Translation How-to's

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Sam-the-cat
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Translation How-to's

Post by Sam-the-cat »

Hi readers, translators, people interested in translations and everybody else,

Last week I had very useful conversations with Obbl and some translators about the many questions I have as someone who is new to this project. It occurred to me that this is would be a good moment for making notes and for putting them together in one place.

That's why I started this topic. In a way, it's meant to be a follow-up of Attention! Multilingual Site Support Coming. I came up with ' Translation How-to's' as a hopefully meaningful title that says what it is about.

My idea is that we can discuss technicalities and dilemmas that translators face. I hope that this way we can bundle solutions, opinions, tips & tricks. Not as a definitive guideline, but as a place where you can find ideas so the wheel doesn't need to be reinvented.

Of course, discussions can also take place in the different language threads and through PM. The idea of this new topic is just to put things together, so it is easier to use as a reference.

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Sam-the-cat
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Re: Translation How-to's

Post by Sam-the-cat »

Let me start with some info I gathered:

Fonts
  • The recommended font for balloon and box text is Webletterer BB.
    Use 10 pt, or if your language uses more space, 9 pt is OK too. For small text I use 7 pt.
  • For diacritical letters (Umlaut and such), use Komika Hand.
  • I found out that the Varieté font looks most like the font for large onomatopoeia ('Slam!') that Rick uses, but maybe there are better alternatives.
  • For paper fluent handwriting you can use French Script
  • For Spot: Max's Handwriting (Valerio: thanks for the tips!)
Data format
  • Use PNG, because this format preserves transparency
  • The forum has a limit for single uploads of 256 KB. I use the command line tool OptiPNG to shrink oversized PNG's in an almost lossless way
Feel free to comment and/ or to share your tips, tricks and recommendations!

I'm curious how translators of non-Roman character set languages deal with these issues ...

CityRedFox
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Re: Translation How-to's

Post by CityRedFox »

Sam-the-cat wrote: I'm curious how translators of non-Roman character set languages deal with these issues ...
As long as it's clear enough to read, I don't think which font is a big issue.
For Chinese translation, we just use some simple and regular font.(Think of Times New Roman or Arial)
The other reason for that is the comics in Taiwan don't use any special font either. We don't really have a counterpart for "Webletterer" or other comic font. The situation is much the same for Japanese. However the Korean translation do use some interesting font for comic, but I know no more info for it.(Not familiar with Korean.)

It seems most of the translation projects still alive are European languages, so I guess most of you guys don't have to worry about this.

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Sam-the-cat
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Re: Translation How-to's

Post by Sam-the-cat »

OK, that's interesting. Then I have a question for you and other translators: do you try to stick to a fixed font size as much as possible or do you vary the font size depending on your need for space? More general:
  • What do you do if your text is too big for the balloon?
  • Remove words?
  • Rewrite the sentence?
  • Use a smaller font; and if so, do you use a regular and a small size, or do you resize in small steps until it fits?
  • Enlarge the balloon?
I mean, all four options are possible, but which options would you prefer?

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Re: Translation How-to's

Post by valerio »

Sam-the-cat wrote:OK, that's interesting. Then I have a question for you and other translators: do you try to stick to a fixed font size as much as possible or do you vary the font size depending on your need for space? More general:
  • What do you do if your text is too big for the balloon?
  • Remove words?
  • Rewrite the sentence?
  • Use a smaller font; and if so, do you use a regular and a small size, or do you resize in small steps until it fits?
  • Enlarge the balloon?
I mean, all four options are possible, but which options would you prefer?
rewriting sentences implies removing/adding words. Translations can't be literal, they vary according to one's country culture. That *also* allows to optimize the available baloon space.
And yes, in certain occasions, I had to use a smaller font size so to have all the text fitting. Such solution can be obligated when the baloon is part of a 'chain' of dialogue. And it is even more so now that Rick no longer uses the 'geometrical' baloons.
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Re: Translation How-to's

Post by Render »

We often face longer translations in German. I use size 7 only and even then I sometimes have problems because thetext doesn't fit into the balloons. I avoid goiing down to size 6, that's too small. So I have to find another translation that's shorter. In rare cases I expand the bubble a bit if it's only a few pixel and very very seldom I need to go to size 6.5 or 6, but only if there is no other way.
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renato
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Re: Translation How-to's

Post by renato »

Sam-the-cat wrote:
  • What do you do if your text is too big for the balloon?
  • Remove words?
  • Rewrite the sentence?
  • Use a smaller font; and if so, do you use a regular and a small size, or do you resize in small steps until it fits?
  • Enlarge the balloon?
Depending on the software used you can also try to modify text size slightly changing parameters like:
  • Letter spacing
  • Line spacing
'
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Re: Translation How-to's

Post by Lintharix »

Sam-the-cat wrote:OK, that's interesting. Then I have a question for you and other translators: do you try to stick to a fixed font size as much as possible or do you vary the font size depending on your need for space? More general:
  • What do you do if your text is too big for the balloon?
  • Remove words?
  • Rewrite the sentence?
  • Use a smaller font; and if so, do you use a regular and a small size, or do you resize in small steps until it fits?
  • Enlarge the balloon?
I mean, all four options are possible, but which options would you prefer?
I like to stick to the original text, so I use shorter synonyms for some words.

In the Spanish translation it's not often necessary, 10pt are enough to even add some lines to the text, if not, 9pt works too.
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