Hello Smashers and Nintendo fans,
Today, I wanted to take a moment to explain my feelings. Not something I usually do, but recent events have essentially pushed me over the edge. I’m taking this to you guys (reddit) so that the most amount of people can see this. I hope you take a moment to take my appeal into consideration, and understand where I’m coming from. The TL;DR is in the conclusion.
Who we are:
Source Gaming was started over a year and a half ago. Originally, I started to just practice my translations but as Smash for 3DS/Wii U went into full gear, it became much more than that. For a year now, I’ve been working with a team of people to research, translate, write about, and discuss Smash, and it’s been a joy. I sincerely love the game and its fanbase, and I hope our work promotes a positive image of both.
One of the key things we’ve been doing is going back and re-translating articles/quotes, as well as providing the original context for said quotes. The Smash fanbase has been plagued by bad information, mistranslations and tons of misconceptions. Considering the nature of Smash, it makes sense. Smash inherently draws in a broad range of video game fans, and Masahiro Sakurai doesn’t speak English. This becomes a recipe for disaster when trying to manage all the information floating around. Source Gaming stepped up to the plate, and we have provided an unprecedented amount of corrections in the past year. Here’s a list of some of the things we’ve done:
Source, Source Gaming:
Basically, we’ve lived up to our name. If you read any Smash development news in the past year, 99% of the time it came from us. We’ve been putting out 1-4 posts a day. And the majority of our content isn’t exactly filler. It’s all properly sourced and research. Because of that, our team is huge. A total of 17 people help out with the site, and we are still recruiting more.
Anyway, the reason I’m here for this appeal is because I feel that we haven’t been given enough credit for our hard work. It’s incredibly frustrating. In particular, the issue I have is with certain Nintendo blog sites. When I first started SG, sites would copy and paste our entire translation (here’s one example). I had to fight to get them not to plagiarize the entire translation, but to just quote it. YouTube is now fighting a similar battle with reaction videos and fair use. Thankfully, our issue has been mostly fixed. However, sites are still happy to not mention us and to not include a link to us in their articles. Not all of them—Nintendo News, Perfectly Nintendo, GoNintendo are great. Check them out.
In the end, it’s because those sites want you to stay on their website. Most of them run ads, and they want to make money. That’s okay, but if you are going to make money off our work, then you must at least mention our name with a link in the article, for the content we are responsible for.
The “source” link at the bottom is the worst invention ever. It’s lazy. Generally speaking, from the “source” link, we will get 30-200 hits. It’s not a lot, and it’s done nothing to increase the awareness of Source Gaming at all.
Here’s an example of Nintendo Life being confused on who reported the Geno information first. In the first version of the article, Nintendo Everything did not even mention that we translated that, and only included a “source” link. The NeoGaf thread on the topic mentions Nintendo Everything first, and then says, “Source Gaming is reporting this as well.” (Image just in case) No: We were the first. Nintendo Everything did not properly credit us in the original article, which caused this confusion. The formula needs to be improved. Sites need to be accountable for the information they post. It’s important.
It doesn’t have to be like that at all. Shoryuken has great standards when reporting on our stuff. They’ve even contacted us to check if it was okay.
Bad Translations are Bad News:
Blog sites have started trying to imitate Source Gaming. Nintendo Everything has started posting translations about Smash in an effort to compete with Source Gaming (which is ridiculous as Source Gaming is so much smaller than NE, but whatever…). They even use a similar “Please source us” warning at the end of the translation.
The issue is not that Nintendo Everything posts translations, it’s that Nintendo Everything rushes them. As far as I can tell, they aren’t checked by another person. They are incredibly sloppy and, frankly, unprofessional. The Smash Community has been subjected to a lot of bad information in the past, and Nintendo Everything isn’t doing anything to help combat that trend. It’s something that’s happened multiple times, and I think it’s important that I highlight the issue now.
Even people here on reddit noticed that the latest NE translation differs from our translation. This is because whoever is translating the information about Smash for Nintendo Everything doesn’t know Smash like we do. They make multiple mistakes with simple things i.e. Final Smash (they called it a “Trump Card” [Article link] which is the literal translation), Ledge (they called it a “Cliff”, which is again a…literal translation [Article link]) and even messing up the meaning in some parts. This is a dangerous trend, and one that I implore Nintendo Everything to stop right now. If you can’t handle the translations, don’t post them as news. Just quote ours, and report on that.
Posting bad translations is worst than misquoting someone. You are literally speaking for that person. As a translator, you have a responsibility to accurately reflect what they say. Because most people can’t check translations (there’s not a lot of bilingual people in the community), and because Sakurai doesn’t speak English, it’s likely that this information will get accepted as truth. And then, in two years I will have to write another sequel to Sakurai Didn’t Say That because those translators messed up. Learn from the past, and don’t rush translations. Get it checked.
Source Gaming has 6+ translators on staff, two of whom are actual professional translators—as in they do translation for a living. When we work on a translation, it is a collaborative effort. There’s only been one translation that’s gone up without being checked, and that’s because Nintendo Everything is trying to “race us” for the translation. It was translated by one of our strongest translators, and there were no issues found post-release.
In the end, translation of a work is owned completely by the original author. Therefore, if Famitsu, Nintendo Dream or Sakurai, wanted to they could request us to stop and to take down the translations that we have done.
Translation is a skill, and one that employs a lot of choice. To see just how different translations can be, I’d strongly suggest reading Love of Translating where I compare multiple translations of the same work. Follow up with the 5 Things That Go into Translations. When Source Gaming does translation, we try to rid as much bias as we can, and accurately reflect the meaning of the original work. It’s a lot of work, and one where we’ve had hour long arguments over wording. We aren’t claiming to own Sakurai’s words, but we do work very hard to ensure he is accurately represented.
Yesterday, we decided to post the discussion video on the newest Nintendo Dream article because we didn’t want to rush the translation. We want to make sure that we are confident in the translation before going live with it. Source Gaming takes this responsibility very seriously. Doing the discussion first allows us to take the time with the translation, but still get the information out. It’s a compromise. Even then, sites like MyNintendoNews are still unwilling to give us proper credit.
This post is getting extremely long, so I’ll wrap it up. In summary, please properly source us for the information we brought to everyone’s attention. Also, translations take time, don’t rush them. A translation race is a dangerous one that will lead to only more misinformation.
Oh, and as I said in the past, we’re not running ads. If you feel so kind, we’d appreciate supporting our Patreon. It’s not necessary, but it will help us provide translations quicker, and create better content for the community. Even helping us out with promotion would be greatly appreciated! Tell your friends where to go to find the correct information!
Thank you for all your love and support,