Farm Update (Chapters 19 to 23)

Chapter 19 link

With this update, I’m going to address a warranted but unvoiced concern about translation accuracy. The main thing I was made to address right now is units of measure.

As some of you Chinese readers who might know, there are units like ‘jin’ and ‘mu’ in the story. I translated them into ‘kilos’ and ‘acres’, even though they’re not of the right context. We know too much localization liberties can basically turn a translation into a disaster, so why did I go for that?

The reason is because of the premise itself, and also in large part due to China’s history with units of measure. Whenever a Chinese author says ‘jin’ or ‘mu’, both of them mean the Chinese Pound and the Chinese Acre. However, Chinese jin is exactly half a metric kilo (currently 500 grams) while an acre is an imperial unit of measure. They just don’t add up to each other.

I assumed (probably with great accuracy) that the author is leading us to believe that both China and Ark Continent use the same units of Chinese measurement. Assuming that is really the case, it’s a pitfall of worldbuilding. A western fantasy world using Chinese measurements? How does it add up, right? But I’m not about to slam this aspect of the story, because if I am allowed to assume again that weight measurement tools in Ark Continent are the same as how Chinese tools started out, then it can probably be tolerated.

This is where China’s history with units of measurement comes into play. During the post-abdication times (the infamous Qing Dynasty collapse), and all the way to Republic times, China was undergoing a decades long process of adapting the metric units. Kilo, being a staple of metric measure, is naturally the unit to use when referring to weight. With how the farm and rural areas had been spared from forced ‘metrication’, the Chinese measurements had managed to survive until this day.

I just think that it’s stupid to translate every ‘jin’ and ‘mu’ to Chinese Kilo, Chinese Acre, Jin, Mu, and whatever. It breaks the immersion that Ark Continent is a very western world (even though there are different ethnicities later on), and it’s simply too cumbersome to refer to the real kilo as Metric Kilograms each and every single time. So please keep in mind that every kilo in the story is basically 500 grams due to being Chinese kilo, and every acre is a Chinese acre (about 614 square metres).

It’s not hard to imagine that, in a working world with similar measure units as old China, the basic names of units can be used in a general manner without getting too specific and convoluted. In our everyday lives, there are only a few units we actually roll out with our tongues, and this is evident in the source writing of this story and many others.

With all of the above clarified, I hope you enjoy these chapters, and as always…..

Happy reading!



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16 Responses to Farm Update (Chapters 19 to 23)

  1. wes174 says:

    please release chapter 242! could you like divide the work so half the chapters are 242 plus and other half are up to 242?

    • Armored Raven says:

      For the last time, I’m not part of the MTL crew. I cannot ‘release’ 242 when I never even worked on it. Why can’t anyone just understand that I have no right to ‘continue’ something I was never even a part of??

      • RED says:

        Raven, he’s saying you could choose to translate 242+ and post them, as well as continue translating the beginning stories.
        Right now, to most of us on this page, you are merely retreading water. There is not a huge amount of difference between what you are posting and what has been done before. Sure, there are differences in names and such, but I personally have no incentive whatsoever to reread the earlier stories, which means, at the pace you are going, I have at least three months before this story is going to be interesting.

        i.e. many of us are stone bored and want the story as it has advanced to continue on.

        If you want an example, look at Xian Ni/Renegade Immortal is being translated. Rex is retranslating the old chapters at Wuxiaworld, to make an unbroken continuity, but he is also continuing to post NEW chapters at Fivestarspecialists, his home page, to keep the people who’ve read all those old stories moving along.

        So, what we would like you to do is split your translation efforts. Continue your old translations if you like, but also continue the story from where it is currently stalled so the people who’ve been following it all along don’t just get bored stiff and drop it all while waiting for you to catch up to where we already are.

        It wouldn’t be difficult at all for you to read ahead and do the chapters. Given you are so energetically releasing multiple chapters per day, if you could make just one of them a day, or every two days, a ‘future’ chapter, we would all be very happy with you.

        I’m fairly sure that 90% of the people checking this site are not really rereading the old stories. We only have so much time, we know what happens, and cosmetic changes are not a huge reason for me to reread stuff. I haven’t reread the early Xian Ni stuff, and I’m not going to read your early chapters. I appreciate WHY you are doing it…I’m not insulting you over doing it.

        I’m just totally bored and fed up with the story being stuck in one place for months until you catch up, when you can simply split your efforts and keep everyone satisfied.

        • Armored Raven says:

          I’m discussing this with the higher ups. It’s possible that I can divide the workload some more, but it’ll be slower.

          • Slez says:

            I’m with RED. I have no interest in rereading the old chapters and I may just stop reading the story entirely if I have to wait several months for the story to continue from where the other translators stopped.

          • Inbetweenaction says:

            slower is fine. and if you decide to do new chapters, do in no way feel like you have to put as much time into doing new chapters as with redoing old once. It’s the total standstill until the catch up that is boring, so as long as it’s moving everyone is entertained….

            i will also apologise for us in the community for being ungrateful for your effort. (thanks for translating, by the way. It’s always a pain to be the one on cleanup duty. we are, in no way appreciative enough of you and your work…)

            just afraid that only redoing old chapters might cost you otherwise interested readers…

          • RED says:

            Slower is FINE. As a matter of fact, I urge you to be slower. As Wuxiaworld put it, ‘digging holes is not fun’. I’d rather have you slowly put out old and new chapters, then get burned out posting tons of old chapters in an effort to catch up to the previous translations. If you are feeling great pressure to translate to catch up…then you’re doing it wrong.

            Retranslating the old works is a sign of diligence, and I can appreciate you doing it to establish continuity. But please keep the existing story moving forward, comfortably, which will relieve you of the stress of playing catch up and make this easier and funner for everyone all around.

          • KaZe_DaRKWIND says:

            Even if it was only a single chapter past the old translator per batch you release it would be nice.

            For example instead of 19-23 it would be 19-22 and 242. Next would be like 23-26 and 243. I think this would be a good compromise but I’m not the translator so it would be best to do what you feel is best. You’ll get there eventually.

          • KaZe_DaRKWIND says:

            Though, after thinking about it, it might be best to wait until you reach it naturally so all the small things are ironed out. Like conversions and names.

      • wes174 says:

        i just am kinda sad that i have too wait so long for new chapters 🙁

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think Reds reply can be done…even once a week is most suitable for continuing the latest chapter…until you catch up with retranslating the old chapters…so readers wont be bored…

    Some will gladly support you if you wont let them wait too much…

  3. Yama says:

    Armored Raven.
    Thank you, for your translations. Understand that there are people out there that appreciate your efforts.

  4. Inbetweenaction says:

    Is it that much effort translating the numbers into the actual weight/area? if it is, maybe keeping the original measuring units would have been ok… (keeping mu as mu, and not as chinese acres… that is just clunky.)

    after all, an acre is waaay bigger than a mu(10 000 to 667 square meters, specifically), and translating his jin into tons without touching his numbers are essentially doubling the power of the space… while at the same time making it way less fertile (why would flower girl even want to grow in such poor poor soil…. T_T).

    just saying, if the translation screws with the the power that much, maybe original measurements can be allowed? (and i am saying this as a hardline SI proponent, ‘murica can take their ancient measuring system, tie some british Stones (all the different weights that actually translates into) to it and bury it all with the feudal times it belongs to…)

    • Inbetweenaction says:

      there are mu to square meters/hectare converters out there, depending on your route…

    • Inbetweenaction says:

      sorry, used hectare instead of acre. so if done according to how you propose, it’s just bad farmland, with a doubling in power while increasing the area with a factor of six…

  5. Anonymous says:

    And yet you feel that changing the meaning of a few terms means that you can do a better job?

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