Wednesday, July 25, 2007


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Akela Talamasca

I can't believe you still have the newbie walk animation! Surely a man as smooth and suave as you are, in your vanilla ice cream suit, can afford a prowly beast-walk?

Mathieu Basiat

my first thought, too

Komuso Tokugawa

"Also, this: only a few months after having SL localized to their country, Japanese Residents are quietly transforming the world according to their distinct cultural aesthetics,"

There has been a semi-localised japanese client for waaaaay longer than a "few months" and the full localised japanese client is STILL not available. When I checked last week web page links on the japanese site were directed back to US site as well.

"aided by their renowned mastery of computer graphics and game design."

Some of the best work I've seen in the Japanese sims [reaching back well over a year ago now] comes from complete amateurs giving it a go....just like the other content creators in sl who have found a creative outlet without a professional background.

"Above all, of course, Kowloon is a stunning demonstration of how far Second Life has been internationalized by content and experience."

Didn't that Amsterdam sim [been around over a year?] just sell a while back for us$50K or something? Dublin anyone? Surfers Paradise surf club?

"If I had the power, I would make a fully integrated universal translator the Lindens' first priority. "

I'd make it Performance and Stability myself.
Large foreign communities also live in these countries in rl, many who are bilingual. If SL is to be accepted for business use they would prefer performance and stability over a dodgy machine translator would be my bet.
[Machine translation is a well researched and heavily under development area....and still has a looooooooong way to go, like AI]

"Without it, we are fast approaching a time when our ability to share all we can be will be limited to random encounters like these. Or more likely, never happen at all."

I think you should go and live in a foreign country in RL for a while;-)
I've been doing gigs in SL for ages now where the chatlog is a real tower of babel..it's FANTASTIC!!!

But sure, Kowloon is uber Kewl!

Tsukasa Keiko

Hah, my first thought too!

Hamlet Au

Komuso, the SL Japanese beta launched in mid-March, i.e. a few months ago:


Iris Ophelia

AO Shopping beckons you, the mob agrees. ^_~

Nock Forager

That reuters's report was not accurate. It's screenshot tell us "The Japanese version will soon be come!". but the site had been there at least since Nov. 2006. I emailed to adam about it when that's sroty uploaded, but none update was done. (Maybe it's not so important for most of residents).

Seems here you found another sample of "lost in translation" thing :-).

Komuso Tokugawa

>>Komuso, the SL Japanese beta launched in mid-March, i.e. a few months ago:

tsk tsk Hamster, you above all people should know you don't believe everything you read in the media;-)

More fact checking needed Hamster-san.

Hamlet Au

Fact checking requires a cite, Komuso. Can you post one, please? The first mention of Japanese localization in LL's own release notes is March 07:


magnum yoshikawa

Hello Hamlet.
Regrettably,I do not have the skill understanding English.
I can't understand your writing completely.
But, I felt a little happiness.
Before SL, as for me ,I has not been done the exciting experience like yesterday.

komuso tokugawa

Well, if you would like to split hairs:

"only a few months after having SL localized to their country"

is implying that SL was fully localized, when in fact, as you point out yourself, it is very much a beta localization project in progress.

"Release Notes for Second Life 1.18.0(6) July 11, 2007 * Updated translations for Japanese language viewer"

"Release Notes for Second Life 1.17.1(0) June 25, 2007 * Added Japanese and German language installers (Windows only)"...

Having spoken to experienced Japanese users as recently as a month ago about the Japanese beta version the general consensus was that it was NOT a very good job when you only do the first layer of the interface...hence still making it very difficult for non-english speakers to understand. Links from the japanese website in japanese that then go to a US english website are further confusing.

Afaik from direct experience Double Byte input has been available for quite a long time already, which has allowed japanese/chinese etc to chat natively at least...and yes, native character input is part of localisation.

At the very least "only a few months after having SL localized to their country" should actually read "only a few months after having SL partially localized to their country".

I know it does not read as breathlessly gushy as your line, but it is a fact.

Hamlet Au

Actually, that would be even more gushy than the point I was making-- if SL is only partially and imperfectly localized for the Japanese, it's that much more impressive that so many of them have mastered the tools so well anyway. Thanks for the additional background.

magnum, thanks for writing, and for the interview!

Synthalor Mandelbrot

As far as automatic translators in-world go, you have some options.

First, it is unfortunate that the translator by Yossarian Seattle mentioned in the article cited above is no longer for sale. Yossarian did not have the spare time to support it properly. Too bad, because it was reasonably useable and did not rely on a single translation service.

Second, go immediately and get the latest version of The Babbler, Version 3.17, I believe, which now has De-Babbler built in. It is HUD-based. You will probably need to read the online instructions to figure out how to make it work for you. But with Babbler, I can communicate at a reasonable level with individuals, and can simultaneously listen to other chatters (individually selectable by me). Babble is readily available in-world for free or L$1. You can give it away to others directly from the HUD. This is the one I personally use when I frequent places like Kowloon.

Third, on SL Exchange, search for "translator." Click on the price column header twice to sort the results by lowest price first. First, or near the top of the first result page, you should find the Universal Translator created by Hank Ramos. If ever you find yourself wanting to initiate or to participate in a multi-language chat, where participants speak several different languages, you will want Hank Ramos's gift to Second Life residents. If land rules permit, just rez it on the ground, touch it to configure it, and then invite others to touch it to configure their personal language choice. It will translate your language into theirs and theirs into yours. I have participated in a four-language chat with one of these. It uses http://translate.google.com/, which may sometimes not work well for particular languages (some are in BETA) and which may sometimes treat too much chat as a DoS attack and keep you out for a while. Price, L$0 at SLX or L$1 at Hank Ramos's place in-world.

Fourth, farther down the list, priced at L$480, as I write, find the Universal Translator distributed by "kelly young." This one is not HUD-based, but is a hand-held item (attach it where you like). A simple chat command brings up the menu dialog and configuration from there is simple. While it is not free, I have found it worth the price.

Fifth, The Multi-Gadget has Babblefish included. If you already have Multi-Gadget, you may find Babblefish occasionally useful and it will do in a pinch. but is *way* behind the others mentioned.

Lastly, some advice:

* Automatic translations are notoriously bad, Never be immediately offended by anything during an auto-translated communication. Ask for clarification or restatement, particularly when trying to breach East/West language barriers.

* Help the translator I: Keep your sentences simple. Avoid the desire to write intricately complicated masterpieces using the most highly advanced grammatical features of your particular language.

* Help the translator II: Avoid idiomatic expressions and slang. Even human translators sometimes find these difficult.

* Help the translator III:

Break up long or involved thoughts
in separate phrases,
one line at a time.

Please do not type entire paragraphs,
hit 'Enter,'
and expect the translator to do well
with the whole thing all at once.

Most important advice: Please be courteous, forgiving, undemanding, complimenting, and helpful when trying to talk with someone in a language foreign to you. Many will not bother to try to communicate with a foreign language speaker like you. If you have found someone who is willing to do so, you have probably found someone worthy to be treated as an honored friend!

Good luck out there!

Synthalor Mandelbrot
Avarian Explorer

Synthalor Mandelbrot

Oh, I always seem to forget at lest one thing! If you cannot rez Hank Ramos's Universal Translator on the ground, you can wear it. It will probably attach to your stomach and you will look rather silly but you can be right in the center of a wonderful multi-language chat.

Everyone who wants to chat must "touch" the device to configure their language. Chatters need to stay within 20 meters of the device or they may need to reconfigure their language.

Hank Ramos

Just to update, my Universal Translator has been rewritten to directly talk with Google's translation service through their proper API service, to work as a HUD, and to automatically translate text in an area with no user intervention. As always, the Universal Translator is free and is a gift to the SL community.

Ferd Frederix

To keep you up to date, there are about 52,000 of the Ferds Free translator in use now.

Also, Snowglobe 1.2 has Google translate built-in.

You can pick up a free copy of my scripted translator at Phaze Demesnes, and read about the translator at http://secondlife.mitsi.com.

I also put online my LSL script collection and just now, a new database of sim neighbors so you can see who is hogging all your bandwidth of your CPU core. The Secondlife Sim Neighbor Database will find that neighboring sim (up to 8 of them) that are stealing all the bandwidth and script times from you.


Where've you been? I explored this sim more than a year ago!

The Japanese creators of SL are phenemonal. One of my first explorations in SL nearly 4 years ago was to walk the over 20 sim Sl Japan (Mag Tokyo I think it's called). Took 3 weeks real timeI noted creators work I liked.. and over time, I have watched so many succeed, many opening their own sims.

Petit Pas looks like a French town, it's a stunning sim filled with the work of Japanese creators as is
Drowsy. They don't look Japanese--but they are all built by and feature the work of some delightful Japanese creators.

The biggest frustration to me is that amazing work.. cannot be found by searching classifieds. They don't advertise in English. I often used the picks of one outstanding creator to visit the sims, stores and events of their friends.

Over the years i have ammassed a treasure of photos to the hard drive, clothes, hair, shoes, houses, household goods. My inv is crammed with the work of Japanese residents. I also goto the small social cafes-clubs with my translator and make friends.

Can you say "Milk". Omg the beauty of it. And Edo castles spanning sims of splendor.

Try search with the word Kyoto.

Triad Town--find the chocolate factory downstairs... for a fun interactive experience.

This is an undiscovered world of wonder for most non Asian residents.

I have 12 stunning kimonos--FREEBIES. yes. The freebies of Sl Japan are phenomenal. One of my favs is a flying frog machine. And most Japanese creators sell their goods at such reasonable prices--or even "steals" that you fall over when you go to pay for your purchase.

Everywhere i have visited, been treated like a princess--same as my visits to real life Japan.

Why don't you consider getting the SURLs out of your own Japanese blog portion.. and bundling them for your non Asian readers to take a tp to see what is the world of Japanese residents is like.

Amiryu Hosoi

Major upgrade for Hosoi Cluster
We are very happy to announce that after a week of hard work our Hosoi Cluster is polished and shining like the sun again. We have updated scenery throughout all islands to be sure the environment looks and feels more realistic.

Japan Kanto and Hosoi Ichiba
One of the major changes is the Hosoi Ichiba on Japan Kanto. This island and especially the market were the very first themed environments in our cluster and to be honest looked very outdated and non Japanese. We gave the Hosoi Ichiba a complete makeover with a new Royal Gate and walls. Inside the Ichiba there have been a lot of changes to the garden, tea house and tai chi area. The surroundings on the island are updated also with better looking ground cover, paths and water features.

Japan Kansai and Hosoi Mura
Anyone that ever visited our Hosoi Mura can tell you what a wonderfull authentic place this Edo Period Town is. Well, we made it even better for you. We decided to "downgrade" the heart of the town. Next time you visit this town make sure to wear extra high geta for the town is a very muddy place now;-) We also upgraded the overall scenery with better textures, better ground cover, better paths and water features. Put on your platform shoes and come over!

Japan Chubu and the Lotus Farm
The Lotus Farm on the castle grounds is transformed in a stunning romantic place. We redesigned the complete pond and ricefields. Like on the other islands we also did a lot of upgrading on the roads, paths, the ground cover and water features. Japan Chubu is ready for the future!

Viewing the scenery
Note, we are not finished with upgrading our islands. Maintaining and managing islands and scenery is an ongoing task and we will continue tweaking to bring you the very best in SL. All our regions are best viewed with Windlight settings "Foggy" and "Enviroment editor set to 6.00 AM". Please try to explore our environmets on foot for the best experience.


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