Xenosaga Episode II Novelization

Elendraug

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Sep 1, 2021
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The novel I ordered arrived! Before I embark on a long journey of scanning it in and using OCR to attempt a fan translation, is anyone aware of any prior efforts to scan this? I've only come across a handful of the illustrations but not the text itself; it's very possible I overlooked something from years past.

Here's the book I'm referring to (image courtesy The Xeno Collection, CTRL+F for "novel").

Also, @jessiray et al, if I manage to get this off the ground and into a presentable state, is this something you'd be willing to host on X-U? Is everything installed so that Japanese text would display correctly? My vague concept would be a side-by-side presentation so other fans could confirm the original text for themselves, for the sake of full transparency if I make any mistakes.

Thank you in advance!
 
The novel I ordered arrived! Before I embark on a long journey of scanning it in and using OCR to attempt a fan translation, is anyone aware of any prior efforts to scan this? I've only come across a handful of the illustrations but not the text itself; it's very possible I overlooked something from years past.

Here's the book I'm referring to (image courtesy The Xeno Collection, CTRL+F for "novel").

Also, @jessiray et al, if I manage to get this off the ground and into a presentable state, is this something you'd be willing to host on X-U? Is everything installed so that Japanese text would display correctly? My vague concept would be a side-by-side presentation so other fans could confirm the original text for themselves, for the sake of full transparency if I make any mistakes.

Thank you in advance!
XU is no longer taking new submissions but I'd love to host it here with the other content in the galleries.

I'm working on getting a more robust viewer in place. If you get something workable you'd like to submit, I can give you the UMN Curator role so you can upload it. :)
 
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XU is no longer taking new submissions but I'd love to host it here with the other content in the galleries.

I'm working on getting a more robust viewer in place. If you get something workable you'd like to submit, I can give you the UMN Curator role so you can upload it. :)

Sure, sounds good! Thank you. How do the galleries handle text files? The scans Valkyrie provided already have all of the illustrations.
 
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Sure, sounds good! Thank you. How do the galleries handle text files? The scans Valkyrie provided already have all of the illustrations.
This is an excellent question. If you have the text already, I can spin up a webpage for it. I'll see if I can find something more sophisticated though. :unsure:
 
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This is an excellent question. If you have the text already, I can spin up a webpage for it. I'll see if I can find something more sophisticated though. :unsure:

I'm comfortable writing HTML, if that helps! I can include scanned pages as well, but "scans" in this case can take a couple of forms, depending on what's the most useful.

  • I can scan the pages as images and/or a PDF on a flatbed scanner and then try to run OCR through some options I have on Linux.
  • I've been using Google Lens to read the text and then running it through DeepL before doing a manual cleanup (where I know, for example, that "heavenly car" is the Proto Merkabah, etc.)
  • I can include the pages as images within a gallery, and caption it with Japanese text and my English fan translation, page by page.
  • I can set it up for two columns in an HTML document, with each page as its own row, to offer side-by-side JP/EN text.

Lots of options, and once I have a few pages done we can do a trial run to see what's going to be the best fit. Since it is NOT image-heavy, something that is well-suited for a text-only format would probably be ideal, here, unless we do indeed want JPEGs (or whatever) of the actual book pages.
 
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Okay, so as our test case that I'm fiddling around with, and in honor of @whyfish 's OTP , here's page 186 from the scans @Valkyrie provided. I'm using Google Lens to capture the text, DeepL to translate and tweak it, and this XSII Script GameFAQs FAQ to compare to the English in-game dialogue. I'm intending to compare this to the XSII Scenario Book to see how much it's similar to the Japanese in-game dialogue, too (I suspect it's nearly identical).

I'm thinking out loud a bit here (and perhaps jumping the gun slightly) to see if anyone has additional suggestions. Jisho has also been a great help, and I'll probably edit this post to tease out any additional nuance I can from the descriptive prose, which is what I'm most interested in.

TW for canonical discussions of suicide and the death of a child



XSII Novelization Japanese text
「わたしはべつに若い女ってわけでもない。気にしないで」
操作盤に近寄って作業を続ける。 ここまでの激しい道のりを物語って義体の損耗は激しかった。 ほとんどがモモを守ろうとしてついた傷なのだろう。
しばらくは、お互いにことばもなかった。
「高名な科学者 - どちらかというと悪名だと思うけれど」ユリがいった。
「あなたはモモが苦手なようだが、なぜです?」ジギーが目をつぶったままでいう。
ユリはしばらく考えてから答えた。
「娘と同じ顔をした娘ではないモノ、あなたは愛せる?」
「難しい質問だ」
「見た目だけ娘に似せても魂は戻らない。星団じゅうに散らばった百式たち - あの姿は、絶え間なくわたしに娘の死をつきつける」
長年の苦悩をついもらしていた。
「百式をいまの姿にしたのはあなたの夫だったのか 」
「ええ」
どうしてこんな話をしたのかわからなかった。
自分はこの男のことをほとんど何もしらない。 自殺し、当時のライフリサイクルのシステムに呑み込まれてサイボーグ化された。 そして、何か問題が生じるたびに起動されて局地的な任務を強制される。 それだけ。

Google Translate (as-is)
"I'm not exactly a young woman. Don't worry about it." The wear and tear on his prosthesis was severe, reflecting the intense journey up to this point. Most of them must have been wounds from trying to protect Momo. For a while we didn't speak to each other. "I think the notorious scientist is rather infamous," said Yuri. "You seem to dislike peaches, why?" Ziggy says, eyes closed. Yuuri thought for a while before answering. "Can you love someone who has the same face as your daughter but is not a daughter?" "That's a difficult question." Bringing my daughter's death to me." "Was it your husband who made Hyakushiki what it is today?" I know almost nothing about this man. He committed suicide and was swallowed by the life recycling system of the time and turned into a cyborg. And every time something goes wrong, it's activated and forced into a local mission. that's all.

DeepL (as-is)
I'm not a young woman. I'm not a young woman," she said as she approached the control panel and continued working. The wear and tear on the prosthetic body was severe, testifying to the intense journey that had brought them to this point. Most of the wounds must have been inflicted in an attempt to protect Momo. For a while, we didn't speak to each other. You are a famous scientist, but I think you are rather infamous," Yuri said. You don't seem to like peaches, why is that? Ziggy said with his eyes closed. Uri thought for a moment before answering, "She doesn't have the same face as my daughter. Ziggy looked at him for a moment before answering, "Can you love a thing that doesn't have the same face as your daughter? It is a difficult question," he said. The hundred models scattered all over the cluster - their appearance constantly reminds me of my daughter's death," he said, speaking of his long-standing anguish. I don't know why I told you this. I knew almost nothing about this man. He committed suicide and was swallowed up by the life-recycling system of the time and turned into a cyborg. And every time something went wrong, he was activated and forced to go on a local mission. That's it.

DeepL (with adjustments)
“I am not a young woman. Don't worry about it.”
She moved closer to the control panel and continued working. The wear and tear on his prosthetic body was severe, a testament to the hard road he had traveled to get to this point. Most of the wounds must have been inflicted in an attempt to protect MOMO.
For a while, they didn't speak to each other.
“A famous scientist - more of a infamous name, I think,” Juli said.
“You don't seem to like MOMO, why is that?” Ziggy said while keeping his eyes closed.
Juli thought for a moment before answering, “She has the same face as my daughter. Can you love something that is not your daughter, with the same face as your daughter?”
“That's a difficult question.”
“Even if you make something look like your daughter, it won't bring back her soul. The 100-Series scattered all over the star cluster - their appearance constantly reminds me of my daughter's death.”
She had been in anguish for many years.
“Was it your late husband who gave her the form she has now?”
“Yes.”
She had no idea why she was telling him this. He had committed suicide and had been swallowed up by the life-recycling system of the time and turned into a cyborg. And every time something went awry, he was activated and forced to perform a local mission. That was all.

DeepL (with English in-game dialogue)
“I'm not a young woman. Don't let it bother you.”
She moved closer to the control panel and continued working. The wear and tear on his prosthetic body was severe, a testament to the hard road he had traveled to get to this point. Most of the wounds must have been inflicted in an attempt to protect MOMO.
For a while, they didn't speak to each other.
“A famous scientist? Perhaps, infamous is more appropriate,” Juli said.
“You seem to have difficulty dealing with MOMO. Why?” Ziggy said, while keeping his eyes closed.
Juli thought for a moment before answering. “Could you love something that looked like your own daughter, but wasn't?”
“That is a difficult question.”
“Merely creating something to look like my daughter won't bring back her soul. And with 100-Series Realians scattered all over this star cluster, they all serve as a constant reminder of her death.”
She had been in anguish for many years.
“Was it your husband's idea to make the 100-Series look like her?”
“Yes.”
She had no idea why she was telling him this. He had committed suicide and had been swallowed up by the life-recycling system of the time and turned into a cyborg. And every time something went awry, he was activated and forced to perform a local mission. That was all.

XSII EN GameFAQs Script
Juli: I'm not a young woman. Don't let it bother you.
Juli: A famous scientist?
Juli: Perhaps, infamous is more appropriate.
Ziggy: You seem to have difficulty dealing with MOMO. Why?
Juli: Could you love something that looked like your own daughter, but wasn't?
Ziggy: That is a difficult question.
Juli: Merely creating something to look like my daughter won't bring back her soul.
Juli: And with 100-Series Realians scattered all over this star cluster, they all serve as a constant reminder of her death.
Ziggy: Was it your husband's idea to make the 100-Series look like her?
Juli: Yes.


One of the things that stands out to me here is 娘と同じ顔 which is literally "the same face as (my) daughter" vs just "looking like" her, which almost softens it in English.
 

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