HRWiki talk:Subtitles

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From Da Basement

Copied from HRWiki:Da_Basement#Subtitles:

Some of us have started working on subtitling Homestar Runner Flash cartoons to make them accessible to a wider audience. I would like to know what the HRWiki folks think about this. Should this be a part of the knowledge base wiki? Should it be separate? Would you help? The subtitles are based on the transcripts from the wiki, so there is a strong connection already. The subtitles project is still beta, but it should work with Firefox and Internet Explorer. Most subtitles have been donated by Phlip from an older project, and I and Elcool have done the international ones. Check it out and let us know. Loafing 22:00, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
I personally know one person who'd be interested in that... --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 22:19, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
I strongly support having some way to intergrate the subtitles files into the wiki. As a non-native speaker sometimes I need to go over the wiki transcript just to see what a word or two means. This way , it's already inside the toon window itself. Also, we could open the door for people with hearing problems who still want experiance Homestar Runner like the rest of us. Some flash artists like Weeble from Weeble and Bob and the people behind Too Much Spare Time Animation have already added subtitles to some of their toons. So If TBC aren't going to do it themselvs, we are here for them. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 22:26, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
The .xml file for Exp Film's Commentary doesn't work. --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 22:54, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Cheers, fixed the link. Also, listening to the commentary is currently not possible anyway, because of Flash security measures :-/ And I forgot to upload the experiment film subs, will have to wait until I'm back home. Loafing 23:09, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
We need this in the Greasemonkey script, pronto. ¤ The Dang, Pom Pom, you see that? That's a nice golbol. Talk to me. 02:38, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I showed it to the person I previously alluded. The biggest reason I got into H*R in the first place was because it allowed me to share the gift of Homestar with this person, who cannot hear. She says she likes the subtitled stuff better than the Wiki. "But no offense." --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 03:09, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Seriously, you just made my day :-D  Loafing 05:27, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Deaf watchers, eh? I'd assume captions, as opposed to subtitles would be more important then, yes? (For the uninitiated: subtitles transcribe the words, captions transcribe all the sound effects too.) --phlip TC 05:38, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Take 'em as they come. --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 05:49, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Okay, let's just say, hypothetically, I wanted to make one of these. How would I get the frame numbers to start/stop each line on? And how would I test it? --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 06:06, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
We haven't quite worked out the standards for subtitles/captions yet, so the format may change a little. But if you want to try it now, then here's how you do it: You need Phlip's Firefox Greasemonkey script. This will give you a seek bar for Flash toons from It also displays the current frame number. Then you grab one of the XML files from the subtitle site, scoop it empty, and use it as a skeleton. You probably also want to copy the text of the transcript into this file and split it up into short sections or sentences that you want to display as one title. Then use the seekbar to find the first and last frame numbers for each of the sections. It gets easy after you've done it once or twice. And you get to know the toon pretty well. Also note that each character has his or her own colour code. I'll put a page online soon with some more detailed hints, and I'll come up with a way of testing the titles. — I'm still not sure where to put the page with instructions. Do people believe this should be an HRWiki project, or should it be separate?  Loafing 06:25, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Aside from the frame numbers, I'd pretty much figured that all out. I have the beginnings of a Halloween Potion-ma-jig .xml file, but without frame numbers. --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 06:29, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Sound promising :-) I'll come up with a test page soon(ish). And you've heard that before, but... you should really be on IRC ;-)  Loafing 06:36, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I've never successfully managed to join IRC when a useful conversation is taking place. Plus, I have issues getting to it. --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 06:40, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Alright you guys, I finished the .XML file for Cool Tapes. Ding! ¤ The Dang, Pom Pom, you see that? That's a nice golbol. Talk to me. 03:04, 26 August 2006 (UTC) Is there a talk page specifically for this project? I thought of some things to discuss, but we'd flood Da Basement. I think there should be some sort of central Wiki page for this project, even if it's in a User space. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 03:38, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm not in the mood for IRC right now, but I figured I'd give an update. I have all of the text in my .xml file. I do not, however, have any frame numbers past the three Coach Z/Pom Pom scenarios. --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 06:47, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Uh oh.

Okay, I've got a serious problem with the Halloween Potion-ma-jig subtitiles.

The individual lines Homestar has at the end of the 'toon (A bottle of this, essence of that) are not stored through frame numbers. What's worse, I can't even say something like "A bottle of (something) water" or something like that, because different lines are different lengths, meaning I have to conform to whichever one is shortest or I get glitches. Thoughts?

The individual options work fine throughout the whole 'toon, and I suspect that the Homestar transformations work fine as well (though I haven't thoroughly tested.) --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 04:53, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Ergh, yeah, that's the biggest problem, that we can only subtitle stuff that actually correlates to frame numbers. If audio is triggered by ActionScript independently from graphics frames, we're doomed. The same goes for sequences that are loaded separately, such as the Experimental Film Commentary or the Very, Very Little Girl easter egg. I'll have a look at that, and I'll get back to you ASAP. Loafing 05:00, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Okay, the problem wasn't what I thought it was, and all known kinks are worked out. HRWiki:Subtitles/en/halloween2005mx. And with that... good nighzzzzzz... --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 07:37, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
The updates caused some formatting issues I don't like. Most specifically, anything italicized becomes mashed together with the surrounding words likethisappears. Plus, when Homestar is dancing and Bubs is saying "Stick and move, stick and move", I originally put them on separate lines - when they appear as they do now, they look as though they're being said in turn rather than at the same time. --Jay v.2020 (Talk) 17:50, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Patience grasshopper, for the best things come to those who wait. By "best things" I mean "the Greasemonkey version of the subtitles" and by "wait" I mean "until you see that both of these come out correctly in that version" - "Stick and move" is on its own line, spaces around italics aren't destroyed, it actually pulls the XML stuff from the wiki itself, rather than this just being here for show, etc. I'm still working out some of the kinks (like it working perfectly for me, but failing silently without even an error message for someone else... yeah, that's just a kink), but expect at least a work in progress by tomorrow or the day after or so. --phlip TC 18:48, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Now what?

Sbemail 6 is all good to go, but what now? THe page doesn't say. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 05:12, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Didn't think anybody would come this far ;-) Put it on, and then I'll copy it over to the external site. :-)  Loafing 05:19, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
All up and running :-) Is the Klingon version next? ;-)  Loafing 05:41, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Ya, you just sit there and wait for that one. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 05:50, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Feel free to add other languages to HRWiki:Subtitles/Characters... xml:lang="x-klingon", I think is the right way... --phlip TC 06:00, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it seems Klingon is registered with IANA, so the language code would be xml:lang="i-klingon"... it's even the example for i- language codes on this page... --phlip TC 07:20, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Non-Working Link

The link to the subtitle page doesn't work. Just so you know. --TotalSpaceshipGirl3 14:53, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Sometimes Loafing's site is down. Wait a couple of minutes and it will be up and running. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 15:11, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
It's a free hosting site, so we get what we pay for. It will all be better for Firefox users once Phlip has incorporated the subtitles into his Greasemonkey script.  Loafing 19:38, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
At the meantime I added a mirror from my small wiki. Elcool (talk)(contribs) 19:59, 27 August 2006 (UTC)


I'm having a problem with the emphasis codes. Whenever I add them, they italicize the text fine, but remove the spaces directly around the word. I tried <i>, <em>, and <strong> tags. - Joshua 19:00, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Read my post above. --phlip TC 19:09, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
One workaround is to use &amp;nbsp; to force a space. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 00:03, 28 August 2006 (UTC)


It looks like there's gonna be a whole website's worth of these pages, so to keep them organized, I made the Subtitles namespace. I didn't move anything into the new namespace yet, first because I didn't know whether anything depended on the pages' being where they are now, and second because I can see arguments for the primary organization being by language (e.g. Subtitles:en/cheatar, Subtitles:en/ween03) or by toon name (e.g. Subtitles:chetar/de, Subtitles:chetar/en) and figured we should discuss it first. (By the way, true subpages are enabled for this namespace.) — It's dot com 00:42, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Looking at this Category:Subtitles, I believe that it makes sense to organize it by toon name. Loafing 07:26, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, can I add, since we're moving stuff anyway... can we have the names match the filename of the .html file, rather than the .swf? It's easier to code, that way. --phlip TC 09:43, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Fine with me. Then we need to put the swf filename back in the <transcript> tag for the external script.  Loafing 09:52, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I made subcategories for the various languages, since all the pages can be seen just by viewing the list of pages in the namespace. — It's dot com 15:54, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

New version

Go to HRWiki:Subtitles/Greasemonkey and install that... instructions are at the top. Be aware that this is just a beta... there's probably problems with it, and the (nonexistant) options interface isn't all that user-friendly. But it's there... now you can stop complaining about the old version not liking the formatting changes... --phlip TC 06:54, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Good Jorb! I strongly recommend that everybody installs the Greasemokey script, because it actually uses the up-to-date subtitles from the wiki. The script on the external site has been updated somewhat as well, to fix the bugs mentioned in the previous sections. Loafing 07:04, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Question about Strong Bad Emails

When Strong Bad reads his email and types on his computer, are subtitles necessary? --Trogga 14:28, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 14:30, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Why? --Trogga 14:35, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Because he doesn't always say what's on the screen. Look at the helium email for example. There are a few subtle differences between what he types and what he says. Check it out. Also, I remember watching an early one on the other site with captions, but with no sound. The email text wasn't captioned. But a comment he made in the middle of reading was. Now, if i had never seen this one before, how would I know where that comment referred to? In fact, with no captioning, how would I even know Strong Bad was reading out loud? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 14:37, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
And another reason I just thought of - the English ones are templates for the foreign language versions. So having that in there makes it easier for a translator to simply translate the text without having to find new frame anchors for the text. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 20:13, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Sound Effect Standard

What sound effects should be noted, and how should they be noted? One example is The Paper. My opinion is to not indicate the sound, as it's really not meaningful to the storyline at all. Even in toons like little animal The Paper's noise isn't as meaningful as what it looks like. Also, are we using Geddup Noise for the chair? Will we change to Chairscoot somewhere around email 84? Finally, we clearly don't need to note EVERY sound effect. Just the ones that are part of the storytelling, I'd say. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 14:35, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. We should assume anyone using the subtitles cannot hear anything at all (and not necessarily because they're deaf; perhaps they're at work and can't turn the sound up). We should therefore caption all sound effects (unless in a particular case doing so would interfere with the dialogue), especially ones like "Preeeow", which signify events in the email. — It's dot com 19:01, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Assuming a person is deaf, then is there value in describing to them, for example, that the background noise sounds like a scratchy record? I think there's such a thing as too far here, and it's really easy to hit the point of so much caption that you can't keep up.
Also, if you were blind, the sound "Preeow" would be important, but you know that the Preeow is happening even with the sound muted because you see it come down. We have to indicate a ringing phone because we sure can't see it ringing, but we can see The Paper come down, so what does the sfx "Preeow" add to the subtitling other than clutter? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 19:08, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
As I said before, you don't have to assume someone is deaf. The sound could just be muted. Noting all sound effects are important, because the toon wouldn't be the same without them. And how do you know that a person who now is deaf doesn't know what a record scratch sounds like? As for clutter, the "preeow" is usually the only thing going on at that point. It would not be cluttered to include it. In fact, when you watch the toon without the sound, you don't assume that The Paper is making any noise just because you see it. — It's dot com 21:13, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I totally agree. Sound effects are an important part of the cartoons, and we should include them in the subtitles. Also, anybody who really doesn't like them, can turn sound effects off when they use the Greasemonkey script. Loafing 21:18, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I also agree: I think providing details about sound effects is often very important for catching all of the humor in a toon. About the example about The Paper, I think it's clear that this is one of many running gags in the H*R universe that adds to the experience because of its frequent appearance. Including the sound effect is the only way that a deaf, etc. person can share in that. Trey56 21:20, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Qermaq. It would probably be better to show most, but not all sound effects. Otherwise, those who are deaf, or have his or her sound off, possibly missing important parts of the plot through clutter or the caption text moving too quickly. I don't think every sound effect is necessary when writing captions. — Lapper (talk) 21:22, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I like including the sound effects, I think it definetly adds to the experience. -- Tom 21:28, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I think many sound effects are notable, mind you. I guess I just question the semantic point of giving a sound effect for, say, The Paper when it conveys no meaning. In one transcript I did (anything) I didn't bother to note the scooting sound of the chair when Homestar sits, as it's meaningless (and it isn't a Geddup Noise, clearly!) - but when the sound effect is important to the plot, of course it should be noted. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 21:46, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


I can make Welsh subtitles if anyone's interested. Strong Sader 17:36, 28 August 2006 (UTC) P.S. The subtitles don't show on my computer because it rejects the "<br>" in the code.

Are you using Firefox? Did you install Phlip's scripts? And there should not be any <br>'s in the transcripts, they should be <br/>'s. If one is wrong, add the slash to the XML and try again. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 17:46, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I have Internet Explorer, and I've saved the All-in-One scripts. Strong Sader 17:49, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
All-in-one works with IE? Really now? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 17:54, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
It didn't, I was just telling you my situation. Strong Sader 17:57, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, but the subtitles not showing, as you said above - on all of them? None work for you, when viewed in Firefox? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 18:06, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Problems with IE

My computer screen currently reads:

The subtitles file has been found unsafe for the following reasons: file contains tags in CDATA note 'br'x5

anyone else have this problem? --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 18:32, 28 August 2006 (UTC)P.S. replace ' with < or > respectively. Now it says it x40

On what page do you get this error? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 18:37, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
I went to the BETA page and clicked 'watch' and the computer came up saying this. --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 18:39, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Try the depressio watch link. I know there's no br's in that one. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 18:44, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
That works. Still, we need to fix the ones that say 'br'. --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 18:52, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, here's the thing. If you run Phlip's scripts in Firefox, Firefox gets the transcript from the wiki. However, that old beta site runs off its own copies, and some of them are really old and not up to standards. If you could list the ones that are buggy, then Loafing could at some point fix the problem. And be sure, when using a line break in a transcript, to always use <br/>. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 18:56, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

After a check of the XML files for both depressio and 3 times halloween fun job (the one i tried earlier), I discovered that there are 'br /' in 3 times halloween fun job that the computer reads as just plain old 'br'. depressio doesn't have any 'br /' or 'br's. What I think we should do is just get rid of the 'br /' and see how the subtitles run without them. --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 18:59, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

You and me edited it at the same time. Weird.
Anyway, I'll try to come up with a list. --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 19:02, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
After testing for a while, i've noticed that all of the ones with the error/bug still work if you wait for a while. --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 19:19, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Please don't spend too much time over this, it's already being fixed! The problem with the CDATAs will go away soon, as we don't use them anymore in the new format. I am currently moving all subs from the external server to the wiki, and within a day or so, the problem will have fixed itself. Also, Super Martyo, I'm curious which IE version you are using. That's a very interesting warning it spits out. Loafing 19:21, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Too late. I have a list sitting right next to me. I did learn something, though. Stand-up does not work. --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 19:30, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, Super Martyo, I'm curious which IE version you are using. That's a very interesting warning it spits out.
I don't know what version i'm using. can someone tell me how to find out? --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 19:38, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Help -> About Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 19:54, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Gah, "stand-up" really doesn't work. I'll have to look into that after school.  Loafing 20:18, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
IE Version 6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2_gdr.050301-1519 --Mario2.PNG Super Martyo boing! 01:33, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Adding Flash File

Ok, I know it's not "later" yet, but re: <transcript xml:lang="en-us" file="flashfile.swf" width="550" height="400">, do we need to edit all the transcripts to add that now? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 09:21, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, please. The Greasemonkey script will work fine without them, but the external script needs them. 09:31, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Links on individual pages

Should the only actual subtitle link be to an external site? Perhaps a link "Configure Mozilla Firefox to view this toon with subtitles" leading to Phlip's Greasemonkey All-in-one script should appear first, then the external link "View subtitles in Internet Explorer" later. And what about Opera? They have a healthy chunk of the market too. Does the external site work on Opera? If not, can it be configured to? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 09:28, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

There are two subtitle links. One is to the external site that displays the subtitles under the Flash file, and the other one goes to the subtitle script in the Subtitles namespace. The subtitle script eventually leads to the page that tells people about the GM script. Yes, it's not that obvious. I could have the external script detect the browser and tell people that they should use the GM script, if they attempt to view the subtitles in Firefox. I'd prefer that to adding many how-to links on every toon page. As for Opera: yes, it does work. I've just tested it with Opera 9, and it works just fine. Loafing 09:41, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
There should now only be internal links to the subtitles scripts on each page. The template included in each subtitle script now provides a brief explanation of how to view the subtitles. It points to the GM script and also automatically links to the external viewer as an alternative. Loafing 10:12, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

We should standardize the capitalization and punctuation for the subtitles (like we do for the TGS transcripts). That is, we shouldn't use an emailer's bad capitalization and punctuation. And we should spell things exactly as Strong Bad (or whoever) pronounces them, not necessarily how they're typed. For example, on huttah!, we wouldn't put "Lasko, Milwaukee, WI"; we should put "Lassss-kohhhh" (or similar), "Milwaukee, Wisacondasin". — It's dot com 21:19, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Very yes. Loafing 21:21, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree on both counts. I used "buh-heend" in Subtitles:sbemail88/en, which I took right from the transcript where we describe how Strong Bad pronounces it. -- Tom 21:31, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Agree completely as well. (Well, except for how to spell Lasko, as that make makes it look like Strong Bad's spelling out the word. :P) We'll have to go through some of the already transcribed emails though, I think. Joshua (Talk | contribs) 22:00, 30 August 2006 (UTC) (left unsigned)
Heh, that's funny: I noticed what you just said and fixed it above before I read your comment here. (For those reading along, I had originally put "L-A-S-K-O", which looks like "el ay ess kay oh".) — It's dot com 22:14, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Loading subtitles...

I was watching a toon in German (what fun!) and it was weird to see "Loading subtitles..." in English. Can this be translated for the various languages? Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 01:25, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm sure it can. But where to stop? Should the menu options be internationalized as well? The error messages? The help pages that haven't been written yet? I think you do raise a valid point: If we make the Flash cartoons accessible for more people, what's they use if they don't understand the tools that are required to view the subtitles. On the other hand, this will make the whole system more complicated for us. We'd have another XML document that translates the user interface, similar to Subtitles:Characters. What do you think, Phlip? Loafing 02:50, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Where to stop indeed. Aside from the pure titillation value, we're doing this for accessibility, and accessibility should be the goal. There's not a job worth doing that's not worth doing right, and if we aim to make H*R accessible to people who cannot comprehend audible English speech, we must do the job right and see to it they actually can; otherwise, all our efforts are wasted. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 02:53, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree in principle. But nothing in this world is perfect, and we have to compromise at some stage. In the end, it comes down to how much work we are able/willing to invest in this, and I would like to remind people that Phlip and I have to program every little change into the two subtitle viewers. So whoever demands new functionality is more than welcome to submit the suggestions as a Javascript sample ;-) But seriously, internalization of the two viewers is probably not that complicated, but will take some time to implement, since the code has to be changed wherever text is presented to the user. And as I said, we have to discuss the scope of internalization. Even if the two viewers are internationalized, how do people who don't understand English know about them? How do they know about H*R in the first place? I think for now, we are already doing a good job at making the cartoon available to an audience that have problems with spoken English, or understand some written English. We're still trying ot get kinks out of the system, and I think we should focus on making the basics work first — while looking ahead to complete world domination, of course ;-)  Loafing 03:42, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Clarification: Yes, I think we should do that. Later on. Or sooner, with more developers involved. And we have to know what scope the project should have.  Loafing 03:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I thought about doing this, and decided against it. Some notes: currently, if subtitles are turned off, the script doesn't hit the wiki. At all. For anything. The languages list is only loaded when you turn the option on, the subtitles themselves obviously only load if it's turned on. Everything else is self-contained, to save on hits to the wiki. And then the question of i18n comes up. To put the translations on the wiki would mean that everyone hits the wiki when they're using the script, not just the people watching with subtitles (which I'm guessing is a smaller group). Yes, it's cached, but it would still mean an increase in usually-unneeded traffic. And the script would fail completely if the wiki was down (sure, it could degrade gracefully to English, but it would take time for it to do so, 'cause it would have to wait for timeouts from the wiki server). The alternative is to just include the translations in the GM file itself, which would solve all of that, but it would make it much harder to add new languages later (users would have to upgrade every time a new language was added). As for the slightly smaller scope of just translating the "Loading" message, there's the same issue... if the translations are in the script they're hard to add to, and if they're on the wiki... do you want a "Loading translations of "Loading subtitles" message..." message? Should it be translated? You see where I'm going with this... To have "Loading subtitles" appear only after it had loaded the translations would be weird (and potentially confusing, especially if the wiki was down), to have it say "Loading subtitles" in English and then change to the other language after the translations are loaded would be even weirder... I can't see a way for it to work cleanly. --phlip TC 04:14, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Just to note: I never intended this to be a "can you get this done by tomorrow?" kind of thing. Certainly the limitations of the code weight in here too. Still, this would not be a terribly bad future aspiration, y'know? Using this as a stepping-stone toward a later stand-alone caosed-captioning Flash player. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 09:02, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Translation of Proper Names

So, for the non-English subtitles, the general trend so far has been to translate proper names. This leads, for example, to a replacement of "Strong Bad" with "Stark Schlecht" for German subtitles and to a replacement of "Homestar" with "Étoile de Logis" for French subtitles. Should we be doing this, or should we leave the proper names as they are. For example, if my name happened to be "Hunter Smith" and a French newspaper was talking about me, they wouldn't change my name to "Forgeron de Chasseur". For a better comparison, the French don't translate Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny.

So, maybe this doesn't matter much — and maybe we keep doing it the way we're doing it because it's fun to find amusing translations of names into other languages. After all, the likelihood that hordes of non-English speakers are going to suddenly begin appreciating Homestar Runner as a result of our efforts is scant. I just thought it would be good to get a firm decision on the table early on in the game.

Finally, to muddy the waters further, there are some proper names that probably should be translated no matter what. For example, from Where the Crap Are We?, I think that "Senator Pencilface" should be translated as well as possible (something like "Le Sénateur Visagedecrayon" in French, for example). What do you all think? Trey56 08:29, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Regular names, like "Larry Paloroncini" - no need to translate. This question was faced a long time ago in another Internet-based project. Descriptive names like "A Little Girl" should be translated, of course. Most names in H*R (including his own) fall into the vast grey area between. Some like Bubs and Marzipan should be no more than transliterated phonetically, if that. A name like Caleb Rentpayer could be left alone, or the last name could be translated to the local word for "rentpayer" if the result at least resembles a possible name, as in English. Then we get to Strong Bad whose name is both descriptive and simply nominative. But, it started out as descriptive. Comparing it to Mickey Mouse isn't apt: Mickey's name tells us no more than this is a mouse named Mickey, while "Strong Bad" conjures up important expositional imagery. When the meaning of the words in the name contribute to the viewer's interpretation of the character, whether literally, figuratively, ironically, or otherwise, the name probably should be fully translated. Qermaq - (T/C) Image:Qermaqsigpic.png 09:11, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I think those are some great guidelines. Am I right in interpreting, then, that you might translate "Runner" but not "Homestar"? Trey56 09:28, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Since you brought up the Mickey Mouse example, Trey: Most Disney names are actually partially translated into German. For example, Mickey is called "Micky Maus", while Scrooge McDuck is called "Dagobert Duck". Interestingly, "Goofy" is still called "Goofy", although most Germans don't know what it means. I still find it irritating when I read about Disney stuff on the web, because all the names are wrong! So yes, from my experience, I would prefer the main character names to not be translated. Here's an interesting link for Mr. McDuck's international pseudonymsLoafing 09:26, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Very interesting! Trey56 09:28, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

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I've finished the subtitles for sbemails 52-57 and 60, but when I try to test any of them, it says "Loading". It never does load nor does it need to because I'm using the testing setting. I'm using the latest version of the Greasemonkey script. —Zelinda 17:31, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
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