View Full Version : bilingual projects

October 28th, 2007, 9:26 AM
are there any people out there who are considering doing their works in multiple languages (if they haven't already done so)? This could go to any authors who're learning a second language, or even those with international contacts who merely have an interest in expanding their audience. Feel free to discuss anything you particularly feel about characters and storyline in a version different from your native tongue (whether or not you actually wrote that version), possible complications that could arise in translation, etc.

October 28th, 2007, 9:47 AM
Well, I've thought of it.

You see, I'm French and I learn English as a second language. I've written a few fics in French - if you speak French and want to read them, PM me for a link - and as seeing the fanfictions posted here and on other forums, I thought of translating mine.
But I don't think my English is good enough for the moment, I prefer waiting till I write better, or the result will be awful.

October 28th, 2007, 11:06 AM
Well, I've thought of it.

You see, I'm French and I learn English as a second language. I've written a few fics in French - if you speak French and want to read them, PM me for a link - and as seeing the fanfictions posted here and on other forums, I thought of translating mine.
But I don't think my English is good enough for the moment, I prefer waiting till I write better, or the result will be awful.

You could always get a beta to help you, maybe.

Anyway, I can only speak a little French--not enough to translate my stories into it, though.

Bay Alexison
October 28th, 2007, 12:38 PM
Welll, I am learning Italian as a second language (techincally, it is third language I learn but I forgot almost all of Spanish I learn in high school O.o ). However, I am not good at it yet and it might be a while to translate my stories into that language! XD In a couple of years, maybe...but it could be a chance I might make a hole bunch of mistakes. XD

As for how I feel about fics in different languages, I agree it could cater to a wider audience if the fic is translated into another language, depending on what type of audience you want. In the US, assuming where most members in this forum live, there are still a lot of people who doesn't speak/understand English. Of course, in this forum and in a few others all the stories have to be in English, so the translated versions have to be in forums that used foreign languages.

The big problem though is the translations might be wrong, hence why I said before of how I might make mistakes. In high school my Spanish professor sometimes looked over the announcements and on the backside of it has the Spanish translation, but said sometimes they wrote it wrong.

Not only that, sometimes languages are almost the same, so the writer must be careful to not mix up the words. For instance, Spanish, Italian, French, and a few others are almost the same. An example of that is I have a friend who is a language major and sometimes she mixes the French words with the Italian ones.

October 29th, 2007, 12:49 AM
I learned Italian in the past three years, and well, I don't think it's really the same as French. As for Spanish, I don't know : I never studied it. Most students do, but I chose German instead.
I think I would almost be able to write in Italian, but like for English, it would surely be awful. But even though I've studied German for five years, I'm not able to say a single sentence without mistaking with the end of a word.

I totally agree with you Bay when you say that translating gives you a wider audience. As for the foreign site, I know many French Pokémon fanfiction sites, I also know a site which hosts all types of fanfiction - and even original stories - in French, and I've heard about an Italian Pokémon fanfiction site, but I think it's about to be closed.

October 29th, 2007, 2:48 AM
I guess I'll say mine now. Japanese is my second language. I started off many years ago, and like most people, my main interests were in understanding anime, and while I've still got a huge interest in the overseas media, I've sorta developed more of a genuine interest in the language and culture. I prefer watching anime in their original language not because English dubs are bad (they've actually gotten very good in recent years), but because I just like hearing the characters speak in Japanese. I'll even watch the Simpsons or a Disney song in Japanese if I get the opportunity (Youtube's ripe with foreign Disney ^^). That said, it's really no surprise that I'm trying to make my doujinshi in Japanese.

Though, as an added bonus, I can make manga seem more "genuine" just by making it in Japanese first (I, of course, intend to make an English version alongside it). Aside from the fact that several people will shun pseudo anime/manga just because of some inherent bias of non-Japanese media, some things can work exclusively in Japanese, like hierarchy of respect, or the fact that a number of series will abuse English in a rather amusing way (I intend to feature a foreign character myself at some point ^^). Above all, I can probably get the original audience of the franchise (nay, anime and manga in general) to enjoy my work.

On that note, I've been a pretty strict follower of Japanese Pokemon canon for a while now. If one were to look at my since-abandoned script, they'd see that it's nothing like the heavily Americanized franchise. Names, background writing, culture, they're all quite prominently Japanese (though, I also take care to do research and not stereotype things... I'm sure we all can agree not every Japanese guy walks around in a kimono, business suit, or school uniform all day and swings around a katana). No offense to some fic-writers, but it does kinda irk me a bit to see people take a Japanese franchise like this and heavily Americanize it (moreso than the translated official media, as at least that had a Japanese basis... this can be taken to a point where the setting could actually be considered America, even though the game regions in question are based off of Japan). It especially irks me when they "try" to make it look Japanese but utterly fail. They'll make the character read manga and eat ramen one minute, then make some sort of pun that could only work in English or be unfamiliar with a manjuu (or some other common Asian food) the next (thus, they just make their character look like a common western otaku in the end). But I guess it takes a lot of work to write something in one language while trying to portray the culture within the fiction as speaking another language, and some people just aren't willing to relate their stories to the franchise's country of origin. I actually tried doing that in my defunct script (which was in English), but now, since I'm not extremely far off from writing Japanese on an average, comprehensible level (and it's taking a while to get started on my doujinshi anyway), I figure I'm just gonna go all the way with that. Also, if I work on such a project with a Japanese proofreader helping me out, there's potential to increase my proficiency in the language even further, thus more reasons I'm doing this.

October 29th, 2007, 1:14 PM
A while ago, before I joined PC and decided to get into fanfic writing, I thought about doing a shadow Pokemon story that took place in my fake region of Ronac, but write it in English and Spanish. However, I only had two years of spanish in high school and having lost interest in learning other languages when I got into the junior college I was taking courses at, I decided against that idea. I was thinking about...maybe...doing a version of Biohazard in spanish not too long ago, but my spanish skills are pretty rusty...

November 2nd, 2007, 9:59 PM
I plan to Spanish-ify everything that I have - fan fic and website, just to practice my linguistic skills. But I'm only in Spanish I right now, so it won't be for a while.

@Yamato-san: On your whole argument on the Americanization of a Japanese franchise, I think that it's more because the dub has, in the past, been very Americanized. D/P is very close, at least I would imagine it is, as I've not seen cheeseburgers or any of our western crap, and there is actually Japanese lettering in more places (like the card Dawn has to get a pokemon from Rowan.) There has definitely been, recently, a period of the western dub getting a lot closer to the original.

With that said, I don't think many people watch the anime, certainly they don't read the manga, even the English manga. The games are the major recruiter and part of the franchise, and so that is where the majority is looking at the franchise from. And since the game is a flat rpg with little backstory, unlike Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts, there isn't really much to connect to Japan. As a trainer in the GBA / DS games, you don't eat food anywhere, so that it's nearly impossible to realize it's Japan without comparing the regions to real Japan on a map.

Furthermore, I think that a lot of people just don't know. If there was, say, a good source of pokemon information purely from the Japanese canon that could be read in English, it would wonders. Unfortunately, we Westerners want Westernized canon because that's what we're going to want to have on the websites we visit online. It seems like a rather vicious cycle...

November 3rd, 2007, 1:58 PM
actually, the show was only distinctly Japanese in the first saga. In order to cater to the rest of the world, the producers started toning down the show's cultural elements, and because apparently 4kids has a problem with Japanese writing but not with a fictional language that neither side of the world is gonna be able to read anyway, they started putting some squiggles and squares (you actually thought that crap was authentic Japanese?) on all the signs since 4kids complained about the editing. However, this effort went entirely in vain as 4kids got a bit too edit-happy later on, censoring any writing at all, English or otherwise, in all of their shows (Dogasu (http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/comparisons/battle_frontier/ep146.html) sums it up pretty nicely). The reason this "writing" is showing up in the dub now is because 4kids lost the rights to Pokemon USA near the beginning of the Battle Frontier saga.

Oh, and you actually believe that Japan doesn't have cheeseburgers? See, this is what I meant about people trying to make characters Japanese only to eventually stereotype. The Japanese do, in fact, have access to a lot of western foods (a lot of which is popularly eaten over there).

President Showaddywaddy
November 3rd, 2007, 2:13 PM
I have considered writing my stories in four different languages:

English: Well it's already written in that.

French: I'm nearly there, despite not having a GCSE. I might be able to translate a couple of chapters, but not all of it.

Spanish: In my school, the top thirty French students have the option of doing another language. This language alternates between Spanish and Germen anually, and my year it was Spanish. Unfortunately, last year the school delivered yet another lump of disappointment. All three Spanish teachers left, and they cancelled the program. The funny thing is, I've got a Spaniard, teaching me French.:cross-eye

Libertian: Yes, I know I haven't finished it yet, and no one else knows, or will be bothered about knowing it, but it will give me a sense of achievement.

I will consider writing in another language(s), but I'm not entirely convinced. Yes I'll get a bigger audience. But it takes me an hour an a half to write a chapter. It takes me two or three times longer to write something in French or Spanish vs. English. So I'm not sure it'll be efficient timewise. I could just use an internet translator:cheeky:

November 3rd, 2007, 2:44 PM
I like to add little bits of french and spanish into my story. If you read my current story, I like to add little spanish words into it occasionally, and soon i'll start adding a little french, but I never will write a story with only one language (other than english) xD

December 15th, 2007, 3:08 AM
My Story of Kaboom is also available in French, but not very much of it so far (I've not got all that much time!)

Forest Grovyle
December 15th, 2007, 7:53 AM
Kaboom, do not bump threads that are more than a month old. Read the rules of the forums before you post again.