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07th Expansion gives official sanction for Umineko translation

January 7th, 2009, by zalas
Posted in Translation , Tagged: , ,

In an interesting turn of events, Ryukishi07 of the doujin circle 07th Expansion has acknowledged and approved of Witch Hunt’s translation project for Umineko no Naku Koro ni via email, according to a post by one of the translators. This letter is now also available through Witch Hunt’s website.

Ryukishi07 mentioned in his email that he was quite surprised that even people outside of Japan can now play his game and was very moved by the passion translators put into translating such a long piece into English. In closing, he mentioned that he will warmly watch over this endeavour and hope that everyone will continue to enjoy Umineko no Naku Koro ni. This is very likely the first time a Japanese game producer has given official approval to a fan translation of a non-free game (although game creators have given kudos to a fan translation before) and hopefully this will encourage future collaborations.

Please note that (as pointed out in the comments to this article) this does not mean Witch Hunt’s project is the official English localisation or that Witch Hunt is in any way affiliated or related to 07th Expansion; it is merely a translation project which has received approval and support from the original creator.

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  1. jyuichi Says:
    January 7th, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Thats really awesome, he sounds very enthusiastic :D

  2. Cruor Says:
    January 7th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Ryukishi’s awesome XD

  3. dorkatlarge Says:
    January 7th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    This isn’t the *first* official approval of a fan translation of a non-free game. According to a news story on RPGamer, the staff behind Front Mission (originally on Super Famicom, later remade for the DS) knew of that game’s fan translation as they worked on the official translation for the DS. See this link: http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q3-2007/071207a.html

  4. Akenaide yo~ » Ryukishi07 autorise la traduction de Umineko no Naku Koro ni Says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 12:56 am

    [...] Source : encubed [...]

  5. zalas Says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 3:22 am

    dorkatlarge:
    Ah, thanks for the link; I was not aware of that. However, from the wording, I am not exactly sure if this was a personal view (I like what they are doing) or if it was something that is legal authorization (I authorize this action as being legitimate). For example, this interview does not mean the same as Square Enix announcing publically that they support the fan translation patch. I am aware of at least one other game creator who has expressed privately “approval” of what the fans are doing but cannot formally acknowledge the activities. Nevertheless, let me add the link in case people are interested.

  6. chronotrig Says:
    January 12th, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I’m chronotrig, head translator for The Witch Hunt.
    Just wanted to clarify something. There is absolutely nothing official about our translation. We do have Ryuukishi’s encouragement to continue, and he has made it clear that he is happy that we are translating, but our group is not connected to 07th-expansion in any way.

    However, our group’s name was referenced in Episode 4, where the ‘Witch Hunt’ is a group of occult researchers investigating the crime.

  7. zalas Says:
    January 13th, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Maybe I can add a disclaimer, then. My use of official was not to describe the translation project, but to describe the approval. That is, for all intents and purposes, Ryukishi07, by his authority, has publically approved of your work, even if the project isn’t formally a joint collaboration or considered the official English localisation of the game.

    Please let me know if the clarification in the article works for you.

  8. Richard 23 Says:
    January 29th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    That’s really great. Ryukishi07 should be commended for being so gracious about letting his work be translated. He’s a great writer and, apparently, a genuine human being.

    I’d read that he’s also working on scenarios for the next Key game.

    Higurashi naku no koro ni was a fantastic story and I am quite interested contrasting cicida and seagull cries! LOL.

    chronotrig, obviously you are doing this independently of 07th Expansion, but it had to feel great to get an email from Ryukishi07 where the subject line wasn’t “CEASE AND DESIST.” And although you’re not doing the official English translation, it certainly must have cranked up the pressure on you to do it right? A little perhaps?

    This will also help promote the work far beyond Japan’s borders and that can only be a good thing. If only more software publishers were as cool as this. Man, I’m starting to sound like Techdirt….

    Good luck on the translation project!

  9. Einherjar Says:
    February 2nd, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Whoa, that’s awesome.
    Well, best luck with the project.

  10. Turk Says:
    March 22nd, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Very awesome to hear the news!
    Although I don’t think this is the first time the author has given sanction to a fansub as it occurred before with Narcissu.

  11. Quando il fansub diventa concorrenza… legale « YBlog Says:
    October 9th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    [...] questi fan hanno ricevuto una mail da parte di Ryukishio07 della software house, in cui esprimeva il suo apprezzamento per l’impegno profuso: non si aspettava il successo del suo titolo oltre confine e quindi [...]

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