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amadeii

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  1. Not completely related to The Lara-Su Chronicles, but oh my... I cringed when I read "Sweet 16 and never been kissed." I rolled my eyes at the "Staggers the imagination, doesn't it?" line regarding how this sixteen-year-old girl is mankind's best hope for peaceful intergalactic relations. I mean, come on, Ken. The basic concept of this could be handled in an interesting manner, but what are you doing by describing the role of all your female characters to your potential audience as being so "hard to grasp"? Like he himself cannot believe the boldness of his own choices: "And all this is going to be handled by a 16-year-old GIRL! Unbelievable!" Also, he appears to have a fixation with girls whose names end in -ara, and they all seem to have the same fashion sense and the same set of "uncharacteristically female" traits (interests and excellence in science, for example). I have an idea, Ken. Pick an idea and finish it. Or better yet, take all the best bits of your range of ideas and combine them into one single series - and I'm not saying throw Cara who lives on Mars into some random volume of TLSC. I'm saying focus on developing one single character with all those best ideas. The way he's making it seem here indicates that he wants to create a random volume of TLSC where this Cara character appears out of nowhere and totally makes sense with the rest of the series, and that's not a good way of combining ideas. It'll just make everything even more of a convoluted mess than it's already going to be.
  2. I remember when that happened with the French translation. I feel like Ken hires people for his projects that may not be fully qualified (especially with translations), knowing very well that they are not necessarily the best choice for the job, and then he posts the work hoping that someone with greater knowledge of the language may see the post and offer corrections (editing) at no cost. If I recall correctly, he also did this with the... Spanish(?) translation, where people pointed out problems in the Twitter replies and he then made corrections and posted the revision. I would prefer not to involve myself with Ken's project or initiate conversation with him on Twitter, especially because I don't think he should get away with receiving editing assistance free of charge, and even with pay, I don't know that I'd want to be tied to the project for an undetermined period of time. That page was just something I wanted to analyze out of personal curiosity, and I posted it here so that the time spent didn't feel like it went entirely to waste. What confuses me, though, is why he thinks he needs these translations in the first place. They feed the illusion of progress, I guess, while he churns out maybe one page per year. (Maybe he produces more that he's not showing us. I don't know.) It's like he wants people to think there's a high demand for this story that isn't even close to being finished, because usually, translations mean that the work has already been successful in the original language. His way of handling this series is just... baffling sometimes. Like he wants it to appear successful without doing the work or finishing it, or something.
  3. Hey, guys. I'm sort of new here. I had an account shortly before the board went down and we lost X number of pages in this discussion (this would have been a few years ago now, maybe?), but I came back because I can't resist putting in my two cents regarding this Russian translation. (Please skip this post if you're not interested in my critique of the translation, because that's all this post is.) I'm not fluent in Russian, but I have spent many years studying it and being exposed to the way native speakers use it, and I have to say that this translation is pretty lackluster. The best thing I can say about it is that it's functional. But it feels like the person he used for the translation is a native English speaker that has maybe taken a year or two of Russian courses in school/university. There are odd word/phrasing choices, and the word order is stiff, like... an English speaker that doesn't have a good feel for Russian word order, especially in conversational contexts. There are also some basic grammar mistakes present in this translation that a native Russian speaker would never make, like the use of the instrumental case with something that defines a non-changing state of being (I know, if you don't speak any Russian, you probably won't understand what that means, I'm sorry). Let me go through the rest of it point by point and lay out my thoughts... I'm fascinated by the word choice for commander (they used director, and I have no idea why). "Reporting (for duty)" is absolutely wrong, although you can make the argument that "I have arrived with the report" is not incorrect... But it does beg the question of: Why, then, would St. John be wondering if it's the meteorological report? She just told him that's what she brought. Unless he gets a lot of various kinds of reports at irrelevant times... Where the English version said, "That better be a meteorological report you have there..." the Russian merely says, "I hope it's the meteorological report..." (And it's missing a word in the phrase!) The chosen phrase for "Otherwise" is acceptable and correct, but I don't hear that phrase spoken as often as a much simpler alternative (one that's shorter and rolls off the tongue better). It's one of those phrases that would be more appropriate in a formal or written context than in spoken dialogue, especially from somebody who seems to be kind of irritable and in a hurry. The chosen word for "conversation" is technically correct (they have multiple words for conversation), but I tend to think of another word as my go-to. Not a big deal, really, but... What I'm discovering is that many of the phrases and words I'm pointing out are the first things that pop up when you type in the English equivalent on Google translate, so... I wanted to point that out, too. It sort of goes along with my concerns that this person may not be a native Russian speaker but a student/learner instead. In the English, Brownie says, "I couldn't say, sir," but in the Russian, it says, "I cannot know, sir." Not I don't know, not I can't say, not I couldn't say/tell you, not I have no idea, but I am incapable of knowing. Why? It's a relatively basic sentence in both languages. Their translations would be pretty close to the same thing. Honestly, I'm more concerned about it feeling unnatural than what it says. If someone asks, "What is this?" nobody will ever respond with, "I can't know." "I was given this and told it was for your eyes only." is translated as "They just passed it on to me. They said that it was top secret and that the record is intended only for you." It's just kind of stilted and wordy, isn't it? I mean, I thought the original writing was lacking in urgency and interest (mostly because it throws you in with zero context or development and wants you to care about... a document, of all things), but this translation leaves a lot to be desired. Also, well-constructed Russian can often get more ideas across (and clearly) with less words, and that was not the case with this sentence. Even the translation of the title can be questioned. I can't say for sure whether it's right or wrong, but Russian uses different words for various types of storms. The word used in this translation would not be my go-to when thinking of a general storm. I hear certain other words more often than the one chosen, which happens to be an English cognate ("Shtorm," roughly). But really, it would depend entirely on what this storm is intended to be, and since we've really not seen enough of the story to know for sure, I can't say that the choice was wrong. Now, I'm not saying these things to attack the translator. I don't know who they are, where they come from, whether they are professional translators or not, etc., but if I had to guess, they are probably not native Russian speakers, and if they are (which...ngh... I have a very hard time believing, unless they've lived with another language for so long that they're losing touch with some specifics of their native language), then there was probably little to no communication between Penders and this translator to clarify context and refine language choice. As I said, it's kind of flat. It just doesn't have any sense of natural flow or flair. I've read poorly translated books (into English) like this, and translations that feel flat like this can ruin any goodness that existed in the original text. Functional text might work with translations of manuals, but it simply doesn't cut it with creative works. It needs more finesse to capture interest, and I don't feel that this translation will effectively grab the attention of new Russian-speaking fans. Also, when looking to compare the Russian to the English, I had to scroll through all of Penders's photos for over three and a half years to find the original post. February 12, 2015. Really, Ken? We've been focused on the first page of this one mini story for three and a half years? Good lord. https://twitter.com/KenPenders/status/565796920010891265 (Edits/Additions): Sorry, but I sat down and wanted to give this page a quick translation, to see how I would interpret the English into Russian, and I'm seeing even more things that are just... odd. Like... Geoffrey St. John's name... Why didn't they just use the Russian word for Saint (Sankt)? They actually spell it as "Sent" instead of phonetically as "Seynt". Very unclear. The opening boxes where the narrator helps introduce you to where you are is also oddly worded, especially the second line that reads in English as "Yeah, it's my first time down here as well." It says, "I, just like you, am also here for the first time." Security apparatus just becomes security, and "protecting the royal kingdom" uses the adjective form of protecting instead of the participle form, which turns the phrase into "the protecting royal kingdom" instead. That's a big one. Also, Russians have a word for ensign that isn't "Ensin," although I'm sure "ensin" would be perfectly understandable. I don't understand why they couldn't just use the Russian ranking, though. Complex sentence structure appears to be difficult for this translator, as though they intentionally worked around that limitation in their translation, except on the one occasion described above with the inaccurate use of participles. And that's where the stilted awkwardness comes from. I hope I'm done now...
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