Working vs Studying

I’m almost at the end of my tenure of summer training aka internship at one of the best IT companies around here. Frankly speaking, it has been a very rewarding experience so far. In these two months:

  • I feel like I’ve learned about a semester’s worth in just two months.
  • I learnt about how to process”Internet-scale data”. And it’s more than just Terabytes; we’re talking of Petabytes here, aka thousands and thousands of Terabytes of data. That means, where the mankind is now in terms of technology of massive data processing. It has proved to be a very interesting and enlightening experience. I kind of now feel that I have a teensy slightly broader view of the world around me.
  • The second part of the internship involved web programming using cutting-edge Javascript technologies like node.js and Websockets. I had zero experience with ANYTHING related to web programming, and now I can atleast look at them. That’s an enormous plus.

In these few weeks, I have almost gotten used to this new lifestyle and brand new environment. However, college is going to open soon. So I need to force myself back to my old ways, taking this as a breath of fresh air. And I need to do that. I decided a while ago that I won’t take up a job after my graduation unless absolutely necessary. But this is quite alluring, in fact. Must not fall for that.

For work:

  • Finish your work for the day and go home.
  • Work doesn’t usually follow you home, except under rare circumstances. That means do what you want when you get home; no need to prepare for exams etc. (Uh oh, that’s a very tempting thing.)
  • For me, the commuting time got halved during this time… And I know that I’ll feel very irritated when I started commuting to university again…
  • For me, the project leaders have been very understanding and liberal. Thank you, Senpai and Sir!
  • You get even more breadth of knowledge rather than depth.

PS. There are other and perhaps not-so-good aspects too, which are not to be forgotten or ignored.

For uni:

  • You get more in-depth knowledge when you study more.
  • You can prepare better for the future. More knowledge means more preparedness for whatever comes your way. Knowledge is power.
  • You are bound by the routine classes.
  • For me, it takes ~3 hours every day to commute. And if I miss a class, I have a very hard time catching up…

Still, I would say one should study for as long as possible. Why? Simple. The more knowledge a person has, and the more varied it is, that person can have a larger view of the world around him. I kind of feel that Bachelor’s degrees are meant to give people breadth-first knowledge. And Masters and PhD are for depth. And both are important.

On a personal note, there was this subject called Humanities in our first semester, comprising of English and Social Science. All my batchmates were “Meh, WTF is this stupid subject!” Even the teacher was like “Oh well, these guys won’t have any use of it anyway…” I feel those subjects are important too. Why? Simple. Better perspective. They help in the long run. But most people seem to not realise that. Sad.

My little brother is going for such a thing too, a Maths-only-oriented course. I hope he’ll study other subjects too. I think I’ll make him do it. Simply because of the fact that wider perspective matters. A lot.

Now that I think about it, the post name is misleading. Oh well. Time to get back to studying for N3, and clearing the fansubbing backlog bit by bit.

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A person’s thought on how fansubs’ scripts should be

Well, this and editing are quite related, so why not.

The two schools of thought regarding literal vs liberal subs have existed for a long time. To the extent people don’t debate about them much nowadays.

As for me, I think it doesn’t matter. Almost. What I feel fansub groups should strive for is to make sure that it is understandable to everyone in the world who knows English. The guidelines should be:

  • Use simple English. Flowery words are a no-no, even if the speaker speaks very formal language(Most people don’t know what “bombastic” or “precocious” mean).
  • Do not localize. There are above 190 countries in the world apart from the US, and English is spoken in many of those too. This means, assume that the audience is distributed worldwide, not only in America.
  • This does not mean write a plain and flat script that’s boring to read. If there are character quirks, show it in the subs to an extent.
  • Please please try not to lose any nuance than necessary. The purpose of the subtitles is to make viewers acquainted with another culture, not to spoonfeed them in terms of their own culture.
  • Avoid using any terms of phrases specific to a region. Why? Simple. No one other than the people of that culture would understand.

It might sound that I am contradicting myself. But the main thing is to make it both. It must not sound flat and plain, and should have some nice dialog which are simple to understand. A nice example would be from FFF’s Love Live! release. I found it very enjoyable due to the sheer simple yet witty language. For example,  lines were like “At last we have a member with a good head on her shoulders!”, “Keep your eyes to yourself.” They are simple to understand, yet witty.

And some personal thoughts on how quirks can be conveyed:

  • For maid and butler-speak, use a formal kind of language. But don’t use archaic English. “I beg to state that you have a flaw in your assumptions, Master.” is fine, but more than that is not.
  • Do not use contractions(I’m, You’re) for the formal characters (maids, butlers who speak like that etc). This might be perhaps the most notable way of showing the difference.
  • I am not quite unaware and unsure on how to show accent differences (Tokyo Japanese vs Kansai-ben) though. There are methods, I think.

Guess that’s all for now. But then again, I’m not an editor. I don’t know how to phrase a line so that it sounds nice and keeps to the features I mentioned. However, this is from my experience from QCing a few hundred scripts. Obviously, constructive comments, corrections, and alternate perspectives are more than welcome.

Of “accountability” in fansubbing

The other day, I was reading a “review” of our release of Leviathan. While some of the points were valid, the tone certainly wasn’t. It sounded like a reporter felt like writing a hate-article about us on a famous newspaper, no offense meant.

Nevertheless, I was a bit pissed off at first. I thought of explaining why we used something for a particular line, and being the group leader, the responsibility rested with me. Then I thought, “Why bother?” So I laughed and let it go.

Then I started thinking of the so-called “accountability” in fansubbing, aka doing what I was about to do. And I realised this: The only people fansubbers are even a bit accountable to are the fans. Why? They often wait for a fansubber’s release just because they like watching it. And they often cheer us on too. Very few people are like that, but I feel if fansubbers are accountable to anyone at all for their releases and the scripts and encodes they produce, it’ll be those few fans. Or the fans who watch their release at most. No one else.

Part 2 of this post will deal about what I, as a person, think of editing etc.