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A game of survival, trade and exploration in the universe of Fallen London

Tribulations of a Translator (POTENTIAL SPOILERS) Messages in this topic - RSS

Ixc
Ixc
Posts: 437

6/14/2020
I think in the specific case of LB's I would advise against it, as Failbetter doesn't inform us what it means as a sort of in-joke. In my personal experience, it took me half the game to puzzle out what L_ B_ meant, and made it a lot funnier.

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Pleased to meet you. Ixc, spy and detective. Inventor of the Correspondence Cannon.
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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

6/14/2020
But the chance of figuring it out in Spanish, however I spin it, is virtually non-existent, especially because most players playing a translated Sunless Sea won't be familiar with Fallen London, where the term is used more frequently. In Sunless Sea, this is literally the only mention, and even if someone figured it out, the joke would be mostly lost in translation.

The other instance where I thought notes could be worthwhile, as I mentioned, is in the case of quotes from literary sources that have some cultural relevance in the English world, but are all but unknown outside of it. Yes, still only people with an above average level of culture and some knowledge of English literature will get some of those reference even in English, but virtually noone, whatever their level of education, would get them in Spanish if they're not explained (many of those works have never been translated into Spanish (or never outside of some obscure 19th century edition), so I have to traslate those extracts myself, making them even less recognizable, even if someone were to know of them).

Yes, it is dumbing down some of the subtlety Failbetter has put into their work, and it's a shame, but the subtlety would be wasted if nobody can grasp it, so making it available to everyone looks to me like the next best (or less bad) thing.

(And I'm sure there's a tiny bit of pedantry on my part and wanting to show off my research too. Definitely guilty of that :p)
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 6/15/2020

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Jel
Jel
Posts: 75

6/14/2020
I didn't figure it out until it was outright told to me, so 'not figuring it out' isn't that big of a deal imo.

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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

9/14/2020
I've noticed that the Bazaar is addressed with the feminin pronoun "she", particularly but not only, by Penstock. Is there any clearer implication of the Bazaar being some flavor of "female" or is it more of a poetic thing like when using "she" with ships?

I'm asking because in Spanish the word Bazar is masculin and it would be weird to have it personified as a female. But if there's not more to it and the actual gender of the Bazaar is never discussed further, I can get away with calling it "el Bazar" as I've been doing and treating it like a masculin noun.
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 9/14/2020

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MidnightVoyager
MidnightVoyager
Posts: 921

9/14/2020
Cpt. Eructus wrote:
I've noticed that the Bazaar is addressed with the feminin pronoun "she", particularly but not only, by Penstock. Is there any clearer implication of the Bazaar being some flavor of "female" or is it more of a poetic thing like when using "she" with ships?

I'm asking because in Spanish the word Bazar is masculin and it would be weird to have it personified as a female. But if there's not more to it and the actual gender of the Bazaar is never discussed further, I can get away with calling it "el Bazar" as I've been doing and treating it like a masculin noun.
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 9/14/2020

There is sidebar text that says that people tend to refer to it as a gendered pronoun opposite to their own. IE: Men call it she, women call it he. It does not have a gender, it's just a quirk of how people talk about it.

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Ixc
Ixc
Posts: 437

9/15/2020
I guess you could call it Bazar when people refer to it as the government, a la the Kremlin for the Russian government for example, though I unfortunately can't contribute more.

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Pleased to meet you. Ixc, spy and detective. Inventor of the Correspondence Cannon.
Are you a Paramount Presence? Record your name here. For posterity, of course.

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PJ
PJ
Posts: 633

9/15/2020
I'm almost certain Maybe's Daughter calls the bazaar "he" at the end of her storyline.

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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

9/15/2020
Interesting. Now that you mention it, I think I vaguely remember that sidebar text. But I can't replicate that variation in Spanish and make it sound right, so I think I'll stick to the gramatically coherent masculine.

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

1/19/2021
How are things, gentlefolks?

New year, same old translation project. I'm about 50% on the events file, so that's what? A couple more years to go? Chickenfeed!

I've come across the reference to a "rat-steed" in the Drydock event to employ Rattus faber engineers:

Someone's surly, speechless rat-steed eats someone else's packed lunch


Is that supposed to be just a bigger non-sentient rat that the other rats use as mount? The clarification that it's "speechless", as opposed to the other rats, seems to support that idea, ad I doubt they'd use tiny horses.

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

3/2/2021
This one really has me stumped. What's a spoire?

"It gestures at a side-table where a spoire-tusk sits"

It's one of the rewards from the First Curator. In gameplay terms, it translates as a Hunting-trophy, but I can't tell what kind of animal or zee-beast a spoire would be. It doesn't appear anywhere else in the game, and it doesn't seem to be a real word either (the closest would be the French "espoir", meaning hope, but there is no context whatsoever to suggest a relation).

I don't like the idea of leaving it untranslated because it's not a word that rolls off the tongue in the middle of a Spanish sentence, so my working solution is calling it something generic like a monster-tusk. If indeed the word doesn't exist and doesn't appear anywhere else, no real meaning will be lost anyway.

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Meradine Heidenreich
Meradine Heidenreich
Posts: 571

3/3/2021
Are you sure it's not just a typo of spore (which does pop up from time to time)?

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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

3/3/2021
Could be, but even in the weird Fallen London universe, spores don't have tusks.

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Meradine Heidenreich
Meradine Heidenreich
Posts: 571

3/3/2021
How would you know?

But more seriously: it's clearly an aquatic creature. The tusk is large enough to have some decoration. It's an invented term, like, say, gant.

So either you retain it in the target language, where it will be as meaningless or meaningful as in English.

Or you try to find a parallel formation. Find the associations triggered by spoire -- spore, spur, pear, poor, maybe others. The FB writers are multi-lingual, so no need to stick to English. Spoire is a guild on RotMG -- does that provide hints? It appears to be a Romanian word (not found the meaning, though). Spoire is also mentioned as a pronunciation (in Ireland and Scotland) for spire and spare.
To keep is simple, spur or spire gives you a shape, spore gives you a generative means.

Then look for a similar process in the other language and create a word with similar associations.

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The Starveling kit
Gobbled up the bit
of cheese on my tray ..
"O Weh!"
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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

3/28/2021
"...We found, too, a mask, one of those worn by the folk of Visage - a green-and-gold Livery Bird, one of the humble trapper-caste..."

Any idea what a livery-bird could be? It doens't seem to be any particular species, and most results redirect to Liver-Bird, the symbol of Liverpool that is mostly identified with a cormorant. A play on that, perhaps? Or any bird with colourful or striking plumage?
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 3/28/2021

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xKiv
xKiv
Posts: 902

3/29/2021
Cpt. Eructus wrote:
&quot...We found, too, a mask, one of those worn by the folk of Visage - a green-and-gold Livery Bird, one of the humble trapper-caste...&quot

Any idea what a livery-bird could be? It doens't seem to be any particular species, and most results redirect to Liver-Bird, the symbol of Liverpool that is mostly identified with a cormorant. A play on that, perhaps? Or any bird with colourful or striking plumage?
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 3/28/2021


More likely, it just directly says that the bird's colors *are* the livery ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livery ). Whose livery? I don't know. Khanate might have a theme of $color-and-gold?

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Ragnar Degenhand
Ragnar Degenhand
Posts: 270

3/29/2021
May also be in the same area of meaning as a heraldic bird, of course.

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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

3/31/2021
xKiv wrote:
Cpt. Eructus wrote:
&quot...We found, too, a mask, one of those worn by the folk of Visage - a green-and-gold Livery Bird, one of the humble trapper-caste...&quot

Any idea what a livery-bird could be? It doens't seem to be any particular species, and most results redirect to Liver-Bird, the symbol of Liverpool that is mostly identified with a cormorant. A play on that, perhaps? Or any bird with colourful or striking plumage?
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 3/28/2021


More likely, it just directly says that the bird's colors *are* the livery ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livery ). Whose livery? I don't know. Khanate might have a theme of $color-and-gold?


In that case, Livery shouldn't be capitalized. It would be far from the first typo or spelling mistake in the game, but the capitalized Livery Bird suggests something more specific.

Ragnar Degenhand wrote:
May also be in the same area of meaning as a heraldic bird, of course.

That'd kind of work as a rather obscure stealth pun with the "Liver Bird" from the coat of arms of Liverpool, actually. I'm sure that's reading a bit too much into it, but I find it so ridiculous that I may call it a "cormorant" as a stealth reference to the totally not real stealth reference. Not very professional perhaps, but it amuses me for some reason. The safe alternative is to just call it a bird and that's boring.

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Ragnar Degenhand
Ragnar Degenhand
Posts: 270

4/1/2021
Livery is the term use for the uniform worn by personal servants in noble / royal houses. It's also used for the insignia of such a lord, for the distinctive dress of a group, for a particular pattern.
So either the bird embodies the pattern in some way, or the pattern / insignia has been adopted from the bird.

The Liver Birds was an ancient, cheesy sitcom; I see no feasible or sensible connection really. It doesn't seem at all the kind of reference FB would make. You're overthinking that element.

Livery, on the other hand, is also a term used to refer to caring for / maintaining horses and vehicles. As you are probably aware, there are small birds and fish that perform the same service for their much larger brethren. So let me throw that in there as another option.

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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

4/7/2021
Ragnar Degenhand wrote:

The Liver Birds was an ancient, cheesy sitcom; I see no feasible or sensible connection really. It doesn't seem at all the kind of reference FB would make. You're overthinking that element.


According to Wikipedia, the origin of the expression is much older, and a reference to the bird that appears in Liverpool's coat of arms, regardless of it later becoming the name of a sitcom. Still, I'm sure it's not what the devs had in mind, but it's not like it has any bearing on the plot.
Ragnar Degenhand wrote:
Livery, on the other hand, is also a term used to refer to caring for / maintaining horses and vehicles. As you are probably aware, there are small birds and fish that perform the same service for their much larger brethren. So let me throw that in there as another option.

That would track with it represennting a "humble caste" (not so much for the "trapper" part), but the expression "livery bird" doesn't seem to ever appear in that context (or any other, for that matter), not even in older sources, and it would be weird of FB to outright make up a new term for something that is not Neath-specific.

The most harmless option is to go with "a bird with green and gold livery" and call it a day. No point obsessing over a single line with no further significance to the game.
edited by Cpt. Eructus on 4/7/2021

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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Cpt. Eructus
Cpt. Eructus
Posts: 91

5/19/2021
I've come across a mention of "bracket-gruel" when dining with one of the officers. Searching for obscure menaings of "bracket" doesn't conme up with anything remotely edible, so I assume it's a typo for "bracken"? That's my best guess.

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Captain Eructus, Royal Bethlehem Hotel, Fallen London (when not at zee)
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