I still consider what I’m doing here to be creative writing. Sure, I don’t have to come up with original characters or a story, but I do have to understand them and bring them to life in English. In a translation, the target language is far more important than the source language. A perfect understanding of the source language is meaningless if you are unable to effectively manipulate the target language.

About a week ago, I fell out of love with the internet. I suddenly stepped back and realized how much time I had wasted online. I don’t go around in real life arguing with people I don’t know, I just shrug off silly comments and move on. In the end, I swore off using forums (excluding my own) except when absolutely necessary. It really has been great. It’s funny to see how much I was actively seeking out my own frustration.

I keep managing to forget why I got into translating in the first place. I don’t translate to try and impress anyone nor for any kind of interweb fame, I translate because I enjoy translating. Each sentence, each word is an opportunity to learn something new. It both makes me proud of how far I have come and allows me to recognize how far I still have to go. It’s because I still want to improve myself that I continue to translate, everything else is just excess.ย  I guess there’s some benefit to being able to enjoy the same epiphany twice, but hopefully I can just save my self the trouble and remember it this time.

For the last few weeks, I have been taking a break from Innocence. Yes, even after putting Destiny on hiatus, I’m still feeling a bit burned out. Anyone who has followed my projects for any length of time has probably recognized that I translate in bursts. For weeks at a time, I go crazy and do almost nothing but translate. Eventually I get burned out, grind to a halt, and accomplish almost nothing until I bounce back. That’s just how I work and I’m perfectly happy with this system.

Tales of Innocence will be done when it’s done. I’m still shooting for the same deadline, but if I don’t make it, I don’t make it. The game will be released when we’re able to say that it’s truly complete. Until then, all that you have to do is wait.

Just so there’s no confusion, I’ll tell you what I’ll be doing. I’ll be doing my laundry. I’ll be playing games. I’ll be going for walks at night. I’ll be graduating. I’ll be watching TV. I’ll be translating whatever seems most fun. I’ll be finding a job. I’ll be doing whatever needs to be done. In short, I’ll be living my life. I hope you’ll all do the same. ^_^

About the Author

I'm the translator for Absolute Zero. I also take care of the project updates.

33 Responses to “Entitlement”

  1. Good, keep working, but live real life before all, gongratulations for the job and good luck.

  2. Bravo, bravo.

    A lot of fans of fan translators forget that- that the people out there doing this aren’t doing it because people want it done- they’re doing it because they want to, and it will be done when it is done. You get people who complain about Gidheon Zhi ‘not having moved since December’ or about the Mother 3 team from Fobby ‘taking too long’ (When in fact, there were spurts when Tomato would put up a blog every day- something he honestly didn’t need to do, but did so for the sake of the fans).

    If you need to take a break from translating because you’re burnt out, then go ahead! It’s your project and you are the one at the helm.

  3. Well, I think that this post was kind of useless because… well, everybody knows that you are a fantranslator and that you translate because you think it`s fun. We all know (or at least think) that you have a real life, it`s not like we are going to get angry at you for being late or anything (at least I won`t).
    Live your life and translate the way you want, I`ll just be checking here from time to time until the translation is done. It`s as simple as that XD

  4. Hey, I’m totally on your side with this. You can’t rush works of this kind. Art can be made more quickly, but it’ll always suffer in some way. Being able to pull back and relax, knowing that you’ve reached a limit (either physical or emotional) is the sign of true wisdom. When you burn out, your body has reached a limit a bit beyond comfortable. At that point, you know that all you can do is strive to recover, relax and rejoice in what you’ve accomplished so far. We’re always our biggest critics, but creating something requires a good eye for details, and an appreciative eye too. I’m sure you’re one of those people who can look back on everything that you’ve accomplished and smile. Past failures, successes and breakthroughs remind us of what we’re working for. As an actor, I’m constantly trying to get better… for myself. I’m not trying to impress people with my skills, I’m trying to impress myself with how polished and skilled I can become.

    I’m sure you’ll do great things in and out of this project. Kudos!

  5. Glad to see you’re still human! As much as I’d love the project done ASAP, it’s good that you feel like you’re able to take a break. Better to do so than get completely stressed out and give up. That’s why I’m regretful that you’ll get a ton of comments about how you’re lazy/stupid/etc. Fans need to understand that translators aren’t their employees or machines that work for them. Anyway, good luck living and hope to see you back on the project whenever you feel ready. I’m really excited to see the finished product, and am sure that it will be phenomenal.

  6. I waited the release a long time, a little more wonยดt hurt me XD

  7. Well…

    At a first glance, I got really worried… But reading the full post, well… Do what you want.

    What you WANT to do is the best that you CAN do. ^_^

  8. When I was writing my fiction novel and when I made my videogame, I realize that sometimes we are burnt out of love with what we used to do.

    From 2004 I made about 10 games with RPGMaker2k/3 and 2007 was the last time I made my last game. Well, I just hope that you won’t drop the project, if it’s just a delay, I know that most of us will wait for the great news for Tales of Innocence

  9. Sounds like, at the very least, you’ve got it figured out more than the guy that did the PC Ys translation.

    Enjoy your laundry man. Seriously, savor every moment of it, the way your clothes stink of fermented body odors, and the glorious transformation as they are reborn in the violent tide of soap and water…

  10. I suppose you are filming your cat levitating^^ . .

    well, take your time~

    But know, if its finished, you would make us all happy ;).

  11. Hey,

    I know how you feel. How many nights have I spent doing NOTHING on the internet. I realised I was wasting soooo much time. So I picked up jogging again, every night for 2hrs. Suddenly I found my days were more complete!!

    I Sympathise on the insults online, so pointless, have fun living!

    We all forget we are on an egg timer in the end.

  12. Now that’s what I call a responsible translator. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Two thumbs up for you, man!

  13. Good for you. Your personal life is way more important than anything else. The TRUE fans will wait until it is done, and not a second before(even if you do not finish, released the unfinished work, and we will complete it for you).

    Also, i hope that this is a lesson to you, you give people an inch, and they steal your ruler and tell you that you gave them a mile.

  14. I have no intention of abandoning this project unless something completely outside of my control prevents me from continuing it, so don’t worry about that.

  15. Its a very hard game to play but the game of life is still a fun one. Just take a break if you feel too stressed out and just chillax.

  16. Honostly, I have a REALLY bad itch to play this game, but I can see no fault with you taking a much needed break for any amount of time… My friend is worried that you may give up on the project, I have assured him time and time again that you will have it translated. Hopefully by the end of the year. I have complete and total confidence in your ability to translate. Please let me know if there’s anything, no matter how big or small I can do to help… I apologize that I have limited knowledge of patching programs and have no idea what all the translation process entails… But my offer stands, I will assist if you find yourself in need of it…

    I consider myself a talented writer, if you need someone to help you come up with ideas, I’m here…

  17. Glad to see that you’re not overworking yourself. Translate when you’re in the mood, take a break when needed, enjoy what life have offer, the usual.

    Fan translation is done because the people involved wants to do it, not just because of obligation. The fact that you enjoy this ends up making this easier in the long run.

  18. I agree with all these comments suggested above. you have to take breaks(even long ones). it’s good to know that you are tryng to live your life whil;e translating this game. i hope u all the best and i’ll wait even another year or two for this game to be fully translated. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I think it’s pretty cool how everyone here supports you, it’s cool to see so many people being helpful in their own way.
    I’m also glad I read your epiphany there, it helped me remember why I started learning Japanese in the first place.
    Thanks and God Speed my friends.

  20. I think it is a good thing. I always supported you and will always support you in the future. I know how it feels to burn out. And going out to see friends, go running, or simply chatting with your neighbor always help. It’s your project mate, and we have no say on when it should be released or how you should release it. You do it because you want to do it, because you love it, and looking at the great effort you’ve shown us all this time, you deserve all the rest you need. Godspeed, and hope you find a good job ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I wish that anime fansubbers had your attitude.

  22. It’s great that you’re not overworking yourself. ๐Ÿ˜€ If you have any trouble with figuring out certain skits or anything else, someone has kindly put up a translation of ToI on http://www.gamefaqs.com. Just ltetin you know. Keep up the incredible work! ^^

  23. Congrats for graduating, in any case. ๐Ÿ˜€ Enjoy your break!

  24. [Troll mode ON]
    Just STFU and work!
    [Troll mode OFF]

    Don’t worry, we’ll be waiting for you! WE understand that this work must be, at least, exhausting.

    PS: I’d like to be like you when I grow up xDD

  25. jus makin sure i got my date on my calender right… you are releasing the patch during the summer… so around june-august… not pressuring you jus want to make sure… reply if im right

  26. That’s the goal, but it would be a mistake to write anything on your calendar. If you want to know exactly when the project will be done, check back here for updates.

  27. I cannot express any understanding, as I have never translated anything at length like a game before, but I can sympathize as an overworked college student that life does escape you if you let it. In all honesty, I would like to see the Tales of Destiny Director’s Cut completed as soon as possible, but to demand such a thing from another is just plain cold. So, from one human being to another: I am impressed you’ve made it even this far, and hope you will relish your life for as long as you live. I hope you become a wonderful localizer for a famous video gaming company one day.

  28. If you get tired of translating, let it rest for a while. Get back at it when you feel like getting back at translating.
    I’ll be so greatfull when it’s done
    Good luck! Hope you still enjoy the project!

  29. Take your time dood! We can wait ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy life!

  30. A work is considered very excellent when taking your time and working hard on it (even taking breaks). i know you must be exhausted and also know you are trying your best to finish it and live your life. You are the man and at least us bloggers know that your not one of those game fiends whose only concerned about games.
    Good luck on continuing your project. Take your time. i don’t care how long i have to wait in order to play this game…… ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. bro we thank u for this hard work .. really u dont know but many many people happy of very happy for your awesome work .. not anyone can do it u know that !! sure thing enjoy your life and do everthing u want and when u feel free do the translations ^_^
    we feel u even if its a lil .. and sure thing u enjoy because u love tales games .. and anything we can help just tell us ..
    and thank u very much bro for everything ..
    see ya !

  32. You are the best. I started wondering if you were even human, that post just answered to my question!

    Take a nice break and stuffs. The feeling of L I V I N G is awesome, isn’t it ;)?

  33. I just wanted to say, I love you for this post. I work with a translating group and it’s hard dealing with people who are so incessant about what they want and when they want it, that sometimes it’s nice to know that we aren’t alone in our frustrations. So thank you for writing this.

    And just so this isn’t completely off topic, I love the job you did on ToP. It’s a fantastic game and the script flows wonderfully, and I’m enjoying every minute of the game I play. Thanks to both you and the rest of the team for doing such a great service, for… well, all of us!

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