Welcome to the new website design! Today we have a couple of major things we’d like to discuss with you regarding the Mahoyo patch progress table, as well as the previously released partial patch. This is so we can clarify things about decisions made in recent months, or that should have been dealt with sooner.
There is a TL;DR at the bottom of the page for your convenience if you are not interested in the details of our project.
Regarding our existing partial patch
As we’ve mentioned in our previous blog post, ever since we revised our workflow and project plans, we have decided against partial patch releases. Our next planned release will be the entire game. Despite that, we’ve made no attempts to dissuade people from playing the previously uploaded partial release, nor remove access to download it. Now that the website has been redesigned, we thought it best to take the opportunity to actually address this.
We would highly recommend against reading this partial patch.
The partial patch includes the first 7 chapters of the game as translated by Mcjon01, as well as our early translations for chapters 8 and 8.5. We have no affiliation with Mcjon01 and his translation; its inclusion is merely another relic of the time when the group was initially formed. We will not be using it in our own final patch, and we have since re-translated Chapters 1 through 7 Extra from scratch.
Likewise, as touched on above, our translation for chapters 8 and 8.5 are not at all representative of the quality we’ve come to aim for following our blog post in early 2021. In the same way that we feel like continuing to release partial patches would be a disservice to the game, we also feel that reading the currently available partial patch would amount to the same thing.
As a result we will be taking the current partial patch down. We realize that attempting to remove a file from the internet is a futile effort, and one can definitely find it out there very easily still, but we are no longer endorsing it or officially supporting it.
The New Progress Table
If you’ve taken a look at our Mahoyo project page, you might’ve noticed that the progress tracker looks a bit off compared to the table we have been using in our tweets and our old website for the past few months. That is because the project is entering its “final pass” stage, and we would simply be unable to convey our progress otherwise. The “final pass” was originally mentioned in our early 2021 blog post, which is around the time we largely changed our direction with the project.
What is this “final pass,” anyway, and how did it come to be?
While the group’s original intent was to translate Mahoutsukai no Yoru to a readable level as fast as possible using the French translation of the game by Moon-Trad, around the time that post came out, our vision changed to wanting to provide the best translation we possibly can of the game—one that does Nasu’s writing justice. This change primarily came due to the group’s team of Japanese translators having grown significantly, and the lack of naïveté regarding what quality we should be aiming for that came with it.
The output of our original workflow, namely FR-EN translation → TLC → Editing, was simply not satisfactory, nor something we believe the game—or the community—deserves. The key issues were manyfold, such as mistranslations in the original French script, lack of consistent quality in the writing produced by the multitude of FR-EN translators, and then lack of consistency in how much the previous issues were addressed across the TLC and Editing passes. These issues are inherent to double translation, especially when there are so many members in play.
Since we had the proper staff to address these issues, and we felt we would be doing everyone a disservice if we didn’t, we decided on the “final pass” over a year ago. This pass would be done by a single person—our lead JP translator—over the entire game, with the goal to, if necessary, rewrite every single line to fix any of the issues that arose through our previous workflow. Then our lead editor, as well as the rest of the assistant editors, would pass over that new script for quality assurance.
In practice, the lead translator’s job in the “final pass” is a retranslation of the game from Japanese. While the results of our previous workflow are largely readable, we do not believe they were of acceptable quality regarding prose, character voices, and handling of idioms and such. It often read too literal and stilted, however the editors were not equipped with much of a point of reference to aim for, which is why retranslation is largely necessary.
While we do wish for the “final pass” to not take any longer than it has to, these huge rewrites and retranslations over our existing script are often necessary to achieve the level of quality we are aiming for. Even still, we want to thank everyone involved in the original process for their hard work, and they will be credited in the project.
TL;DR: In essence, the “final pass” is a way for us to bridge the gap between our previous workflow and our new one that’s entirely based on the Japanese script, all while being taken care of by as small of a staff as possible for the sake of consistency.
Does this mean we’re even further away from release?
We want to reiterate: this is not a regression in terms of progress, at the very least not any more so than when we originally decided to aim for a high quality release and were set on seeing this “final pass” through to the end. We are simply trying our best to be as transparent about our process and the project’s workflow as possible.
This is a process we have been going through for over a year now, and since Chapters 1 through 7 had little to no TLC work done on them, we simply used that column to report progress even though the work being done was largely a retranslation rather than merely TLC. As Chapters 8 through 13 have their entire table using the old workflow filled out, we cannot reliably report our actual progress using the old table anymore. Thus we are changing the new table by removing our old workflow phases and replacing them with our “final pass” phases. We tried to get around this by adding “Chapter X final TLC finished” into our tweets, but we do not feel like that makes for good progress updates, nor are we comfortable with people expecting the patch much sooner than we can reasonably release.
However, the good news is that the “final pass” is already halfway through Chapter 8, and at this pace we hope to be able to release before important milestones such as the recently announced Ufotable Mahoyo movie. That said, our staff are all either in full-time employment or higher education, so we can unfortunately make no guarantees.
So what do the new phases in the table represent exactly?
This represents the first pass progress for the French to English translation and the translation checking with respect to the JP done on that script. We have merged them into one, as the FR-EN script without TLC is not valuable or even something we consider a major milestone of our project.
We also did this to emphasize that we’re doing everything to ensure that this is no longer just a double translation with minor cross-checking against the Japanese script. That hasn’t been our process since we stopped releasing partial patches.
- Chapters that have finished this stage are readable and accurate with respect to the Japanese, so we consider this a “rough” translation of the game. The scripts serve as a general translation aid for the final pass, or as a fallback / minimum viable product.
This is what we indicated as “final TLC” above our old progress table in recent updates on Twitter and Discord. We are now calling it “Final Pass” and giving it its own column as it is a major step in our workflow. The Final Pass is done exclusively by our Lead Translator.
The Final Pass works as a retranslation from JP using our existing script as a basis. This is necessary to make sure that the prose, as well as the narration and character voices are all consistent across the entire game script and in line with the original novel, as well as remedy any mistranslations that slipped through the original TLC passes. After the Final Pass, the script bears little to no resemblance to the script in the previous stage.
- Chapters that have finished this stage largely reflect our quality target and have the prose, narrator and character voices we want in the game. However they might have minor awkward segments, or typos, and are thus not release ready.
This is what we indicated as “Edit” in our old progress table, and “final edit” sometimes above the progress table. We have renamed it as it does not really reflect editing.
QC passes are done after the Final Pass, and rather than doing any extensive editing to fix any issues in the creative aspects of the translation’s writing, they are more like a quality check. QC mainly covers copy editing on the script, making sure that the script is grammatically and technically correct. Any misspellings, missing words, or awkward sentences are also fixed here.
- Chapters that have finished this stage are what we would finally consider releasing.
- The partial release does not represent the current state of the project, so we cannot recommend playing it.
- In early 2021 we decided to essentially start heavily editing and retranslating the existing script to be equivalent to a Japanese to English translation our staff could deliver. We tried to convey this in our early 2021 blog post, but we reused the table even for progress in this new workflow as we were transitioning to it.
- Our transition is now complete, and we are changing the table to reflect that and report on our ongoing progress. We want to be as transparent as possible. We hate to disappoint the community but this “final pass” is the only way we can deliver translation quality we deem acceptable.
- The project will not take any longer than it was going to take since we had this change of direction in early 2021. We hope that the new progress updates will be able to give people a better idea for when to expect the patch.