Jan. 5th, 2012

headdesking forever

I've already ranted several times here how computer translation is not your friend if you want to litter your English story with German words (even disregarding the characterization issues or the likelihood of random language switches occurring in the first place). That includes swear words, because believe it or not, swearing works differently in different languages. For example you can't just translate "fuck" and use it like in English for a swear word. Argh.

Well, the story wasn't very good otherwise either, so I don't regret the back button use, but seriously. And now I have the urge to write an introduction to swearing in German to explain, but that probably would only encourage people to avoid using betas, and make things even worse.

This entry was originally posted at http://ratcreature.dreamwidth.org/456598.html. | comment count unavailable comments

Dec. 9th, 2011

venting through tags, y/n?

Aug. 14th, 2011

*spork* *spork*

Dear XMFC fanfic fandom,

computer translation is not your friend for creating German sentences for your fiction. Not even short ones, or single words. It will inevitably get all sorts of grammar wrong, like cases, tenses, sentence structure, form of address, word choice...

Then, just as inevitably, I will be thrown out of your generally well written story by the hilariously wrong German, or stumble while trying to figure out what it was supposed to say, and along with me scores of other German speakers (seriously there is no shortage of German speakers around in media fandom). On the upside that also means that there are many, many German speakers available to you, who'll be willing to write you a quick translation as a beta-type service.

But what if you're shy, or afraid to break anon-status, and don't want to ask a German speaker for help? In that case you should consider to skip the dialog and just settle for paraphrases such as "he cursed in German" or the like.

Yours,
RatCreature


As an aside, I also notice that I skip giving feedback to stories I otherwise like that have
this unfortunate problem, because I feel awkward to tack on some sort of red pen correction section onto my squee, but otoh I also don't want to not say something when there are such embarrassing errors there, and pretend I didn't notice. If I know the author, I usually have no problem to mention such nitpicks, but it's different with strangers or anon posters. The same goes for deciding whether to rec things. Argh.

Jan. 14th, 2011

the icon really says all

So, since I'm currently reccing Tolkien art at [community profile] fanart_recs (yes, I do find a way to promote the comm in every other post *g*), I've been in the mood to read some LOTR fic. Specifically I was looking for 4th age Aragorn & Faramir friendship stories. I don't read that much LOTR, so I browsed around and checked out one that I seen positively linked in a couple of places, hoping to avoid the worst, but alas! It wasn't to be. It's like a train wreck, the way this series butchers poor Faramir's characterization. What is it with stories turning him into some kind of weepy, quivering wimp (and not even due to extreme torture or anything)?

Incidentally, links to decent stories would be welcome. (I don't read Aragorn/Faramir though.)

Sep. 6th, 2010

today's pet peeve

Authors should really indicate if they spread out the posting of parts. If they have a posting schedule I like to know when to check as to not miss anything, and I also like to be prepared that I won't get to read the whole thing right now.

I don't mind even following unfinished WIPs but if I see a post linking to 1/3 in community and the notes talk about the story as if it is finished, I assume that all three parts are posted in the linked journal. But recently, especially it seems in Star Trek Reboot, headers neglect to mention staggered posting/WIP status. I guess I'll have to remember to check myself in advance. *grumble*

That said, the Reboot time travel murder mystery of which I just read the first part is a really promising opening, which probably explains why I'd have like to get the rest right now.

Dec. 26th, 2009

yikes

I am not actually in the "adverbs and adjectives always suck" camp of stylistic advice or anything, but wow, I just tried to read a story in which the overabundance of them threw me right out. I don't think I've ever had that happen before. Not recently anyway.

I counted over twenty adjectives and adverbs in the first paragraph of six sentences with 130 words in total. And that was not including nouns being modified by other nouns in some sort of tacked on thesaurus, like if I wrote "the purple prose, this murky miasma of adjectives,..." I counted only the two adjectives, not the whole mess -- what do you call that kind of construction anyway? (The story didn't do it with alliterations though, I just did that in my example for humor, it was just two nouns, both modified with adjectives, saying the same thing, one after another.) That was even more jarring than the adjectives. The writer should just have settled on one of the two choices.

Jul. 31st, 2009

pet peeve revisited

I know I have ranted about the usage of "Spock Prime" in the narrative and dialog just a few days ago, but since then I've come across this far more often. Like every day I see stories doing this. More than one. It occurs even in stories that I found on rec lists, not through random, at-your-own-risk browsing. (In case you're wondering, [info - personal] musesfool recced this offender.) Just, WTF? This is getting out of hand if you can't even trust recs to protect you.

Please tell me that some fan somewhere has written a Greasemonkey script or something to do word replacements on the fly in your browser to fix epithets, and I can adapt this to replace every "Spock Prime" with "Ambassador Spock".

ETA: Thanks to the awesome [info - personal] gnatkip I have now indeed found a script that will do this word replacement for me. Greasemonkey to the rescue.

Jul. 21st, 2009

my pet peeve of the day

It drives me absolutely crazy when in ST:AOS fic the older, time-traveling Spock is called "Spock Prime" within the story text, assuming the story is told from a POV character withing the fictional universe rather than some jokey outside parody narrator or omniscient meta fiction narrator. It's fine for a pairing label, but please, please find some other way to distinguish the character from the younger Spock in the text. I am usually not that picky about narrative voice, but this just throws me out of the story in a way from which I can't recover. It's one of the few things that will just make me stop reading immediately in this fandom.

Feb. 26th, 2009

some unexpected plot twists are not good

Sometimes fanfic is really weird. See, I've been reading an X-Files story, which started normal enough. It was a Profiler!Mulder story with an X-Files twist in that Mulder forms some sort of psychic connection with the killers and victims, and so on, cue to Mulderangst. Which was the kind of story I wanted to read. Only then suddenly out of nowhere some green, winged horse shows up and brings Mulder to a blue anthropomorphic cat shapeshifter alien who starts talking about fighting interdimensional demons. What? Just, what? I have no idea how this continued, because the story rather lost me at that point.

What irks me most is was that I read over half of this long novel, which I thought was one thing, and then without warning it turned into something completely different. It had a summary and warnings for all kinds of things which indicated that this was a serial killer story with child molestation, but nothing mentioned mystical furry aliens fighting evil on psychic planes. Gah. What a waste of time.

May. 7th, 2008

another random pet peeve post...

When people link to their journal posts containing stories or art, some link not the "plain" entry, but to the "reply mode" version, i.e. you get an URL with "?mode=reply" at the end, a comment form below, and don't see any previous comments. Also, and that is the main reason why I hate the practice, the title of the browser window will be "Post Comment" rather than the subject line of the entry, which commonly is the LJ name plus the title of the work. I get the idea behind linking to the reply form-- people think it encourages comments to have the comment field right there, but the downside is, one, that if you open links in tabs (like when you click several potentially interesting links on your f-list while scrolling down) you can't see in your tab what you have open to easily click the tab to pick it to read, and two, even more annoying for me, if you bookmark the page you won't get the subject line as link text but will have to edit that link text line manually, and edit the URL manually to get the plain one, though that is quicker as you just have to delete a bit.

I bookmark almost every story I finish reading and tag them. Normally I can highlight the summary, click the bookmark button and get the right link text (provided the author didn't put "yay! fic" or something random in their fanfic subject line, which is another annoyance) plus the highlighted summary as description, and just add the tags, whereas with the reply mode link, I highlight the summary, click the bookmark button, then get the wrong link text, have to edit the URL to get a plain bookmark, click back to the window itself to copy the subject line, click back to the tagging dialog, delete the "Post Comment" link text and paste in the right subject. So it is two clicks, two deletions and one c&p action more effort, which, unless the story or art was very nice, puts me in a frame of mind to skip the commenting this was meant to encourage.

Is anyone else annoyed every time they land on a reply page when clicking a link rather than the journal entry proper?

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