21 Comments
Edited by swordvan

As someone who grew up on Japanese games, indie games from Japan sound amazing.

Edited by Deathpooky

Very good stuff. As much as the 8-4 Play guys were lamenting the indie scene in Japan, IMO a lot of pioneering amazing indie games came out of Japan. Cave Story and La Mulana are both nearly a decade old at this point, and the originals still hold up as huge, amazing, free(!) experiences.

Edited by Neonie

@swordvan: Check out Cape Fulgur's stuff and maybe Touhou if you're into top down vertical shooters.

Edited by Nekroskop

Very good, Patrick. These interviews are great.

On the topic:

I wish Steam was as popular in Japan as here. That would open up unlimited possibilities for indie developers over there.

Posted by thetrin

Glad I was able to set up this interview for you, Patrick. Josh told me the hotel room was kind of crappy, but maybe that boosts our indie cred!

<-- Nayan from Playism

Posted by paulunga

The problem with playism is that it's about 3/4s shmups. Their indies are oftentimes fucking boring.

Edited by cikame
I wish Steam was as popular in Japan as here. That would open up unlimited possibilities for indie developers over there.

Oh man that would be so good.

Edited by RobinOttens
@cikame said:
@ahaisthisourchance said:
I wish Steam was as popular in Japan as here. That would open up unlimited possibilities for indie developers over there.

Oh man that would be so good.

I think Valve was out at the BitSummit thing in Japan a few weeks back to tell the Japanese indie devs what Steam's all about? Let's all hope that means Steam gets some traction there in the coming year.

Edited by BiggNife

It's weird listening to this after listening to the 8-4 interview because I just kept thinking that the translator was leaving things out of the guy's responses.

Posted by SomeJerk

PC popularity is larger than people think in Japan and steadily growing. It's just that most of the people I talk with there look at me like I'm a wizard when I talk about building my own computer from separate parts, and these people are gaming/tech media staffers, musicians, computer store sales-clerks, NEETs and nerds.

(Enjoyed the NicoVideo talk, would love that as an option for GB streams)

Posted by yyZiggurat

I wanted to buy La Mulana on Playism but they only payment option they have is Paypal. Now I'm just waiting for it to be released on Steam.

Posted by vhold

@biggnife said:

It's weird listening to this after listening to the 8-4 interview because I just kept thinking that the translator was leaving things out of the guy's responses.

I have this hunch that is way way more common than people realize. I have never once ever seen a translator say "What?" They have got to be faking it a lot of the time.

Posted by betusblues

@yyziggurat: You can also buy it on gog.com right now.

Edited by Pepsiman

@vhold said:

@biggnife said:

It's weird listening to this after listening to the 8-4 interview because I just kept thinking that the translator was leaving things out of the guy's responses.

I have this hunch that is way way more common than people realize. I have never once ever seen a translator say "What?" They have got to be faking it a lot of the time.

Japanese-English written translator/occasional interpreter here. One of the main problems that can be posed in interpreting from Japanese is that the grammar is really, really flexible; there are certain structures that you typically adhere to in specific ways for different situations, but a lot of the ordering can be shifted around at will within a sentence without either the meaning or the grammatical correctness being lost. We have that to a very limited extent in English, but the core flow of an English sentence more or less remains the same where you establish a subject, then tack on a predicate, and then throw in any additional clauses that follow that same basic rules. In Japanese, basically all of that can be moved around without consequence. What that means for Japanese-English interpretation is that the pieces we as interpreters need to form a full sentence often come out of order in the original Japanese and we basically have to juggle disparate pieces of information in our head until we confidently have everything we need to form a full picture of what's being said and then proceed in producing the English interpretation. If you don't have the luxury of a note-taking device of some sort to accompany you (which is frankly seen as a crutch for a variety of reasons), it can honestly just be really hard work managing all of that. You have to start formulating what your English output is going to be before the original Japanese statement has even been concluded. When information doesn't come out in Japanese in a format that flows 1:1 with English in terms of structure, which almost never happens, honestly the best you really are often going to get is a cliff notes version of the original Japanese because we're focused more on ensuring the critical details come across than anything else. Nuance is for when timeliness isn't on the line, which is certainly the case in any decent face-to-face interview.

I love 8-4's work as a translator and their methodology of having a script prior to commencing interpretation is great, but it really only works in settings like speeches where that dialog can be prepared ahead of time. At that point, with a script, you're basically just doing a conventional text translation that's then converted into spoken word later. That gives you a great opportunity to punch up the English and make sure it really does live up to the quality of what's originally being said in Japanese. But in an interview like this where everything has to be spontaneous, they would run into those same sorts of issues as any other interpreter. They do great work in the face of that, but that's just the reality of things with interpretation between most any two languages, but especially between Japanese and English, even when you have high tier professionals like those guys working at it. That being said, while I haven't finished listening to this interview, Weatherford has done a respectable job as an interpreter himself. He's streamlining a lot of the original responses, but that's really to your benefit as an English-only listener; there isn't otherwise any critical information that's being neglected simply because he has to improvise like most any interpreter does. What nuance is lost isn't really necessary in the English interpretation in the first place for this sort of subject. Personally, I'd probably very likely produce a similar interpretation myself if it was me doing that interview.

It's not to say that there aren't bad interpretations and that there aren't ways for us to improve our methodology. I receive constructive criticism all the time on my own work, some of which is justified and some of which isn't so much due to any number of reasons. But we're all just human beings and to expect a perfect 1:1 interpretation is just unrealistic and diminishes the difficult undertaking that takes place. Language is a tricky field to work in. We make mistakes and sometimes we won't hear absolutely everything 100 percent of the time, but we try to make sure you as listeners hear what absolutely needs to heard at the very, very least. Anybody who bullshits their interpretation and strays beyond the core intent of what's really being said probably isn't worthy of being a professional, but at least as somebody who works in the field, this isn't an interview that deserves such skepticism. You don't have to believe me if you don't speak Japanese yourself, but that's my take on it as someone who does.

Posted by BisonHero

@pepsiman: Let me just say that I really appreciate the depth you went into with that explanation.

Edited by omdata

@pepsiman: Let me just say that I really appreciate the depth you went into with that explanation.

Hear, hear.

Posted by HaltIamReptar

that's a bizarre way of spelling interim

Edited by Nettacki

I wanted to buy La Mulana on Playism but they only payment option they have is Paypal. Now I'm just waiting for it to be released on Steam.

Get it on Gog now because lord knows Steam won't be around forever.

Edited by Aleryn

So that's what Playism is about. Will be checking them regularly now, thanks Patrick.

Also, @pepsiman that was an excellent explanation of Japanese to English in general. I hope more than a handful read it because it brilliantly summarizes the crazy openness of Japanese grammar versus English in this case.

Posted by Gerhabio

I wonder why PC gaming isnt as big in Japan