H-Hello there! *bows*
As those of you who read Tales of the Reincarnated Lord (TRL) know by now, I'm the editor for the novel, but, as most of you probably don't know, I'm also the communications and PR guy for Liberspark! I'm coming to you today to talk about some of the changes happening in TRL, and some of the efforts and developments upcoming to Liberspark as a whole over the next couple of months.
As part of a larger Liberspark effort to standardize and improve the language use, punctuation, grammar, and style of our novels, we have been and will be, making several changes to the novel. These changes aren't very big, and won't massively affect your reading experience. However, to avoid confusion, we have decided to give you guys a quick summary of the changes we are making. Most of these changes are being made either to improve readability or to align with the language rules and standards of English.
- Dropping parts of names. You'll have noticed in the last ten or so chapters that we've been systematically dropping some parts of the names of nations and organizations. Specifically, we've been dropping the 'city', and 'island' ubiquitous in the names of, well, cities and islands. Most of these aren't actually part of the names of the places (much like the 'city' in New York city isn't actually part of the city's name) and are thus not necessary to repeat so constantly.
- Decapitalizing but keeping kingdom and duchy. Following from point one, you're likely to say, "but why aren't 'kingdom' and 'duchy' being dropped, then?" Well, given that most kingdoms and duchies are named after their rulers, it is easy to be confused about what we're talking about when we talk about Teribo, for example. Are we referring to the king, Teribo VII, or the kingdom, Teribo? In considerations of this, even though it doesn't align with our standard of dropping parts of names that aren't actually parts of names, we'll be keeping 'kingdom and 'duchy' in use with names, but, since they aren't part of the names, we will be decapitalizing them.
- Decapitalizing titles and relational pronouns. Titles like 'the second highness', 'the president', 'the third prince', and 'uncle' will be decapitalized henceforth. This is to align our capitalization with the standard rules of English.
- Decapitalizing the names of some armies, regiments, and forces. When armies, regiments, or forces are named in such a fashion that their names appear more as descriptions rather than proper names (such as 'third local defense brigade') they will be decapitalized. Chinese names are notoriously iffy when it comes to translating and capitalizing them in English. Most of them can be translated in such a way (as the provided example shows) that their names hardly seem to be names at all, and are often used instead of actual descriptions to describe the things so named. As such, we have decided to, when we determine that a name functions as a description, rather than a proper name, treat it as such and decapitalize it.
- Writing out numbers between zero and twelve. Smaller numbers will be written as words, rather than numerals. This is in order to align with standard practice and to improve readability.
- Writing larger numbers (above 10 thousand) using numerals for fold, and words for order of magnitude. Large numbers will henceforth be written as a fold of their order of magnitude, i.e. 23 000 will be 23 thousand, and 234 000 000 will be 234 million. We've noted that many have complained that the large numbers aren't easily readable as they have been written so far. Standard practice would have us merely group them in threes and separate each group with a space, but due to the way the text-line-splitting works on the website, we run the very real risk of splitting numbers down the middle and having them spill over into the next line, something we want to avoid as far as possible. Using the fold-o.o.m. form is the best alternative we could find.
- Hyphenating compound adjectives. You'll have noticed that over the last couple of chapters we've started hyphenating compound adjectives (feather-brained, rapidly-expanding, etc.). This is to align our symbol use with standard practice.
- Decapitalizing species names and certain other terms. It has been standard until now to capitalize the names of species, or even groups of animals (such as Magical Beasts), as well as certain other terms (such as Battleforce and Blademaster). These will now be decapitalized. Species names, as per standard practice, should not be capitalized, and the same is true for the other terms. They are not considered proper nouns, and should thus not be capitalized. We are moving to align ourselves with this standard practice.
There are no doubt other, smaller changes that I can't remember right now, but these are the biggest and most obvious changes you'll have noted or will notice in the future. We sincerely hope these changes will help to improve your reading experience and will help to make it easier to enjoy this wonderful novel!
Exciting news for Liberspark!
As I mentioned in the beginning, I'm not only the editor for TRL, I'm also the new PR guy for Liberspark. Now obviously, PR guys aren't brought on board an organization if there isn't a really good reason for it, and that is certainly true for Liberspark as well. As you are all no doubt aware, the translation scene has seen a major shift in its approach to the business side of translating over the last year. We've seen countless groups register as companies and begin to formalize and legalize the industry. We've also, partially as a response to this, and partially as an inevitable consequence of the increase in popularity and the growth of the community, interest from the copyright holders of the novels being translated. These changes are massive and are both a challenge and a great opportunity for the various translation groups.
Liberspark is one of the smaller of these groups, with only several novels onboard. However, we are ready to take on these challenges and to leverage these opportunities to be able to give you, the readers, and you, the translators and editors, the best experience we can. Most of these changes are still very early in the planning phases and will take a while to be implemented, but there are a few that will be coming soon that we'd like to talk about.
Improving the quality of our translations
The first of these changes is the drive that we are currently undertaking to improve the quality of our translations. I've sat through many a chapter where I felt my head hurt at the language. I have been invested in many stories, only to find the quality of the translation a painful barrier to my enjoyment of the novel. As readers and fans of novels ourselves, we understand these frustrations and want to give you guys the best possible reading experience you can. We are passionate about our novels and want you to enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy translating and editing them. That's why we are currently running two programs to help improve the quality of our translations.
The first of these is the standardization effort. We are working on building a style guide for our novels that will standardize the basic language and punctuation choices over our novels so that we can ensure the quality of each chapter is the best we can make it. This effort won't affect the feel or style of the novel but will make the language itself as easy and intuitive for you to read as possible, so you don't have to struggle to figure out what a particular word, phrase, clause, or sentence means, but can focus on enjoying and immersing yourself in the story.
The second of these efforts is a collaborative effort between our different editors to help one another out with questions and uncertainties and to practice our editing skills with the right digital tools to help each editor and translator give you the best translation they can.
Better ways to interact
We all love webnovels, that is, after all, why you guys read them, and why we spend so much time translating and editing them, and building and managing websites on which to share them. But so far Liberspark hasn't offered a lot of ways for our readers to interact with one another, and with us. The only way people could talk about the novels on our website have been by posting comments beneath the chapters (we read all of them, and really enjoy hearing from you, by the way!), but that's all about to change. In the next couple of weeks, Liberspark will be launching its own dedicated discord server.
That's right, you will finally be able to have truly real-time discussions with other readers about Lorist's latest ploy, or Jiang Chen's latest killing spree! We have a lot planned for the discord server, which we will let you guys know about in due time.
That's all for now. Please let us know what you think about the changes we're making and what you would like to see on our discord server! We are looking forward to hearing from you.