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New Poll - Machine Translations

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9:22 am, Feb 13 2022
Posts: 23

Fuck MTLs. Fuck them to hell and back.
The only time when it's okay is if you're just trying to get a basic idea of what's going on. But if you're trying to pass them off as a full-fledged translation for everyone to read, then do yourself a favor and try learning the language first, or better yet, get someone who actually knows the language to help you.
And sure there are MTLs that are comprehensible, but they are never a good replacement for actual human translation. More often then not, they skimp over certain nuances and details, and can give straight-up incorrect results

Post #795721
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1:52 pm, Feb 13 2022
Posts: 333

For most part I hate MTL, but yes there are some people that MTL that actually have some knowledge in Japanese and English mmm...
Another thing is, I'm kinda fine reading crappy weird manga with MTL, it's weirdly funnier that way mmm...

I will change this world mmm...
So the world can change me mmm...
Post #795723
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6:24 pm, Feb 13 2022
Posts: 105

A hard "depends." Pure MTL is usually ass and I will drop a series if that's the only option. But that is usually because it's done by someone who doesn't even know English or the original language, doesn't even know typesetting, and just wants to share a series they really like. Kind of does the opposite for me, but like I get why they do it

If it's MTL with an English speaker editing it, that's more acceptable. Like, if that's the only way I get to read a series, then whatever. It's in readable English and I respect the effort. I put MTL by a native speaker of the original language who only knows a bit of English lower on my MTL acceptance scale, because even if they know the "intricacies of the language" they sure don't in English. Still in the acceptable range though

Overall I think I'll take an MTL by someone who knows English over whatever the fuck some of these official Chinese webcomic apps are doing. I can't stand reading some things from like WeComics or Webnovel or WebComics etc. because their English is very stilted. Some might be MTLed but some are very specifically off in an "I only learned this language to put on my college apps/resume" kind of way. And I don't mind shitting on them because unlike the MTL scanlators who are doing it because they want to share a series, these companies expect me to pay money for a shit TL. I'd rather just buy the chapter at the original source and MTL it myself

Last edited by Ceiye at 6:28 pm, Feb 13 2022

Post #795731
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6:11 am, Feb 14 2022
Posts: 166

As someone who has tried them and then had someone who actually knows japanese translate the text, hate them. They're completely unreliable and will butcher the meaning, no matter how much you pretty it up with proper grammar.

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7:45 pm, Feb 14 2022
Posts: 192

get on your knees and thank the pixel technology that you didn't have to endure the translations/fansubs from 30 years ago; they'd still be on volume 6 of OnePiece at the rate stuff was scanned back then
are there better options?....Yes
are you spending your time and $ creating those options for the public only for them to say it's only 70% accurate and 'garbage'...HELL NO

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12:35 pm, Feb 15 2022
Posts: 9

So, there are a few people that MTL, but still check, edit, proofread, fix grammar, and correct contextual errors... In some cases they are good enough that you wouldn't know unless they told you.

Those are the exception to the trend.

MTL is generally utter shit. Especially for Asian languages, with Chinese being the worst.
I sometimes wonder if Chinese authors just write nonsensical garbage dialogue or if the TL screwed it up because I see this shit even from groups that employ human translators.
I suspect that they may be MTL-ing the lower priority series without admitting it. Or maybe they're employing Chinese people whose English is worse than MTL and churning out releases without any competent English speaker ever proofreading it.

Last edited by Koneko_Nyaa at 12:47 pm, Feb 15 2022


3:57 pm, Feb 15 2022
Posts: 185

Quote from achyif
They're completely unreliable and will butcher the meaning, no matter how much you pretty it up with proper grammar.

this. in the first place, it's not possible for machines translators to be able to correct any contextual error? to think otherwise is naïve delusion. baseless optimism if i want to put it nicely. for laymen, it's a trend to equate good translations with good english. however, if being eloquent enough in english was all that was required for a good translation, then it wouldn't be a translation at all. just pure interpretation.

also noticed it is only the ones who do not understand the original language who defend MTL. they are very unaware that what they are reading is not a translation. again, it is just pure interpretation, something any uniformed person who is looking at the raws can provide for themselves. that is one reason why i will never understand why people assert that others should be grateful for mtl?

another user brought up a hypothetical result of 70% accuracy? a generous estimation that anyone who knows the language could disprove. on the subject of readers defending things they know nothing about, flashback to that leecher who was trying to put down another group while claiming this other one was more accurate when they both were mtl 🤣 i alternate between reading translations and raws, and the amount of times a mtl was being praised when i know full well the raw couldnt be any more different was astounding. if you advertise your stuff as mtl while saying there could be errors then it's fine, but if you're going to pretend otherwise dont get butthurt when corrected.

Last edited by MaskingTape at 4:17 pm, Feb 15 2022

Post #795756

6:36 am, Feb 16 2022
Posts: 8

The problem is a lot of people don't notice edited MTL. Unless they are done really badly like Hscans one. The Painter/Fire Dragon King one is just awful.

Basically every Korean webtoon scanlators use MTL. Your favorites, Asura, Reaper, Leviatan, and so on. There are some mistranslations that make it easy to identify it. But when you call them out, you get banned by discord and their fans will say nasty things to you.

Let's be real even if you have learned Korean in class and "fluent", translating the cultural stuffs/terms and meme are just impossible. Especially in Korean wuxia/muhyeop and period manhwas. Not to mention different words that share the same Hangul. Especially when they don't even bother to google the terms. Because they want to get the chapters out as soon as possible. For dat ads, patreon, cryptomining money.

Last edited by melepem at 6:45 am, Feb 16 2022

Post #795766

10:06 pm, Feb 16 2022
Posts: 20

I find it fine at times (maybe cause I often take machine translation when I found my fav. LN hasn't been picked up by anyone). This poll feels very conditional. Yes, I would hate machine translation, but ONLY if there is alternative. If it is what is available, tbh I would take it even though I would barely able to understand less than 50% of the actual sentences.

Post #795769
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Freedom is life

6:16 am, Feb 17 2022
Posts: 178

HATE? That's an understatement. I despise nothing more than MTL.

MTL is the bane of translation. It's like ruining a work forever for English readers unless an official publisher ever decides to localise it. We all know nobody is going to pickup something that was already translated, even more so if the work's reputation is already ruined by MTL.

I curse all the people who are using MTL, even more so when they decide to ruin perfectly fine works that were being slowly translated by passionate people. This problem is even worse with Asian novels, by the way.

MTL people are like the script kiddies equivalent of translators. If you don't have the skills then please don't bother doing something you shouldn't be doing. Anyone can use a OCR and Google Translate nowadays if they really needed to. And please understand translation isn't just switching languages like a machine, it's a freaking writing job. I'm tired of people only seeing mangas or other works of fiction as stories, completely discarding the writing quality or other important traits. I don't even understand how people can read something "just for the story" and goodness it hurts every time I see reviews trashing something because the story doesn't fulfil their fantasy. It's like we have completely different minds.

I think it's popular mostly thanks to some young people (aka the script kiddies of translation) living in poor countries and thinking they can make bucks by becoming translators when they speak neither English nor the language they're translating correctly (most of them are Asian so they somewhat learned English/Chinese/Japanese but not to a decent level yet). Some big novel translation groups have managed to make a livelihood out of them and they think it looks easy to do (and yes it's easy to push up those bad MTL chapters especially for a novel, no need to edit any manga) and they can become the same. Hell I think it actually worked out for some. The price to pay is sacrificing good novels/mangas and their quality for English readers, because there's almost no chance of them receiving another or an official translation especially after their reputation is butchered amongst the English community. If anyone thinks it's free so/or we shouldn't complain, don't forget the real price: butchering the work for anyone but native readers. I hope one day translation can be a thriving field for pros to make a living off and we can decently remunerate them for their work, I'm not a beggar who'll happily take free goods and I'll gladly pay for it to guarantee their livelihood. Thankfully Qidian massacred the official translations of Chinese novels, they're both bad and the money barely goes to the people behind the job/the author.

Last edited by Katsono at 6:34 am, Feb 17 2022

Post #795772 - Reply to (#795696) by HikaruYami

9:14 am, Feb 17 2022
Posts: 261

I see it this way

you get a mtl, you need to have a translator once over it, kind of just to see if it is close or not, then you need editors to make the english readable and not pure cancer.

I see it at best being a time saver, and at worst, better than nothing.

but i'm assuming the group has bare minimum levels of competence, I have seen horrific ones.

Post #795773

9:20 am, Feb 17 2022
Posts: 8

I didn't mention webnovels/LNs because I felt it's a lost cause. Growing up in Singapore or some other Asian countries doesn't automatically mean you know enough Chinese to translate Chinese novels.

Post #795782

6:16 am, Feb 18 2022
Posts: 3

I don’t always hate them but I would prefer if it wasn’t done in the first place. Otherworldly Evil Monarch is one interesting novel/comic that I like but MTL destroyed it.

Post #795789 - Reply to (#795697) by MaskingTape
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Scan Master

4:25 am, Feb 19 2022
Posts: 131

Quote from MaskingTape
mtls are fine if they are paired with basic knowledge of the language. most times they are not.

To be honest, if someone has basic knowledge of the language, I wouldn't call it a machine translation, then.

Like, if somebody understands japanese grammar and simply has to look up a word or phrase every now and then... I would just call that a translator doing research.

Visit my scanning blog:

Jammin' Scans

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Post #795790 - Reply to (#795701) by Aleph0
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Scan Master

4:31 am, Feb 19 2022
Posts: 131

Quote from Aleph0
And yet somehow there's always the readers that don't care and even attack the ones pointing out the faults in the translations "hey what are you complaining about free stuff, you're demotivating the group, what if they drop the series". Well IMO for all the effort they put into their release it's hardly a loss.

Completely agree. I would add that it's usually quite a shame if a series gets a MTL, as its existence may discourage another group from working on the series in the future.

The other group might just think "oh, it's already been translated", and might not even realize that it was MTL... leaving readers with a MTL as the only translated version of a series we may ever get.

And hell, if it's a MTL of a work by an unknown author, it very may be a stake in the coffin for any of that author's other works getting translated.

MTL just ruins everything it touches.

Visit my scanning blog:

Jammin' Scans

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