I'm going to reply to everyone at once. Because I'm obsessive like that.
Mkilbride wrote:Most people actually make a fufufu sound when they laugh, so I have no idea what yer on about.
When yer tired, alot of people go "Haa...haa...haa", like that...it's normal.
The same "fu" as used in "fukai" or "futatsu"? String those syllables together and you get an... unusual sound. But that's really beside the point. I am well aware of the sounds people make when they're panting and that it can be reasonably approximated with "haa". However, like "fufufu" it's very unusual and it's not unreasonable that people who haven't encountered it before would be puzzled, at least initially. This is less about comprehension and more about comfort.
Mkilbride wrote:"Senior! Senior!" Oh, god that'd be so stupid looking. I realize what they honourifics mean, but it's part of the overall feel. Let's see, the joke about her still calling him Senpai would be removed, and the moment where she finally calls him "Shirou", wouldn't be as special. Senpai is one of the only personality traits she has. Also, what would she call Rin initially? At first, she didn't want to call her by just "Rin", as she didn't want to be overly-familiar with her(You should know why), so she called her Senpai also.
"Senior! Senior!" would look stupid? Why thank you kindly for your critical and worldly insight, I go away a better man.
Anyway, what you seem to be saying from my point of view amounts to "Oh, it would be too hard to translate it properly, so let's just leave it in Japanese," which of course completely misses the point of translation in the first place.
I will admit I forgot about those occasions when "sempai" actually plays some part in conversation but my point still doesn't change.
Remember how I said I couldn't see how Nasu's style was particularly unique? It seems some eggs have already been broken, so why not at least fully cook the omelette?
Mkilbride wrote:I was first confronted by such terms when I started Tsukihime. So I opened the Liner Notes thing and said "Ah, that's simple". It's not at all hard to understand...and it'd be alot of work to re-go through the script replacing and changing alot of it. You're asking for alot of work with almost no pay off or valid reason.
The amount of work is the real deal-breaker. It's for that reason that I would be very surprised if one of the team came over and actually said "yes". Oh and "valid reason"? Let's be fair now, if I thought this was invalid would I really spend hours of my time typing it out in the first place and then defending it when I could
should be doing homework?
abscess wrote:About the "present to past form of description conversion"-stuff, I find that quite stupid to do. Read Steppen Wolf, by Herman Hesse, if I remember correctly, it's written in that way. If we were to convert a writing style just to suit the more main-stream style, then we may as well start wanting the novels that are written in letter-style or a diary-style to be converted in the more mainstream style of writing. With that you are saying to get rid of any and all other styles that differ from the mainstream. That is inconcievably senseless, to say the least.
It is not "inconceivably senseless" to convert from the mainstream style in one language to the mainstream style in another. It is a natural thing to do. If an English book (written in the past tense, as per norm) is translated to Japanese, then it would be transfered to the present tense. Why not the other way round?
Keeping it in the EDIT:present
tense would give readers the impression that the writing style is somehow unique or important. Likewise, when I heard that Nasu was considered an unusual writer, I immediately assumed it was (partly) because he had written FSN in the present tense, when all the other games I had played were in the past tense.
I really don't see how you concluded I was advocating homogenising all writing styles and forms into the standard past tense practice.
I think the OP's point is turnining this Japanese world into a Western world so an average Westerner can understand / feel comfortable with the story.
It's just like how a lot of Westerners don't eat Chinese food except for fried rice, fried calemaries, dim sims (which they all think are fried spring rolls when in fact most of them are steamed) and sweet and sour pork. If you ask them to have chicken feet, it's like asking them to kill themselves.
After all, the western friends here are the minority who can understand the Japanese/Asian cultures and language more than your usual counterparts.
Perhaps I'm misinterpreting what you wrote here, but it is only my intention to naturalise the language, not the actual world itself. I'm not, for instance, suggesting we move everything to somewhere in the US and convert all the names to English ones. Now that would be needless work.
Raven wrote:I think if you want to lead someone down to the VN path you need some kind of bridge, and that bridge should be something more accessible. Again, VN is too niche to be the starting point for someone to explore the Japanese culture. Anime, that's a good middle man, and I think it's pretty safe to say if you can not get someone to like anime, it's pretty much impossible to get that person to like VN. Show them a few VN adoption series, and if they're interested enough, you can introduce them the VN in which usually a better material if they want to further exploring the story and characters. That's how I basically came to VN. Not to mention it's very easy to give people the wrong idea if you give them a VN for first hand experience.
I don't really plan to use VNs as a vehicle for introducing people to Japanese culture, any more than I'm reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms in order to make inroads into classical Chinese culture.
Anyway, introducing them through anime doesn't really accomplish much since they'll almost certainly want to watch the dub (which is undoubtedly replete with horrific voice acting) which, believe it or not, is in proper idiomatic English, kind of like what I'm suggesting.
First Visual Novels I played, I couldn't stop thinking how annoying it was to keep going through all the text and stuff, but I gradually came to like it. Like others have said, VN's are Niche even in Japan, and Anime is Niche in America, so VN's in America aren't even niche, they're super-niche. Alot of people I tell about VN's think it'd be to much of a hastle and would rather watch the anime or so. This is the market you want to reach, they don't want to REACH back
So niche their sales make up 70% of the Japanese videogame market?
lolipedofin wrote:I don't think it's all about linguistic style like honorifics, senpai, narrrative style of whatever (funny you mentioned the narrative style, cos i don't even realize it until you mentioned it ^^). The problem lies more within the story itself, for instance, not everyone take japan, or perhaps anime style of joke as funny, especially if they're unfamiliar with it, this is a big factor considering that even I would probably had stopped reading such a long visual novel if there's no light jokes here and there in the middle of the story... then, perhaps they don't find anime art-style appealing, or even worse, VN style just doesn't suit them... Maybe rather than VN a medium as movie or normal novel would be better appreciated, sad fact, but i think its the truth...
But hey, don't give up just because of this, here's to keep spreading the existence of Visual Novels...^^
It's interesting you mention all that - I think you might be on to something here. When I consider all the miscellaneous things in find amusing in anime or manga it's actually surprising how much the situation is inherently funnier (for me) because the English is so poorly written, rather like adding a layer of surrealism. For instance, I wonder whether the average Western reader would find Taiga's behaviour as funny as someone who's been slowly and surely inured to Japanese comedy (Manzai and all that) via things like Love Hina or Minami-ke.
That said, I also feel that having a solid, completely English language base might very well provide a layer of comfort for prospective readers, encouraging them to "stick it out", as it were, instead of deciding that this is not for them. In that respect, the prologue is rather convenient since it's mostly action and drama-driven, giving the reader a taste of things to come.
Apologies for any formatting errors - I typed this out in Notepad and it seems to enjoy playing silly buggers with anything I write.