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New Poll - Paying Translators

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Post #703312
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6:39 am, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 9231

This week's poll was suggested by feral claws. Should we or should we not pay translators? Obviously it's not a white and black matter, but it's hard to quantify the shades of gray into a poll, so I just left them out.

You can submit poll ideas here

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Other than synopsis, summary, or plot, what is the main factor that determines which new series to read?
The cover (or first page) - votes: 466 (9.6%)
Art and character design - votes: 1434 (29.4%)
Mangaka (author and artist) - votes: 299 (6.1%)
General popularity - votes: 85 (1.7%)
Genres and categories - votes: 1421 (29.1%)
Ratings, reviews, or recommendations from others - votes: 513 (10.5%)
Whether the series is complete or not - votes: 294 (6%)
The scanlation group - votes: 41 (0.8%)
I come to MU and see a new series on the release page, so I decide to try it - votes: 98 (2%)
I just read random series - votes: 227 (4.7%)
There were 4878 total votes.
The poll ended: September 22nd 2017

Art and genres almost tied! That was pretty close!

A just ruler amongst tyrants
Post #703313
user avatar

7:10 am, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 380

Still, why no in-between option. LoL
I choose No, it's volunteer work! Labor of love or not at all, but a tone down in-between option would be better I think.

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Post #703316
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Lone Wanderer

8:12 am, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 1907

I don't even need a middle-of-the-road option for this one, because my answer is: No. The already murky legal waters surrounding manga scanlation will go off the deep end into 100% illegality once we start paying people for freelance scanlations. The odd donation to cover server costs or to buy the special edition of a tanko or somesuch is one thing, but regularly paying people for their hobby? Heck, no. In that case it'd make more sense to pay more money to professional publishers and have them increase their series/genre range, instead of paying random people and groups on the internet who may vanish without prior notice or not deliver appropriate quality for the price.

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Post #703318

8:42 am, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 30

Would it be scanlation anymore though?
That already cross the grey area since in this case profit is involved.

Post #703319
user avatar

10:24 am, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 139

I like how the option is just the complete and no in between.

Scanlation by itself is already in grey area and if you throw payment to access, it's just wrong. Nowadays there are more and more groups that ask for donation for buying raw and server, that's fine, but there are also group that even open Patreon and ask money for commission, that's just too far.

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So the world can change me mmm...
Post #703321
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Dark Knight

12:13 pm, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 377

I voted no, however I have zero issues with scanlators hiring translators to work on specific projects. I've done it myself numerous times.

If there's a specific series you're absolutely dying to do, but can't find anyone to translate it, you'll be stuck for a long time. But if you happen to find someone who's willing to translate it for a certain price and you're okay with that price, I don't have any issue with it.


I run Illuminati-Manga. You're welcome.
Post #703324
user avatar

1:53 pm, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 350

Commissions are fine, paying translators is fine, let's just not mix it all up with scanlation. Scanlation is assumed to be volunteer work. But there is a parallel black market that has no name, but is mistakenly referred to as "scanlation", that lives by different rules.

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Post #703325

2:42 pm, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 59

Seeing how most scanlators can't translate, edit, clean, or even simple things like saving scans into png properly or at all, I wouldn't pay them even a cent. Donations is one thing, paying for work is entirely another and most of them don't deserve any amount of money at all.

Post #703326
user avatar

3:47 pm, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 143

I think calstine was pretty spot on. Although it's not easy to do so in the light of aggregator sites making money off of volunteer work anyways, I voted no. I always thought the goal of scanlation was to make manga series the scanlators love more accessible to people who otherwise wouldn't have a chance to enjoy them. Growing up in a small Alaskan town, I didn't know manga were actually sold in certain bookstores in the United States until I moved to Texas. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to read gems like Kanata Kara before that time. I fear a scanlation culture that revolves around money would corrupt the passion that goes into it, and we'd see less diversity in series being scanlated and lower quality releases in interest of time.

Post #703329

4:37 pm, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 31

Let's put it like this: If scanlation group were good at translating, then yes. BUT! If their translations are straight garbage, then no. There are WAY too many groups that don't proofread their works and it all comes out as unreadable trash. mad

What they need to do is learn to edit their shit if they want money.

Post #703330 - Reply to (#703325) by Reyalsdog

4:37 pm, Sep 23 2017
Posts: 31

Exactly. eyes

Post #703334

12:45 am, Sep 24 2017
Posts: 142

What I think is necessary is the culture of reciprocating for enjoying scanlations - to not just be a leecher, but to contribute something back instead.
If you have the skills, it can be your volunteer work - but if you don't, donating or commissioning scanlation of the works you liked should be just as welcome.
And since vast majority don't have those skills (if you know Japanese, do you really need scanlations?), translators accepting money are just as necessary.

Post #703346
user avatar

1:10 am, Sep 25 2017
Posts: 1200

I'm more surprised to the fact that 49% voted Yes. They absolutely have no idea what scanlation is about. Are majority of these people who voted Yes, scanlations can ask for donations but No, I didn't donate money (I wish I could)? Hmm.

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Post #703349 - Reply to (#703319) by VawX

2:53 am, Sep 25 2017
Posts: 21

Actually, there is no gray area when it comes to scanlations. The main problem with scanlations is the distribution of translated and edited materials without explicit permission from the owner of said materials. However, if anyone wanted to hire a translator so as to obtain a translated work for their own personal use without permission, it's perfectly legal.

Last edited by Jelise at 9:46 am, Sep 25

Post #703352 - Reply to (#703346) by Akatsubaki

8:01 am, Sep 25 2017
Posts: 142

It's just that lack of translators is such a big problem, as those who actually know Japanese don't really need scanlations - so very few of them volunteer for the job.
I have hundreds of series I liked that are sitting in my reading list with no new releases for years - and those series were pretty popular, but no one picked up the mantle after the original scanlators retired.

> They absolutely have no idea what scanlation is about.
Nothing is wrong if the fan outsources part of the job to a professional - it is still scanlation as long as it is distributed free of charge and unlicensed.

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