Join the big protest project against mistranslation!

Discussion in 'Cards: Strategy and Rulings Discussion' started by Magic_Umbreon, Feb 6, 2008.

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  1. Magic_Umbreon

    Magic_Umbreon Researching Tower Scientist, Retired

    Magic Umbreon's Translation Protest Project

    First, to just introduce myself. I am Alex Bramham a.k.a. Magic_Umbreon from the UK. I'm 16 years old, I started playing pokémon competitevely about two/three years ago. I have a huge interest in logic, particularly Boolean logic. Sudoku, maths and computer programming whatever I love working things out in things like that. Pokémon has always given me great interest in calculating probabilities and such but just recently I've started a little bit of looking at translations of cards. Since there have been varying opinions as to the accuracy of the current translations I've decided to do a little research. Noticing Banette SW's error brought it to people's attention and was confirmed by Tego's experience. (not saying it would not have been noticed without my input but it just made me think it's worth pointing things out).

    This big protest project I hope to do, hopefully just to start the ball rolling as other people contribute is a simple but powerful thing:

    How closely can we translate GE cards from their japanese text to the standards played today and will we find any inconsisties to provoke errata on the way?

    Just to to make things clear:

    • I don't know any japanese. The characters just look like random scribbles to me.
    • I've seen a few GE cards in english and I know lots about the sets pre GE as most Pokégym users probably do too.

    I plan to use Altavista's babelfish translator to translate the effect text from the GE cards. Names of attacks (e.g. Tackle and Hydro Pump) don't matter - makes no difference to game effect but things like requirement in discarding energy do and I will attempt to construct correct translations. Obviously, energy symbols and HP and pokémon name, weakness and all that don't matter because anyone can see that on the japanese card.

    So I'll try starting off by posting the babelfish translations for the A-C cards text from GE. Note I'm not using the research tower or looking at any scans or cards. I won't be applying knowledge of the GE cards. Even if I know what I'm writing isn't right I'll leave it that way.

    Under each babelfish translation I'll write a little about why I am rewording it and then my interpretation of it. Remember it's to potentially prove a point that a kid can do as good as or better with a crappy online translator than the actual translations.


    Easy. Partner is obviously defending as you're not going to paralyse yourself.

    The first phrase is clearly "during your opponent's next turn" and appeals must be attack as it is talking about damage next. Reducing damage again is a simple game mechanic quite clear but as for the "of evolution bit" I'm stumped. I'll guess it means evolved pokémon.

    The last bit is about pokémon tool rule (can't attach to what already has a tool) and that it would be discarded with the pokémon. I know mountain bill = deck and it only makes sense to be drawing. You wouldn't get cards from the discard pile or prizes every turn. I know battle place means active like in cessation crystal.

    Babelfish doesn't like a bit of it. "Designating as" seems quite particular, I'd imagine that must be a special condition because there is nothing else in the game you could describe as anything "designated" or be checked for like that. Purple is poison now, and with Arbok being poison type it's a stab in the dark. Eek.

    Easy because so many pokémon have an attack like this.

    Quantity of hand bill is size of hand and it seems to work like scientist so I'll just write holon scientist's effect.

    Argh I haven't a clue. I know of teleport attacks like Horsea DF, Deoxys HP and Grumpig DX but this is tough. I think if it did anything else it would be so overpowered so I think it's a good guess.

    I remember how Beedrill's first attack goes but not its second:

    Oh right that's simply anyway that a good few cards have.

    Judging by what I've seen so far I'd imagine it couldn't mean active pokémon, benched or defending so I'll take a stab in the dark it means any of your pokémon. But then it would surely say something about being in-play. Hmmm.

    1 of the partners must mean opponent's pokémon because you wouldn't damage yourself and you choose the target between opponent's active pokémon anyway. Benched only would be sort of weird.

    Buizel has no effect text. Only names of attacks and other stuff irrelevant to game play. It could never and will never receive errata.

    That japanese bit that babelfish didn't like is the same as Blaziken's. I assumed it meant pokémon there so it surely means the same here and it makes sense.

    No I don't think (LOL at the engrish here). Unreasonable sounds very much like a status condition. Arbok I looked at earlier had "designated as" too and it would make sense for Butterfree to poison. I think it's that standard grass type status combo they get.

    Canea = a cactus = in desert = sand = sand attack. During following turn, if tails failure. I think that's very clearly the standard smokescreen.

    Same clause as Arbok and Butterfree,

    sigh. another flip damage attack.

    "Already" gives it away as the standard attack that does more if they are damaged.

    Complicated power :redface: I'll split it up.

    If this ポケモン is in the battle place, 1 time you can use in your own turn. Seems simple enough, common at the start of powers. Needs to be active and once per turn. Equally the last bit about cutting the deck and not being usable if it is affects by a special condition. Both simple phrases. As for the bit inbetween: If the coin 1 throwing オモテ, from your own mountain bill, you evolve from this ポケモン into in regard to 1 choosing and this ポケモン to place the "evolution card", it evolves. Mentioning a coin always means a coin flip, so I'd say it's a flip dependent power. Mountain bill is deck so it's something about evolving into a card from your deck on a coin flip. It makes sense to search then so...

    Identical text to Altaria 1 I already attempted.

    The first and last bits are the same as Caterpie's. Once per turn and not while conditioned. Reset sounds like returning to your deck but it says under so I think it means like Mars not shuffled back. The draw up to your hand being 6 is quite clear.

    The next his own turn must mean during your next turn and the untranslated bits are probably pokémon or something similar. I think it's a silver wind type attack.

    The other attack is another repeat flip x50.

    Almost a direct translation, quite clearly removes 2 damage counters if there is a stadium in play.

    Again, almost exactly the same. Weird how this was one of the first revealed GE cards and is the easiest in babelfish lol.

    Don't know where to start with Cresselia LvX and I know what this does from the english card so I can't approach this effect fairly :(


    So that's cards A-C, after now checking the scans it seems I only got them wrong for Combusken and Cresselia. Unless they were mistranslated of course :lol:

    That took a while but I think it could be a profitable process if another mistranslation is discovered. Besides, if either Cresslia or Combusken were to have been mistranslated, then I did a better job than the official translators just by using babelfish lol!

    How you can join in

    If you want to join in, then try copy-pasting the japanese text from into babel fish then copy-pasting that onto this thread. It would be cool to see attempts like what I've done above for each card trying to work out what its text is.
  2. fchangus2

    fchangus2 New Member

    dude, isn't there a better way to spend your time (which you seem to have too much of) wisely, like, playtesting? just a thought
  3. Mew*

    Mew* Active Member

    I think you're getting a bit too worked up about this whole mistranslation thing. Also, those automated translators aren't very accurate, so I wouldn't rely so heavily on them.
  4. Burninating_Torchic

    Burninating_Torchic New Member

    They're not going to get you much of anywhere if you don't already know some Japanese. Too many grammatical flaws and untranslatable phrases.

    SPARTA New Member

    ^Agreed. You can't rely on a computer to do translations between languages as different as japanese and english. Seriously, Japanese is so different its baffaling, you have words that can be added on to the end of a sentance to change the meaning of the entire sentance (such as ending it with -ttebayo to make it sound more uncultered or brosque than it really is), and you can have an entire sentance in Japanese without a subject. Leave the job of translating to people, not computers.
  6. Magic_Umbreon

    Magic_Umbreon Researching Tower Scientist, Retired

    I didn't use any web translators when I compared Wormadon and Unown G. Besides, I KNOW they are not accurate I'm not denying it but in the post above I managed to construct exact translations using it so it can't be so bad.
  7. Ardoptres

    Ardoptres New Member

    Oh please.
    GJ and everything, but get over it.
    Most of it is minor anyways.
  8. Tego

    Tego New Member

    Magic_Umbreon, I too must say I think you are wasting your time here. Although there have been a few mistranslations lately, correct translations are still the wast majority, and finding a few mistranslations by pure luck is a waste of time. A better use of your time would be to just keep your eyes open like you've done lately with Banette and Unown G, and then alert a Japanese-reading 'Gym member like me, Bangirasu, Nanimonoka etc.
  9. Dom

    Dom New Member

    Duuuuuuuude seriously.

    You remind me of myself 3 years ago.
  10. I don't know what you said but I support your efforts. Enjoy your play.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2008
  11. Cyrus

    Cyrus Iron Chef - Master Emeritus

    Don't join in with this nonsense-actually HELP by sending POP your (negative) feedback.
  12. bulbasnore

    bulbasnore Administrator Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    OK folks, MU is enjoying his efforts. If you enjoy them, or want to discuss his results, join in. If not, nevermind!

    Tego and to some degree others have made some nice constructive criticisms, but that doesn't mean this should become a thread arguing about MUs approach/benefits, etc. Let the thread live or die on its merits.
  13. Tego

    Tego New Member

    Magic_Umbreon, I have to point out that I really think you've been a big help to the community by alterting everyone of Banette and Unown, and just tell me anytime (even by PM) if you want another card checked for mistranslation. I just think this thread is going a bit too far, and that online translators are a waste of anyone's time. Keep up the good work.

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