A forum dedicated to the translation of the Black Mesa mod, a complete re-creation of the game Half-Life on the Source engine, formerly known as Black Mesa: Source.
 
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Jokerine
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Posts : 319
Join date : 2010-02-04
Location : Ross Ice Shelf

PostSubject: About the Project   Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:49 pm

First off, we must clarify that this is an entirely community volunteer project, not something official. We won't ask the developers to translate the game; they've said that they will never, or at least it's highly improbable, that they will translate the game themselves. This community was created to make a devoted team that shall translate the game for the developers and the people who will play the mod.

This forum is designed to be a meeting place for the people who are interested in translating it. A partially translated script made before the release is better than nothing, and we doubt the team will deviate from the original script to the point of making it unrecognizable. After all, it's the same game.

That said, no, we will not be given the official script before the release. The devs want (and will) modify the original script, so it won't be exactly the same words and sentences. I quote from a different website:

Quote :
Planet Half-Life: How are things on the voice acting front? Will you use the same voices for all the characters, or are you varying things up a bit?

Montero: We are keeping many of the original Scientist's voices for the original scientists, but with the addition of more characters and better AI we'll need to expand our NPC's vocabulary quite a bit. Because of that we'll be adding a lot of new dialog to different characters, and using new voices for our new characters and sequences.

We started translating anyway here so we could have something prepared before the demo is available for us to see. Our translations will have to be tweaked and fixed after the release, that's for sure - but at least we won't have to start from scratch right after the mod comes out. But, if you want to wait until the release, that's fine. Be sure to check your language's subforum and see if the translation process has started - maybe you can organize everything with your language mates in the meantime.

Leetle FAQ

Also, there are some questions that seem to pop up frequently, and that were asked in the old forum by Zkee. Here are the answers to some of those. If you have any other doubts, feel free to ask!

1. is this forum paid for? if so, who pays? does said person expect some kind of contribution? if so, from whom?

No, this forum is not paid for. Fortunately, there are plenty of websites online that offer forums for free.


2. Does any of you feel your translating job would benefit from the use of translation software? Do you have any experience with a tool and/or suite that you'd like to share? not the kind that does the actual translating for you (like Trados etc, which will cost you an arm and a leg), but the kind that enables you to structure your workflow and will remember similar sentence constructions, vocabulary, and the like. Examples of these tools are open source intitiatives like OmegaT+ and Autshumato, but I have no experience with them yet. If you don't have experience with translation software, what does your workflow look like? FYI: mine consists of two notepad instances (source and target language), supported by an array of electronic dictionaries, and occasionally the use of google translate. Not much of a workflow to speak of, I must admit Razz

That depends on each translation team. The original idea was, however, NOT to use translation software such as Google translator; that's why, in the original thread at the Black Mesa forums, we asked people to translate a paragraph so as to demonstrate they know the language they plan on translating into. We also ask translators to be, preferentially, native speakers of the target language, because, that way, they should be able to make the lines sound natural and believable. Nobody wants lame or fake-sounding subtitles, right? The workflow also depends on the team; most of them post a thread titled "Status" or something similar, where they indicate the part of the script they are working on, so as to avoid having more than one person translating a certain part. Of course, they can choose to do that with the purpose of comparison; that's up to them. Each team was the chance of choosing their working style. Electronic dictionaries are okay, and I seriously doubt that any team is translating by hand, so notepad will do fine I, personally, simply slap everything in notepad, and start translating paragraph by paragraph until I'm done. Not much of a workflow either, huh? Wink


3. While it's really heartwarming to see the efforts and enthousiasm in gathering all the lines and speech fragments of the original Half-Life, it seems to me that this is all very precautionary and, well, redundant. After all, it has already been numerously stated by the BM devs (and quoted on these very forums as well) that the BM text book will be a lot more comprehensive (containing a lot more and longer lines) than the original. So I fail to see the point in already translating the existing HL lines. Perhaps this is being done for training purposes, or just for plain fun. Neither should of course be discouraged.

Yes, yes, we know, the dialogue will not be the same. And no, it won't necessarily be COMPLETELY different. The tram ride speech, for instance, is very, very similar to the original audio from Half-Life, as so is the dialogue the player overhears before obtaining the Gluon gun. As you said, the lines will be longer, but they will be similar to the original ones. The idea is to have something ready for when the mod comes out, so as to add the new, more comprehensive lines from Black Mesa to the ones already translated from Half-Life. It also work as training, so as to decide how to translate certain terms such as "transit system". Also, translating all these lines from the original game ahead of time will allow us to save time after the mod is released. And, yeah, maybe for fun. It's fine if you think it's redundant, but we are pretty sure that all this translating is going to be useful!


4. following the above point 3, and suggesting an alternative workflow for the redundant work which I honestly feel is currently being done before the actual BM release, it would seem a much more streamlined work process if we had a master "English for the hearing impaired" subtitle to start off from, much like the subtitles that are often provided in movie releases on DVD, which also include abstract captions like [steam hissing], [distant growling], [organic spikes repeatedly striking against metal surface], ... Perhaps we should ask the BM devs or writers to provide us with this master subtitle file, as soon as possible after release. It would of course be great if they could provide us with this before release (even if for a few days), but we all know that's not going to happen...

We will have a closed captioning file for the hearing impaired, and it will be released with the mod. They will not give it to us ahead of time, that's true, and it's a shame, but no complaints there - the devs are NOT going to take part in the translating process, and there's really no need for them to do so. We could wait for the mod to be released and then translate the closed captioning file, but that would be extremely tiresome - I know because I have worked in speedy translations, and it is NOT a pleasant task -, and it would probably not have a good outcome; there might be typos, for instance, or misunderstandings. That's the good thing about translating ahead of time; as I said before, we save time and have the chance to discuss and agree upon translations for certain terms.


5. How exactly does this subtitling actually work in-game? Are we talking about plain text files? Should certain formatting or syntax rules be applied? What software do we need, or how do we need to set up our systems to check if subtitles are rendered correctly?

The subtitling works in a very simple way. A .txt file is created, where the name of an audio file, such as "hello.wav", without the .wav extension, and including the map where the line is said, such as "lobby", calls for a specific line of text, such as "Scientist: Hello there!". It might sound confusing at first, but it actually isn't. Here I uploaded the Spanish closed captioning file from Half-Life 2, so you can get an idea of how the subtitle system works.

No specific formatting or syntax is required, and we need no special software. We will have to test the finished captioning files in-game ourselves, and fix any typos or mistakes that might appear. As you see, we will have to do everything without any help with the devs; see why it is so important to work quickly? One of the things that plenty of people are going to complain about after the release is the lack of subtitles for other languages, so it's important for us to release them as soon as possible; we want no people to badmouth our beloved mod!


I hope these answers give you some enlightenment. what you were looking for. Please, let me know if you have any other questions or concerns you would like to discuss.
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